Pat Arnold


I was telling you about bootleg, my father used to bootleg. Well see this bottle says Fairfax and Company. Well this was a whiskey bottle you used to be able to go in the store and buy, years back.

MRS. ARNOLD: There were no ABC stores.

MR. ARNOLD: We didn't make that much.

MRS. ARNOLD: He didn't have his name on his bottle!

MR. ARNOLD: Here's one that has a street address, now I used to hear my parents talk about these people. J. J. Kelly, corner of King and West St.

There was a lot of bootlegging. Used to be about 25 houses down here and I can only think of about three people, and they worked for the government, if they'd been caught drinkin' or makin' it they'd of lost their jobs.

It was just a normal thing to do in those days. You'd be surprised at some we sold it to. They used to all buy it. It was good whiskey, and if they knew you made good whiskey you could get a good price for it.

QUESTION: Did you ever go into Belle Haven to sell it?

MR. ARNOLD: Yeah, no.

MRS. ARNOLD: No, they came to him!

MR. ARNOLD: Belle Haven, there wasn't anything up there in those days.

MRS. ARNOLD: But everybody out of Alexandria used to come down.

MR. ARNOLD: Yeah, and we used to take it to town and sell it.

When I was a little kid, this guy, Willie, had a still. And he used to have these big barrels. This was a huge thing, I can remember the durn thing. It was a great big copper thing and it used to burn charcoal. The charcoal wouldn't make smoke so of course the people couldn't see smoke.

But just to give you an idea of how open it was, [now] Belle Haven Road came down there right in front of it, just about where the gas station is. That's where this little shack was where Willie had his still set up in it. So you can imagine how open people were with things like that. And the people down in this little creek, they had stills set up, little stills. There was nobody to bother 'em. The revenuers very seldom come down here.

Volume Two, Table of Contents
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