Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Vote Has Been Counted And...

It was a close vote, due in no small part to the "Vote No!" forces.

Such a compelling argument...

Only 202 votes separated the "Yes" from the "No". Hopefully we can move on together now.

And unlike the dire warnings, the "Yes" vote didn't immediately cause beers to materialize in everybody's hands.

In fact, it will take months before licenses to sell alcohol will be issued. Although a new restaurant with a bar area is already in the works, it will be a long time still before the first liquor store or bar opens up.

So, I'm just guessing here, but I suspect that when we wake up in the morning, the world will still be revolving on its axis; the sun will rise again; the birds will be singing; and we will all shuffle back to work.

Granted, a few will probably have hangovers.

As I head to the Captain's Quarters for a night's rest, let me say it again: this vote doesn't mean you HAVE TO buy alcohol.


It simply means the Captain can.

Thank you!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Vote Early! Vote Often!

Tomorrow is “the big day!”

The day that will set forever the future of our county!

That will either save us or destroy us!

Yes, tomorrow is the day for the Wet/Dry vote.

If you are new to Banana Winds, first “Welcome!” And second, you can catch up on the local Wet/Dry issue here.

So last week a friend shared on Facebook an insightful article from the local newspaper. You can read it here.

I don’t know the author, but her bio says she is a local school teacher and an editor and compiler of books. Some of her writings appear in Christian magazines and newspapers. The Captain suspects she might also be a preacher’s wife.

And while she cautiously walks the line between wet & dry – unlike your beloved Captain – being careful to avoid declaring a position that might alienate a portion of her base, she makes a very good observation:

     “I see great passion for this cause. I’ve seen churches come together to work on this where before a relationship wasn’t there. I’ve seen Christians meet early in the morning to go from home to home to encourage people to vote on their side of the issue. I’ve heard sermons on the dangers of alcohol and the destruction it can bring.
     “But I have to ask, where are the Christians knocking on my door telling me that Jesus is alive and offers hope?”

She speaks the truth. Churches today will frequently rally around a cause – raising thousands of dollars, the volume of rhetoric, and everyone’s blood pressure – but what about their original mission, their purpose for being a church in the first place?

Does “proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ” ring a bell? Or maybe “making disciples of Jesus Christ”? Or, if you are of a different stripe, “saving souls from hell”?

It has been years since anybody has knocked on the Captain’s door wanting to share the Gospel.

So I shared the article on Facebook. Another friend picked it up from me and shared it as well. To which the following response came:

Very good article.I live in (community name), ky. We can’t seem to be able to get a grocery store,but we got a bar.Now we have alcohol sold in every gas station. FOOD GIANT in (community name) Ky YOU NAME IT, THEY SELL IT.And as far as the money helping our community that’s a bunch of hogwash.It only helps the people that sell it.’AND RUINS THE LIVES OF CHILDREN.”

Obviously this person did not read the article the same way the Captain did.

And once you get past the spelling and punctuation issues, it becomes obvious this person just doesn’t get it!

The Captain is familiar with the community in which the respondent lives. And frankly, the sale of alcohol in the gas stations and grocery store may be the only thing keeping those businesses in your community.

In addition to providing needed services in the community, those businesses also provide jobs. While that may not mean much to the retirees living in the sleepy little community, it probably means a great deal to what few young people still choose to live there.

By the way, the Captain has been to that “bar”. It’s a great little stop when boating on the lake.

It has not always been that way though. Here’s a review from two years ago:

“Not impressed. Horrible service. Cash bar--literally cash only. Food took over an hour. Waitress had no clue what was going on. We got tired of waiting and just left. This place is in desperate need of *management*.” (June 2013)

The Captain wasn’t impressed back then either.

But when new management took over, the restaurant changed.

And so did the reviews:

“Paradise theme with great service, food, and smiles. On our KY Lake annual 4th of July vacation and took our gang to (restaurant’s name) yesterday for lunch via boat. We were greeted at the dock by a (restaurant’s name)’s crew member who helped moor the boat. Inside we found the restaurant extremely clean with the paradise theme throughout. We came for the (restaurant’s name) burger and were not disappointed. The burger comes in an 8 oz or 4 oz version with two sides and was superb. The lunch menu is basically sandwiches and salads and everything we had was delicious. Desert for our party was choice of flavor of hand scooped ice cream cones. The service was spot on and we will be back.” (July 2014)

The place is clean and bustling with activity now, and it employs dozens of locals to handle the mostly-seasonal crowds.

So it does help the community after all!

And one can’t overlook the fact that with increased business, increased employment, and increased alcohol sales comes increased taxes for local, county, state and federal governments.

As for the charge that the sale of alcohol “RUINS THE LIVES OF CHILDREN”, the Captain will again respond with words of caution:

But, you know, if what they say about guns is true, the same holds true for alcohol:
-“Alcohol doesn’t ruin the lives of children; irresponsible people using alcohol ruin the lives of children.”

-“If alcohol is outlawed, only outlaws will have it.”

-“You can have my drink when you pry it from my cold, dead hand.”

Too much? Sorry.

