Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moonshine Fest in Dawsonville, Ga

Moonshine Festival

Another festival. This one was different from the other festivals. It was celebrating the law breakers that were in the moonshine business back “then”.

Dawsonville, Georgia, at the gateway of the north Georgia mountains , was known as the moonshine capital. I guess it was woodsy enough to get far back away from the mainstream of civilization as not be detected making the stuff yet close enough to market points such as Atlanta, Marietta, etc.

I know a few people who hauled moonshine back then. You know who you are.

The people who hauled the moonshine had to be good and fast drivers. Thus southern auto racing was born with already experienced drivers.

Fast kind of bootlegging cars and fast racing cars were on display throughout the huge festival. I think there were over a hundred booths and tents of people selling their home made art stuff and whatever else.

In the late 1950s the movie THUNDER ROAD , starring Robert Mitchum and his son came out. It romanticized, glamorized, and adventurized* the moonshine shipping business. I remember coming out of the theater and wanting to get in my car and speed around at high speeds. The THUNDER ROAD theme song didn’t help much.. it even hyped me up more. Fortunately, for me, I think more than I act. I don’t know if THUNDER ROAD had Dawsonville in mind when they filmed it or not.

In the 1950s Lockheed bought some land in Dawsonville and the talk was they were to have a plant there too. Our family drove up one Sunday and checked out the place, maybe buy a house before their housing market boomed. My parents were hesitant and it was a good thing. Lockheed never developed anything there as far as I know.

About the video: I edited it with a program that came with the computer, Windows Live Movie Maker. It was the first time I used it. I got to label things that would be on the screen and to other tricky stuff as well.

On the drive up to festival I think was about 60 miles, not very far at all. I was pleased to see a segment of Highway 400 named after an old friend. In the Cumming area the highway is the Judge Richard Stanley Gault Highway. Stanley Gault was a co-Little League player on Southern Discount’s team. Stanley was a little more in demand on the field than I was. My place was the bench. Stanley became a circuit judge in North Georgia. He died a few years ago.

*I know, I know, there is no such word. I made it up.

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