Richard Bostwick Reminiscences

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Welfare Office Stories
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Cab Driving Stories
The Way It Was - 1930
The Gambler And His Gal 1927
The Last One To Know 1926
Just A Couple Of Hustlers 1925
Cash On Delivery 1923
One Born Every Minute 1923
Fun Is Where You Find It 1923
An Ace In The Hole 1922
And A Little Child Shall…
Gold Tooth Murphy
Aiding And Abetting 1929
Buried Treasure 1927
The Good Samaritan
Just A Country Trip
The Prodigal Son
Occupational Hazard
Four Bags Full
Overtime Pay
Above And Beyond The Call
Fourth Down And Ten
Let There Be Light
Take It Or Leave It
Double Or Nothing
The Champ
Three Of A Kind
My Silent Big Spender
N.P.R.R. (Northern Pacific Railroad) Mr. Moody


Prohibition Stories
A Little Competition
Some Did Burn
Last Words


An Ace In The Hole

During prohibition, Minneapolis was the distributing center for most of the Mid West. Whiskey runners from 2 or 3 hundred miles around would come to Minneapolis for their supplies. One particular supplier I knew of in Minneapolis operated a public garage. Upon arrival in town, a buyer could store his car in this garage, and leave his order with the attendant for however many cases or gallons that he wanted. Then, he could tell the attendant what time he wanted to leave, and the next morning or evening as the case may be, he would pick up his car which had been all gassed up and serviced, as well as having been loaded up with his order.

He would pay the overall bill and take off for home. Along with him would go an escort of a couple of cars, one in front and one behind. These cars would convoy him for 5 or 6 miles. You see, the purchase price of his load included the escort to protect him from hijackers until he cleared the city and perhaps a short distance beyond. Most of the whiskey runners operated at night and traveled mostly on back roads. Some of them even drove with their headlights off. There were no freeways such as there are today. Very few of the roads were paved-most were just plain old two-lane gravel roads. There were also not many road signs to warn a driver of approaching curves or other hazards.

An instance happened on the edge of a small town quite a ways this side of Minneapolis. It seems this booze runner, fully loaded, was making good time along a back road. It was pitch dark as he approached an unmarked curve. He saw the curve too late and ended up in a ditch. His car, a big Velie, with its full load of whiskey was completely wrecked. I think the description today would be that it was ‘totaled out.' The driver was not seriously injured but was knocked unconscious. The local sheriff found him in his car just before daylight. After some first aid he was locked up. He later was tried and found guilty of transporting illegal liquor and given the usual sentence of 12 months in jail. His wrecked car and what was left of the whiskey were confiscated. The authorities eventually sold the wrecked Velie to the local wrecking yard.

After serving his sentence with some time off for good behavior, the runner returned to the scene of his accident and obtained information as to the disposal of the remains of his car. He then proceeded to the wrecking yard that had bought the wrecked car. He wandered among all of the old smashed up cars until he located the remains of his Velie. He reached up under its crumpled dash and retrieved a large roll of bills, which had remained hidden there, all during his imprisonment. This was truly his ‘ace in the hole.'


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Updated: 7/30/2007