Saturday, January 28, 2012

Honey, Did you enjoy your cruise across the lake?

In one of the strangest political, cultural and human psychology missteps, the United States banned the sale, manufacture, and transportation of liquor from 1920 to 1933. What resulted was probably the largest civilian disobedience of a national law in recorded history. Moonshine, brewing beer at home, underground bars - the speakeasy, bootlegging; Americans were going to get their hooch one way or the other.

I've written about the American Canoe Association encampment on Sugar Island, an encampment that achieved great popularity during the Prohibition, not so much for the canoe competitions as for the fact the Island sits about 1/2 mile inside the Canadian border on the St. Lawrence. During the two week encampment, canoeists from up and down the Eastern Seaboard could drink, and drink, and drink. It got so bad, the governing body of Sugar Island set aside a peninsula  on the Island for drinking and all the gambols that are inextricably linked to booziness, the gambling, the running around nude, the decibels, the peeing in the bushes, the fights. They named the peninsula "Buck Point".

And as the following video shows, even the cruising sailboat crowd got into the action.

Let's imagine the skipper's conversation with his wife after he got back from his "cruise" across Lake Michigan;
Wife: "Honey, did you enjoy your cruise across the Lake with Tom, Dick, and Harry?
Skipper: "Yes it was very nice."
Wife: "Well you look very exhausted. Was the weather rough?"
Skipper: (wink, wink) "Oh yes, there were some very rough days"
Skipper: "Listen Dear, how about you and I go look at a new car tomorrow. I've got some extra cash burning in my pocket"

Some Prohibition Footage from Steve Unkles on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Baydog said...

It's what I imagine Joe R. looks like when he sails.