The Still-House Spring

The following story is true. Details have been altered to better fit the photo prompt and to spare you from a short drive you into a coma. Rest assured any clear liquid referred to in this story has been properly disposed of through a natural filtering system before returning to the environment.

 This week’s photo is courtesy of Piya Singh.

To read more stories, go to  click on the Blog tab, and follow the links.

The Still-House Spring

Dad was not a moonshiner. Sure, he enjoyed making and taste-testing the stuff, but I never knew him to sell any. He claimed it was legal to manufacture two hundred gallons a year for personal consumption. Seemed like a lot to me, but a year was longer in those days.

 I remember him cooking off a batch in the rock house, using water from the underground spring to cool the worm. He nailed tarps over the windows so nobody could see inside.

How silly. The nearest house was half-a-mile away. They didn’t care what was cooking.

Being sneaky made it fun.

21 Comments on “The Still-House Spring

  1. Hey dad wouldn’t lie! 200 gallons must have been legal, right? What a wonderful glimpse into a simpler life, one where the spoils taste better by virtue of being risky. 🙂


  2. Hi Russell,
    So true that the years go by so much faster now. One of my favorite things to watch is that Moonshiners reality show. Like you, moonshine making is in my family. My grandpa did a little stretch in jail in Fort Smith for his corn squeezings. He also died in an alcohol-related truck wreck. Really close to home for me and I really enjoyed it. Also really like your new blog. Ron


  3. I liked the line about a year being a lot longer then. It reminded me that I find my scales are calibrated to weigh much heavier these days than they used to be.

    Nice one Russell, as ever. Mine’s a dry white wine though.


    • I agree, Sandra. And the clothing manufacturers are in conspiracy with the companies who make washers and dryers to shrink all of our clothing after one or two wash cycles. Books and newspapers are in tiny print and everyone speaks in a whisper. FOUL, I cry!!


  4. Dear Russell,

    You’re not fooling anyone. This story of yours is not funny.

    It is, however, beautiful.

    And yes, years were way longer back then. I’ve never heard that thought better expressed.



    No link to mine because it’s too late anyway. Once the Internet goes down, we’ll all be building still houses and social media will be what we do when we’re leaning on the fence post talking to those people who live next door.


      • There’s a lot to be said for face-to-face social interaction. We have some great neighbors and enjoy it often. But I also really enjoy those of you whom I’ve gotten to know through sharing our mutual joy of writing. We may be thousands of miles apart, but it feels like next door to me.


  5. Loved the detail about the needlessness of the tarps over the windows. I think the same thing about curtains over mine, haha. Great story and I love your new blog home too!


  6. A nice break from all the fairy tales (including mine) that were prompted by this photo. I like your story. Would love to hear more.


  7. I visuallize this hut as a perfect setting for “illegal” cooking down in Kentucky “moonshine hollow.”… Question: If it was legal then, why was it necessary to be sneaky and cover the windows with tarp? lol. You have moonshine, I have Jim Beam. The setting seems so perfect for boozing.


    • Dont’ know the answer to that one, Lora. I was only ten or twelve at the time. I do remember Dad making it crystal clear that I was not to say anything about it on the school bus (the closest thing we had to Facebook in those days).


  8. Pingback: In a Good Hand – What's So Funny?

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Mandie Hines Author

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