‘Those who wish to drink are already doing so’




My fellow Blount Countians: My name is Lawrence Roland Kester. I have always believed that all people are entitled to their own opinion, and they have every right to express it. The wet-dry referendum is an important issue. Most have approached it in a reasonable way and made a decision based on their personal belief.

It was my intention to express my opinion at the voter’s box. However, some fine Christian people have decided to make it personal. Many of these fine Christian people have resolved to boycotting Howard’s. These fine Christian people have singled out Howard’s as if it would be the only business in the entire county issued a license to sell alcoholic beverages.

Anyone in Blount County that wishes to drink these beverages is already doing so, and those who choose otherwise do not have to. These fine Christian people do not withhold from going to stores that sell tobacco products. Furthermore, these fine Christian people shop at Walmart, even though the company participates in the selling of alcoholic beverages in wet counties across the country.

On a daily basis my wife, Lisa Kester (part owner of Howard’s), receives harassing phone calls, hateful comments, and her so called “friends” turn against her. Lisa works seven days a week and some days from morning to night. Not out of greed, but out of love for her family. She wants to send her son to a good college, to continue to help her mother and father that live on a fixed income, and not to have to live week-to-week.

My wife recently received a letter which upset the both of us greatly. The letter came with no return address and unsigned. This coward claims we do not belong in this county or country. This coward says Blount County is a sanctuary; however, no man or county is an island. In the real world we are all connected in one way or another. This coward also writes that he/she wishes we would lose our business and our livelihood.

If this coward would like to come forward and speak to me directly, I would be glad to do so. Only God decides who goes to hell, not self-righteous hypocrites. I too love Blount County and America and will not be intimidated or threatened into leaving either one.
Lawrence Roland Kester
Cleveland