Texas is another country...

Texas is another country...I have driven into Texas from all four directions and can affirm that after crossing that imaginary state line you just know you are in Texas . The world becomes wide open space, the sky feels higher, you can stretch out and rest a spell.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

TEXAS BLUE LAWS

Post by Alana Cash

I can remember Sunday afternoons when I was in high school, lying on the rocking couch on our porch, reading a book, hearing the planes drone around in circles overhead – planes that had been repaired in the hangar behind our house and were being tested before sent to war.  It was peaceful and I felt lazy and relaxed.  I suppose if the mall had been open, I might have been shopping.  But in those days the Texas Blue Laws were so convoluted that department stores could sell some merchandise and not others on Sundays and chose to remain closed to avoid customer confusion.   Stores could sell milk but not kitchen utensils, screws but not screw drivers, nails but not hammers.  Clothing and appliances were definitely not a fit purchase on Sunday, but a car dealership could sell cars on a Sunday if they closed on Saturday and still can.  Gas stations could sell gas, but you could rarely find one open on Sunday.

Sunday was a day of rest.

Blue Laws.  Why blue, no one really knows.  The Blue Laws were created by the early colonists.  And punishments for nonobservance in Connecticut, for example, were severe.  Burglary on Sunday was especially heinous and along with time in a Connecticut jail, it called for the removal of an ear.  The second offense took the other ear.  Third offense of burglary desecrating the Sabbath in Connecticut called for the death penalty because, well, you were out of ears.  Playing shuffleboard on Sunday called for a fine.  On the first offense anyway. [Connecticut finally ended their Blue Law ban on the sale of liquor on Sundays in 2013.  Not sure when they stopped cutting off ears.]

When I returned to Texas as an adult, the Blue Laws were still in effect and I again enjoyed the peaceful sense that Sunday was really a day off. Then, Texas repealed most Blue Laws in 1985 in favor of commerce and sales tax collection, so that stores could finally sell washers and dryers on Sunday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Christmas Day.  But not liquor.  Beer and wine could be sold at grocery stores, but not until noon.  I still think it’s funny when I go to HEB and see a tarp over the six-packs in the refrigerator case like it’s the scene of a bad accident.  Don’t look! 

You might be tempted.

And now, even the Texas liquor laws are going the way of Connecticut.  But at least Texans didn’t cut off any ears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6kj9XE88z0  Easy Like Sunday Morning (Commodores)


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