Author: Rhynes, J.D.

Good 'ol "Moonshine Vic"

I know that a lot of you folks in the CBA remember Vic Cearly, more often referred to as "Moonshine Vic". Vic passed away a few years back, but he will be remembered as long as there are those of us that had the good fortune of sampling his "Mountain Springwater". Now Vic was from North Carolina, and there was never a "Tar Heel" that was more proud of his southern heritage than 'ol Vic. He absolutely loved our music, and was a great ambassador for it as well. I think that the only thing that could even come close to his love for Bluegrass Music was his fondness for good "Shine". Vic was a retired Air Force veteran, and had the time to make at least two or three visits a year to his home state of North Carolina, so he almost always had a good supply of good Blue Ridge Mountain "Shine" on hand. It's not proper etiquette to ask a man "Who"
made the "shine", but suffice it to say, that it was some of the best thatthis "ol country boy has ever slid down my gullet.

Late in his life, Vic developed kidney problems, and as a result couldn't partake of his favorite "Mountain Springwater", BUT, he always had a supply for his friends at every festival to sample. I particularly remember the last Grass Valley Festival that Vic attended. He was setting on the lawn beside the stage listening to
he music, and I had to take my golf cart and run an errand for one of the bands. Vic had a 1.75 Liter bottle of good "Shine" setting by his side, and as I drove past him, I reached down and grabbed that bottle of that "Shine", and headed to my trailer out in the parking lot, NOT heeding the loud protests of 'ol Moonshine Vic behind me! I poured about half of that good shine in a bottle, and proceeded to fill HIS 1.75 liter bottle back to it's original level with water!
Ha ha ha ha! A few minutes later, I dropped off his bottle, and he sez; You dirty #%&**##%%&++#$@%, I'll bet a weeks wages that you poured about half of my shine in one of yer bottles and filled this one back up with water! I gave 'ol Vic my best "hurt feelin's" look and said; Vic 'ol pardner, you know I wouldn't do such a dirty trick as that to you.[I never did 'fess up to the truth of the matter.]

THEN, there's the time back in the early '80's when ol Vic got into brewing his own beer. I mean that when Vic got his teeth into something, he really GOT into it! He got so good at making beer, he won a lot of brewing contests, and made some of the very best beer that I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. SOOO, that sets the stage fer this last story. It was about '81 or '82 when John Murphy,Harold Crawford and my self were setting in Vic's camp, and Vic had a large stainless brewing container of homemade beer all iced down good and cold. He brought it out and and said: Boy's, help yerself to some of my latest dark lager. I think that you'll like it, and while yer a'samplin' it, I'm gonna go get ol so and so, and let him and a few of my other friends sample it too, and with that ol Vic took off to find some one. Well, we all looked at each other, grabbed us each a 16 ounce cup and proceeded to drink some of the best dark Lager I'd ever experienced. After a cup of that beer, we
all agreed that it was probably THE BEST BEER we had ever drank, and why not jes do as ol Vic said, and drink to our lil' hearts content, so we did. Well, ol Vic was gone fer about an hour er so, and there was only about 2 gallons of beer in that container, so you know that it didn't take us long to drink ALMOST all of it. Directly here come ol Vic with a few friends of his'n, all the while jes a'braggin' as to how this is the best beer they'll ever wrap a lip around, and he
grabbed a big cup, stuck it under the spigot on that jug and all that it did was sputter and hiss about a half a cup of beer into that cup! Man did he ever throw a fit! You three lowdown deadbeats
have set here and drank all of my beer! John said, Vic you told us to help ourselves, so we thought you had some more in yer trailer fer yer friends. I sure hope you do ol pal, because we think this is the best beer we've ever drank! Ha ha ha ha! Well, ol Vic never forgave us fer that one, and to our dismay, he didn't have anymore
in the trailer that night, but he did make a flying trip home to Sacramento the next day fer another 2 gallon container of beer, and he kept that one under lock and key fer his "friends", and he made sure we didn't get a drop of it.

Good memories of a good friend, and some of the bestest "shine" and beer I ever got to sample. Harold, John, and I still laugh about that good time at Grass Valley lo these long years later. That's what makes our music so special, is the friendships that we make because of it. Vic old friend, may you rest in peace, and have a jug
of good ol "Mountain Springwater" wating on us when it comes our time to "cross over Jordan".
Posted:  10/22/2009

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