2011-02-23 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Me and mine vote ‘No’ on liquor by the drink
by Terry Toole

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

I guess that old saying pertaining to things such as this would apply to me, since I am definitely not an angel.

Several weeks ago, one of our citizens who doesn’t live here went before the city council wanting to get licenses to sell alcohol, liquor, rotgut, hard stuff, scotch, bourbon, sherry, rum, gin, tequila, vodka, whiskey, etc., by the drink. The council made a motion to allow the people to vote on this issue in a special, call election on March 15. The cost of this election will be added to your taxes, so I urge you to vote in this special election on March 15.

For you who do not know or do not care, anyone who qualifies under the law can sell beer or wine in Miller County, which includes Colquitt. You can get a license to sell it by the case, bottle, can or glass.

Several years ago, the city of Colquitt held an election to allow the sell of liquor, whiskey and all the rest by the bottle stuff, but not by the drink or in a bar. That passed by one vote after they had thrown out several absentee ballots due to "improper returns." Two of these ballots were my Uncle Bert and Aunt Willie Priest's ballots. They were never opened, but I would bet everything I own that they voted against selling whiskey and hard stuff by the bottle or any other way. By counting their votes, the sale of whiskey would have failed.

It is my not so humble opinion that the greatest problem with our city, county, state, nation and world is apathy, which is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, or physical life.

I must admit that in our last national election most of the people of this nation came out of their apathy, and many voted out those who do not work for the good of this nation. Maybe this can be continued in 2012.

Back to voting for or against selling whiskey by the drink in Colquitt, for me and most of my kin, we will vote "No" on this, and I haven't asked anyone but my first wife how she was going to vote.

I'm not sure if it's age, wisdom or experience, but when an issue like this comes up, I ask myself, "What will it do for our community?"

In my 75 years on this earth, I have never, ever seen the time when drinking intoxicating beverages improved anything, and let me be the first to admit that I am not a teetotaler. I am not against other people drinking if they can handle it. I do admit that drinking makes you think you are something that you are not, but the effect wears off, and you’ve already spent what your wife and children need.

My father was an alcoholic. He was a good, fair, kind man when he was not drinking. When he drank, he was a drunk that couldn't handle it, as most drunks are.

In my 22 years as coroner in this county, there were few of the many accidents that I was called to pronounce death that were not related to drinking. Of the thousands of wrecks that I have gone to, many of them were caused by alcohol. Of the killings, stabbings, and shootings that have occurred in this county recently and surrounding counties, most are caused by the use of alcohol or drugs. Of the hundreds of prisoners in jail or prisoners that I have known, over 90 percent of them were there because of alcohol or illegal drug use by their own admission. The last murder case that I was a part of was due to alcohol and a need for drug money. The killer hammered a screwdriver through the neck of his girlfriend in the floor because she wouldn't give him money for drugs.

I've got lots of stories about what liquor uses have done for individuals, families and communities. None of them are good.

I haven't heard a preacher mention this. Maybe they have more sense than I do.

If you don't vote, be sure your non-vote will help city bars put more old and young drunks on our roads. Seems there are already enough. More-

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