Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 17, 1975 · Page 17
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 17

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 17, 1975
Page 17
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17,1975 Sin GAZETTE-MAIL ECQND RONT * Page IB 6 Atmosphere Has Changed' As State Liquor Sales Rise The state's new self-service liquor stores are increasing sales, particularly of exotic wines and liqueurs customers "never knew existed" in the old operations, the liquor commissioner believes. In the often-dingy old stores, customers approached a cage and placed an order with the person behind it. guided only by a small print list on the wall. They were often forced to dash out quickly to a double- parked car. Now the stores look like supermarkets, complete with ample parking and baskets, with all liquor displayed in shelves and racks. "THE SELF-SERVICE stores have made a lot of difference. In the old stores, you couldn't shop," explained J. Richard Barber, head of the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Before, 1 per cent of store employes were women and female shoppers often hesitated before entering the poorly located shops. Now 25 per cent of the workers are women, Barber said. "This naturally encourages the housewife to go in and buy alcoholic beverages at the same time she's buying groceries. The atmosphere has changed," said the 35-year-old Logan native. But while West Virginians are following national fads and inbibing more wine, liqueurs, tequila and vodka, "we're still a bourbon state any way you look at it. Still over 50 per cent of everything we sell is a bottle of bourbon," he said in a recent interview. The final three of the state's 150 stores will be converted to self service this month, he promised. The only one that won't be changed is the shop at the Greenbrier resort at White Sulphur Springs. The state also has 10 "agencies," which are tiny operations run in private stores by in- By Jennifer Kerr The At social ed Preit dividuals who earn a maximum of ?500 a month. The state has operated all liquor stores since 1935. when prohibition ended, and is one of 18 states with "controlled" liquor sales. Since all states decided on alcohol systems after the nation's teetotaling time was terminated, none has switched. Barber said. The states holding such monopolies, concentrated in the country's middle and south, were influenced by anti-booze factions, he said. "Even though prohibition was ousted, there were still enough dries to set up these kinds of operations." West Virginia, in fact, still has four dry counties: Upshur, Calhoun, Grant and Hampshire, seven fewer than it had five years ago. "IN EFFECT, the state is the wholesaler and retailer," Barber explained. "We purchase from the distiller directly and it comes in mostly by truck to the only warehouse in Charleston. We then weekly or twice a month send supplies out to the stores by truck." The liquor is marked up 75 per cent over cost, a figure set by the state legislature and unvaried for many years. After the commission's and the stores' administrative expenses are paid, the profits go into the state's general revenue, a figure that was $14.4 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30. On top of that is a charge, about 25 cents a bottle, to generate $3.6 million a year to pay off bonds that financed the newest state office complex. "On the surface, that sounds very high to a private person," Barber said. "But we're not that far out of line. Our wines are very competitive with Ohio." ^ THE BUILDING funds replaced the liquor tax that paid for veterans bonuses for World War I. World War II and the Korean War. But the current Vietnam veterans' bonus was paid from surplus state funds. "Fortunately, we didn't have to pay for it, because we view this commission as a legitimate business and we like to run it that way. We think of Ohio and Pennsylvania (both of which also have state liquor monopolies) as our competitors," said the commissioner. Both of those states have a legal drinking age of 21, three years above that of West Virginia, another factor contributing to the state's increasing business. Total cases sold during July were up 8 per cent over the same month of 1974, he said. Last year, the state grossed $66 million: when Barber became commissioner five years ago, the figure was $42 million. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame--where he had a football grant-in-aid for two years--with a business administration degree and returned to Logan, intending to join his family's wholesale fruit and vegetable business. "I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I guess I'm a frustrated jock and when a coaching job at Man High School opened up, I took that," he recalled. "Football will always be my first love." Five years later, then ABC Commissioner Robert Conaty was looking for a marketing director and heard Barber had graduated from Conaty's alma mater. After another year, Conaty became a Cabell County judge and recommended Barber to move up and replace him. Barber, a Dem- ocrat, was acting commissioner from 1970 to 1972, when he was comfirmed for the $20,000 a year job. »· "SINCE I'VE BEEN here, the majority of brand names introduced in West Virginia have been wines. We've felt the wine selection in this state was really bad." Five years ago, Almaden, one of the "biggest selling premium wines." was not sold in the state. "We're trying to educate West Virginia tastes with the wines. They're educating themselves, too. There's more information on wines," he said. Five years ago, 85 per cent of the wines sold in the state were fortified wines such as muscatel and port, "the so-called 'wino' wines," he said. Now more than half the sales are of table wines. "We carry some wines now that from a profit standpoint we shouldn't be carrying, but we want to give the people the selection," he said. Under a private store system, only large cities would be able to support extensive selections "and the price of them would be higher if the state would still be making the same amount of money," he contended. "I don't think there's any well-known spirit brand that we don't carry. I think that the top 100 items we sell in West Virginia would probably be within four or five of the top 100 in New York City or Pennsylvania." Any other sought brands available from American sources can be special ordered in case lots, he said. 6 Render Unto...' Community Need Priorities Vary at Public Hearing Always on Sunday ByB.S.Palausky A park on Elk River, restoration of the Craik-Patton House, preservation of Fort Scammon on Fort Hill, and housing rehabilitation led the.list of recommendations from citizens attending Saturday's