Garry Barkerís Head Of The Holler
Kentucky author Garry Barker was born in Otway, Ohio, in 1943, grew up in Elliott and Fleming Counties of Kentucky, graduated from Berea College and worked as an arts administrator and writer until he retired from Morehead State University. Barker lives at Bald Hill in Fleming County .
††† He is the author of 10 published books and of ďHead of the Holler,Ē a newspaper column that has run in regional newspapers since 1988. This site is columns, fun or fanciful, angry or sentimental, always concise and clear and related to rural Kentucky.
†† These days itís easier to buy methadone than it is to get your hands on some Sudafed.
†† Drug dealers probably donít require that you show them your driverís license twice and sign the sheets twice before you can make a purchase.
†† To get Sudafed, even a little bit of it in a weakened, non-drowsy state, requires that the drug store check your ID twice before taking your money. Iím sure the pharmacy loses on every Sudafed transaction, if they figure in staff time, and Iím not familiar with the marketing practices for the processed methadone.
†† Similar to what it used to be for bootleg booze, maybe? Drive up a dark lane, toot the horn once or twice, go up and turn around and come back for the drive-in delivery? Two bucks for a sixpack or a half-pint. I never tasted a mixed drink until I was out of college; we drank straight from the bottle, figuring there was plenty of alcohol in there to sanitize the whole process.†† Once around the car usually emptied the half-pint, so nobody got very high.††† The beer was Falls City, a bitter but potent brew, but cheap and very much available.
†† Such tales, and Iím just one of thousands who will attest to the existence of bootleggers in the county, point to the confusion of our wet-dry laws in Kentucky. About the only thing the bootleggers did that was really different from the county-line beer joints was selling to minors and selling on Sunday. Of course, every so often one bootlegger would turn another one in, resulting in a raid by state police, then thereíd be retaliation and another raid, and pretty soon the law officials would be pouring beer and whiskey down the storm drains in Flemingsburg.
†† If I needed to, I could direct readers to bootleggers in Fleming, Rowan, Madison and Rockcastle counties. If the entire state was wet, thereíd be no need to load up the old car and drive 20 or 30 miles and come back with cases of beer and a driver who was sampling the contents all the way.
We also could deal with moonshiners, distillers of the clear, deceptive liquid fire that has been so romanticized that it is rare to hear of a moonshiner being arrested.
†† But what we have now in Kentucky is marijuana and methadone, and the hundreds of meth labs are the reason we canít get to Sudafed without begging and proof of identity. Some stores donít seem to stock but one box at a time, and others stack the shelves with watered down sinus products that donít do much good.† Having never even seen any Methadone, I canít say if itís good for clearing the sinuses or not. I donít intend to find out, and if I knew where it was being made Iíd notify the authorities. The manufacturers and distributors of meth have earned my permanent displeasure, and until Sudafed is easily available again Iíll continue to be angry with them.
HERE NOW from Wind Publications! Head of the Holler, Volume 1, a collection of columns spanning the first 10 years, finally† available in book form.† Starting with the very first column written for a monthly newspaper and counting down a decade, Garry Barkerís observations on the world around him in rural Kentucky have entertained newspaper readers since the late 1980s. . The 160 page paperback is $15 plus tax and shipping. Order from Wind Publications or any online bookseller.
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