Today, a nostalgic poem from 1937 written by “the Vanrena Poet Laureate”. Old Timers from the Fairview/Waterhole area may understand some of these references:
Dreams of Still LifeI dreamt last night I saw a still Down on the Peace beneath the hill, Wherein they brew the stuff that cheers– Makes us forget the wary years. With other cronies Spike and I We took a journey on the sly, Scarce one short hour had time to roll When that big “bull” from Waterhole Had pinched us all– the measly bloke. The shock it jarred me. I awoke So glad to find it wasn’t so I thought I’d write and let you know About the latest raid they made; It throws all others in the shade. That man that lives up in the moon, Those cops will jug him pretty soon. I’ve heard them say in Waterhole He was the last upon the roll; The very last of all that line That dares to make that old moon- shine. Down here on earth we fear to brew A mulligan, or French Bourgoo. One puff of steam around your shack Will put those coppers on your track; Bootleggers surely have to fade When A.P.P.s are on the raid; For everyone’s a brilliant sleuth At seeking stills– it’s still the truth. They’ve captured all the barrels and cans From Whitford’s down to “Old Kyann’s” And now they’re off to MacDonnel To give the poor bootleggers hell; No more we’ll get our daily snort Of moonshine, beer or good old port; They’ve wrung us dry, upon my soul, As their town well in Waterhole– Those bulls of ours. I cannot see Why they are “North of fifty-three”. Our good King George would give his crown To have them back in London town, Where they could claim their just reward And join the ranks of Scotland Yard. Big Bulls, Small Bulls, a toast to thee In Logies good Blue Ribbon Tea.
In Alberta, Prohibition was in effect prior to 1924. Laws restricting sales and consumption of liquor (men and women could not drink together in public) were changed in 1957 after a province-wide vote. Few turned out to have their say; for some reason, this was not the landmark vote we may expect, looking back. Were the laws so outdated they were already ignored? Was liquor easily available through neighbourhood stills? Was drinking just not a major interest?
If you know the answers, or more tantalizing tidbits of local history, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on any post. Thank you!