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Under the yellow glow of the street lights, some of the shades of green people wore started to look more like brown. I mentioned this to my friend, who laughed back, “It aint’ the lights – they’ve got beer sweats.”

Sure enough, as one of them stumbled past us, I got a nose full of cheap bear and body odor.

The air was cool and crisp this Saint Patrick’s Day, and a few of the revelers had obviously over dressed. Their bundles of scarves and heavy jackets now becoming unbearable as the free-flowing alcohol raised their body temperature and the crowd packed in around them.

“You know, at certain points of my life – points I’m not proud of, mind you – I often wonder what forty thousand beer-drunk people would smell like.” I announce, unprompted. “And I can say, without any reservation, if that detestable odor was a preview of what’s to come – we’d best leave now.”

My friend held up his wristband and pointed to his cup full of green beer. “But, I’ve still got this, and they’ve still got more of this.”

I laughed and shook my head, “Then I highly recommend you drink until you cannot smell.”

Memphis Note
In the 1970s, the Saint Patrick’s Day parties at Overton Square were massive events. Tens of thousands of people would swarm onto Madison, blocking traffic for nearly a dozen blocks. But, as times changed and Overton Square became less popular, the party died out. Hopefully with the revival of the Square on the horizon, Saint Patrick’s Day will be a big event again.

Scott Brown

James slammed the sweaty bottle of champagne down in the middle of the coffee table.

“No one touch that.” He said, pointing to the bottle and tossing his motorcycle helmet onto an empty chair. “If the vote comes back, we’ll share it. If not, I’m chugging all of it myself then driving off the de Soto bridge.”

“Sounds like a crappy way to spend Thanksgiving.” Joked George, ashing his cigarette.

“Yeah, well, winning might be an even bigger pain in the ass.”

“Hey, shut it!” Shouted Charles from the couch. “The news is coming on.”

The men, potential business partners, crowded around a small transistor radio. Waiting, hoping, praying, that fate would smile down upon them.

“Good evening.” The voice from the radio crackled and hissed. “With the last of the precincts reporting in, we are predicting that the measure has passed. Starting at the first of the year, the residents of Tennessee will once again be able to order liquor by the drink.”

A deafening whoop of joy went up from the five of them. They were in business.

“Now you jackals can open it,” laughed James. “And some one, for the love of God, start writing some checks!”

Memphis Note
Before November of 1969, restaurants in Tennessee were unable to serve you alcoholic beverages with your food. Which put a damper on the profitability of nightlife across the whole state. But, with repeal of the measure on the horizon, five friends were plotting something…big. They’d lined up the investors, had the restaurant license ready to go, and all they needed was for the vote to go in their favor. If it did, then they could open up TGI Fridays and get the party going in Overton Square.