As was noted in my previous post, our county already has the highest rate of alcohol-related arrests in the state – even though the sale of alcohol is forbidden.


The additional tax revenue could be used to beef up the county sheriff’s department, which now only has two cars patrolling at night. In fact, they have stopped targeting DUI because of the shortage of manpower.

It’s ironic that the sale of alcohol would actually beef up the arrest and prosecution of those who overindulge.

The Captain is not walking that fine line of Wet/Dry. It only makes sense to legalize the sale of alcohol throughout the county.

And friends, if you don’t want to drink, don’t. 

You can be sure that if you stop by the Banana Winds, I'll offer you a drink. 

But I won't be offended if you say "no"... then.

Say "Yes" tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Captain is Wet

There are three truths in life:
            -Jewish people do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
            -Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
            -Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store.

Next Tuesday the voters of the county in which we now reside will go to the polls in a special election to decide whether to allow the county-wide sale of alcohol.

Yes, the Captain is living in one of the last remaining holdouts from Prohibition.

Unfortunately, the Captain and First Mate moved here too late to register to vote.

I’m sure our two votes would make the difference!

The issue has been on the ballot before, and failed each time. This year many are saying the pro-alcohol forces might just prevail.

Many churches are displaying the “Vote No” placard. Most businesses are urging “Vote Yes”.

Today the local newspaper sent out a free issue to all postal customers with the lead story “Yes? No? What’s at Stake?” If you couldn’t tell the editor’s position by the article, it was made clear by the full-color sticker on the front page:

The Captain is staying out of it.

After all, the Banana Winds is “wet” no matter how the county votes!

Now let me first say that there are a lot of good folks living in the county. It’s a nice community. Fairly quiet. Once ranked ‘The Best Community in which to Retire”.

And growing older with every breath.

Many of these folks are God-fearing, church-going, tea-totaling people. And they want to keep their county that way.

Unfortunately, this attitude hardly describes the reality here.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

To the local churches, the Captain would point out that if you base your argument on the Christian Scriptures, you are – well – wrong.

We first find a reference to wine in Genesis chapter 9. Following the great flood, one of Noah’s first acts is to plan a vineyard and proceed to make wine; from this he becomes drunk, falls asleep naked, and as a result places a curse upon his grandson.


It cannot be denied, the Bible contains a fair number of verses that warn against drunkenness.

It should be noted here that the Captain has written several such warnings among the pages of Banana Winds as well.

Yet, at the same time the Bible offers an equal number of verses declaring the affirmation that God gave us alcohol “to gladden the hearts of men” [sic]. (Psalm 104:5)

And it makes the ladies giggle!

In fact, the Gospel According to John (chapter 2) records that Jesus once attended a marriage feast in Cana. When the host runs out of wine, Jesus’ mother turns to him for help. Jesus miraculously turns gallons and gallons of water into gallons and gallons of wine.

Good wine!

Even the wine steward was impressed!

So don’t try to tell me it was some metaphorical non-alcoholic “new wine”.

Jesus kept the party going by providing more wine!

Seriously, if Jesus had a problem with our drinking wine (a common beverage in that region), he would not have performed this, his first recorded miracle.

And who can deny this happened...

You might also note that Jesus was accused of being “a glutton and a drunkard”. (Luke 7:34)

What’s more, in the first New Testament letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul writes out the qualifications for deacons in the early church: “…deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.” (3:8)

So the Biblical arguments are out. Thanks for playing.

Wait. Have you heard this one: What’s the difference between a Baptist and a Methodist?

Baptists don’t drink… in public!

What about the good folks who just want a nice, quiet (and safe) community, free from alcohol and its evil influences?

Unfortunately, statistics show that even without the legal sale of alcohol, the county leads the state in alcohol convictions and alcohol-related car crashes.

"We're #1! We're #1!"
Oh, wait…

Perhaps unrelated to this, the county is a big destination for tourism.

A lot of poverty too.

And tourism.

Specifically fishing.

Show me a fishing boat that doesn’t have a cooler full of beer.

Beer which they bought somewhere else.

Local officials estimate that the county is missing out on nearly $5 million in annual alcohol sales, whether from the sale of package liquor (that 24 pack of Keystone) or individual beverages served at restaurants and bars.

The Captain's presence in the county will no doubt cause that number to grow!

Speaking of restaurants and bars, because this is a dry county the Captain has to drive 20-30 minutes to find a restaurant that will serve me a drink with my meal.

Which means that after a lovely dinner out, the Captain will be driving 20-30 minutes to get back home.

Putting yet another potentially dangerous driver on the road.

The hope is – although there is no guarantee – that better restaurants will move into the area if they can bring their bars with them.

Hooters would be nice!
The important point here is this: the county is missing out on potential income / tax revenue by refusing to allow the sale of alcohol.

And you’re forcing the Captain to cross the county line to buy his Rum!

Friends, if you don’t want to drink, then don’t. Nobody can make you.

And if you’re prone to drunkenness, you definitely shouldn’t drink.

But just know that the Captain wouldn’t mind having a nice glass of wine with his steak.

Without having to leave the county.

Is that so bad?