Twixt 18 and 21

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2003

I write this letter in the hopes that an older and wiser individual will enlighten me. As I am only 18, I think most people agree that I could do with some enlightening. Here's your chance.

Before I go any further, thank you, Juneau Jazz and Classics. The festival provides a wonderful chance to break up the monotony of Juneau's under-21 social scene and to have some clean fun.

Saturday night, Leftover Salmon performed at the festival. I planned on going to the concert with my girlfriend. After purchasing tickets, however, I was informed that the concert was also a beer garden, meaning alcohol would be served. No big deal, I thought. As it turns out, it was a big deal. Instead of just carding, people between the ages of 18 and 21 had to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Was my mother going to get me into this dance party and then proceed to hold my hand the whole night, making sure I didn't get near the bar? Could she dance between my girlfriend and me, too? Either way, that sounded like fun for both my parents and me. But that turned out to be a moot point as my girlfriend couldn't go. Her parents live in Eugene, Ore. I think both my parents were relieved to hear there would be no three-person tangos.

My real concern is not over my victimization but with the unfair expectations placed on kids between the ages of 18 and 21. OK, so we can die in a foreign desert for our country but we can't go to a concert that serves alcohol unless our parents come with us? What about the adults who happen to be between 18 and 21 and live in Juneau by themselves? No parents, no guardians, no concert? That's fair?

Not allowing kids into a monitored and controlled "dance party" just doesn't make sense. If Juneau's underage drinking scene isn't lively enough for you (believe me it is), let's take away as many of the safe entertainment options open to young adults as we can. This is essentially what our lawmakers are doing by imposing these regulations. But hey, I'll write another letter in a few days when my hangover wears off to tell you what alternative young adult entertainment there was Saturday night.

Jonathan Rue


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