Monday, July 28, 2008
Moonshine In Virginia
Whether he knows it or not, my friend Pappy has an interdisciplinary intellect. Some practical knowledge of chemistry, physics, and engineering is necessary for distilling alcohol - a complicated intellectual enterprise.
Never underestimate the ingenuity of the hillbilly, nor the utility of low-tech know-how...
Pappy has a still on UR Island and its fires are always burning, so the shine's always flowing! If you go to the island and wander near Pappy's camp, you might find a jug or a mug that whispers "watch that third sip" when you touch it - Pappy's white lightnin' will knock you off your feet! His expertise is such that he may have been a key source for the Virginia Historical Society's Moonshining in the Blue Ridge exhibit, open until September 22.
Though often disparaged in our culture, the knowledge and practical skills of Appalachian hill dwellers fill many volumes in the Foxfire book series - an invaluable anthropological and technological resource that began as a high school student English project.
And for some moonshine inspired music, check out the album Bonnie Blue by The Shiners and the song "Corn Liquor" on Liquored Up and Lacquered Down by Southern Culture on the Skids.
...and watch that third sip!