Editor, The Commercial:
I read with interest the article about a Pine Bluff group wanting to put club hours to a vote.
I am reminded of John Grisham’s book “A Time to Kill.” If you read this book, you will remember that shortly after he was elected the first time, Sheriff Ozzie Walls (only black sheriff in Mississippi) made the mistake, due in part to a hasty campaign promise, of closing the honky tonks in the county. The crime rates soared.
Ozzie closed the black tonks too, and break-ins, burglaries and stabbings tripled in one month.
Finally, with the city under siege, a group of local ministers met secretly with Ozzie and begged him to ease up on the tonks. He politely reminded them that during the campaign they had insisted on the closings. They admitted they were wrong and pleaded for relief. Yes, they said, they would support him in the next election. Ozzie relented and life returned to normal in Ford County.
Now, most of us Pine Bluffians don’t frequent tonks.
However, there is a certain element that loves to gamble, do drugs and/or drink whiskey until all hours of the morning. One would think that a person could get really good and drunk by midnight and wouldn’t have to stay out in a tonk until 5 a.m.
The solution may be to take all the tonks in Pine Bluff and put them way out … I say way out … out of the city limits of Pine Bluff, and let the tonk patrons enjoy drinking, shooting pool, listening to loud music, dancing and fighting. One could then patronize the establishments at their own peril. Prohibition didn’t work, and we can’t legislate morality … as much as some of us would like to do so.