Thursday, April 26, 2012

W is for Whiskey Bottles: Ancient Ones, Hidden, with Notes Inside

Some years back my Dad got a phone call from one of the priests at the "German Church" in town who had made a strange discovery. Hidden in the walls of the church up in the choir loft was an old whiskey bottle with a note in it. It was discovered while renovations were being made and the priest asked Dad to come by the rectory. Dad did so and the priest showed him the note which was dated on Christmas Eve in the 1920s. It said simply, "Drunk by us" and was signed by three men, one of them being William Valentine, Dad's father. The men had been working on the church and decided to drink a bottle of whiskey on Christmas Eve then plaster it into the wall where it remained for 80 years.

I loved this story because it is just one of the many wild tales that contribute to my colorful heritage. It is also a tale that has inspired a story for the collection I am working on now called The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall: Marienstadt Stories. All the stories can be read alone but they feature the same locale and the same characters and, if read in order, build to an exciting conclusion. I hope to have it ready by next Christmas. If you liked Fry Bacon. Add Onions and The Reluctant Belsnickel of Opelt's Wood, these stories will please you.

Set in the mythical Pennsylvania Dutch town of Marienstadt they feature the characters from the Belsnickel story plus more including the devastatingly handsome Chief of Police, Henry Werner; Candy Dippold, the shopkeeper with a guillotine; Lola Eckert, a beautiful but bashful strudel artist; Peeper Baumgratz, who is ready for the Apocalypse; Sister Ursula, the nun with a snowplow; Mulligan Wolfe, the pig farmer who can dance, and many more.

Spinning tales based on my life is more fun than I ever imagined it could be but it is also a wonderful way to remember -- remember the stories that turned me into who I am.

This blog post is part of the April 2012 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks for visiting.


  1. I havn't read it, but I'm loving the idea

    Happy A to Z

  2. Sounds like a fascinating book! Love the bottle story! :)

  3. Wow. What a cool story starter. Thanks for popping by my blog.

  4. Thank you all for the kind words. I'm working on it and hope to have it ready in time for the holidays this year. Right now I have sketched out 10 stories, 7 of them are pretty well written. My friend Ray, who is reading them as I finish them, has loved all of them so far. I'll keep you posted!


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