There's an old saying among old writers to "write what you know."

That makes sense, I suppose. Of course, I've never considered myself a writer or a journalist – 42 consecutive years in printing notwithstanding.

My decades-long predicament – in my own estimation – more closely resembles that of Mr. Blaine's self-described nationality at his Rick's Café Américain in Casablanca. (You can look it up.)

Like Rick (Humphrey Bogart, if you please), I know a thing or two about booze. Blame it on a misspent youth or a well-spent one, depending upon one's perspective.

I also know a thing or two about breakfast. Especially good breakfasts. Sunday morning breakfasts were the best. My memories of those Sunday morning breakfasts at home in Fairfax will always be special. My mother or dad might cook up some jowl bacon purchased at Kelley's Market on S.R. 247 or make homemade biscuits. We might have flapjacks and bacon or scrambled eggs and French toast.

To this day, I enjoy a good homemade breakfast. Whether it's in the early morning hours or later in the day, as in "breakfast for dinner," I'm all in with the bacon, eggs, home fries, grits and gravy.

Which brings us back to the aforementioned booze.

As it happened, during the week of this year's Highland County Fair, I was pleasantly occupied elsewhere. For starters, I was in Foley, Alabama, heading further south. And hungry.

We stopped by a Cracker Barrel restaurant along Route 59. It was around 7 o'clock on the a.m. dial (central time). A pleasant waitress brought menus for the three of us and offered to take our customary "drink order."

"Can I start y'all off with a mimosa or Bloody Mary?" she asked.

After a second glance at the menu, sure enough, the Cracker Barrel was peddling booze – akin to a good southern bootlegger, perhaps.

Maybe the legacy of Popcorn Sutton provided the inspiration. I could be wrong, but my guess is that there may be a fair number of well-oiled northerners who have relocated to the southern states and appreciate that wakeup concoction.

I thanked the pleasant waitress for the offers of champagne and orange juice or vodka and tomato juice, but ordered a cup of coffee as I almost always do for breakfast.

I think she felt somewhat slighted because she'd most likely targeted me for a Bloody Mary morning eye-opener. Maybe the next time.

By the way, mimosa is lower-cased, but Bloody Mary is capitalized for Queen Mary I (1516–58), the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. She was known as Mary Tudor or Bloody Mary. In an attempt to reverse England's turn toward Protestantism, she instigated the series of religious persecutions by which she earned her nickname.

As a registered Libertarian since 2014 and lifelong capitalist, I have zero issues with restaurants like Cracker Barrel (or Bob Evans at some locations) selling booze.

One of my 10 rules of life is that it's more fun to eat in a bar than it is to drink in a restaurant. But booze and breakfast? I'm going to have to think about that.

The bill of fare at some restaurants might be better served sans booze. For instance, I will not eat White Castle sliders with beer. (In fact, I haven't had a slider in decades.) I will not have biscuits and gravy with a Bloody Mary or a Crown and Coke. (Hold on – scratch that second reference. Crown and Coke cannot be besmirched.)

Crack open a keg, if you will, Cracker Barrel. But you need to update the menu with some chicken wings, maybe some appetizers, and for the love of all those rocking chairs and checker boards, put in an actual bar. Maybe a few bar stools and a juke box. And a band on Friday and Saturday nights.

Never mind.

The old-timers' breakfast is probably going to my head and what's left of my brain. I won't be seen boozing it up at Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. Cheers to those who do. Tip your waitress and bartender.

Maybe there's a DORA district in the Hillsboro Bob Evans' future. It's not that far from the proposed district (that borders Richards Memorial Field, by the by) on North West Street to Sauner Road. Granted, there's a sidewalk issue, but Saturday night revelers can always stagger along Route 73 and take a shortcut to Sauner Road just past Fenner Avenue.

The interesting thing about the proposed DORA district is that relatively few of us who own businesses – that are not peddling booze in the district – have been contacted by city officials. That's disappointing. But in today's age of living moment-by-moment with cell phone and social media addictions, it's to be expected.

The days of a former mayor like Betty Bishop, who made it a habit of frequenting uptown merchants – face-to-face – on a regular basis, are long gone. One last caveat for those Hillsboro city officials who like to compare Hillsboro to Loveland: The per-capita income for Loveland residents is $37,563 and the median household income is $69,978. In Hillsboro, those numbers are $22,173 and $37,000, respectively. That goes a long way in explaining one city's development and one's lack thereof. 

As one business and property owner who's included in the proposed DORA (see https://highlandcountypress.com/Content/Default/Rotator-Articles-/Article/Hillsboro-City-Council-committees-continue-DORA-proposal-considerations-survey-for-public-input-released/-3/546/83581), I may have to re-examine my business model. The New York Times claims "all the news that's fit to print." Maybe The Highland County Press could be "all the news that's fit to print and all the booze that's fit to drink."

That might be a little lengthy for my next Chad Abbott awning and signage.

Someone suggested we become "Whiskey on High," "Headlines and Moonshines," "Sports and Spirits" or "Brews & News." I'll drink to that last one.

Welcome back to the future of 1970s uptown Hillsboro.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press, Highland County's only locally owned and operated newspaper.