Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing


Join us in the 2019 A to Z Blog Challenge as we celebrate historical fiction. These posts will also be shared in the weekly newsletter, Pages of the Past, which debuted April 5th.



gma_gpa2.jpgMoonshine has become a romanticized part of our Jones family history. Papa Goss, my great-father, was the moonshiner in the Arkansas Ozarks, in Myrtle, outside of Harrison. Casey Jones, my grandfather, was the ‘runner’, driving down to pick up a trunk load of moonshine and running it back to Chillicothe, Missouri. During these trips down south, Casey met the moonshiner’s daughter, Beatrice Goss.  In 1935 they married, and the rest as they say, is history.

But Grandma, even though she was the moonshiner’s daughter, was not fond of that part of her family history. She also wasn’t fond of Grandpa’s use of the ‘shine’. It was many years, several children, and many, many arguments later – but Grandma’s stubborn streak prevailed and alcohol was no longer part of our family history. By the time I arrived, alcohol never passed Grandpa’s lips and he was an active and faithful deacon of the stone church on Glendora Avenue.

But yet, many of us grandchildren find that we have a soft spot in our hearts for the moonshine part of our family’s past. After all, it is how Grandpa and Grandma met.

If you’re writing a story set during Prohibition, or even in the post-Depression years after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the illicit part of alcohol – moonshine and speakeasies – may be part of your character’s lives. There’s a whole culture around moonshining. Here are a few fun sites that can give you a peek into what times were like for them.







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Comments on: "Moonshiners" (6)

  1. First time I ever tasted moonshine I was I think twelve? On a ten day hike on the Appalachian trail. A man let us stay at his “cabin” (talk about roughing it!), and he made moonshine so we got to taste it. A fine memory and NC has it’s own loooong history with Moonshine! Great post! Found you on the A to Z master list… http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

    • What a fun memory! And hiking the AT! My sister and her hubby were trails angels on the PCT for 4 or 5 years (until they moved to Utah last month, ending their experience with that.)
      Thanks for stopping by at A to Z!

  2. When I lived in Tennessee, I learned a lot about moonshine history. I even tried moonshine, but it was way too strong for my taste… 🙂
    Cool theme! Historical fiction is my home turf too.

    The Multicolored Diary

  3. Ronel Janse van Vuuren said:

    Interesting! I’ve always like the idea of speakeasies — I should probably use one in a novel 🙂

    Ronel visiting with the A-Z Challenge music and writing: So many amazing M’s

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