I've spent the last few days "Where the West Begins" — in Fort Worth, Texas.
I've eaten some chicken-fried steak, waited for roughly 300 trains to pass — typically at speeds slower than cattle — and enjoyed quality time with my parents, brother and sister, all of whom call Cowtown home.
After Mom grabbed the coupons from Sunday's Fort Worth Star-Telegram, I noticed this banner, front-page headline: "Through with blue laws?"
The subhead in the print edition:
Lawmakers look at easing longtime limits on Sunday sales of cars and liquor
I hate to jump ahead, but anybody think there might be a religion angle on this story?
Let's start at the top:
Texans are nothing if not loyal to the past.
But some are starting to wonder whether all ties to the past need to be honored.
Take Sunday blue laws.
The laws, enacted decades ago to limit what people can do or buy on Sundays, required people to attend church and prevented the sale of items such as knives, nails and washing machines.
Most of the laws were repealed in 1985, but two remain: Vehicles can’t be sold on consecutive weekend days, and package liquor sales are banned on Sundays.
Now lawmakers have revived proposals to eliminate the car sales ban and to eat around the edges of the liquor sales prohibition.
“At one time, some enterprises could not even open one day on weekends, either Saturday or Sunday,” said Allan Saxe, an associate political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. “Sundays were usually very quiet with few large stores open.
“Now, Sundays are much like other days,” he said. “It is not surprising that some strong conservatives would introduce laws eliminating blue laws.”