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This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Liquor License Renewal Blues

Pier 450's ongoing issue over the renewal of their liquor license (click here) reminded me of an exchange I had with Buzzy the first time that we had to renew our liquor license.  

In January of each year the Alcohol Beverage Board will send out license renewal information.  Instructions on completing and returning the form(s) are very clear as to the due date when they want the package returned to them:

Microsoft Word - License Renewal2017 (stmarysmd.com)

The first time I received the renewal package, I immediately began completing it with Buzzy's help and input.  When Buzzy asked me why I was so worried about filling it out so quickly, I told him that I wanted to get it back to the Beverage Control office as soon as I could do so.  

Buzzy then advised me "Well, it is not due until the first of March, so you should wait and submit it around the last week in February."  I asked him why wait so long and he replied "The more time you give them to look it over, the more they'll find wrong with it.  You should wait and turn it in closer to the due date like most people do.  You want to have as little to do with them as you can."  

While I could see his point, my 37 years on Base of shuffling papers to meet deadlines had convinced me that earlier submission was always a better route.  Regarding any license renewal, I always try to get my application in as soon as possible and take care of any "You-didn't-do-this" kind of things that pop up.  (I discussed such an example of this on a previous blogpost where I was missing a notary signature (click here).  Had I not been moving early with that application I too may have missed the deadline.)   

In Pier 450's defense, the liquor license renewal process is not as easy as it could or should be.  In my 15 years of working thru this process I have found it to be one of the bigger pains that a liquor business owner has to go thru.  (Dealing with drunks is even easier!)   The whole issue of there being such strict deadlines and then being shut down for several weeks also seems a little heavy handed too.  Bottom line, I guess Buzzy was right when he said "You want to have as little to do with them as you can."

Pier 450 mentioned making lemonade when life hands you some lemons.  A shot of music will always help me to deal with the crap that washes up on life's shores.  Wet Willie's lesson for dealing with adversity is covered nicely here by the Neighborhood Picnic Band:

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