Fighting to keep Henderson dry - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Fighting to keep Henderson dry

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - Monday was the first day to vote early on state constitutional amendments. One East Texas city is taking up a controversial issue.

In the city of Henderson, the ballot has two options that could allow alcohol sales.
One would allow the sale of beer and wine in-stores. The other would allow mixed beverage sales at restaurants.

One East Texas resident is passionate about keeping Henderson dry. She says she wants to keep people from going through the tragedy it caused her family.

"March the 30th, 1989. My life blew up in front of me. My husband was on his way home. My three year old son and I were in the car behind him and we went two miles from my parents house and my husband was hit by a drunk driver," Patty Christian explained.

A witness to the accident, Patty rushed to her husband's aid, but saw there was nothing she could do.

"About that time I felt a little hand on my leg and my little boy was getting in the car with us," recalled Patty.

And suddenly she was left to raise her son without a father, something she wishes she could keep anyone from going though.

"I'm not a Pollyanna. I know that I'm not going to stop people from drinking, but I just don't want it to be easy for them to get it," says Patty.

The Keep Henderson Dry committee says protecting Henderson families is their priority.

"Really, our deepest concern is that our families be kept safe. And it's been our experience when alcohol is figured into the equation, it often causes or helps to cause cases of abuse, neglect," says Keep Henderson Dry Committee Chair Bill Gardner.

They say teen pregnancy, domestic violence and in increased divorce rates are other concerns.

"We really can't see where alcohol is going to help those issues," expressed Gardner

Issues they say no amount of tax revenue can fix.

Patty says, "There's something more important than the dollar--and that's the family. You can't replace that, and you can't put a price on that."

For patty, 23 years hasn't erased the pain

"We still grieve the loss of Johnny, but we grieve also what our future could have been and what it's not been," Patty says.

Each day she wears a bracelet with Johnny's name.

It's a symbol of her family that was broken and why it's so important for her to keep alcohol out of the town where she has made her life.

Copyright 2011 KLTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly