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Episode 26 – Interview with Bayfield Winery

Episode 26 – Interview with Bayfield Winery

In this episode I was joined by Phil from ⁠Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider⁠ in Bayfield, WI. This episode is a follow up to episode 24. It does contain spoilers for that episode, so if you haven’t listened to that one yet, start there.

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 26 Bayfield Winery Details:

In this episode we cover a wide range of topics, from the 100 year old farmhouse turned tasting room to the fruit loop area in Wisconsin. We talked about co-ferments and why it’s important that you don’t have to wear a hazmat suit when you’re tending to your fruit. 

Show Notes:

Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider⁠ ⁠

⁠Bayfield Winery Tasting Room⁠

⁠Art and Science 2023 Emergence Co-Ferment Wine

Episode 25 – Nursery Rhymes and Treason

Episode 25 – Nursery Rhymes and Treason

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 25 Notes:

Sep was a legendary man, but his wit and critique of politics led him to a jail cell and a life changing experience. His experience has shaped the lives of millions today too, and gave us a story, about a drink, that many of us already know.

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

Uncle Nate went to see his nephew Sep in jail. He hoped that he could help him. He hoped that he could get him out. He was 57 then. An old man. But, not so old and not so forgotten that he didn’t have sway. After all, Sep was in jail because of art, and it was art that Nathanial Hawthorne had spent his whole life creating.

He’d created many famous works as a novelist and short story writer. They were different than the works Sep created. But, Sep was younger. He was of a different generation. He’d come of age during the civil war. Saw blood. Saw death. Saw people killing each other because of race and hate. 

And the charges against Sep were steep. If he was guilty he would die. That was the way it went when you were accused of treason. The country was divided. Risks couldn’t be taken. So, Uncle Nate knew that it was foolish for Sep to do what he’d done. But, he also knew that Sep was still honing his craft. Still finding his voice. He just hoped that his voice wouldn’t put him in front of a firing squad.

For Sep, things had started out innocent enough. He had wrote a song, like many of his other songs. A commentary. A light hearted song. A song as a critique of the times. After all, what good was the freedom of speech if you could speak, out when you had something to say. So, Sep spoke. 

And he was surprised to hear how many listened. At this point he’d published ballads under the name Alice Hawthorne. He published so many and with such skill that they became famous as Hawthornes Ballads.

He published under other pen names too. Male pen names. Some songs he sold to the highest bitter, because an artist had to make a living. But, Sep had many ways of making a living. 

He was a self taught musician. A teacher. A performer. And a publisher. In short, Sep was vertically integrated.

Vertical integration. It’s a business concept where you own every step along the production line. If you’re making tires. You own the rubber tree plantation. You own the rubber manufacturing facility. You own the tire shop that sells the rubber tires.

It’s a way to provide security for your business. And a way to create multiple revenue streams, while also decreasing your expenses. 

So Sep wrote the musical notes for a piece. Sep wrote the lyrics. Sep performed the music. Sep published the music. This also meant that Sep could publish whatever the heck he wanted. 

And he did just that. He chose to writ some very interesting songs. He choose to write a ton of drinking songs, because this was Philadelphia and he was German. He chose, to be prolific. 

Sep wrote over 200 instruction books on 23 different instruments… all of which he’d taught himself how to play. 

Sep, also, at this time 1862, had written almost 1,000 songs. Many of which you know. But, this song, the song that got him court martialed and tossed in jail for treason, you probably don’t know. 

He wrote a song about a general. General George McClellan. A general Abraham Lincoln had just fired. General George was also a well liked man. And Sep’s song sold 80,000 copies in two days. 

He hadn’t expected it. But, he wasn’t unhappy about it either. Others, were not as happy. And they threw him in jail on treason charges. Which carried a penalty of death. Which brought his uncle Nathanial Hawthorne out of his home and trying to talk some sense into those that brought charges against him. 

Sep was eventually released, but he had to compromise. He felt dirty about it. He felt like Tom, who was no doubt the one that had ratted him out for the song, was hiding around the next street corner trash talking his good name. 

But, Sep wasn’t ready to die. Sep had more music to write. So, he promised to destroy any remaining copies of the song and forget all about it. That was in 1862. He left something behind in that jail. A part of him. And when he went back to writing music, which he most surely went back to writing music. He wrote some very famous works, and at least one work, about a drink, that you likely haven’t heard of.

Two years later he wrote a popular drinking song you’ve surely heard of. It was called “Oh where oh where, has my little dog gone.”

You probably know the lyrics. Or heard some version of the nursery rhythm. 

Oh where, oh where has my little dog gone

Oh where oh where, can he be.

His ears cut short and his tail cut long

Oh where oh where, is he.

Buuuuttt, what you probably don’t know is the rest of the verses of this song. Because this song was not a nursery song for little boys and girls. 

This song…was a drinking song. And that’s why the next three versus were cut out. Because they are most definitely not appropriate for innocent ears. 

A sausage is good, bologna of course

Oh where, oh where, can he be

They make them with dog and they make them with horse

I guest they makes them with me.

There is also the slightly unhinged original version of ten little Indians. You might have remembered this song from childhood. A fun, nursery rhyme to help you count to ten. Or, you might not, because I’m pretty sure it’s been deemed inappropriate as a song today, because it’s about Native Americans and the term Indians is used. 

But, that’s actually not the inappropriate part of the song, and since I’m a native to America, I was born here after all, I’ll share the original version of the song with you. It’s the version made as another drinking song, about the indigenous people of North America… which Christopher Columbus originally called Indians because he thought he’d reached The West Indies. 

