Home-‘brewhaha’ as hooch barrel blew

From our January 2014 issue

By Gilbert Demey – Holland, Man.

My parents borrowed our neighbour’s team of horses and sleigh to go to visit some friends about four miles away. It was a beautiful evening in March when we arrived without an invitation.

They were in the process of making home-brew on the kitchen stove. This was common in our district. Apparently there was a problem with the still.

The four adults were playing cards and I was allowed to watch, when BANG! The lamps blew out and then the barrel blew up. It hung partly through the roof and I remember seeing the sky light.

There was yelling and screaming in the darkness because some of the hot brew sprayed on the adults. Luckily, I was under the table.

Horses were driven not to the closest neighbour, because he would surely report him for making home-brew. They went to a trustworthy neighbour who phoned for the doctor to come. Thankfully, there were no serious burns.

A bad event was replaced by a miracle (but not completely) as I learned in later years from my mother, after the event I would wake up and scream.

Once I had a terrible nightmare and I tumbled down the stairs cutting my head badly. My dad ran to the neighbour’s to phone for Dr. Lamont in Treherne, Man., who came with the livery man and bandaged up my head.

I recovered soon with my mother’s loving care. Miracles work in strange ways. After my fall, my nightmares ended.