Bootlegging Memories

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CNW
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2005/02/19 03:40:17 (permalink)

Bootlegging Memories

Back before the National Brands bought up or put most of the Local Brands out of business, many people would take home some of their favorite drinks and foods when they went to visit friends and family.

In my family's case it was two things we couldn't get in Kansas City in the early and mid 70's. Every time we went to Chicago, my mom insisted on bringing back several cases of Vernor's Ginger Ale, which she rationed out like it was liquid gold. To this day I associate Vernor's Ginger Ale as the premium Ginger Ale made. When we went west to Denver, my Dad would pick up a couple of cases of Coors for a coworker. This was back when they had the funky 2 button pop top. The lesson I learned from this this was that there was no accounting for taste. I still think that Coors is one of the worst beers made. Share your memories. What foods and drinks did you bring home from vacation?
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    Rick F.
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/19 05:14:17 (permalink)
    It's kind of funny, though off the specific topic here, but I have a couple of ± cute stories.

    One is about the time that I, an undergrad planning to apply to Alabama for a grad program, got pulled over with a bunch of friends in Limestone County, AL, and was charged with "Violation of Prohibition Law"—bootlegging—, and had to explain that to a number of potential employers over the years, including the Bishop who eventually ordained me to the priesthood.

    The other is the time—again, a student—I was offered a job running a tanker of 'shine from E TN to Oklahoma. I turned it down out of fear of the sometimes violent consequences of being tagged by the competition.

    Ah, the dear, dim, departed '60s!
    #2
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/19 06:31:58 (permalink)
    Mid 70's I was outside Morehead, KY. I had a '71 Toyota Corolla that brokedown and wasn't gonna get fixed for a couple days so I had to get my car towed to the nearest town, then my freinds and I had to hitchhike to Miami Univ. On the ride in to arreange to get my car fixed, the guy who picked me up was probably only 40 or so but I was only 20 so to me he was an old guy, he looks over at me in my long hair and says, secretly and slyly, "hey, you drink beer?"
    I said, rather quietly, "yeah". He motioned to the glove box and I opened it to find 5 cans from a Bud 6 pack. It was a dry county and he and I drove around like a couple of drug smugglers.
    #3
    BT
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/19 09:54:48 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by cnw

    Back before the National Brands bought up or put most of the Local Brands out of business, many people would take home some of their favorite drinks and foods when they went to visit friends and family.

    In my family's case it was two things we couldn't get in Kansas City in the early and mid 70's. Every time we went to Chicago, my mom insisted on bringing back several cases of Vernor's Ginger Ale, which she rationed out like it was liquid gold. To this day I associate Vernor's Ginger Ale as the premium Ginger Ale made. When we went west to Denver, my Dad would pick up a couple of cases of Coors for a coworker. This was back when they had the funky 2 button pop top. The lesson I learned from this this was that there was no accounting for taste. I still think that Coors is one of the worst beers made. Share your memories. What foods and drinks did you bring home from vacation?


    In 1976 when I "wintered over" at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, the station leader also had a "thing" for Vernor's and we had a substantial stock to tide us over the 4 months of sunlessness.

    The one thing I recall visiting relatives from other parts bringing with them to my childhood home was country hams from Kentucky. Those still aren't "national" and I order mine these days on the internet.

