A Drunkard's Dream
On the northern border between Wisconsin and Michigan's upper peninsula, lies the small town of Hurley. This was mining country years ago, but the mines have long since closed. The town remains, and with it the abundance of bars, joints and "gentleman’s clubs" that once serviced the hard-drinking miners. A town with a population of 2,000 has over 30 liquor establishments in a eight square block area. The rest of the town is a mixture of old buildings and dilapidated housing, with small businesses making up the mix. I pondered, is this what an alcohol-based utopia (dystopia?) looks like? Perhaps they should package their 12 packs of beer between a pair of shingles, so that the houses without siding could eventually be covered (a new twist on “The House Of Heileman”)? The grocery store I stopped into had an aisle of hard liquor: right next to pet food and paper products.
But it was work, not pleasure, that brought me here in search of a laundromat for my vacation-soiled clothes. I finally found one, nice and modern inside, new machines and a TV. After loading my clothes, I noticed a separate room, with a cooler, perhaps holding a sodas or sandwiches. I went in and then it hit me. The cooler was full of beer.
In a town built on booze, even the laundromat had to have some alcohol.