The Whiskey Standard

| No Comments
I was thinking about the Einstein photographs where:
"...On the way there, I stopped and bought a case of scotch. I knew people might be reluctant to talk to me, and I knew that most people were happy to accept a bottle of scotch instead of money if you offered it in exchange for their help. So, I get to the building and nobody's there. I find the superintendent, give him a fifth of scotch, and he opens up Einstein's office so I can take some photos.�
Today I ran into this from Liquor Locusts:
The Whiskey Standard
In writing and thinking about these blog posts, I ponder what went into making me a liquorlocust, as it were. There are many things and as time goes by I will try and share some of my formative years.

One thing that comes to mind is playing in my Grandmother�s house when I was a kid. There was a spare bedroom in the basement that us kids played in a lot to get out of the adult�s hair. In the closet, there were always three cases, full, of Old Crow bourbon. My grandmother was certainly a woman who would enjoy a drink, but she did not drink all that much to my knowledge. At the time I did not think much of it, the bourbon was just something that was in the closet, just like old, out of date clothes and knick-knacks.

As I got older, though, I kind of wondered about it. As far as I could tell, it never varied, there were always three cases. Finally, asking the reason, it was all made clear to me. My Grandmother, it should be said, lived through the Depression as an adult, raising children. (She also lived through Prohibition as an adult for that matter) And that, as for most people, was an experience that made a lasting impression on her.

One impression was that you could count on whiskey. It did not go bad. If you wanted, you could drink it. But more importantly you could always spend it. In some ways, it was better than money. It was inflation proof. It did not suffer from devaluation or inflation. There were always people who would trade you for whiskey. They would fix your car, paint your house, doctors would look at your kids, people would sell you food, all for that wonderful commodity-whiskey. So, the Old Crow in the basement was just another example of frugality and preparation by a generation who learned that it was important. Kind of like having money in a coffee can in the pantry, Grandma always had whiskey in the basement to pay for things if that became necessary. I took this lesson to heart. My Grandma instilled in me the idea that whiskey is as good as gold � perhaps better if you are thirsty or snakebit.

As to why Old Crow, I never learned. This was not her bourbon of choice, although she did drink it. But, for whatever reason, this was the whiskey she used for her emergency savings plan. Thanks for the lesson, Grandma.
An interesting thought -- Whiskey was certainly a valuable trade-good in colonial America and in fact, the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790's was in direct response to treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton's program to centralize and fund the national debt. One of the comments left at Liquor Locusts had a wonderful insight to early American life:
In one of our old family wills the old man leaves the still (Yes, we lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Did you need to ask?) to a son, and the son was required to provide his mother with some outrageous amount, several gallons if I remember correctly, of whiskey every month for the duration of her life. We speculated that the old man either wanted her to have money or stay blasted. There was no indication of which in any surviving document.

Leave a comment

May 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        

Environment and Climate
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
Jennifer Marohasy
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?

Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
New Scientist
Next Big Future
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog

Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF

The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
User Friendly
What The Duck

Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?

Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog

Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
The Online Photographer

A Western Heart
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Power Line
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Weasel Zippers

Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 18, 2010 9:16 AM.

Pixels was the previous entry in this blog.

Sticks and Stones - Iran is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9