Monday, January 26, 2009

Wild Turkey part II

Of course, when grandmother Todd started drinking bourbon, it wasn't called Wild Turkey yet. They didn't name it that until 1954 after some hunters went on a Wild Turkey hunt and the next year the hunters were asking for "that wild turkey bourbon." No, grandmother Todd started drinking Wild Turkey after they repealed prohibition and the Ripy distillery went back into business. The town of Lawrenceburg, where the distillery was located, had seen a some hard times during the 13 years of prohibition, not to mention the depression. Once the economy started to pick up and prohibition was repealed, it was considered a bit of Kentucky pride to drink bourbon, and specifically Wild Turkey if you lived within a 100 mile radius of Lawrenceburg. Having kin that worked at the distillery, Grandmother Todd was able to get jugs at cost and always had some on hand. She didn't drink in excess, but most days she had a nice buzz going on from about 3 o'clock on. Her drinking was what it is for most people, a way to numb the pain.

Granny Mary saw her mother go from quite hangover each morning before she left for school to happy drunk when she got home from school pretty much every day that she could remember. Granny Mary still did the chores, she took care of the kids, but she always had a little Kentucky sunshine inside her to make it through the day. If for some reason Grandmother Todd didn't drink, because they had run out of bourbon or for the handful of other reasons she wouldn't drink (needing to take a child to a doctor was a common one), she'd steel herself with coffee all day long and smoke twice as many cigarettes. By the end of the day she'd have found a way to have at least one shot of whiskey before going to bed. And for that reason, Granny Mary never wanted to drink. Never wanted to put herself through that kind of pain each day. And so she never touched the stuff...until the day she thought maybe it would take a different type of pain away.

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