Published by: Paul Stokes
Release Date: 18 October 2016
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Thirty-eight years ago I wrote a series of six articles for the Milwaukee Journal titled “Drink, Drank, Drunk” in which I used my personal experience with drinking along with pointing out the stranglehold the beer/booze industry has in formulating our absurd collective relationship with alcohol. Incredibly, a recent review of those articles leads to the inevitable and unfortunate conclusion that with only minor changes of updating statistics they could have been written only yesterday.
Never in my many years of practicing personal journalism have I ever experienced the kind of reader response “Drink, Drank, Drunk” generated. Hundreds of letters poured in, from shaky alcoholics, from the grieving mothers of their children being killed in car crashes, from children expressing the heartbreak of abusive or missing parents, from frustrated therapists and counselors, from bartenders and preachers and so many others who have first hand experience with the devastating effects of alcohol and the industry that produces it.
In the “Pulitzer” dream world of every journalist, mine was shattered by the Journal for not even submitting the series for consideration. A series that could have helped ease the pain of so many suffering from alcohol abuse. A disappointment that haunts me today.