Saturday, September 22, 2012

Buyers' Remorse: WA St, and Private Liquor Sales

This is fascinating.

Back in the late 70s, I worked on a campaign to put this initiative--to privatize liquor sales--on the ballot.

That was before the days of "big box" stores. Fred Meyers was a big deal. Most of the original sentiment came from mom & pop outfits, mainly people who just wanted to run a bar, not a bar-cum-restaurant. There were rules stipulating the ratios of revenues from food and booze, because you stay sober longer if there's food in your system. Our arguments were founded on "tenets" which now would resonate with and of Ron Paul. Individualism! and Profit! The usual.

I wrote propaganda for 'em: press releases, briefings, white papers, all that shit, on an apple computer, in the basement of a Restaurant/Bar in down-town Seattle (on Spring St.?)...

Turns out: There are LOTS of desperate, subtle, and very unpleasant side-effects to the privatization which are evident now and  which I didn't understand when I was advocating for it. The guy I was working for was probably a neo-Libertarian, and so our arguments were not grounded much in questions of the public good.

We eventually got the attention of the Seattle mob, and they "lent" us a shyster.  I remember a meeting with some of the "boys" in a trailer-park under the fly-way of the jet-liner traffic at Sea-Tac, chosen because the noise of the jets rendered "unauthorized' listening more difficult. I absented myself soon afterwards, and took up a career in construction.

Then one night out in Tuckwilla, (natives will know the "Riverside Inn") in April of 1980, I met the "last Ex-Mrs. Dr. Woody" at a saloon. We clicked.

Folks usta marvel at the disparate appearances we conveyed: she, shy and self-contained; me, well you know...I was frequently asked how we got together, and I routinely replied: "She was visiting from California; she and her sister and her sister's husband were out pub-crawling one Saturday night, and we met when they got down to my level."

I subsequently moved to Santa Barbara, where we wed a couple of years later; and thence on to Baton Rouge and later Norman, Ok., and that road was VERYdifferent...