Letters to the Pilot

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Infamous birthday bash


I have thought about writing this letter for a couple of weeks now. I didn't know if it would be the "right" thing to do, but I couldn't let it go unaddressed any longer.

I am writing in regard to the [alcohol poisoning] incident that took place at Puff's on the 1st of February. I am sure that most of you have heard about the infamous 21st birthday party that had a not so "happy" ending.

I only know the young man's first name. I have never met him or his mother. But I do know the two bartenders and Mr. and Mrs. Boyd. You see I work at Puff's. I have worked there about four years and have learned many things in that time. One of the most important things is, there usually is more to the "story."

I have read and heard a lot about the bartenders' responsibility to "stop" this from the start. Did the "birthday boy" buy his own shots? Do you suppose there might have been some friends there helping him celebrate that night? Was Puffs the only place he drank that night? The more time that passes, the more questions I think of.

I also cannot understand why the mother brought charges. A 21-year-old is an adult in every sense. "Mom," did you ever ask your son why he did not say no? "JUST SAY NO."

Those words have been drilled into our young people from little on. Maybe it's harder to say no when we get a little older.

The bartenders were cited for serving an intoxicated person. People ask why they would do that. Assuming the young man was not celebrating alone, why would "friends" buy so many shots as to make a friend so ill?

Mom, your son is now a man. I'm sure you love him unconditionally... Allow him to grow up and stand on his own two legs.

Mom, if you were to meet the two bartenders, I am sure you might be surprised. The young man is hard working and conscientious. He works two full-time jobs and bartends part time. You see, I know that, because I worked with him for about 10 years and he is a friend of our family. The young lady is married, and mother of three small children, and works three part-time jobs to help make ends meet. You see, she is my daughter and the mother of three of my grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Boyd are awesome people to work for. They are our "boss" and our friends. They are always there to stand with us when there is a problem.

"Mom" there is more than two people involved in this. Please take the time to get to the bottom of the whole story.

Jo Ann Pyle,

Storm Lake