I think you might find, that the piece was written in satire, especially with the way the word Indian is pronounced. And if you don’t… I honestly don’t care. This is a podcast about history, society and culture. I’m not arrogant enough to think I should, one hundred and sixty years removed from context, pass judgment on something. I’m here because there is a whole world out there of things that have happened in the past that are very fascinating. And this is one of them. So, the original version.

Here we go. A one. A Two. A one, two, three.

Ten little Injuns standin’ in a line, One toddled home and then there were nine; 

Nine little Injuns swingin’ on a gate, One tumbled off and then there were eight. 

One little, two little, three little, four little, five little Injun boys, Six little, seven little, eight little, nine little, ten little Injun boys. 

Eight little Injuns gayest under heav’n. One went to sleep and then there were seven; 

Seven little Injuns cuttin’ up their tricks, One broke his neck and then there were six. 

Six little Injuns all alive, One kicked the bucket and then there were five; 

Five little Injuns on a cellar door, One tumbled in and then there were four. 

Four little Injuns up on a spree, One got fuddled and then there were three; 

Three little Injuns out on a canoe, One tumbled overboard and then there were two. 

Two little Injuns foolin’ with a gun, One shot t’other and then there was one; 

One little Injun livin’ all alone, He got married and then there were none

These two songs were common songs written by Sep. It was the satire, fun drinking type of song he wrote. And there was one more that he wrote, about a drink, which is why I’m telling this story at all. 

Because he wrote about a man named Tom. Tom was a slippery figure. Tom was a scoundrel. Tom liked to talk mean behind everyone’s back. Tom thought he was better than other poeple. Tom thought he was elevated. Tom thought he was funny. Tom judged people, like you’d might be judging me now. 

Or, like you might be judging the songs above. I’m not saying you’re a scoundrel. Or, a slippery figure. I’m just telling you how Tom was.

Tom liked to talk about other people to his friends. Tom liked to spread rumors. 

So, Sep got his friends over at the publishing house W. H. Boner and Co. to publish a little diddy about him. That was what Sep did. That was how Sep ended up in jail on treason charges.

But, this time, no one disagreed with the song. It was another drinking song, about a man, everyone hated. And it goes like this. 

Verse 1:

Tom is my name, I beg leave to state. 

You’ve heard of me, I dare suppose. 

Quite often here of late.

Chorus:

I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere. 

But rather hard to find

Don’t attempt to look me up, unless you’re well inclined.

Verse 2:

I count myself a gentleman, or something of the sort

Tho’ many may seem inclined to take me as a common sport

I’m willing to apologize, and reach my hand to all

Who are inclined to wait on me and give a friendly call

Chorus:

I’m here, I’m there, I’m everywhere. 

But rather hard to find

Don’t attempt to look me up, unless you’re well inclined.

Verse 3:

I’ll tell you how it is my friends and you will all agree

Some wretches without heart or soul, are fooling you and me

So let us keep our tempers straight, and take the joke as fair

We’ll get along much better boys, in acting on the square

It was a beautiful piece about a scoundrel of a man. Tom. But, Tom had more of a story to tell.

You see, Tom was not a man at all. Tom was a joke. And nothing more. 

A prank one played on a friend at the bar that’d go something like this. 

“Hey did you hear what Tom said about you?”

Friend, takes a sip. “No, what?”

“Well, Tom said you’re a no good, dirty playing, cheat. And he’s right outside. Just around the corner.”

At which point your infuriated friend will slam down his drink, head outside and look around the corner at the end of the block. Of course tom isn’t there, becuase tom is just a prank. A couple friends throwing back some drinks and messing with each other. 

But, a bartender saw the opportunity. So he took Tom, and he made him into a drink. 

Gin. Lemon. Sugar. And club soda.

And he called the drink, after the devilish prankster himself. 

Tom Collins. 

And Sep Winner… well, he would go on to write almost 1,500 songs over his lifetime. One of his popular songs, Listen to the Mockingbird,” about a lost lover and written under the name of Alice Hawthorne (The Hawthorne name taken from his mom’s brother and famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne) that sold over 15 million copies. In 1855.

Sep’s hard work and sense of humor would pay off. In the year 1970 he was inducted into the Songwriters hall of fame for his prolific contributions to music.

And Tom Collins, well Tom Collins got a permanent song and a drink named after him.

Anyway… I’ll drink to that. 

Episode 24 – Father Knows Best

Episode 24 – Father Knows Best

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 24 Notes:

He came from France with a calling, and endured the bitter cold of winter, leaving behind a legacy of families and places throughout the Midwest that have withstood the test of time. This endless adventure, filled with near death experiences, war, and adventure was inspired by my friends at Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cider. 

Transcript of Podcast:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

Jacques and his companions anchored their canoes on the south side of Lake Superior and crawled up the shore, their bodies wind whipped and numb from the freezing winter temps and brutal winds. It was times like these, when it was so cold his face was frozen and he couldn’t speak, that he wondered why he’d left France in the first place.

He would have been set there. He had been set there. Jacques was the third of six kids, born to Rose and Nicolas. A son born into the empire of wealthy merchants. It was almost enough to make him regret his decision to leave. But, the call of adventure was too loud. 

He was 29 when he made the long journey across the ocean from France to Canada. Settling in North America was all the rage at that time. It was a land of possibility, and this possibility made Jacques travel south out of Quebec until he reached the upper peninsula of Michigan. He smiled as he remembered that time in that part of Michigan fondly. He’d become a father there. A pang of sadness went through him, as he thought of the family he’d left behind to start on this new journey. That time in Michigan had been good to him.  

