NOTE: I'm posting this because it was already written, but after that I won't be posting for a few days, and won't have time to visit blogs, I'm afraid. Some critical family issues have come up that have to be taken care of.
Days of Beer Post:
I went to Arkansas Tech University for my bachelors. My buddy Steve went too, for a year. It was a little over an hour from home. One night, while sitting around with a gang of friends and some perfectly serviceable beers such as Miller and Natural Light (which I had a small crush on at the time), a couple of my friends developed a Coors thirst that could not be satisfied even with pure water.
Now, at the time, (the late 70s), Coors could not be legally sold in Arkansas because of some tax issue. The closest place to get it was Oklahoma. These…friends of mine promptly got in their car and drove over two hours one way just to get Coors. The proverbial “Light Beer” went off over my head, and Steve and I soon went into the bootlegging business.
Where we lived was only about forty-five minutes from Oklahoma and we both went home most weekends to see our girlfriends. We spread it around to folks we knew that we might just happen to pick up some Coors while home, and did they want any. We had plenty of takers, so Steve and I started taking a Saturday night or two a month to head over to Oklahoma, where we would stock up on 10 to 12 cases of Coors for which we’d received orders for.
An added bonus was that the drinking age was only 18 in Oklahoma, but 21 in Arkansas. So we’d go over, get the Coors we wanted to sell into the trunk (along with some real beer for personal use), then hit the bars for a while before coming home. Monday evening would see us delivering our case load to our clients.
Of course, there was a substantial markup on our part. But that was only fair considering the risks. And they weren’t insubstantial. If you were 21 you were allowed to have two six-packs of Coors in your possession in Arkansas for personal consumption. Anything over two six-packs was considered intent to deliver and would cost you $60 per can.
Four buds of ours from our hometown ended up paying just that kind of cost. After seeing Steve and I having success with our little business, they decided to get in on the action for their own universities. But while they had the idea, they didn’t have the strategy. They drove across the Arkansas River bridge into Oklahoma, stopped at the first beer joint they came too, loaded up about 8 cases, then turned around and drove straight back. The cops stopped ‘em right off the bridge and it weren’t a pretty result.
When Steve and I went we bypassed the first few joints along the highway and found a place further removed from the main drag where the police were less likely to be watching. Then we bought the beer but just left it in the trunk while we hung out at the bars for a few hours. And we always took a different route going home than we had coming in. The result was that we never got stopped.
Only a few years into my bootlegging career, I hung up my cash clip. I assure you that it had nothing to do with Coors becoming legal for sale in Arkansas. Profiting off of other folks’ bad taste for beer just began to stick in my craw. So, you could say I gave it up for moral reasons. Yeah, I’m just that kinda guy.
Next: Beer Days go International