Sunday, March 20, 2011


From what I’ve heard on the news and read on Twitter, there must have been a great moon show last night. I missed it. I looked, saw a bit of moonshine and a few moon shadows even, but as for the moon, that, I couldn’t see. It was clouded over.

Moonshine. I’ve spent quite a bit of time with that word this past year and believe me, it wasn’t from moon gazing. It was more like microfiche gazing and reading newspaper accounts of the illegal moonshine trade that flourished around Pilot Mountain School. Moonshing, for those of you who aren't aware, is the distilling of corn liquor by the light of the moon.

I heard about moonshine from the children of moonshiners. I heard more from the teachers who knew they had children of moonshiners sitting in their classrooms. I even heard from a few who dabbled in this illegal enterprise themselves.

The stories I caught did not paint a pretty picture of home life for these children, no matter how modern media has romanticized the thrill of outmaneuvering the revenuers. Children had their own front row seat to witness the action.

“We didn’t know if the next knock on the door would be a client or be the law.”

“I remember a hundred cases of white lightning in half gallon jars, twelve jars to the case stacked in our bedroom. Well, there wasn’t hardly any room for the bed.”

“When I was five years old, daddy was making liquor up there, by himself before he started hiring people to do it for him. I couldn’t carry but five pounds, but I’d carry that five pounds of sugar to help.”

“We used to play revenuers instead of cops and robbers.”

Childhood memories.

Catch of the day,


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