November 10, 2011
Editor’s Note: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is writing a blog called “Food for Thought.” It is available online at www.gwinnettdailypost.com/townsend.>
Well, the 2011 elections are history, save the runoffs. In some cities, I think it’s safe to say they actually made history. I know I’ve climbed up on this soapbox before, but bear with me. I am always dismayed at the depths to which candidates will sink (dive, even) to obtain the office they seek. Cities, counties, states and an entire country are more often than not left bloodied, battered and hating following elections. And everyone is expected to wake up the next morning and “work together” for the greater good. I’ll never understand it.
Maybe that’s why I report the news instead of making it, but I can live with that.
OK on to another topic: the passing of an era in Georgia. Ladies and gentlemen, now that the citizens have spoken, you too can wake up on Sunday and decide you’d like beer or wine (hopefully later in the day), drive to the store and purchase it - on Sunday. This new development is right up there with the invention of the wheel here in the Peach State.
I grew up in Georgia, Doraville as a matter of fact. DeKalb County. I remember when DeKalb was a dry county (do me a favor and don’t do the math – it’s been a while ago). For as long as I can remember, buying alcohol on Sundays – or the inability to do so - was a huge deal. It was an impossibility. And my parents weren’t even drinkers; it was just a well- known fact that, if you wanted to drink or serve alcohol on Sunday, you’d better purchase it by Saturday. Everybody knew it and just worked around it.
I remember my folks were planning a party one time. I was probably 10 years old, and I remember everyone piling into the family car and driving into Fulton County so they could buy alcohol for the merrymaking (we didn‘t get out much, obviously). From that age up until I was in college, I had it in my head that Sandy Springs was Georgia’s Sodom and Gomorrah, because you could buy hooch there.
I will say that the longstanding ban on Sunday sales gave people something to talk about, something to complain about. Blue Laws have been kicked around for many years as the source of great inconvenience to both shoppers and drinkers.
Politicians have milked this topic for years. Some vehemently oppose Sunday sales of alcohol, some support it wholeheartedly, and some really don’t care one way or the other. The real issue got lost, however, when politicians beat their chest on the subject and failed to see that voters, and only voters, have the right to make that choice.
I applaud the actions, rulings and other maneuverings that got the question on Tuesday’s ballot. I applaud the ordinary citizens who refused to be bulldozed by showboating politicians and their personal views. I even applaud the good folks of Forest Park who voted, “Thanks, but no thanks,” because that’s how things should work.
Will the ability to purchase alcohol on Sundays enhance your life? Will it affect you at all?
Carole Townsend is also a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the recently-released book, “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at families and how they behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays.