Vol.XII No.IX Pg.8
November 1975

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Im told a pioneer preacher was so poorly paid for a meeting that a saloon keeper offered him $10. if you will take such money. The preacher took the bill saying, That money has worked for the devil long enough. Well, Im in a bind for material, so Ill try to make an article out of bootleggers I have known.

My experience with bootleggers is not very extensive. As a young boy, squirrel-hunting in Kentucky, I cat-footed in on an operating still and was politely asked to leave. Another time, a friend and I were ordered off some land at gun-point. We learned later that this inhospitable treatment was probably due to the presence of a still on that farm.

But these adverse experiences were somewhat balanced by a friendly stranger in a small Kansas town. Brethren failed to meet my bus, and I was left on an empty street shortly after midnight. I found a dingy hotel but no one answered the night bell. While trying to bed down in the lobby, a quiet little man came in and asked if I was the preacher who was supposed to begin a meeting near there. He took me to the home of one of the members where I was royally treated. Not until the next day did I learn from embarrassed brethren that my rescuer was the towns bootlegger.

In a certain Kentucky town the mayor was also a dealer in Fine Wines and Liqueurs — sans taxes, of course. When revenue men were working that section, some town wags decided to embarrass the mayor, so they planted a jar of white lightning on his property, and tipped the officers. The place was searched, the moonshine was found, and the mayor was accosted with the evidence.

He looked at the color of the offensive liquid, sniffed its odor, and tasted a bit of it. Spitting upon the ground, he turned to the local Sheriff and said, Now _____, (to protect the innocent), you know I wouldnt handle stuff like that. Some one is trying to play a joke on me.

The Sheriff looked at the sniffed and tasted, spit upon ground, and then said, Hes right He wouldnt handle stuff like that.

This is not a commercial for your friendly home-town bootlegger. It is written to illustrate that even the sinner is known by his product.