He’d raised a family. Built a settlement. Planted crops. Built barns. Even helped build a chapel. He had made something worth making.  

Until the pull of adventure tugged at him once more. It was with mixed feelings, part sadness and part excitement, that he put his canoe in Lake Superior and set a course further south a few months ago in August. He was 31 now and his time with the indigenous people of the area had been fruitful. They taught him many things. Including how to survive the harsh winter conditions of the upper midwest. 

But, even this might be more than he could handle. The ice flows even close to the shoreline threatened to destroy his canoe, especially when the freezing waves washed across his canoe or bucked him wildly about.

The cold and the wind destroyed his spirit and Jacques felt like half the man he was when he left only a few months prior. It was January now. Winter was apexing and greeting him with a cold, numbing slap to the face. 

There was no turning back. But, forward didn’t seem all that promising either. He could always stop where he was, but the land between was barren and dangerous. Jacques knew he wouldn’t last long there. 

So, when he pulled his boat on to the southern shore of Lake Superior, bundled up under hard, frozen, ice laden furs, his heart sank a little further down into his body when he found himself unable to light a fire. He prayed to God for help. But, his prayers were met with silence.

It was too wet. Too snowy. The wind was too fierce. There was nothing to do. So, he found a spot along the shore where the wind came through a little less fierce. Amongst a pile of boulders, next to a forest. The trees and the boulders help cut the wind a little. But, negative ten degrees is still negative ten degrees without the wind. 

His body shook from the cold and he pulled the furs a little closer around him, tucking his head deeper into them and trying to conserve ever ounce of body heat possible. 

The night’s sleep was fitful, and he woke often with shivering spasms. Finally, the sky lightened once more and he began the slow, painful process of moving his body, which ached from the canoeing and sleeping on hard ground. 

When he could move again, Jacques found his way to the canoes and met the others who were wordlessly loading their packs once more into the boats and getting read to travel across the water once more. 

Over night the water had frozen to the hulls of their canoes and he kicked at it to break to free. Then, with a hard heave, he shoved his frozen canoe back into the water and hopped in. 

They were off once more, traveling through the grueling conditions that threatened to kill them all. The snow was thicker today than the day before. Heavy, wet flakes that worked there way through his furs and into his skin. The worst part, though, was his hands. They were numb from gripping the oar of his canoe and never seemed to warm.

The day after that the weather was the same. The day after that, the weather was the same. It went on and on like that for months. 

Until, one day, he woke and found the sun shining. 

The spring sun once again graced the tundra of the midwest with its presence. After months of gray skies and skin piercing wind, the sun was a welcome sight. He smiled and turned his face toward the sun, letting the heat warm him.

Five months later he reached the indigenous people 500 miles south from where he’d started.

His family was now a distant memory, because when the year is 1669, you answer the greater calling when it shouts. And the shout was for Jacques to explore. He was born for it. He was also born to procreate. So, he started another family and did what he’d done prior. He planted crops. Built barns and farms. Made a life for himself once more, and, the whole time, his prior life remained with him. His prior family. Yet, he’d gone too far to go back to them. He was also happy where he was. That all changed when he woke up one morning to the smell of smoke. 

Day by day the smoke got closer. Next came the Ottawas on horseback in full dress with their war paint, drums sounding as they made their way through town. The Hurons were with them too. Also dressed in war paint, carrying spears and bows and war axes. They were going to fight the Lakota. And Jacques knew this was no longer a safe place for his new family. On one side of him was the Ottawa and Huron people and on the other was the Lakota. Caught in the middle was Jacques and his family. 

Jacques felt certain that at some point the fighting would spill over to them and the Lakota would tear through his home, murdering people and burning everything to the ground. He pleaded with the men, who, being men, wanted to stay and fight and defend their homes. But they wouldn’t listen. 

Finally, knowing he had to do something, Jacques collected up all the men, women, children and dogs that would go, and started a canoe trip across Lake Huron to a safer area. They left in the Spring and said goodbye to the area that still bears his name today, a name that gave us many other things too, including fruit. 

Jacques had learned his lesson the last time around and, unlike the last time, they couldn’t cling to the shores of Lake Huron like they had to the shores of Lake Superior. This trip was across the lake. 

They would need optimal conditions. They would die if a late season snow storm caught them off guard or if the freezing wind that the upper midwest of the United States is known for showed up.

After months of travel they saw people waiting for them on the shore. Ottawas. They’d arrived on the small island, a protected island. Isolated and much safer than the open land along the Northern side of Lake Huron where they’d come from prior. 

While there there few people living here now, the island, hundreds of years later, would explode as a popular tourist destination. People would come from all over the Midwest to visit. The city now here banned pretty much all motor vehicles. Sailing clubs would pop up. An annual art festival. Snowmobile riding in the winter time. The island would make television and movie appearances. And even ice cream. 

But, this was long before any of those things and this island… Mackinac Island was nothing more than a few indigenous inhabitants and a priest looking to spread the word of God. So, when Jacques arrived with his family there was no way the island was prepared to feed an entire family the size of which Jacques had brought. Jacques knew they would starve if they stayed. 

So, tired and exhausted, with winter imminent, they returned to their canoes and traveled West through open water once more. Through the tidal waves and ocean like conditions until they reached the western shore of Lake Huron. And it was here that Jacques finally kept his family. They were safe here. They flourished. And Jacques had that familiar itch of adventure return. 

At this time, two years later, Father Jacques had contributed much to the spread of religion and establishment of French colonies throughout Southern Canada and the Northern UP, Upper Peninsula of Michigan. His request for leave was granted and he set out with another French explorer chasing another adventure.

He’d heard of a route that would take them further South, deep south, and he wanted to see where it led. The expedition with Father Jacques and Louis Jolliet left in May of 1673. They’d found a route into a river system called the Mississippi River that the indigenous people had been using for thousands of years. 

And they ventured out, traveling across over 600,000 square miles of the United States, making their way through Wisconsin, on to Arkansas, and Mississippi before stopping 435 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Late summer was upon them and the risk of encountering Spaniards or hostile indigenous people was too great. Jacques didn’t like it.

So they turned the canoes around and came all the way back those same river ways until they reached the southern part of Lake Michigan. They spent some time in the small village there, but ultimately Jacques wants to continue North, which they did. And they reached Green Bay, Wisconsin in early fall. 

Jacques, having achieved what no other frenchman at the time had achieved provided vital information to those that had financed and supported his exploration. The years that followed brought an influx of frenchman traveling down that same route, traveling to such places as Lacrosse, Wisconsin, the southern part of Lake Michigan, what grew into Chicago today, and even down to New Orleans.

Being a pioneer in locating and settling these areas might have been enough. But, that wasn’t even the greatest contribution Father Jacques made. It might have been his trips to Mackinac Island, a popular tourist destination today and home to some very famous fudge and ice cream.

Or, it may have been the schools that bear his name in Wisconsin still today. It could have been the border crossing city he founded in the UP of Michigan that is actually split in half, with part of it being in Canada and part on the United States. 

Or, the city named after him. The journals of his explorations he provided that sat unread and forgotten for 200 years.

Or, the name of his mom and the wealthy merchant family he came from. A legacy just as long and bright as his legacy. A legacy under the name of De La Salle, which formed several high schools through out the U.S. and a private college in Chicago. 

But, there was one more thing Fr. Jacques gave us. That was a grape. Also named after his last name. Like the schools. And the cities. 

A very cold hardy grape that thrives in the Midwest and produces some delicious new world wines, including one blended Rose at Bayfield Winery called Row 25.

So, let’s raise a glass of that Rose to a human who embodied all the spirit and possibility that exists within humans.

To Fr. Jacques Marquette.

and the grape called simply

Marquette

A catholic, French priest who immigrated to Canada and found his way to the tundra of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois to start colonies, families, throughout the upper Midwest before embarking on a journey across the entire North to South central part of the United States. 

Anyway… I’ll drink to that.

Episode 23 – A Witch, Some Druids, and a Special Lady

Episode 23 – A Witch, Some Druids, and a Special Lady

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 23 Notes:

There was a lady, that was praised by many, worshipped by others, and demonized by some. But, as is often the case, powerful women, create powerful responses.

This is the incredible story of how a very special lady gave so much to the world, including her offspring, but received little in return. 

Transcript for Podcast Episode:

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

The lady approved of those that had come to pay her homage. It was right and fitting that they should. They came wearing long, brown robes, with hoods pulled over their white hair and beards, curly and long, flowing on top of the folds of their clothes.

Then they knelt and tossed back their hoods before they folded their arms. Finally, came the chanting. A prayer to her. An ask of her with a promise of what they’d give in return.

She was a tall lady and towered over them, rising to almost six feet. And the men knew how to pay reverence in a way deserving of such a lady. So, she granted them their wish and answered their prayers. That, was only fitting for a woman like this.

This was the fourth century BC and, at a time like this, it was a right and fitting promise by the druids, these wise, Gaelic priests. Answering their pleas, she would give them her gems, white, clustered jewels that almost glowed in the sunlight. 

They would extend their humbled hands and take them until she had no more to give. Then she would give them clothes too. They would need her clothes for the ceremony to follow. It was only right and fitting.  

When they were satisfied, and she was satisfied with the way they praised her, the druids pulled back their hoods and left. But, she knew they would return. They always returned for what she had to offer. 

Many years later, this special lady would offer her gems to others. Her clothes too, for the pour souls that needed protection against the elements and couldn’t afford any other form of protection. She was a giving lady. And in return, they cared for her with a reverence that seemed fitting only for Goddesses.

Yet, she was no Goddess. She was only a lady. But, at a time in history when the divine feminine was not often praised, and when it was, for only the ability to carry life, it was fitting and right that she should be praised for all that she was as a woman. And not just because she could reproduce.  

So, when the witches came seeking solace from her, she gathered them in her arms and granted them a sanctuary. For, she was a kind and giving woman who appreciated being respected. 

Others came too. Some not as nice as these. They attacked the lady and threatened her. Hurled insults her direction and cursed her. They were scared of her. Because a woman this striking was not common. 

So, they were afraid. And, as is often the way with people when they are afraid, they lashed out with aggression at what they didn’t understand. But, even these people only went so far. They refused to kill her. They knew that would be crossing a line that they could never come back from.

For, as inviting and kind as the lady was, she was also capable of turning against those that sought to abuse her. Her ways of evil, matched her ways of strength. And those that had been so foolish as to cross her, endured her wrath in ways that would change, or destroy, their lives forever.  

It was this wrathful side, that some considered borderline demonic. That caused some of power to even draw edicts against her. They banned others from visiting her. Labeled her wicked. Labeled those that gathered within her arms wicked.

Yet, the lady knew that this was only a sign of the times, and humans were fickle. Given enough time the pendulum would swing back the other direction ideologically. She knew this. Because it always had. She’d seen enough of humanity to know that when ideas went too far one way, they came back the other direction.

And she wasn’t wrong. Later in her life, people would worship her like a goddess once more. They would want to have her next to them as a sign of protection and good luck. They’d want to be under her arms.

