Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"I'm glad I'm just a good old-fashioned bootlegger"

I love hearing about folk heroes like Maggie. Quite a character, it seems. This lady will be remebered for her kindness. Full article is here.

'Queen of the Mountain Bootleggers' dies at age 101
By Jennifer Hewlett

Maggie Bailey, known as "The Queen of the Mountain Bootleggers," died of complications from pneumonia Saturday at Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital. The Kentucky legend, who began selling moonshine when she was 17 and was still selling alcohol from her modest home at Clovertown in Harlan County when she was 95, was 101.

Over and over again, often despite a preponderance of evidence against her, Mrs. Bailey beat charges of illegally selling alcoholic beverages. Juries just would not convict her.

"Everybody knew her and she had helped everybody. Why do you bite the hand that feeds you, as the old saying goes," said Helen Halcomb, who is married to Mrs. Bailey's nephew.

Mrs. Bailey was well-liked and well-respected, and she often helped poor Harlan Countians, buying coal to heat their homes in the winter and giving them grocery money so they would not go hungry, friends said. Mrs. Bailey put several children through college. Anybody who wanted to get elected went to see Maggie Bailey, Halcomb said.

"She was very influential. She had power," she said.

"She was a very well-spoken person. I never heard her curse. She sold whiskey, but she wouldn't sell it to anyone who had a whiskey problem," Goss said.

Any time Mrs. Bailey heard about someone doing something reprehensible she would say: "'I'm glad I'm just a good old-fashioned bootlegger,'"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think "folk hero" is an excellent description. She soumds like she always took care of "her & her'n" to me. God bless her. R.I.P.