by Robert Bell
So I've been watching "Prohibition," Ken Burns' latest sepia-toned, 34-hour-long exploration of something Significant and Historic and Indelibly American. While the so-called "noble experiment" was, without question, doomed to fail, it seems like drinking was a lot more fun back then, what with all the secret passwords and hip flasks and scantily clad women dancing to jazz music.
Sure, there were terrible aspects to it. Chicago in the late '20s was practically one enormous carnival shooting gallery with people as the ducks. And lots of folks died from drinking toxic bathtub "gin" that was probably just rubbing alcohol mixed with lead-based pinecone flavoring or something. That was all bad. But let's be honest: there's an undeniable thrill that arises from sticking it to the squares and the scolds by doing something illicit and fun.
If any place in Little Rock is perfect for recreating the look and feel of a speakeasy, it's Dreamland Ballroom. This evening of food, drink and dancing is a fundraiser for restoring the ballroom to its former glory. So put on your flapper dresses and single-breasted pin-striped suits and have fun knowing you will most likely not be arrested by federal agents and nothing you drink will cause blindness.