Yet, even then they would treat her with a healthy respect. A respect befitting someone as powerful as she was. Because she was powerful. The ways she could heal others, and the gems she could bestow on others, showering them in wealth, were endless. 

She was a powerful lady, and it’s only right and fitting that a powerful lady receive the sort of reverence and respect people gave her. 

Things changed for her years later when commerce became a main driver of the world. And, the human quest for wealth, drove men to make her reproduce so they could take from her offspring too. 

Gone were the days of Druid worshippers. Witches no longer gathered under her arms. The men came. And they keep forcing her to reproduce. And they took her offspring and locked them up behind walls so they could monitor and attend to their needs. 

But, then, when the time came, her offspring would be robbed. They’d steal their gems and carry them away in large buckets into their warehouses, where they’d use those jewels to multiply their wealth even further. 

They cared for nothing but the jewels. And the lore. The reputation that she’d built over centuries. And that made her sad. 

But, there was nothing this lady could do now, for she had grown too special. She had lived up to her reputation. 

The stories had grown beyond her. 

The ways she could heal whooping cough.

Ward off evil spirits. 

Or bring the devil himself.

The way her perfume could bring people to their knees with its powerful intoxicating scent.

Not only was she a magnificent lady, but she was also a healer.

Still, none of the men that came for her now praised her. They saw her as a means to an end. 

Although this bothered her she kept giving her gifts and hoping that those who took from her would respect her enough to do her great honor. 

And they did. 

In other ways that weren’t the same as how the Druids praised her.

They didn’t get down on their knees in front of her body and praise her. 

They didn’t ask for permission to take gems from her and her offspring.

But, they did honor her still.

They steeped her gems in clear liquid and they took the infused liquid and turned it into something else entirely. 

They imparted her essence into the world, so that others, when they were enjoying the company of friends and those they cared about, could enjoy her too.

They gave this special lady a reach she’d never had before.

And, while she had no way to turn back time and return to how things were before the men arrived and took what they wanted from her, she did now have the gift of having her essence all over the world.

And that was fitting, even if it wasn’t right. 

But, she knew the way of the world, and knew the world wasn’t always fair. 

This was one of those instances. 

But, in this unfairness, she sought to correct it via a slight circumvention. She took one of her most powerful traits, her smell and the way she tasted.

The way she could impart so much sensory load into such a small gem, and used that to tease the taste buds of so many with flavors of honeysuckle and pear.

And that was how this special lady went through the ages, at times praised for her body and her gems, her flowers, 

and other times, like during the Roman Empire, hated for her wood, which was believed to contain the devil’s essence itself.

Until she reached a time when she was planted over and over again in large groves, and her offspring were harvested by hand in the spring for their large bunches of white flowers.

Which were soaked in liquor and infused.

Today, each bottle takes up to 1,000 blossoms from her family. 

The finished product is clear with a light tinge that looks like the color of watered down honey

And it’s served in all sorts of drinks, adding a delicious floral hint.

This tree, the elder tree, has a long history, and many uses for the elderflowers produced.

In this use case, we’re talking about 

St. Germain

An Elderflower Liqueur. 

Although elderflower liqueur has been used by everyone from the Druids to Witches, 

It is St. Germain which has perfected the presentation and taste of Elderflower Liqueur in their St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.

And the elder tree, also referred to as the special lady, has fulfilled it’s end of that  ancient Druid prayer:

“Lady Ellhorn, give me thy wood, and I will give thee some of mine when it grows in the forest”

Anyway… I’ll drink to that. 

Episode 22 – Art, Bandages, And Coal

Episode 22 – Art, Bandages, And Coal

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 22 Notes:

Determined to be an example of good, Maggie led with care, kindness, and creativity. It were these things that turned her into a Queen in her community, even if the rest of the country thought otherwise.  This is the true story of a woman who, at a time when women were not allowed to act as she did, stood up for human rights and leaned into the community she desperately wanted to support.

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

Flem didn’t want to make the call but he had no choice. The paper sat unfolded on his desk, the ink still smelling fresh and the paper crisp. He read the headline again, sighed, and picked up the phone. 

The conversation was brief. Matter of fact. The man on the other side of the line knew it was coming. He expected it, after what had happened. Everyone had. 15 minutes. That’s all the time it took to change the world forever.

In this same county, on that exact same day in May, eleven year old Maggie was dealing with struggles of her own. They were not unrelated, as this Kentucky county had always been known for its ability to spin a yarn and carried on a strong oral tradition. 

Perhaps it was due to the Native American heritage, which ran deep and old through this area. Or, perhaps because the year was 1931, that’s just the way things worked. This was working class America, coal mining country. This was a time when coal powered much of America. 

And, in the booming industrial growth of America at the time, a resource like this was rife for exploration. So, too, were the people that risked limb and life going beneath the ground, sickening themselves by inhaling coal dust, and dying in horrible conditions. 

As a thank you, coal firms slashed miner wages by 10%. Coal unions responded in kind by going on strike. They were summarily fired. Evicted. Sent into the county as refugees to the few coal towns, three of them that were still operating outside the jurisdictions of coal firms and associations, at this time. 

And when things got worse, the United Mine Workers of America, which had originally organized and supported the strikes, decided further support would be too expensive. They pulled an Irish goodbye, after having started the whole damn thing. Poverty and violence exploded. The Red Cross considered supporting the displaced workers and their families too. But, they didn’t. This was an industrial issue, not a humanitarian one, despite the rampant poverty and how many humans it affected. In truth, I’m guessing they didn’t want to upset powerful corporations. 

