Monday, January 30, 2006

Mamma Watson

My Grandmother on my father's side lived to be 96. Her mind was fairly sharp until the end but her body simply gave up slipped away over the later years of her life.
I'm not sure if it was her age or the fact that she no longer felt the need to hide the truth, but she told me some remarkable stories about my family. I'm thankful my mother doesn't have a computer because she'd whip me with a rose bush if she thought I was writing this for the world to see.

My granddaddy was a rounder in his younger days. Apparently it was just before and during the depression and he did what he had to do to feed his family.
Mamma Watson told me about how my granddaddy made moonshine whiskey. She said that he made good stuff and that he was smart enough to never get caught. He was fast afoot and whenever the revenue’ers would try to catch him he would "tear out running and leave 'em in the dust," she said. It was difficult for me to reconcile this picture in my mind, but I listened further. She said that one reason he never got caught is that he would never bring the whiskey home. He would always hide it somewhere and if the "law" came, there was nothing to find.

One night, she said he must have been doing some quality control tasting of the whiskey because he came home really late and he had several pints of the homemade shine with him. He put them in a butter churn in the kitchen and went to bed. Early in the morning, they heard the sheriff coming up the dirt road before sun-up. The kids all woke up and came to the kitchen to see what was going on. My aunt Christine who was three years old at the time walked over and sat on the butter churn....not to hide the whiskey, but because she wanted a place sit so she’d be out of the way. That way she could watch what was going on. The sheriff and the ABC agents tore the house upside down looking for the whiskey. They went into the attic and the crawled under the house. They checked under the bed and in the cedar chest. They looked in the well and they looked on the roof but they could not find a drop.
Dejectedly, the all piled back in their old Fords and drove back to Jasper. They had no idea that the whiskey was in the churn under Aunt Christine.
So Pap lived to bootleg another day.
I know some people might be embarrassed about stories like this, but I love them. These stories make me who I am today. I've never made moonshine, but if somebody had a good recipe, please let me know.

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