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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Granddaddy and the Moonshiner

Posted November 7, 2006

What's the most unusual item you have purchased on line? I still prefer shopping in traditional stores but there are a few things my neighborhood merchants can’t provide. I never knew my grandfather William A. Leslie, Sr. He died before I was born. But thanks to eBay I am getting a little closer to knowing him and what he did. My grandfather was a pharmacist in Morganton. He ran Leslie’s Drug Store on West Union Street which is the main business drag in Morganton. My family passed down to me a few prized possessions from that store including a vintage mortar and pestle. But that only whetted my appetite. Several times a year items from my grandfather’s drug store will pop up on eBay. Everything from old medicine bottles to decorative dinnerware and postcards will go on the auction block and sell for a pretty penny. More than ever collectors across the country seem to covet the dusty stuff of days gone by. The latest item from my grandfather's pharmacy to go up for auction is a penny postcard with the caption: "Making Moonshine on the Sly near Morganton, NC." It was published by my grandfather. Burke County was once a hotbed for makers of illegal brew. Every other week you could open the hometown paper The News Herald and see a picture of a busted moonshiner usually smiling and taking great pride in his product of the original mountain dew. Well, I've got to have this postcard. Please don't outbid me!
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