Tag Archives: moonshining

Sipping free whiskey and acting like they’re in hog heaven

Daddy got caught the first time in about 1916 or ’17. The law was paying informers to tell on people. They put his bail bond at fifty dollars. That was on a Friday, and we didn’t have any money, so the next morning Mama gets me to hitch up the mule and we loaded up […]

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Al Capone comes to Appalachia

Did Chicago mobster Al Capone ever set foot in Johnson City, TN? During the 1920s the town was nicknamed Little Chicago. A reference acknowledging crime ties to the north? Or nothing more than an expression of local pride in the railroads, three of which ran through town? Big Chicago was known as a railroad center […]

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Seems like me and Calvin ain’t never done a thing ever but work hard

“Some boys git it in their heads that they can make a sight of money selling liquor. The law cracks down on them almost as soon as they git a start. We see it happen every day around here. You’ve got to keep the law paid off a good and plenty or else the penitentiary […]

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Author Neal Thompson discusses the birth of NASCAR

Neal Thompson, author of Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR, read at the 2008 Carolina Literary Festival over in Burnsville, NC this past weekend. We caught up with Neal to get a quick overview of the wild world of early moonshiners and stock car drivers. Appalachian History: Could […]

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