The Liquidation of Our Town
(Click image to enlarge) Knoxville, Tennessee was having a liquor referendum. The push was for liquor-by-the drink. Knox County was a dry county and most people wanted to keep it that way. It was a subject that sparked heated debate among politicians and the voting public.
Most Sundays we had company for lunch. This particular day, my parents had invited an elderly couple to join us. The adults discussed the liquor referendum over fried chicken and chocolate cake. My parents were against the proposal, as were our guests. Our guests were even more outspoken about it than my parents, which was really unusual. The discussion made a lasting impression on me, an innocent little four-year old girl. I can still remember parts of it. On some level I must have known what they were talking about, but I never really made the connection to what was about to happen.
After everyone had finished eating, we all moved into the living room. It was customary in our home for the Payne family children to provide entertainment for our guests. By request I took center stage to sing a song for them. I picked my favorite song to perform. In my innocence and much to the embarrassment and chagrin of my parents, I belted out “Little Brown Jug.” Flushed faces and nervous laughter followed my performance. Leave it to our children to publicly humiliate us!