Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wilmington Trip-ABC stores and what they mean...

As readers of this site know, M & L frequently venture to North Carolina to see our ever-expanding family. During our trips there, a stop at the ABC store is essential. What is an ABC store you might ask?

According to the North Carolina ABC website: "North Carolina is one of 19 control states and a member of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association . As an agency under the Department of Commerce, it is our overall objective to provide uniform control over the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state."

ABC stores are as much a part of the landscape of North Carolina as shotgun racks, basketball courts and pickups. The stores themselves are kind of fascinating and are an interesting aspect of the Bible Belt culture in that they are extremely concerned with being discreet. These places have no windows and often have the parking tucked away behind the building. Nobody strides normally into these places; there is a sense of going into someplace illicit and unsavory. This feeling connects to the shame that southerners feel about the partaking of spirits (in a public way). It is almost a pornographic enterprise to buy vodka, bourbon, etc in the south.

But, for what it is worth, what a place! You can get great buys on liquor there (especially bourbon). There is basically moon-shine for sale there (cough, cough, I mean corn liquor). The cashiers are inevitably good old boys who ask you where you are from and mention that you hope that "We'll push through today" (meaning that the UNC-Tar Heels of which Mark is an alummn will beat the sub-par and/or despicable Wolfpack, Blue Devils, etc).

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I (Mark) have written for The Christian Science Monitor, Clear Magazine, Picture Magazine, Film Score Monthly, Dan's Papers, Rue Morgue, In Flight USA and a lot more publications that I can't remember.... My wife Lynn was a model with the Ford Agency and her photography has been featured in most of the publications I have written for...


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