So, what else were these people supposed to do?  

It was this background that caused the rising up of a hardworking, industrial people in a famous part of Kentucky that resulted in that call, by Flem, months later, after 1,000 rounds of ammunition were punched through the barrels of rifles and pistols at 3 supply cars and 3 hated anti-union deputies.  

And it was Maggie six years later would employ her creativity to support four younger siblings. She, would lean into her femininity, and carve out a livelihood without guns and force. This was a novel approach and only something a woman would think of. Men, being men, would be more inclined to use their muscles and their violence to get their way…at least throughout most of America’s history. And, at this time in history, that’s why this county in Kentucky was war torn. Yet, it needed someone like Maggie to heal it.

Maggie saw this. Which is why she kept on shaping things in shiny metal. Using fire to soften and form. Relying on glass to create art. Which she sold. Over and over again. To all of her neighbors. To the government employees in town. To the judges. And the jailers. To the doctors and lawyers. And they’d take her crafts and look at them fondly, putting them on shelves in their homes. She was a small business, and she operated out of her house. 

Then she used the money to support her community. Every day she wore a print dress with an apron and she’d go into the town to nurture people, giving to those who needed it the most. She saw her purpose as helping others, and believed in community ideals, that together people could rise, if they rose with each other, aligned, in support of one another. Today, in our individualized world, this concept is often forgotten.

At this time in Harlan County, Kentucky’s history, Flem had also forgotten this. Was he wrong in bringing force against force instead of relying on more diplomatic methods to soothe the deep wounds of all the displaced and impoverished miners? 

Maybe. 

Or, maybe he didn’t have another choice.

At this point, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the call Flem made, as he looked at the morning’s newspaper and heard of the unconfined violence. So, governor Flem picked up the phone and told the National Guard of Kentucky to mobilize against the dejected miners of Harlan County. 

Sure, they’d been run over by corporations seeking profits. Sure, his decision, instead of ending the war, would escalate the conflict and extend it another eight years. This was because Governor Flem didn’t realize how deep the corruption ran. Or, maybe he was part of the corruption.

You see, mining companies would employ a variety of tactics to…keep their expenses down. This included sneaking lines into miner contracts that prevented them from joining unions. Or, they would form unions and encourage employees to join them…only the unions would be stage pieces that were ultimately run by the companies that they were supposed to keep in check. 

Profits drive so many devilish schemes, schemes that, sometimes, only guns and bullets can stop. And that not even an organized military force can easily stop. 

Maggie was developing creative schemes of her own. And, again, they did not involve guns and bullets. That would not be her style. Her weapon of choice, was a smile. And a genuine love for the people in her community. 

Which would also lead to her arrest and over a year in federal prison. 

The disputes had ended by the time she found herself behind bars, and this part of Kentucky was still trying to patch itself together again, even as they gashes that tore open the Earth continued to spill with coal, that powered the United States. 

In Hegelian philosophy, when one ideology becomes too extreme a synthesis of the two warring ideologies merge and churn out something new, a balance. And after the fighting and deaths, and strikes that pitted the profit mongers and the miners against one another, federal law started to create a new ideology, a balance between the do anything they want, unchecked actions of coal firms and the need to treat people with human decency. 

Today, this is still an ongoing battle, and the line is always moving between the balance of the two. And, in the late 1930’s, when legislation started to come out to rebalance the scales between employees and employers, law enforcement started targeting something else. 

They turned their attention hard to people like Maggie. And, they slapped those iron bracelets on her, putting her in prison, for the first, and the last time in her life.

When she got out she went right back to doing what she’d always done. Caring for the community. Putting kids through college that couldn’t afford to go. Giving money to her neighbors so they could eat and live. And continuing her creative pursuits. 

This time, though, she got herself an education to defend against the men whole had come for her the last time. 

It was the fourth amendment she relied on the most. The guaranteed protection from unlawful search and seizure. An amendment that, during the rest of her life, would continually be honed and defined through new precedences, which she could tell you about.

Because the thing was that the majority of the United States didn’t consider her a criminal. She just happened to live in a place that did. 

It was a matter of location. 

And had she taken her print dress and her apron down the road, she would have been fine. But, she couldn’t. She was part of the community and the community was part of her. 

So she kept on with her creative pursuits. And kept on selling. Through the 40s. Into the 50’s. And the 60’s. 70s. 80s. 90s. And the 2000s. 

Never once did she end up convicted of a crime again. Even thought much of that time she was considered a criminal.

But, the funny thing about the law is that sometimes it puts people on one side of the line, only to have them on the other side in the future. 

For Maggie Bailey, she was not this person. Maggie Bailey was the line. Always. Her entire life. And, the thing about the line is that the side you fall to depends on how you wield the gray. 

If you give to the community, espouse love and care, feed others, then the gray is often overlooked. 

If you wield your gray with malice and violence, the national guard gets called. Then they drop their bombs, spill blood, and seek death. 

Like they did in the 1930’s in Harlan County, Kentucky when coal miners when on strike due to dangerous conditions and poor wages. But, only because the miners tried to use violence as a way to solve their problem. It’s what led to the famous skirmishes and the Battle of Evarts, which forced the hand of Governor Flem and led him to call the National Guard for support. 

That’s the important lesson Maggie Bailey learned. 

It’s why, despite evading taxes and selling alcohol in a dry county of Kentucky for over 70 years, Maggie Bailey only faced conviction once, despite being extremely high profile.

It’s why, Maggie Bailey, was called the Queen.

Which was short of the Queen of all Bootleggers

Because Maggie Bailey, selling into her 90s always looked more like your grandmother in older age, than a criminal. 

