My Mom the Bootlegger

Once upon a time when I was in high school, my mother decided to make a quick, solo trip from Memphis down to her sister’s in Vicksburg, MS. Mother hadn’t been driving very long. She only learned when I was in about the fifth grade. For the longest time, she made me ride in the back seat because I made so many faces and gasped so much due to my terror of her driving.I don’t know where she bought that first car. It must have been cheap, and she came home with a bucket of green stamps. It seems like the car was a 1949 Kingsway Custom. Made in Canada, the engine, etc. was a Dodge and the body was a Plymouth — or the other way around. Anyway, it was a pitiful-looking oldster, but it got us around. So, off Mother went to V’burg.She was driving back to Memphis near midnight that Sunday when she got pulled over by a state trooper. She was confused because she wasn’t speeding. That car probably couldn’t speed, but the officer was very serious. License and registration handled, he told Mother to step out of the car. He walked around the car some more, looking it over. “Open the trunk,” he directed. Mother did so. I was a majorette with the band at that time, and we were collecting for a newspaper drive. The trunk was full to overflowing with stacks of old newspapers. Mother explained why. He looked around again, laughed, and sent her on her way.Took a while for Mother to figure it out — really old car, riding very low — he suspected that she was transporting moonshine. Yeah, that’s my mom.

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