public hearing on community needs in ^Charleston. . ' '··: Charleston's allocation from Title I on the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 is approximately $1.3 million. Money is earmarked for preventing and eliminating slums, and to meet communi- ty development needs. A representative of the West Virginia Society of Architects suggested that some money be used to hire a landscape architect or environmental designer to work as a consultant to the planning commission, parks and recreation commission, and beautification commission. Other recommendations of the society are that improvements be made to waterways and historical projects, such as the Craik-Patton House. A lot of you have probably guessed by now that Our Governor hasn't called me for advice in a long time. It really shouldn't have been hard to guess that. Think of the way things have been going for him. .People counseled by me, Mr. Nice, generally have a lot smoother sailing than he's been experiencing lately. For instance, the Mr. Nice way of handling this Ashland Oil Co. bit would have been to acknowledge immediately the receipt of the bag of money and then hint that it was a research grant. Instant It Happened In the great national tradition of reigning wowers -- Lillian Russell, Clara Bow, Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth -- now it is Marilyn Monroe's turn to wear the uneasy crown. Besides the basic ingredients, there is the invitational walk, the wet-lipped giggle, the breathless whisper, the ingenuous response, all that it takes to make a sex queen. The cameras roll for a scene in "The Seven Year Itch" on a street in Manhattan. The star moves over the subway grating. Updraft. Squeal. Skirts up. Gorgeous symmetry. Like a lovely big luna moth. Perfect, baby, perfect. They'll love it. IN JUST a few years, the scene would be regarded as a case of over-dressing. But now, Sept. 9,1954, it is the squealy epitome of female dare. And Marilyn Monroe is perfect in the part. There may even be a hint that she can act. "Is it true you had nothing on when you posed for that calendar portrait?" "I had the radio on." MARILYN MONROE had all the right answers for the press, few for herself in a private life that defied answers. Both her maternal grandparents and her mother were committed to mental institutions. Her uncle killed himself. Her father died in a motorcycle accident three years after her birth. The girl was in and out of foster homes, as later the woman would be in and out of psychiatric hospitals, followed by photographers. Her three marriages ended in divorce, the last two, to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, screamingly recorded by photographers relentlessly chronicling the life of a sex queen. By the time she was 36 ? eight years later, she had starred in movies that had grossed $200.000.000 and in a life that ended, alone, on a bed in a small Hollywood bungalow, one hand hanging limply to a phone, near an empty bottle of sleeping pills. A few days later, someone remembered, someone always remembers, that she used to say. "Isn't it a terrible thing about life, that there always must be something we have to live up to?" Matthew Zimmerman, Attociated Preit photographer. RESEARCH? ON WHAT? Well, there too, Mr. Nice has provided. You'll recall that several weeks ago I pointed out that dragging the legislature into session in the dead of summer could help the state. All Our Governor would have to do would be to rig up a system of gigantic funnels and huge vats beneath the steaming legislators. This would have yielded West Virginia Crude -- Senate grade and House of Delegates grade. · While dropping the hint of a research grant, he could have been clutching a large Bible to his chest. At the precise moment of properly built-up suspense, he could have given the Bible a great whack and intoned, ". . .render unto Caesar. . ." However, he didn't consult Mr. Nice and he is on his own. And, that's the kind of thing that produced statements he made in his news conference dealing with the Ashland donations. The statements, I believe, are not out of context, having never been in any. Here's one: "And I'm in the same position perhaps as you. There are perhaps a - few that, in their insidious characters and by either the purchase of information or have subverted the general laws of the country, that may have known that Ashland oil as a company and from company funds contributed to my campaign. If they did, they knew far in advance than I did as a candidate or any one of my committees." One more: "We've tried our very best to pinpoint several areas in which we think, with question -- because the very serious character of this was, not so much that the political support was there, but the fact was there was just very frankly a general inclination to display to the public that, well, the funds were pocketed, so to say. I mean, it's characteristic of the very sick journalism that exists in many identities." Maybe I ought to start a "What'd he say, what'd he say" contest. Mr. Nice does not turn his back on a needy case, snubs or not. I'd still take him on as a c l i e n t . . . After the amenities, my opening line would be: "If we act quickly, we might save the pension." »· ONE OF MY DAD'S best remarks ever was on bicycling. "That's where you run like hell to give your tail a rest." Back then. I got my bike despite his definition. Then I spent what seemed like a couple of centuries trying to get off the thing and into a car where I belonged. All that effort is now shot. I'm back on a bike, trying to pedal my tail all over this here valley. It's all my own fault, too. By careful probing etc.. I found out that Child Bride Big Shirley's big secret desire for a birthday present was for her very own bike -- for exercise. Craftily. I made arrangements to get her one. Sneakily. she got wind of it. Rottenly, she got a matching one for me -- for my upcoming natal day rites. "You wouldn't want me to be out riding all alone," she said. And, the bikes do match in nearly every detail, right down to the seats -- designed by that world-renowned former Nazi proctologist. Dr. Wehrner von Krool. Sigh, I wish we could just grow old gracefully together and try to get some rest while we are at it. What color are the bikes, you muse? W)R?, our favorite -- fire engine red. Water Tumble Tumbling off of the high diving board at Cato Park is Jeff Atkins. 15, son of Mr. and Mrs. James E. Atkins of 593 Benview Dr. In the top photo, the young man lowers himself into position. In the center photo, he goes over the end of the board, and in the bottom photo, he prepares to release and drop into the water. (Staff Photos by Leo Cbabot)

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