Moonshine Madness


OK. So we live in Georgia – in north Georgia, as a matter of fact. Many people don’t realize how far north the Atlanta area is in Georgia, and we live about 45 miles north of Atlanta. I suppose it would be safe to say that we live in the foothills of the Georgia mountains. (They use the term “mountains” loosely here in Georgia – at least from the perspective of someone who has lived most of his life near the Sierra Nevada mountain range and who has visited and been through the Rockies numerous times, too.)

Northern Georgia is famous for lots of things. There were many Civil War battles that took place around here, most notably the battle of Chickamauga. The first gold rush in America started not far from where we live. And infamously, the Trail of Tears began near here, too. But there’s another thing that the hills of Appalachia are famous for: moonshine and moonshiners!

The hamlet of Dawsonville celebrates that part of north Georgia’s history every fall about this time and it was held this weekend. It has turned into a large car show, lots of food and craft booths, bands playing outdoors and just a generally good time.

I was busy on Saturday so I couldn’t go then when my wife did, but after we got home from church and a bit of shopping this afternoon, I went over with my camera to explore. Sadly, quite a few of the cars that were on display had already pulled out from the looks of things, but I still enjoyed myself. In my wanderings, I came across a booth for the Moonshine Museum. That’s where I shot today’s photo. Sorta helps you get a sense for the north Georgia hills, right? I’ve got more pictures that I’ll share in the coming days, but for now, you might just pull out your banjo and juice harp and watch Deliverance or listen to Dueling Banjos to help round out the picture.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1965, in action following the clash at the Plei Me Special Forces camp 30 miles southwest of Pleiku earlier in the month, the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) launched Operation Silver Bayonet.

U.S. troops, in conjunction with South Vietnamese forces, sought to destroy North Vietnamese forces operating in Pleku Province in II Corps Tactical Zone (the Central Highlands). The operation concluded in November with a week of bitter fighting when fleeing North Vietnamese troops decided to protect an important staging area and supply base in the Ia Drang Valley. It was the bloodiest battle of the war to date. In one engagement, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry fought a desperate three-day battle at Landing Zone X-Ray with the North Vietnamese 33rd and 66th Regiments; when the fighting was over, 834 Communists lay dead on the battlefield. In an associated engagement, 500 North Vietnamese ambushed another battalion from the 1st Cavalry Division at Landing Zone Albany, wiping out almost an entire company. Reported enemy casualties for Operation Silver Bayonet totaled 1,771. U.S. casualties included 240 killed in action.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: A four-leaf clover is often considered good luck, but it is also part of an Irish love ritual. In some parts of Ireland, if a woman eats a four-leaf clover while thinking about a man, supposedly he will fall in love with her.


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