a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Undercover and Bootlegging

Our county is a dry county.   People have to drive to neighboring counties to get their "hooch" legally.

When my husband was a young drinking man a bootlegger lived across the river from the town where he lived.  The only way across the river was a ferry. It operated if the water was not too high or too low and only from 6 AM to 6 PM.

When the river was low and the ferry closed Hubby would go across the river on an inner tube to get his beer for the weekend.  On the return trip he would sit in the tube with the beer on his lap and hand paddle back to his car.

This was an illegal operation but a profitable one for the bootlegger.  They bought at regular price and sold at much higher prices, supply and demand at its best.

Years later with Hubby's river runs behind him we were asked to help the police with a "sting".  It was another bootlegger who was selling more than purchased alcohol but a little home made too. Normally bootleggers are left to their own devices if they lay low and don't cause too much trouble. Hey, everyone has to make a living. I guess they may have sold to some minors because the police were determined to arrest them. 

With my husband's previous reputation, it was no problem.  I, on the other hand, was not a drinker. People who knew me also knew that.  Hubby told me what we were doing that night...what?   I don't drink.  He opened a beer can, poured it on me and said, Act drunk. Now you smell like one.  I'll do the talking.

This was an adventure for me.  Never did anything like this.  I had only read about things like this in a book!  I had a few alcoholics scattered through my family tree so I knew how they acted.

We pulled into the yard in the middle of no where. Dogs barking, we opened the car doors.  I stumbled.  I walked very precisely as if trying to prove to the world I was sober...that's what my uncles did.  Hubby placed his arm around me to support his drunken woman.  

The door opened.  The dogs got closer and barked louder.  The man yelled, "Shad up!" and the dogs disappeared.  By this time my wobbly legs were not so much of an act.  This man was scary!

Hubby shook the man's hand with one arm still holding me steady.  The bootlegger got a whiff of me and knew what we were after.  Hubby asked the man for product, he gave him the money from the police department.  No recording needed.  We had the booze, they had the police money and we were witnesses.

Hubby carried what we purchased as I wobbled and mumbled under my breath...we made it!!!  No one was shot.  Why in the hell did I ever agree to something this dangerous?  I guess it was the thrill, the risk, and the fun.

The bootlegger was "drummed" out of business.  They never knew we were the hangman's noose.
I guess all's well that ends well.   

12 comments:

Delores said...

that could have gone a whole other way you know...I'm glad you pulled it off safely

Sandra said...

let us all hope HE is not reading this blog... revenge is best served cold... LOL.... great story, trying to decide if this if fact or fiction.

Saucy Kodz said...

With all that I know about you, I am not the least bit surprised you were a major player in a "Sting Operation". Happy Hooch Hunters. ha,ha Thank you Gail for this story. It could easily have gone the other way, with that fearsome dog and that scary fella. H-m-m, knowing you, did you have the charm with the dogs back then, cause if you did, that dog would have been eating outta yer hand, not eating yer hand :) Bravo my friends. Now I have a bit of news for you. I received my "Veteran" plates for my car and my motorbike today. The sure look nice.

TBR/Committed Thoughts said...

Oh my word! What fun! Well, maybe not so much fun while it was going on, but sho 'nuff fun now to tell it!

I grew up in a dry part of the state! When the neighboring county went wet when I was 18, why, I thought I was in hog heaven! I went boogying in the bars! It wasn't long before the drinking age was upped to 21, effectively putting an end to my (legal) boogie days.

I remember going to a few bootleggers, too. Those folks are scary. Glad you and hubby pulled it off so well.

~Margaret
PS: I haven't boogied in a bar (or anyplace else) for a long, long time!

Karen S. said...

Ha! Ha! What a riot this had to have been, and thank goodness for having memories of your uncles, I'm sure that all helped in the realness of this. I'm thinking this little scenario needs to be made into a movie somewhere!

Far Side of Fifty said...

You are heroes! I don't drink much either but with the warmer weather we bought a six pack of Coors, I wonder how long it will last! :)

Susan Anderson said...

What a great story! You have led a colorful life, my friend.

=)

Arkansas Patti said...

What an interesting post. Lets hope he doesn't read blogs.

Cynthia said...

What a story! I'd have been shaking a little, too.

Gill - That British Woman said...

that quite the story to tell your grandchildren!! I don't drink alcohol now, I used to.

Sandy said...

You undercover devil you!!!! :-)

Lynne said...

There you go again . . . telling stories . . .
This was a good one, wish there had been pictures.
You "drew" it perfectly . . . Miss Wobble . . .

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