Nope, it was nothing like Joshua making the sun shine still! (If you don’t know that story it is in Joshua, Chapter Ten, Holy Bible.)  Granddad bootlegging whiskey!?

In November I wrote about my grandfather in Meeting the Lord in the Broomcorn Field.  His life changed.  The man I always knew was a Christian and lived a life modeled after Jesus.  I  am ever so thankful that by the time I was born into the Rodgers family, most of them were sweet and loving people.  That was the cradle in which I was raised.  But I still get a kick out of hearing stories from when Granddad was a gambling drunk.  An evidence of his change is indicated by the following incident.

Pete, my dad, bought Granddad Jim’s farm in the early 1940’s.  Granddad Jim had attached a four room house to the old house.  There was a large attic in the new part.  My mom, Amy, didn’t let much stop her when she wanted to change a house – add a door, put in a window, put in steps – Mom would do it.  Aunt Delma (I think) told me that mom was doing away with an old cellar that was beneath the old house. I remember the steps down to the cellar.  The cellar had a trap door that opened access to the stairs.  I remember Grandma Vida kept canned vegetables down there. She also had large tins of meat stored in lard down there.

In the process of Mom’s cellar project, she found three cans of “canned heat.”  What is canned heat?  It is a method of providing heat for making moonshine whiskey! Yeah, Granddad’s still!

In it’s glory days he had covered the floor, hiding the door, with linoleum to help hide his bootlegging business.  I guess if anyone smelled the evidence, they just chalked it up to Granddad’s drinking!  Or they were there to buy some and wouldn’t think of drying up their source.

As Mom and Dad renovated the old house, they found a pistol hidden in the eaves.  I never heard any story about that pistol.  Aunt Delma said she did not know about it.  I wonder what that story was. If we knew, we in the Rodgers family tree, might be even more thankful for a changed man, our Granddad Jim!

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. Nena says:

    Lol great story about your grandpa’s “golden age”. There must be a really interesting story behind that pistol. We would like to hear what kind of story comes to your mind;)

    • oneta hayes says:

      Nena, I have just returned from your blog. Enjoyed “about.” The not seeing made me think of Jesus’ words to Thomas when he said, “…blessed are those who believe but do not see…” Close to that, although I’m not looking it up. I couldn’t find a place to comment there. Sometimes I think by theme does not give enough attention to the comment section. I guess I could do it if I knew how. That’s some of the learning I need to do! Now about granddad and the pistol. Only one blood member in our family who is older than I – the person I referred to as Aunt Delma. She said she didn’t know, so I guess that’s the end of the line for that story. It would provide a frame (prompt) for a fiction story, however. Might be fun. Thanks for the shove to a new idea. I marked your follow while I was over to your place, so I will see you.

      • Nena says:

        Yes! It is all about faith:)
        I didn’t add the ability to like or comment on my About page, but now I’m thinking that maybe I should. You might not have been the first to have wanted to comment and couldn’t.
        It would be really fun to use the end of your story as a prompt;) Thank you for the follow:)

  2. Salvageable says:

    My high school journalism teacher said that the best lead sentence ever written for a newspaper story was: “The moon still shines on the moonshine stills in the hills of Tennessee.” J.

  3. Faye says:

    Both fascinated and intrigued by this story. How wonderful to have the history of a family than can be traced back warts and all to the past never mind the stories and how rollicking they may but the joy of also knowing that redemption came… are a by-product of that with all of the past to colour your life as well. I never knew either of my grandfathers. Both died before I was born. I only know one died in Italy and the other was a miner in the coal fields of ? Glasgow Scotland. May you be able to share more and more of your life with Christ and the history of your amazing family. (ie we have both pirates and Vikings in my husband’s far off family tree beginnings). May God’s Strength undergird your life and writing.!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thank you, Faye. I agree that I have indeed been blessed to know family stories and to have had Godly influence. It is a promise of God- unto the third and fourth generation. I admit to being concerned about the future of my family legacy. Right now most are pretty secure, but some are of great concern. God is still faithful. We never like to see things happen that sometimes have to occur in order to humble us and pressure us to acknowledge him. Our present culture is so self sufficient. Health and wealth seldom bring one to recognize his need as much as illness and poverty. I want them to come to salvation but I don’t want them to hurt. Aww, that is what God wants also. Enjoy you as a sounding board; sometimes I get a bit long.

  4. calensariel says:

    Sounds like your grandpa’s life would make a good biography! 😀 He sounds like he was a real character.

    • oneta hayes says:

      He was quite a man. I played lots of Chinese checkers with him when he became older. Oh my, I guess he was younger than I am now. I highly valued that time with him. He never would play card games with any of us. They held too many memories of his old life, I was told. I don’t remember about dominoes. Most of the men in the family played dominoes.

  5. arwen1968 says:

    Family stories are always so interesting especially when they come from a bygone era… it’s like learning history with a personal perspective. What was life like… and what was one of your ancestors like… (Such a posh word for a grandparent or greatgrandparent, LOL – I don’t think most of us can go back in time much further!) My kids often ask for family stories from the past… in fact, only the other day I ended up writing a post about my childhood in communism exactly because the older one was pestering me… to her this is History, with a capital H, the sort of stuff she learns in school! 🙂 Cold war and communism is not history to me, it was just something we lived through… I must be getting old!

    • oneta hayes says:

      I was a the oldest child of the oldest child of the oldest child so I should have paid much better attention to my family’s legacy. You are so fortunate to have descendants who want to hear your stories. I started writing a piece about my grandfather called, “When preachers wore two dollar suits.” Your comment is making me want to revisit that subject. Maybe I’ll browse around and see if I can find it. I’m sure you could tell many stories of interest regarding your experience being raised in a communist country. I would certainly be interested.

      • arwen1968 says:

        I think you should revisit that post about your grandfather in the two-dollar suit… I too would be interested in reading it! I think family stories are very much worth preserving and I only wish I could remember more of what my grandmother told me about her father, his experiences in World War I and afterwards, her own experiences of growing up, of World War II, my grandfather, etc…. History is no longer a dry textbook subject when you have real people to connect to, real people you’re related to involved in their small, insignificant ways.It becomes something personal. As for me growing up under communism, I only wrote the one post about so far, On Goulash Communism but I actually begin to think I might want to write more… the only thing is I’m not sure how it fits into the profile of a book blog – which is what I’m supposed to be writing after all! But I suppose I can make my family stories an additional thing on the blog, like photography. 🙂

        • oneta hayes says:

          Arwen1968, I got a kick out of your “Last Post.” By the way, who is Herodotus? Ha. I went over to check your menu. It seems to me you have quite a variety under your blog and me. I would encourage you to write some family history there. Or set up a new item in the main menu. I really don’t know much about it. My post just sort of keep rolling along without much order! Thanks for the chat.

          • arwen1968 says:

            How did you find The Last Post? It’s on the old site! 🙂

            I think your blog is fine… Not everything has to be organised in neat categories. But with mine, yeah maybe I should set up a new category for family history if I’m going to write more of it… Because I’n supposed to write about books (and I by and large) but my blog keeps developing in all sorts of unexpected ways, what with the Mediterranean section and about rowing up the Thames and now family history even.

  6. shoreacres says:

    You just educated me. I’ve wondered from time to time — very casually — about the name of a band that performed one of my favorite songs from the Woodstock era. The song is “Going Up the Country,” and the group was named — Canned Heat! I never had a clue what that name meant. Now, I’m pretty sure I know.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Glad to fill in that space in your knowledge file. Aunt Delma had to tell me. Then I looked it up online to be sure what I was talking about. Interesting about the song.

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