I really enjoy my life here in Surry County. I have a job that I don’t hate, a family I love and some good friends in the area. That stated, my life is missing something — mimosas.
Mimosas are an important part of American culture in that they are one of two alcoholic beverages that are socially acceptable to consume prior to noon. The other is a Bloody Mary, but I cringe at the taste of tomato juice.
When I was stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska, my battle buddies and I went to the Glacier Brewhouse in downtown Anchorage for a mess of biscuits and gravy and the delightful concoction of orange juice and champagne nearly every weekend.
I don’t drink nearly as much as I did in my Army days or college days, but I still have a true love for a good stiff drink every now and then.
For those like me, Surry County has some great offerings. The county is littered with spectacular wineries, Mayberry Distillery offers some of the best whiskey I’ve tasted and places such as Granite City Brews have fine beer selections.
Recently, I had two friends visit me. One morning while they were visiting the two awakened me at 7:30 a.m. After I threatened their lives, they relayed the fact that they were hungry.
After rolling out of the bed and hopping in the car, one said, “I would really like a drink with my breakfast.” Sorry bro, not here. He had a hard time comprehending the fact that no place which served breakfast also served booze. Now I don’t know that there’s a market for this here, but that day we would have shelled out some cash for a few drinks.
Of course, this column is bigger than my infatuation with mimosas. It’s about my adapting to a culture in which I have placed myself which I just can’t understand. I’m not saying that how we do it up north is right. I’m just saying that the opinions regarding alcohol here aren’t any more right than those I know.
It seems like drinking a beer here in the area is very likely to invoke the response of somebody sneering their nose up at you or maybe getting an anonymous letter citing scripture. I can’t help but know that many of the opinions regarding alcohol are driven by religion.
I’m not opposed to religion. I think it teaches some great values and morals, and it’s especially good for youth given all that they see in this changing (not necessarily for the better) world.
I understand that there are some bad things that happen when certain people drink, but if you’re blaming the booze your blame is completely misplaced. Blame the person, and don’t sneer your nose at the guy having a beer with his dinner because you don’t approve of drinking. It’s simply not anybody’s place to judge another human being like that. Who defines what values are right anyways? Only the black and white letter of law is capable of identifying right and wrong for the populace. Certainly that’s not religion’s place.
Personal beliefs shouldn’t be used to judge others or, especially, to tell others what they can or can’t do. Why can’t beer be sold prior to noon on a Sunday in North Carolina? Answer — religion. There’s no separation of church and state here in North Carolina, but I guess that’s why boards of commissioners choose to ignore case law and continue with a form of prayer that’s been deemed “flat-out unconstitutional.”
Recently, a rezoning matter came before the Surry County Board of Commissioners. The request was to build a Family Dollar on Old Westfield Road. Apparently, residents are concerned that the store, which would be erected more than a football field away from a church, could sell alcohol too close to the church.
The law addresses this concern already. Alcohol can’t be sold within 50 feet of a church.
I’m not sure what the total investment Family Dollar plans to make at the site is. However, I’m sure it’s sizable. My opinion is as follows. Family Dollar, once the company purchases the property, isn’t going to tell church-goers what to do. Therefore, church-goers shouldn’t be trying to tell Family Dollar what it can or can’t sell.
If somebody doesn’t want to exit the door of a church to see somebody walking out of the new store with a case of beer, that person need only refrain from squinting to look 384 feet in the direction of the store.
As for my mimosa situation, until some attitudes change and I can have a proper drink with my breakfast I’ll just eat cold pizza every morning.
Andy Winemiller is a staff writer at the Mount Airy News. Andy can be reached at (336) 415-4698 or firstname.lastname@example.org.