Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton (October 5, 1946 – March 16, 2009) was an American Appalachian moonshiner and bootlegger. Born in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, he grew up, lived, and died in the rural areas around Maggie Valley and nearby Cocke County, Tennessee. He wrote a self-published autobiographical guide to moonshining production, self-produced a home video depicting his moonshining activities, and was later the subject of several documentaries, including one that received a Regional Emmy Award.
Sutton committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in March 2009, aged 62, rather than report to federal prison after being convicted of offenses related to moonshining and illegal firearm possession. Since his death, a new company and associated whiskey brand have been named after him.
“Jesus turned the water into wine, I turned it into likker.”
Sutton had a long career making moonshine and bootlegging. Sutton said he considered moonshine production a legitimate part of his heritage, as he was a Scots-Irish American and descended from a long line of moonshiners. In the 1960s or 1970s, Sutton was given the nickname of “Popcorn” after his frustrated attack on a bar’s faulty popcorn vending machine with a pool cue. Before his rise to fame at around 60 years of age, he had been in trouble with the law several times, but had avoided prison sentences. He was convicted in 1974 of selling untaxed liquor and in 1981 and 1985 on charges of possessing controlled substancesand assault with a deadly weapon, but he received only probation sentences in those cases.
He was a short, skinny fella, who always wore his hat – that was kind of his claim to fame, his hat that he always wore. And his bib overalls – he always wore bib overalls. Even when he came to federal court, he was wearing bib overalls. He was a friendly fellow, and of course every time you would talk to him, he would say, “Ray, I’ve run my last run of moonshine, I’m not gonna do it anymore, I’m just getting too old to be doing this stuff.”
On November 9, 2010, Hank Williams Jr. announced his partnership with J&M Concepts LLC and widow Pam Sutton to distill and distribute a brand of whiskey named after Sutton that was asserted to follow his legacy.
They were quickly sued by Jack Daniels due to the similarity of the bottle and labeling. The two parties settled out of court. The terms were not disclosed, but the bottle changed.
I’m sure this stuff is available near me. I’ll have to give it a try. Cheers Popcorn!
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway lies Linville Falls. The hike to the falls is a moderate one, according to the park service. It turned out to be a bit difficult for us flatlanders. Jeez, we’re out of shape and have no mountain legs whatsoever.
The Upper Falls is the first viewing point along the trail.
From there it’s up, up, and up to see the falls from the highest vantage point.
We got quite the workout climbing to the top and checking out the different overlooks along the way. Coming back down was much easier. I wanted to go down to the base of the falls, but didn’t want to climb back out, so we skipped it.
The drive from our cabin was forty minutes and quite scenic. The hiking part was no walk on the beach, but well worth it.
When we got to Florida, I gained an interest in Florida history, the Everglades, etc. Now that we’re in North Carolina, I have a sudden interest in waterfalls! Look for more waterfall posts in the future, but not too soon. I need time to recuperate.
Our first post at Creekside Musings was about the Creek. We sit on our porch and watch the little brook and listen to it babble by. We’ve made the porch into a pretty cool hangout spot.
I didn’t want Kim to miss the old lounge area we had on Leap of Faith.
We started stacking wood today. This is about 1/4 of the pile we had delivered.
The porch runs the length of the house, about 32 feet. It’s 8 feet deep with an additional two feet of overhang. We can sit out here in the rain without getting wet.
And of course, we view and listen to the creek all day long.
The little stream running through and around the property was a big plus when we decided to move into a log cabin.
Welcome to the new blog! (Formerly Quityourjobandliveonaboat.com)
The following pictures were all taken within a few hundred yards of our door. We’ll explore the interior of the cabin in a future post. Today, we walk the creekside.
It’s a real pleasure to listen to the proverbial babbling brook. I could sit and watch it all day.