Well done, Canyon, Texas voters.
You’ve awakened to the reality of life in the second decade of the 21st century, which is that we’re a mobile society and it no longer makes sense to cloister your community in the notion that staying “dry” somehow protects you from the evils of alcoholic beverages.
Canyon voters agreed to make the city “wet,” meaning that merchants will be able to sell adult beverages and eating establishments will be able to service liquor by the drink.
Will this turn Canyon into a din of debauchery where people get so drunk they stagger into the streets en masse?
It means that businesses will be able to generate a little more revenue, improve their bottom lines and pump some of that money back into a community that can use a little help.
This hidebound notion of keeping a community dry used to make sense when we all got around on foot, or rode on horseback, or even at the start of the automobile age.
No more. We’ve gotten mobile. People are able to travel easily to the next city to purchase their hooch and bring it back.
I’m reminded of what a Department of Public Safety officer told me once while my wife and I were visiting Perryton, in Ochiltree County. He called the seven-mile stretch of U.S. 83 between Perryton and the Oklahoma state line one of the “most dangerous stretches of road in Texas.” Ochiltree County was dry and motorists would drive across the state line, get tanked up on liquor and then drive back home. They were impaired and the roadway was the scene of numerous wrecks each week, the DPS officer told me.
Ochiltree County has since gone wet. Traffic accidents along U.S. 83 have declined and business is booming in Perryton.
Canyon now has joined the 21st century club.