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Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011 Moonshine Festival Weekend

This is Dawsonville's Moonshine Festival weekend, so after having an interview Saturday morning with Mitchell Thomas McVay, we wandered over there to see what's what.  The usual suspects had tents/booths up--funky food vendors with every known food fried to perfection.  The Darrel tried a corndog and I almost relinquished my stomach to a turkey leg until they dropped it into a fat fryer as well.  Grilled I can eat, but not grilled and then deep fat fried.  I saw some rock candy, my favorite until I discovered cactus candy.  But by then it was not yet ten o'clock and I just wasn't ready for dessert.

Then we walked down memory lane among the old cars.  WOW.   I remember Lee Johnson used to have an old Ford I got to ride in when we were 15?  He must have been 16 since I'm sure he was not on the road without a license.  Anyway, I don't recall the exact year of his car, but we saw everything from 1939 sedans and coups right up through the '60's.  I even saw my father's bumper seated coup in the mix.  I don't think I ever saw dad's coup in person, just a picture of it , as mom made him sell it when the children came along.  I don't think she pictured infants in bumper seats and in those days families were one-car entities.

Darrel had a '41 Ford I never met.  He bought it for $25.  It caught on fire from a radio-wiring job that went awry, burned to the ground.  The junkyard that came to pick it up paid him $25 for it.:)

One little man in overalls, a week's growth of gray beard and not very many teeth stood next to his 1940 Ford sedan with an eight cylinder wall-to-wall engine.  Darrel asked him if he used to be a moonshiner.  He said, "Yes, and I'm still a moonshiner.  I would get fifteen gallons of moonshine in the back of that car and sell it all on a Saturday night in Atlanta."  His eyes snapped with memory.  The old car wasn't dolled up with gleaming paint and new leather interior, but it was in good condition and running fine.  Some of the adorable cars were so beautiful it made me wonder why progress has taken us to uniform jellybean body styles.  From mint green to navy blue, yellow, red and black gleaming paintjobs, thousands of dollars and countless loving hours of repairs, chroming, rubbing, modernizing, the cars showed a pride of ownership often lacking from a country man who lives in a modest clapboard mismatched color house in the middle of the north Georgia woods.

We saw one 1940 coupe that had been converted to have electric bucket seats, electric windows, air conditioning, satellite radio and perfection in all respects.  It was owned by a fellow who felt too poorly to come to the show, so his son (about our age) brought it up.  I wonder just how old that man is.  I wonder if he'd had that car for the seventy some years of its life or if he bought it later when he could afford it and vowed to make it into what it meant to him so long ago.

Such a small sprinkling of other cars made me think Henry Ford either had a tight hold on the southern market or the Dodges and Chevvies hadn't been invented yet.

It was 61 degrees with a clear sky and full sunshine--a truly beautiful day to see the glorious trees God painted for the fall.

Then a lady called me saying she wanted to buy a painting of mine hanging in a shop in Gainesville.  It was an altogether fine day, and today promises to be the same.


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