Friday, February 23, 2007

Moonshine...Do You Really Know About It?

Moonshine probably isn't something you have spent a lot of time thinking about, especially if you are from the North. Last week-end Jake & I watched this very interesting show on National Geographic that was about Moonshine. While watching it I thought....hmmmmm....I have my own "moonshine" story...I could probably write a blog about MOONSHINE. So here I am. Before we begin, I would like to give a couple of "disclaimers". First - Moonshine is illegal. I am not promoting it or suggesting in any way that you should go on a moonshine hunt and try it for yourself. Second - Well, try not to judge me for my past.

Back when I was younger and single I took a trip to Tennessee, by myself. My parents had just moved there and I took my vacation in the summer to visit them. During that time, I was working at Joe's with a wild and crazy group of people. They knew I was headed for the hills of the Great Smoky Mountains for my luxurious vacation. I took a little teasing but didn't mind. One guy suggested that while I was there, maybe I could score him some Moonshine. He had never tried it but wanted to. I said it shouldn't be a problem....I know enough people on the "bend the rules" side of the law...if you know what I mean. So, when I got to Scott County, I thought it would be a breeze. I was wrong. Trust me...it is not that the stuff isn't there - oh, it is. But it is very guarded & "underground". I started with my closest resource who might know. He said he didn't know anyone that had any for sale but pointed me in the direction of someone that might. Since it has been so long the details are a little foggy but one of my cousins went with me (G, was it you? If not it was your brother or possibly J). Either way, we went to this house that was being built to ask the guys building it (where my source pointed me) if they knew where I could purchase some good Moonshine. Of course, I was met with skepticism. Why would a prissy little Northern girl want Moonshine? I am sure they thought I was ridiculous. None of them owned up to having any or knowing where I could get some...but they did have lots of advice. One guy warned that I be careful because Moonshine can be deadly. One drink and you can go blind. After watching that show I guess that is some type of "Rural Legend" because most Moonshine these days is pretty clean. Back in the day people would put all sorts of deadly stuff in it. Most people make it pretty pure now. But there are still some dangers. Let me explain....first of all, for those of you that don't really know anything about Moonshine - It is a homemade whiskey made from corn. It is simple to make and very strong. One of the problems that comes up it the actual alcohol content of the stuff. It can be extremely strong. The other problem is that people use the old stills from back in the day and many of them have been repaired with lead, which gets in the moonshine and can have long term, deadly effects. Do you know why Moonshine is illegal? Because the government can't tax it. Making homemade wine and selling it is also illegal. The show we were watching showed this operation that was bringing in about $50,000 a WEEK from Moonshine. I guess that is why some states have their own task force to keep an eye on this kind of stuff. Also, many times where they find a Moonshine still, they find other illegal activity (i.e. Meth Labs). Once while I was visiting my parents, there was a man who lived up the road from them that went to jail for running a moonshine still (where was he when I wanted to get some????). I never did purchase any. I did however partake in a shot of the stuff.....whew.....one was enough for me. I think I could have bought a list of drugs before I got my hands on the secretive Moonshine. It was fun trying to find it though... BTW....I never knew this but NASCAR actually started because of Moonshine. I am dead serious. The moonshine runners would modify their cars to run faster and to haul ridiculously heavy loads of Moonshine. The goal was to outrun the law. And that they did. Next thing you know, these guys are racing each other and winning money for it. When NASCAR first started there were guys who were actual Moonshine runners, who also raced professionally. Isn't that something?

The deep south is really so much different that where I came from. There are so many interesting things to tell. Next time, maybe I will tell you about the Chicken Fights. I know way too much about this stuff, don't ya think????

8 comments:

judeandelise said...

OH, I forgot to tell you....Ethanol (the fuel made from corn) is basically Moonshine without the sugar. They use the same recipe!!! Except they do add a little gasoline to assure that no one will drink it.

Anonymous said...

Some time its better to just ask old dad when you want to know directions????.

Anonymous said...

I dont think it was me that you went with prob my bro. Its not illegal to make moonshine, it is however illegal to sale or transport it you can make it for you own personal use tho.


G.

Stephanie said...

You wild thing! LOL Good story!

Jake said...

It was very interesting show

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in hearing about the chicken fights since fighting cocks are raised in our area!
Aunt Nancy

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed - you got a whole shot down??? In a trip south we were offered some - I could only get one sip down. That's strong stuff.

Linda

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!