Friday, January 9, 2009

Clandestine Shenanigans

Yesterday I had to laugh out loud at the clandestine bakery shenanigans going on at my Grandparents D old farm.Of course I know some of the history...

My Grandparents were married in 1927. My Grandfather was 23 and my Grandmother was 15. My Grandmother had holes in the soles of her shoes the size of fifty cent pieces that day. My Grandmothers Mother had died from a fall down the stairs when she was pregnant, my Grandma was just fifteen months old. She went to live with her fathers sisters family. She lived with them working in the fields and helping to care for babies until she married my Grandfather. She had a very tough life..without a real Mom..always being sent around the family to stay with who ever needed her help the most.

My Grandparents had a number of children in quick succession. A boy in 1928, my Mother in 1929, two more little girls in 1931, and 1933.

In 1934 and 1935, farming was tough with dry years and bad crops. My Grandfather found a way to earn some extra money...MOONSHINE..they built a still in the woods and made their own whiskey. On Saturday nights the customers would show up, my Grandfather would go into the other room and come out with a paper bag. Far Guy's Father was just one of those customers ( He told me on many an occasion "Your Grandpa made REALLY good whiskey.") Apparently it was a booming business, rumor has it that the Moonshine made it all the way from Grandpa's backwoods to Chicago.

Then things turned sour. My Grandmothers Father had remarried. He ordered a mail order bride. The mail order bride blew the whistle and turned in my Grandfather, Grandmother(her step daughter), two of her other new step children and a few neighbors. No one liked her. I have heard her refered to as "That evil woman."

The Dry Agents came and went into the woods behind the barn and brought everything up to the garage. There they cut the copper into small pieces and smashed everything else. The Dry Agents went into the pig barn where the mash was, they poured it out on the ground and the pigs all got drunk. My Mother recalls the pigs and how funny they acted. Only the barrels of mash were put on my Grandparents record, not the whiskey. They had to go to Fergus Falls everyday for two weeks as a part of their sentence.

So to me, a clandestine bakery seems rather fitting on their old farm..:)

The Moonshine Garage


  1. What an interesting and entertaining family you come from. No wonder you're so funny. And I mean ha ha type funny, not the other kind:)

  2. Do you realize, of course you do, but.... how fortunate you are, to have so much intertwined family history available to you.

    I just love your stories, poor druken piggies. LOL.

    When my Grandfather was alive, [I was much younger, and he lived so far away], I tried to document the stories. They are such a valuable part of our lives. I did manage to get some, and some still live in family memories.


  3. What a nasty woman! No wonder they called her evil! I feel that whiskey making back then was harmless, compared to other "crimes" that were being committed - and it helped put food on the table for the family. Her crime of hate and bitterness was far worse.

    Thank you for the story! And I am sorry to hear about your loss.

  4. You do have a good way with words. Love your blog and visit daily. Thanks for the entertainment.
    Jo in Georgia

  5. Oh gosh - that evil woman!! Love your family stories... And just think of getting married at 15!! and too poor to have any decent shoes.

    How lucky we are today and don't even know it!

  6. Wow...the real version of a story Hollywood's used over and over... I didn't know I knew anyone with such celebrated heritage. Wonderful post, Far. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What a great story. I would have been terrified of getting caught.

  8. We are so lucky to live in today's world. But the reality is we are lucky to live in today's world because of our Grandparents and parents.

    Have a great weekend!

  9. Interesting story. My husband's father made moonshine back in the hills of Tennessee. But even more recently, they just busted some people a few months ago not too far from here for making moonshine and selling it to undercover agents.

  10. what a fun story, You are such a good writer. I always enjoy reading your blog

  11. My husband's grandfather spent a year in prison (in Kentucky) for running 'shine. What everyone forgets these days is that this is how those men put food on the table for their families.

    Although if the economy keeps getting worse, we may have cause to remember....

  12. You should be writing a book you know;)

  13. You have such interesting stories....and you tell them so well!!! My daily visit to your blog is something I always look forward to. :)

  14. Love reading your family history! So glad you are sharing it!


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie