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The 7th Annual Repeal Day Celebration

Ahhh, the roaring 20’s: A time of flapper girls, ragtime music, fedoras, and cocktails that tasted like rubbing alcohol. An era of three piece suits, prizefighters, and did I mention cocktails that tasted like rubbing alcohol?

The 20’s were an interesting time to be living in America and an even more interesting time to enjoy the occasional “sauce”. Prohibition was in full swing, making the consumption of alcohol illegal, and I would assume life much more depressing. When I think about Prohibition, and what it set out to do, I cannot help but laugh. Alcohol goes hand in hand with socializing and by making alcohol illegal, you are pretty much asking people to eliminate the other. Hypothetically if alcohol again became illegal, I have no doubt that many people would become significantly less interesting and social events would be limited to church visits and farmer’s markets.

Famed author and even more famed alcoholic Charles Bukowski said it best, “If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

We are surrounded by alcohol. No matter how small a town is, (ahem Farrell, PA.) there is always at least that one bar called Harry’s or Lucky’s or Johnny’s where smoking is for some reason still allowed; and while the cost of the drinks is less than a gallon of gasoline, the taste is quite similar. “Harry’s” often looks like a dungeon, smells like a dungeon, and each of it’s surfaces is covered in cheap booze, cigarette butts, or passed out locals. Meanwhile, the thought of a #2 in that one-stall bathroom causes more anxiety than a mime in speech class. Yet, we still suck it up and venture into “Harry’s” on Saturday nights to unwind and potentially see a friendly face or two, no matter how much of an ash tray we smell when that 2 am Taco Bell dinner alarm starts ringing.

Although the 20’s had its difficulties: polio, full-bodied underwear, and soberness, it was also a time of elegance, jazz, and some extremely stylish clothing. Women wore their Sunday’s best all days of the week, while men never left the house without a suit, tie, and fedora. Unfortunately, sometime in the past several decades, Americans forgot how to dress. We substituted overcoats and fedoras for Jeff Gordon t-shirts and jean shorts (if you call them jorts, then you undoubtedly have a pair somewhere in your home).

Nowadays, if one were to venture into a sports bar wearing a suit and a cap and are under the age of 65, they would be leaving wearing a suit, and a cap, and a black eye.

It is no surprise that Prohibition was scoffed at by the majority of people during the 20’s. People were going to continue to drink, no matter what the law stated, the only difference was their means of getting it (Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Mr. Capone). Now you can call me ignorant, (remember, I quoted a famed author at the beginning of this post, so careful) but I previously was unaware that Prohibition lasted thirteen years. Thirteen years!! In other words, if Prohibition occurred today, the last time we would have legally been able to throw one back, we were drunkenly singing the smash hit, “Smooth”, by Santana before risking a DUI on our brand new Razor Scooters.

The Jazz Age was one of the most glorified times in America’s history. While we have all wondered what the hell the Charleston really is and how bad bathtub gin really tastes, unfortunately Marty McFly has never been around to allow us to experience it firsthand.

Fear not my friends!! Although we do not have access to a flying Delorean, we do have access to a place called the Corinthian located in Sharon, Pennsylvania. Additionally, the Brotherhood of Appreciating Repeal Day is doing the best they can, without access to a Flex Compasitor, to allow us to gun it to 88mph.

Every December 5th, the BOARD holds their annual Repeal Day Celebration at the Corinthian, not only to celebrate the anniversary of the end of Prohibition, but to also give people the experience of dressing, dancing, and drinking like they stepped into the hottest underground speakeasy. With dozens of beers on tap, and newsies and flappers dancing to the hits, the Repeal Day Celebration in Sharon is probably as close to walking in Jimmy Darmody’s shoes as you’re gonna get.

Although we have been in attendance in past years, this year Lems Shoes is lucky enough to sponsor the event. Each glass passed out to sample the different bathtub concoctions will feature a unique logo that was designed specifically for the celebration. So even if our Charleston steps don’t make us look good, we are hoping our Nine2Fives do. Tickets are limited, but if you happen to be in the area, let us know and we’ll see if there are any hoodlums around we can grease. The event donates its proceeds to the Shenango Valley River Watchers, a local group that protects local tributaries from pollution or discovers the occasional late mobster who sleeps with the fishes.

Happy Repeal Day everyone! Let’s party like its 1933!

Good looking group of newsies and flappers at the 2012 Repeal Day Celebration!

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