And who would send their own grandmother to prison.

Even if she was illegally selling moonshine.

It’s also why, after Maggie Bailey died at the age of 101, she was remembered through land preservations that were put in her name, articles from national and international publications, and memorials that would solidify her place in not only moonshine history, but history as a strong female who bucked the status quo, by leaning into all of the things that made her a woman.   

Anyway…I’ll drink to that.     

Phylloxera Meets A Revolution – Episode 21

Phylloxera Meets A Revolution – Episode 21

Podcast Summary:

“Anyway, I’ll Drink to That” is a Boozn Sam’s production, exploring the fun, quirky, and fascinating tales of drinks that define culture, history and the world. Every drink has a story to tell, and I’m going to tell it…as true as I can. Hosted by Sam, from Boozn Sam’s. Saddle up with a good cocktail and give me a few minutes of your time for a mystery surrounding a drink that changed the world.

Episode 21 Notes:

The story of two worlds merging. One of death and disease. The other of progress. While the two worlds existing at the same time, seems unlikely, it’s true. And makes for one heck of a tale. Follow the story of Fran, as he cuts and slices his way into history, alongside his arch nemesis Richard.

Transcript for Podcast Episode

*This is the entire podcast episode in written form. Do not read if you want the audio version to be spoiled.

They came in a stream, dying and begging to be saved. Yet, he could save none of them. Still, he tried. The slicing and cutting seemed like it would never end. Fran looked at the damage done both by him and the plague. It looked ugly. All hope seemed lost. If they didn’t find a cure, everything would be over. 

Fran left his patient on the table and exited into the waiting room, where the expectant gazes of those looking on immediately saw the failure in his face. He shook his head, confirming this. 

“There was…nothing to be done.”

Then he pushed past them and headed outside for some fresh air. Fran had studied medicine most of his adult life, but even this seemed too much. The plague that was sweeping through Europe right now had devastating effects. 

They’d tried all the usual things. Burning the lifeless, diseased, remnants. Isolation. There was simply nothing to be done. 

How could this be happening at a time when so much good also seemed to be occurring? As if to echo this point, his eyes went to the metal skeleton rising out of the ground in a cautious point that jabbed the sky. Men climbed the growing structure and large hunks of steels were rising little by little like metal fingers. Scaffolding rose like tooth picks from the ground below. 

“Still no luck?” 

The familiar voice of Richard caught Fran by surprise. He hadn’t expected him, but Richard always had a way of showing up at the worst time. 

“Not yet.” He grunted, never taking his eyes off the rising structure.

“They say it’ll be the most incredible World’s Fair yet.” Richard pointed. “And why shouldn’t it be with a tower like that serving as the entrance way. 

“But, will they finish it in time?” Fran’ voice came out rough. Much rougher than he wanted it to, but the continued spreading of the plague concerned him. And his continued failure to contain it, was unnerving. 

Richard huffed. “Gustave Eiffel has guaranteed it.”

Neither man spoke for a long time. Then Richard broke the silence. “Well, I must get getting. Good luck and all that. There is to be an art show today featuring an artist Vincent something or other that’s supposed to be quite good. Although his art looks like splotches on a page and I’ve never been quite fond of it. But, it’s the dancing I’m looking forward to after. Liane will be performing tonight at The Moulin Rouge.”

Fran inhaled sharply and caught himself. Liane de Pougy was a beautiful woman. He’d seen her dance at a cabaret once and it was almost other worldly the way she moved her body and told a story. 

Francies smiled and grunted again. “La Belle Epoque.” He said and trailed off.

“La Belle Epoque.” Richard’s voice was no more than a whisper and he inclined his head slightly as he spoke. 

Richard and Fran were nothing like each other. Sure, they were both in their twenties, young and strapping men with the world before them. But, one had studied medicine and was determined to make the world a better place. The other, was the son of a rich merchant and cared more for business than people.

And Fran, well he was no businessman. He had noble ambitions. And his heart broke at the current climate, the plague ravaging through Europe, even as the other areas of culture and technology exploded. 

Why, just the other day he’d heard about another French man who was creating a black, spongy substance that was soft enough to hold some malleability, but stiff enough to hold its shape. There was talk of, get this, using the substance to replace the wooden wheels of the traditional bicycle. 

“It is an exciting time to be alive, despite…” Fran couldn’t finish the sentence.

Richard put a hand on his shoulder. “I know, my friend. This plague…when will it end. It’s causing so many problems.”

But, there was an odd glint in Richard’s eye, an emotion that Fran couldn’t name. He wasn’t entirely sure that Richard wanted the plague to end. After all, he was benefiting marvelously from it. Yet, only a cruel, uncultured human could wish for such tragedy for the sake of profits.  

Richard donned his hat once more and took his leave, and Fran went back to his work. He had to find a solution. Many lives were counting on him. He frowned and his immaculate mustache dipped in chorus. Richard had looked so smug too. He wondered how he could even think about profiting off such a disaster. It was so beneath a Frenchman to do something like that. 

If the Franco-Prussian War from a decade ago had taught them anything, it was that showing pride and dominance wasn’t always the right course of action. For the French, a people that were steeped in the little man syndrome of Napolean, this was a lesson most didn’t heed. 

At the time of the War of 1870, Fran had been a teenager and his parents had scurried him away from the conflict that spilled over to a four month siege of Paris, before the city fell. He’d left the country to study medicine elsewhere and returned only when those two fools, curse them both, had returned from America bringing the plague with them. 

