Saturday, May 13, 2006

Prohibition Story


The Volstead Act of 1919, named for its author, Minnesota senator Andrew Volstead, made provisions for Prohibition's enforcement, but it contained loopholes that invited abuses.

Somehow, I don't think that writer meant my grandfather, but in his own little way, Grandpa Fitzpatrick was flouting the law of the time when he was making beer during this time period, using honey from his bees in the process. They lived in the north part of town, a bit off the beaten track and somewhat private. Maybe Grandpa thought it would be OK if he kept it low-key.

Grandma wasn't thrilled about the idea, since it was illegal at the time, but she put up with it...He was even known to sell a bottle now and then to someone. Grandma herself, after a hard day's work, would drink a bottle against the heat. However, one day Grandpa crossed the line...On that day, my mother, who was around 9 years old, was uptown with my grandma visiting friends. Upon their return a few hours later, they came upon this scene...
Walking up the road to the house, we came upon an unbelievable scene: Men, women, sitting around, having a good time...drinking Grandpa's beer! It was a regular outdoor honkytonk.
Well, if you only knew my Grandma, you could imagine what happened next: She was not amused. People knew my Grandma well enough that just her arrival meant they had better clear off. As they did, she proceeded to grab the remaining bottles of beer within her reach and smash them against the side of the shed.