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The speaker is a 60-year-old White man with a grade school education from Canadian, Oklahoma; he was recorded in 1966.



County: Pittsburg
State: OK

Commentary:
The state of Oklahoma has a history of prohibition far longer than the federally mandated period of Prohibition in the United States. When Oklahoma entered the Union in 1907, settlers consented to prohibition as part of the state???s constitution. A beer referendum was proposed to boost the suffering economy in 1933 and was approved later that year. It wasn???t until 1959 that residents voted to legalize the sale of hard liquor. Despite these historic laws, bootleg liquor, often called moonshine, has long been a part of Southern tradition. In this segment the speaker talks about selling bootleg barrels of liquor to provide for his family during tough economic times.
Inf: And uh, uh I, I enjoyed it, uh, pretty good. Uh we???d, uh, nip on it once in a while. But, uh we???d always, uh, stay on our feet and, uh, and they wasn???t so much danger then of the, uh, law catching you. Uh, the most usually the catters [=wildcatters], they had, uh, most usually had the county paid off, and the federal wasn???t working, in this part of the country at that time, uh very strong. They finally got to where they were making it pretty hot on a few. Eh, but uh, uh we, uh, uh I, I enjoyed the work. It w-, of course it was illegal an??? all that, but, uh, it was back in the, uh, uh, twenties an??? in the early thirties, and it was uh, uh, the fellow would do just nearly anything if his children was hungry. And the family was hungry, he???d, he???d very near do anything to, to make a dollar.

And that was handy and, uh, I was a farmer and working for this fellow and, uh, he taught me how to do this and so uh, I, I did that. And, uh, it, it paid a little bit more money. I was a-working for about seventy-five cents a day, eh on that, uh, I mean, uh, for farm work. But when we come to run that eh, I got a dollar a barrel. I???d make uh, some days I???d make around four dollars a day. Well that was big money, eh, eh, at that time. Whiskey was cheap. I think he was only getting about five dollars a gallon for his whiskey, but he???d made a lotta money if he???d, uh, saved it an??? taken care of it. But he just, uh, as the old saying is, come easy, go easy.

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