Punch the button to make the three-dimensional door close, becoming a shelf for other kegs. Thus the “speakeasy” from Mr. Stanley Garland’s old livery station is hidden.

The “speakeasy” – an unlicensed saloon – was the term used by a newspaper in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, March 21, 1889. (Wikipedia) The speak easy was so called because news of the saloon was kept secret or only whispered because of prohibition.

Mr. Garland’s secret sin caught up with him. He died in a ditch where he fell on a very cold night, It was three generations before one of his male descendants died sober.


PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

This post is submitted to Rochelle in response to her 100-word picture prompt challenge. This post is a 100-word mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Here

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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29 Responses to THE SPEAKEASY

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Loved that last line

  2. capost2k says:

    I’ve been in some ‘impressive’ wine cellars in the east, some that had bottles like that giant one in your picture! And then one in NJ has wines from the late 1700s, before the Declaration of Independence. The price on one was over $90,000! Always wondered if wine could really keep that long, or if you opened it, all you’d get is vinegar. 😏
    I can’t imagine Paul had that in mind when he told Tim (in 1 Timothy 5:23) to “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” 😊

    • oneta hayes says:

      WOW! Interesting trivia. Thanks for sharing. Ninety thousand dollars. If I drank it, I would feel like the Israelites when they had to drink the water polluted by the golden calf!

  3. Bill says:

    You made me look (wiki).
    Yes, the failed and disgusting American constitutional experiment (18th Amendment). I never thought of it as a “sin.” 🙂
    That we should ratify equal rights or voting rights so quickly.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Illegal, made him so drunk he couldn’t walk home safely, passed on an unhealthy habit to his sons and his son’s sons. Ok, I’ll leave you to define sin. I’m blessed with a grandfather who rejected moonshine-making and bootlegging when he got acquainted with Jesus. I’m glad the new style of his life, he passed on to me. Not the gambling, drinking man that he was. What I knew was a righteous man who was in love with family, compassionate to the downtrodden. I like that. The Bible says to “work out your salvation.” I leave that work to you. After all, we are only saved by grace – not lack of sin nor good works. Thank you much for your comment. I love brainstorming. The Equal Rights bill not being ratified has been such a loss for men; they have almost no power now against women. 😀

  4. Ah, yes, the failed experiment in righteousness and forced illegality. Well told.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Yes, a failed experiment in righteousness and forced illegality. Result: “Between 2011 and 2015, the leading causes of alcohol-attributable deaths due to chronic conditions in the United States were alcohol-associated liver disease, heart disease and stroke, unspecified liver cirrhosis, upper aerodigestive tract cancers, liver cancer, supraventricular cardiac dysrhythmia, AUD, breast cancer, and hypertension.”

      • oneta hayes says:

        Thanks, Na’ama, for your comment. I appreciate it. You did a fine job with your story “The Reunion.” Spookiness turned to bliss.

      • Alcoholism is a scrooge, no question about it, but the reasons for alcoholism are often ignored or untreated or are mocked or neglected, instead of addressed. There is a reason why people drink too much, and more often than not it is due to unaddressed trauma, personal as swell as historical and intergenerational.

  5. draliman says:

    Poor chap. A far cry from the romanticised speakeasies and happy, sophisticated patrons we tend to see in films.

  6. Eugi says:

    The last line is stunning! An interesting mix of fiction and non-fiction! Well done!

  7. GHLearner says:

    That was an interesting story. To be honest, I’d rather die drunk than sober. But I wouldn’t want to drink myself to death. YouknowwhatImean. LOL.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Haha. And you would like to do it just after losing all your money at the gambling table in the nice warm bar. 😀 Die in a hospital where you won’t know whether you are drunk or sober. LOL Fun comment, thanks.

  8. I love it when I learn facts from pieces of fiction, I always wondered where the term Speakeasy came from!

    Here’s mine!

  9. msjadeli says:

    Oneta, you’ve captured that alcoholic lineage so many families suffer from very well.

  10. Dear Oneta,

    He left quite a ‘legacy’ didn’t he?



  11. jillyfunnell says:

    The sins of the father visited on the sons? Though like others here, I don’t see it so much as a sin as a need to blur and soften the edges of a hard life. I really appreciate your thought-provoking piece.

    • oneta hayes says:

      I guess it depends on the person’s ability to handle it. Alcohol does much damage. Too much in my opinion. A cup of hot tea is less damaging. I don’t like hot tea, either, but don’t think of it as sinful – just safer. 😀

  12. A powerful last line. It took too long but at least the chain was broken eventually.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Sadly, I have a grandson – the first after four generations on both sides of his family – who has suffered much because of alcohol. We will see him in a few days. I love him very much. My first grandchild and now the grandfather of my great-great grandson.

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