Try as he might, he couldn’t get the destruction out of his mind. The withered, dying limbs. Life slowly suffocated out of them until there was no turning back. The smell of all the burnings. The looks of devastation and loss on the faces of so many innocent people from the utter, unavoidable ruin.   

Before all of this was over, Fran, in his heart, knew that not a single living thing would remain. He didn’t see how they could. The plague spread too fast, feeding on the life of one to transmit through to another. It was… unstoppable. 

Still, he had to find a way to slow it down. He had to save Europe and its traditions that had endured for so many years. This desire to find a way, to save others, drove Fran back into his surgery room, where he picked up the lance once again and went to work again on a new subject, slicing and trimming. 

Working off the old and dead in a technique he’d learned in University years ago. He didn’t know if it would work, but he had to try. Fran carefully wrapped the incision point and moved the patient to the recovery ward. The next forty-eight hours were critical. If the patient didn’t start showing signs of healing, then death would be imminent. 

His work wasn’t cheap either. He worried about the mounting costs, that seemed as steep as all those lost and dead. Since the plague had come to Europe as an invasive species from North America, he had to import the cure from North America too.

This was an expensive endeavor that meant long travel times with precarious, living cargo that was sensitive to conditions like temperature, light, and moisture. If, by some miracle, he was able to find a cure that worked, there were also the long term effects to consider. 

But, he couldn’t think about those things now. Surely, life over death was of greater importance. Yet, the cost of the cure, had to be considered. What was survival worth? He’d seen a great presentation by a man named Louis, who was exploring such questions with bacteria and germs. They were moral questions never considered before. At a time in history when so much was changing they were essential to consider, but perhaps not so essential that they needed considering over finding the cure itself. 

Fran looked in at the recovery ward and the beds of patients healing. He knew the world would be a worse place, a sadder place, if they were only left with Richard and what he brought to the table. While, it was perfect for some, and represented the epitome of the height of culture in Europe, it was a far cry from the beauty and life that was being killed off right now. 

Richard had been lucky. That was all. His great grandfather had purchased a drink recipe that was created by a doctor. It was also luck, that elevated that dying drink to a spot of respect and appreciation once more. Fran thought about the taste and it made him gag. He’d never been a fan of that flavor.

But, the tastes of Earth and the effect of temperature that brought out the robust, complex flavors he appreciated so much, were just different. Sure, Richard used plants like Chamomile, spinach and coriander in his drink, but there was nothing that came to match the flavors in a good glass of wine. 

All that was in jeopardy now, even while Richard’s business was booming. In fact, his business had grown so much that nineteen competitors popped up within a twenty year span to also capitalize on the movement. 

They were profiteers. 

And he, well he was trying to do good. 

Fran Baco’s heart suddenly stopped and he rushed into the room. It couldn’t be… could it. Had he…had he done it. His hands trembled as he stretched out his fingers and took the delicate, tiny green bud of new growth into his fingers. 

“Yes!” He exclaimed in joy. He’d done it. He’d found a way to save all the old world grapes of Europe from the devastating Phylloxera Plague that had arrived on plants imported from North America by a few well meaning biologists. 

Phylloxera

All of the slicing, trimming and fitting had been for this. The graft, between a North American vine rootstock, with greater resiliency to that pesky Phylloxera bug which was decimating whole vineyards through Europe, and a European vine was successful. 

Fran Baco, a leading biologist in Europe, would end up creating at least six new grape plants that were a result of grafting a European grape to a North American rootstock. The result, when properly grafted, would be a little nodule, a knuckle, at the base of every vine from this point forward in Europe that signified the grafting process.

While Richard would continue his massive expansion of a drink that radiated luxury for the next twenty years, before leveling out in popularity, Wine would slowly start to emerge once again. 

The process would be slow, and the plants that had once lived for decades and had been wiped out by the plague, would need to be started again. 

And eventually, due to the curiosities and ambitions of humans, a pre-phylloxera wine would never be able to be drank again, for a true European grape could never exist without the grafting of a North American grape. 

Even as a new era was turning, complete with painters like Vincent Van Gogh, pasteurization and germ work from men like Louis Pasteur, and dancing and artistry from people like Liane de Pougy, the world had lost something it could never get back in the form of wine. 

Michelin might have invented rubber for bicycle tires, and eventually cars too. The Eiffel Tower would rise in time for the World Fair of 1900. But, wine would change forever.

It’s temporary demise would also give way to a new drink, a drink that had been around for decades before this point but had never garnered huge success or acclaim until this point. 

Pernod. 

The Gift of Phylloxera

Capitalizing on the unfortunate circumstances of the Phylloxera plague, Richard Pernod, who was the distillery owner of an absinthe company that produced a drink made from wormwood, spinach, fennel, coriander, chamomile, and a few other ingredients too. 

With the decreased supply of wine, people turned to Absinthe to quench their thirsts, and, as the great era of science, art, and technology between 1870 and 1914 rolled on, Pernod would become the drink of choice and a sign of sophistication. 

This was the La Belle Epoque. The Beautiful Era, the height of dominance by European through the world.  

Francois Baco would go on to plant thousands of phylloxera resistant grapes throughout Europe. 

Richard Pernod would die and pass along the family company to his offspring, who would built it generations later into an empire with the acquisitions of other brands.

And Pernod, a anise flavored absinthe, would be the first of its kind and usher in many similar drinks and many variations in the last one hundred years. While it would never fully replace wine, and the tides would swing back toward wine once more when new vineyards were established, it would carve out a place in history, during a time of history, that gave us so much of the modern progress and innovation we appreciate still today. 

Anyway… I’ll drink to that.