Saturday, March 29, 2008

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Noted Moonshiner Busted (again)

To those of us who grew up in Haywood County, Popcorn IS and ALWAYS WILL BE a folk hero. He is one of the last remaining relics of a by-gone era. He lives his life just the way many of our grandparents and great-grandparents did, and I find no fault in that.

~ TheBroker
Asheville Citizen-Times comment board

Hang out in southern distilling circles long enough and you’ll hear the name Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. Well, Sutton’s been arrested. Again. Seems the Maggie Valley (NC) moonshining celebrity just can’t leave his liquor alone. He’d been selling his homemade and untaxed liquor recently to an undercover agent who laid out the purchases in an affidavit. Now, to be fair, Popcorn’s not exactly discreet about his moonshining. I’d heard of him way up in Pennsylvania years ago and it seems he’s been making liquor since before I was born.

Federal and state agents arrested the 61-year old moonshiner last week for distilling untaxed whiskey at several locations in Parrottsville, Tennessee. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times,
On Thursday, [liquor control agents] seized three 1,000-gallon whiskey stills, more than 850 gallons of moonshine and hundreds of gallons of mash and other ingredients used to make the liquor, as well as firearms and ammo.
Sutton, who acquired the nickname after an altercation with a popcorn vending machine some years ago, lives a very public life as a moonshiner in Maggie Valley, North Carolina (not so far from my publisher, in fact, and tourists have been known to have him pose with them for pictures). He’s been featured in some film and video work, and even published a book called “Me & My Likker” which is just about as scarce as hen’s teeth. Maybe if he had another run printed, he could start working on raising that $20,000 bail bond.

Popcorn, if you’re out there, let me know where I can get a copy for my moonshine library and archives.

In the meanwhile, enjoy these two videos of Popcorn stilling up a run of mountain dew.

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