    Oh, and one time my college roomate from East Tennessee (Kingsport) did return from a trip home with a quart of genuine home-made corn likker. I stole a bit in a paper cup which it promptly dissolved.
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    garykg6
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/19 11:14:03 (permalink)
    while in college,I had a roommate from Georgia whose grandfather would periodically ship him a gallon of 'licker'.....He would remove the cap and stick some kind of topper on it,put it in our closet and two weeks later(the first time this happened I almost dived out the window) you'd hear a minor explosion. My roommate,at that moment,would intone "soups on"......three belts of that and I became the most charming of men,until I twirled into whatever was close that resembled a chair
    #5
    cheesehead
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/19 22:56:24 (permalink)
    As a kid growing up in Wisconsin, I can remember the trips my folks would take to some of the towns that bordered Wis. but were in Illinois. Wisconsin was strictly a butter state. That is, no oleo or margerine could be sold here. They would drive south and buy cases of oleo for their friends, neighbors and relatives. It was sort of like bootlegging, because the state patrol would sometimes run searches. Eventually, Wis. legalized "white" oleo, but we still bootlegged the yellow stuff. I don't remember exactly when Wisconsin legalized yellow cubes, but that stopped our bootlegging days.
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    CCJPO
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/20 01:57:49 (permalink)
    After I came home from a vacation in S.E. Asia courtesy of Uncle Sam, the first part was Uncle's choosing, the second part was either my own bravado, but more likely my own stupidy(never volunteer). I eventually went back to college in Ohio. While the G.I. bill helped somewhat, it didn't cover the whole nut. So I would load up my 1963 Ford P.U/which I still have, with cases of Rolling Rock, Iron City, Genny and Genny Cream Ale, Strohs, etc. and drive to Dallas. There were a large number of Ohio, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvanian, etc. expatriates there that could not get their favorite hometown brews. I'd sell them for $5.00 a six pack. For the return trip I would load up with cases of Coors, Pearl, Lonestar, Olympia, etc and sell them to to friends and acquaintances for $5.00 a six pack. Also would keep plenty in reserve as people (read females) were pretty impressed with with a fridge filled with Coors. (couldn't stand the stuff then, can't stand it now). I made a pretty good profit from those road trips.

    I was also told, but can't confirm the rumors, of people who would actually take a road trip to Louisiana, to buy some sort of green leafy vegetable matter for $65.00 a kilo, and sell it for $20.00 a lid to college students. I quess it was really good oregeno, I wouldn't know. Although I heard that there was some really great roadfood on the way to and from Ohio to Louisiana.

    P.S. I never got, nor have I actually ever met anyone coming home after being in country that was spat upon. But that is a different thread.
    #7
    6star
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/20 02:42:40 (permalink)
    Any time (not very often lately) that I get near Vermont, I bring back a supply of Extra Fancy Vermont maple syrup (the color of honey), which is the only maple syrup that I like. (Forgeddabout all that brown stuff out there!) It soaks into pancakes like water and give them a heavenly flavor. The other item I get once in a while is Mexican vanilla. (A quart bottle lasts a l-o-n-g time, and a friend has relatives down there that he visits every couple of years.) I first tasted it on a trip to Mexico some years ago and I found I liked the flavor much better than regular pure vanilla, so I brought some back with me then.
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    MikeS.
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/20 05:35:18 (permalink)
    Been almost 7 years since I left Calif. but I still have some things shipped out here. Pappy's seasoning, Tri-Tip roast from "The Meat Market", fresh corn & flour tortillias.

    Back in the mid 70's we would "import" Corona beer from Tijuana to Fresno. Along with Mezcal, brandies and mexican vanilla.

    MikeS.
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    ardee
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/20 16:20:03 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by carlton pierre

    Mid 70's I was outside Morehead, KY. I had a '71 Toyota Corolla that brokedown and wasn't gonna get fixed for a couple days so I had to get my car towed to the nearest town, then my freinds and I had to hitchhike to Miami Univ. On the ride in to arreange to get my car fixed, the guy who picked me up was probably only 40 or so but I was only 20 so to me he was an old guy, he looks over at me in my long hair and says, secretly and slyly, "hey, you drink beer?" I said, rather quietly, "yeah". He motioned to the glove box and I opened it to find 5 cans from a Bud 6 pack. It was a dry county and he and I drove around like a couple of drug smugglers.

    I spent my first 23 years in southern Ohio, only a hop, skip, and splash from Kentucky. In the mid 1960's I visited Morehead one evening with a friend who wanted some company while he made a drive there to drop something off at his uncle's house. On the way there we had developed a thirst, so he drove a short distance outside of Morehead to an unmarked small white building sitting in a field beside the highway.

    There was a gravel driveway that ran from the road to the building, around behind the building, and back out to the road. When we drove around behind the building, it turned out to have a drive-up window on the back side. He pulled up to the window, greeted the fellow inside by name, and told him we wanted six cold ones. Since my friend was known there, they took our money and gave us our beer.

    I heard that about 1970 the people of Rowan County elected a new sheriff who had run on a reform platform, and the first thing he did after taking office was shut down this operation.
    #10
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Bootlegging Memories 2005/02/20 17:30:24 (permalink)
    That's funny -- in Denver City Texas in the '70s, the sheriff RAN that operation!
    #11
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