Many years ago, however, I arose early before dawn to visit the old man. He was running off his brew, and I could see the shine dropping from the copper tube into the Mason jar.
“Take a swig,” he said. I did. “Pretty strong,” I said back.
He put the lid on the jar and shook it. Good moonshiners can tell you the proof of the alcohol by observing the size of the bubbles after shaking.
“Needs some water,” he said.
“Would you like a piece of raspberry cheesecake?” the old man asked.
Sure, I responded, and he went into his house to get me a slice. When he came back out, he gave me another little swig of his proud shine.
“How is it now?” he asked. “That’s a lot better,” I said.
I offered him one last comment.
“You know, I bet there’s not a king or queen in the rest of the world drinking moonshine and eating raspberry cheesecake before dawn,” I said.
He laughed and agreed.
For sure, the old man was an artist.
Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes columns for The Herald-Mail.