Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Legacy of Thunder Road

When I was a kid, one of my favorite movies was Thunder Road, starring Robert Mitchum.  Not so much for the storyline of a young kid driving a fast car to deliver his father's homemade 'white lightning,' but for the theme song.  Mitchum–who not only starred in the movie, but also produced the film, co-wrote the screenplay, and is rumored to have directed much of the film himself also co-wrote (with Don Raye) and performed the theme song, "The Ballad of Thunder Road."  If you've not heard it, go find it on youtube or something and give it a listen. Very powerful.

Ok, so now let's get back to that illegal brew that young man had in his trunk.  Moonshine, also called white lighting, mountain dew, hooch, "Tennessee white whiskey", and many other names is a very high proof beverage,190 proof (95% alcohol), distilled spirit. Made in the woods, using an illegal still, this mountain beverage got its name from the fact that most of the original distillers did their work 'by the light of the moon.' And now, all legal like, comes this new stuff. And does it have a kick!

I will go on record and say that I do not drink. At least not anymore. Oh sure, there was a time when I drank, and wore lampshades on my head and danced like a mechanical monkey on crack, but there are no films of it, so I can say it never happened.  Though the main reason I stopped all that nonsense is that I hated waking up with a headache and covered in my own vomit.  Isn't THAT a pretty picture?

Wow, do I digress.  Ok, so no drinking, we got that, now let's get back to the stuff above. Legal White Lightening, named Ole Smokey Moonshine, this is the best quality hard (and I do mean HARD) liquor you can buy.  No one else makes it, and it's made right here in the South, just a hoot and a holler from downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  

This hard Moonshine (with the requisite capital M) comes in Apple Pie, Peach and regular old take-the- paint-off-your-undershorts Original Moonshine Clear White Corn Whiskey.  I'm pretty sure a gulp of this would turn anyone into a Good Ol' Boy, though it may take a couple of jugs for guys like me.  

Best Legal Moonshine you can find.  Only here in the South! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Southern Man's Tool Box - Addendum 1

Not too long ago I finalized my look at the Suthun Man's Toolbox (and additions) with a nice list of items that every Good Ol' Boy needs to keep handy. Then, this last weekend I took a trip under the house. (As any regular reader will tell you, taking a trip under my house ranks just above a root canal, and just below listening to Rap Music.)

But besides my trepidation in going under the house, I found a new item to add to the handy tool kit. For one of the myriad of projects I had to take care of under the house, I had taken a can of expanding foam to do a couple of spots and realized that if I didn't use the entire can, the foam would fill up and dry out the applicator thus ending it's use.  The applicator appears to be a 'one use' sort of thing. So, I got to thinking, what can I take along to clean and preserve that applicator tip?

History Time: Many years ago I smoked a pipe. I also owned a Pipe and Tobacco Shop - two of them in fact. Because of the mosquitoes this week, I had taken out one of my old trusty pipes to keep the flying varmints at bay. Along with the pipe, I also took along the usual pocket accouterments: tamper, matches and a pack of Pipe Cleaners. What a wonderful addition to the tool kit! It's an absorbent cleaner, it's a flexible wire! It's two tools in one! What a wonder! I used one to clean the applicator for the foam not once but TWICE!  I also used one to wire some things in place while I worked.

My wife can use them to wire plants in place, I can wire cords together to clean up that octopus under the desk and I can even make little pipe cleaner critters for the grandkids. This is the perfect item to keep handy.  And, let's be sure, because that's the kind of Suthener we all aspire to be: there are three kinds of pipe cleaners. Along with the fluffy ones that are absorbent (regular AND tapered), there are thin ones with very little fuzz on them, and - my favorite - the Ream 'N Clean. This is a soft cleaner with plastic fibers implanted for a good deep clean - perfect for your tool-kit!

Perfect for the Suthun Man's Toolkit!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I Didn't See you There - Handheld Division

I came across this in the store the other day and it left me with a sort of unease akin to vertigo. What you see there is a case for a tablet PC much like an Ipad.  It is camouflaged. That's right, camouflaged.  Nicely done, too.

But as much as I like the camouflage on this piece, it also brings up many questions that beg answers.  Do a lot of people take their Tablet PC into the forest while hunting?  Is having an Ipad important to hunting to such a degree that you're afraid a deer might bolt if he saw you playing Angry Birds?  Wouldn't it be better to carry something smaller such as this:
Then at least you could keep your hand on the trigger of that deer rifle while you're attacking the pigs.  Just don't set it down, or you may not find it again.  

Of course the real question on everyone's mind is 'Why are you playing  video games while fooling around with weapons?'  Such are the Mysteries of Living in the South.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Good Ol' Neighbors in the Good Ol' South

At one time, when I first purchased this Southern Homestead, the entire backyard was encircled with a 6 foot privacy fence. Like the old adage "Good Fences make good neighbors,' that fence helped me define the relationships with several of my odd neighbors, and over the years there have been several.

When I was a kid, we barely knew our neighbors.  My mom never seemed to have the time to put into getting to know them, but we at least knew them by reputation or in passing.  Once I moved into my own house, I vowed to get to know the people I would be living near. I think my mother knew something she wasn't telling.

On one side, the house was a rental.  After we moved in, the people renting that house had a small fire.  The owner decided then and there to stop renting it.  The house has stood empty now for more than 15 years.  The owner works on it from time to time, fixing the burned flooring, adding a brickwork porch, or taking out the trees, only to plant new ones in a perfect straight line... because ...well...just because he can, I guess. He also put in the big sturdy fence you see above, so at least I have a privacy fence on one side. 

In the back, I just never got the chance to meet or know my neighbors, except for one time when I went out to work on my swimming pool.  (The pool is gone now, the victim of a heavy storm.)  Sitting in the bottom of the pool I found several rocks of varying sizes, mostly 'hand-sized', and a line of these same rocks from the side of the pool to the back fence.  It didn't take a team of forensic scientists to determine that the rocks had come from the back fence, and right in the one place where the bushes and trees sort of formed an open spot. Hmm, target practice?

I took a walk around the block and went up to the back neighbors house. She was a very nice woman with an engaging smile and a gaggle of younguns running around (who oddly disappeared when the door opened.) I explained to her that the rocks seemed to have come from her back yard and her smile disappeared and her face grew dark. She thanked me, apologized for her kids and said she'd take care of it.  As she closed the door, I heard her hollering for her brood.  Never had any more trouble with rocks in the pool. But I never got to know them any better either. 

On the other side of the house from the empty one, there was also a rental, which was later sold to the nice family living there now.  While a rental, I had to deal with several different families which over the years included a couple of ornery  kids who beat their dog for fun, a man who liked to peek through the privacy fence at my wife swimming in the pool and a woman who felt that since she mowed the strip of my grass which bordered her driveway that she owned it.  I still shake my head at that bit of suthun logic.

My neighbors across the street are all easy to get along with, not to mention my good ol' Suthun Buddy, neighbor Bubba - a regular in this blog.  

The fence is gone, the victim of a tornado and I've never had the time (or funds) to replace it.  The privacy fence was merely for show, as a chain link fence was there behind it.  And the growth of trees and bushes has helped the privacy to some extent, but I will always miss that big privacy fence.  Keeping things hidden from your neighbors may seem a bit selfish, but in the end, that also makes good neighbors and good neighbors are part of the Suthun Tradition.