Booking agent turned techno geek. Worked in music in Nashville, TN for years - now teach business technology at St Charles Community College in Cottleville, MO.
I’m an Associate Professor at SCC in Business Administrative Systems and advisor for Phi Beta Lambda. Teaching is my second career. I worked in the music business and lived in Nashville, TN for almost 20 years, but I grew up in Leadwood, MO—about an hour and a half south of St Louis, population 1247…yes, that is twelve hundred not thousand.
My summer involved more traveling than normal, but (other than the hot-enough-to-melt-asphalt heat) it was good and involved interesting places. I always thought if I could teach anything else, it would probably be history. Luckily, there was plenty of history in a couple of my trips.
I visited my sister in Frankfort, KY. Frankfort is the capital of Kentucky and county seat of Franklin County, which is named after Benjamin Franklin. There was the first fact I didn't know.
My sister and I toured the oldest continuously operating distillery in America, Buffalo Trace Distillery. Here's the next new thing I learned, this distillery (and a handful of others) were able to continue to operate even during Prohibition. With a prescription, whiskey (or bourbon, if in Kentucky) could be purchased for "medicinal purposes." During our tour, we saw the area at Buffalo Trace where the whiskey was inventoried and stored during that time. It had two locks - one held by the distiller and the other held by the revenuer. During this period, the Volstead Act banned the manufacture, sale, and transport of intoxicating beverages. By and large, the medical community dismissed the need for alcohol for "medicinal purposes" stating that there was no scientific value in alcohol for the therapeutics as a tonic or stimulant or for food. This exception even required a special prescription pad that was only issued by the U.S. Treasury Department. However, during this time, many people suffered from several ailments that required the "whiskey prescription." Multiple family members in the same household even needed their own, individual prescriptions. One of the consequences of prohibition were that the number of registered pharmacists increased exponentially as bootleggers saw an opportunity to use a drug store as a front for their illegal alcohol businesses. In New York alone, the number of registered pharmacists tripled during prohibition. Another consequence was that states lost a majority of their tax revenue. Again, using New York as an example, the state lost almost 75% of the state's revenue because they no longer had taxable liquor sales. Another loophole or legal exception to the law was that wine could be purchased for religious purposes. As a result, attendance at churches and synagogues grew very quickly.
The Buffalo Trace tour was very interesting. They have various options, but we chose The Trace Tour. Every distillery tour explains how the whiskey is made, stored, and aged. What I really enjoyed in our tour was the history that was shared by the tour guide. He talked about the 130 acres and the buffalo trace on which the distillery resides. He gave us information about the area around Frankfort as the distillery was started and established, and he gave information about the owners and legacy. Of course, at the end of the tour, we also had a chance to sample some of the product. That didn't make my sister or me either one mad. The plan is to return and tour some of the other great distilleries in the area...and sample a little more Kentucky bourbon. I might even feel a cough coming on now :)