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Timeless Memories

A chapter in the book The Blue Store

The Blue Store; Chapter Two

by country ranch writer

Growing up around the Blue Store everyone from near and far remembered Grandma Ivy. This was

the only name she was ever known by all that knew her. '"Welcome to the Blue Store!" she would

call out to all who entered. She was a petite lady with fire red long wavy hair with a temper to match

if riled. She was five foot if she was a day and eyes like a hawk. No one dared put anything over on

her. It was amazing she put people at ease right away. She made everyone feel at home and treated

them all special.

None one could deny she was a beautiful woman the years had treated her kindly; yet if you looked

deeply into her eyes they looked sad. She'd been through so much in her lifetime. She never talked

about her life to anyone. She was the one who did all the listening to folks there at the Blue Store.

People loved the food there. There wouldn't be a crumb left on their plates when they finished

eating. It always made her swell with pride when they complimented her on her cooking.

I was back here in the mountains to pay my respects and visit when I ran into this guy at the Blue


"You new around here?" he asked.

"No, I replied, "Growing up around here was the best twenty years of my life," I said simply.

The reporter looked at me in wonder. He was here on the mountain to do a story of the old days and

moonshining. "Tell me more," he probed.

I finished half of my cup of coffee and then got up excusing my self. All the reporter wanted to do

was talk digging for dirt about folks. The reporter slipped his recorder back in his pocket and exited

the cafe disappointed.

It had begun to rain cats and dogs as I reached my truck; so much for a beautiful day the

weatherman promised.

The reporter phoned his boss, he was not pleased with him at all. Can you give me a reason why I

should keep paying you?" Then he said," Well, do your best and keep me posted."

He held on to the phone for a moment after the boss disconnected. This is one story he desperately


Arriving home I put my laptop on the coffee table and began a background search on the reporter

and his credentials. I clicked on and his picture appeared. I scanned the bio below it, heaving a sigh

of relief. He was exactly who he said he was. "Well thinking to myself, it makes me feel a bit better."

Picking up my coffee mug I poured myself another cup of coffee.

The reporter parked his pickup near the door of his hotel room and climbed out. Rain lashed at his

neck and tossed his hair away from his face. Hiking the collar of his denim jacket against the wind,

he dashed to his room. "So here you are," he muttered grabbed his bottle of scotch and took a good

swig. He took a long pull from the bottle and grimaced. Here it wasn't even noon and he was


" Well, what did you expect? Going up into the hill country; did you expect them to welcome you with open arms?" He laughed to himself.

The next morning the reporter showed up at my table hat in hand. "Can you help me?"

"I don't know," I said.

What is it you are after mister?

"The name is Jake Hollister ma'am," I am a reporter for the Country Crier. I am doing a feature on

the back hill country store. "The Blue Store to be exact," Jake informed her.

So, what would it hurt to find out what he had to say?

"Why," I asked him.

Because I was told this is where the moonshiners liked to hang out. My boss wants the lowdown on

what went on here in the mountains. It is a pet peeve of his. He is a fan of theirs and wants to know

everything about them and their lives and what made them moonshiners. So, why did his

conscience twinge? And why did he feel he was using her?

I told him let's get one thing straight If I agree to help you it will be on my terms.

For the first time since Jake met her, he felt a ray of hope. I have to go to a meeting he told me and

said, " I will meet you back here at eight."

"Okay, I will meet you here later." saying goodbye to him he left.

Later as they sat at the table in the cafe he said, "I think we'd better get started. You ready?

"As ready as I'll ever be.'' She sat drinking her coffee...

"Okay, let's start with telling me what you know about the folks who lived here and what it was like

growing up here." Jake began his interview.

There were so many people in my life growing up so it will be hard for me to single out just one. You

must understand shinning was a way of life for most folks. Times were hard on everyone here in the

mountains. At the age of fourteen, I could outrun any officer I met out on the back roads.

"Wait a minute," Jake said,"You are telling me you were you of all people were a shinner?"

"Well, you wanted to know," I replied. The agent's cars were no match for our cars. "My Great

Grandpa Benjamin was a moonshiner and my Grandpa was in it too. When I became of age I quit

moonshining and went to barrel racing.

"Why were you all called moonshiners to begin with?" Jake wanted to know.

Moonshine was made during the moonlight hours. Slang name for moonshiners was rotgut,

firewater, panther piss, mountain dew, white mule, corn likker, white lightning, hooch, white whiskey,

I am sure there are others.

"WOW!" Jake said, I never knew that tell me more.

Novelette Contest Part Two contest entry

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