Yesterday morning, Kyle Washut sent me pictures of the bull moose he saw in his Lander back yard. He is a never-ending source of weird happenings and funny things.
We ended up having dinner together last night, and of course we chatted about the local news. The big debate in town has been whether to change the Lander ordinance that prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sundays before noon. Advocates of the change point out that Wyoming’s state law allows the sale of alcohol earlier, and they argue that the special rule on Sunday is a law favoring the Christian religion.
Kyle explained the real backstory. In away, the advocates are right: the law was introduced because of religion. Specifically, the Catholic Church in Lander used to be downtown, and folks at Church could hear the cowboys brawling in the local bar during Mass. So the city passed an ordinance making it illegal to sell alcohol before a time when Mass would be over.
Nowadays, the law really is irrelevant. A bold pastor won a big plot of land at the edge of town on a poker bet, and the Church moved out and away from the bar. That’s why Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish has a big hayfield out front: it was included in the bet.
The Lander Journal announced this morning that the ordinance about the sale of alcohol on Sunday has indeed been changed, but probably not much will change: the guy who wants to sell alcohol is a restaurant owner who wants to serve mimosas with Sunday brunch–hardly a cowboy drink.