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Remember the Movie "Thunder Road" - Starring Robert Mitchum?

posted 11/30/2008 2:16:51 PM |
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tagged: north carolina, mountains, moonshine

Lordamercy, I just had a shock! It is drizzling, cold and miserable here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I checked out an "el cheapo" movie today, called Thunder Road (1958) from the local video shop. I knew the movie was filmed in and around Asheville, NC, where I formerly lived, and every red-blooded American boy knows the song "Thunder Road." However, my shock came in the opening scene! It was at my original farm house in the Reems Creek Valley north of Asheville! Robert Mitchum walks up to the house and buys moonshine from the man inside.

Exactly, 20 years later a young couple would be moving up from Atlanta and buying that same farm to start the Southeast's first licensed goat cheese creamery (that's me) We found the remains of a moonshine still at a spring behind the house and heard that the Buncombe County Sheriff used to make his 'shine there. Ten years after we restored the old farm, the scene in the movie, "The Last of the Mohicans" where the refugees from Fort William Henry are massacred, would be filmed on that same farm. The store down the road where all the romantic scenes in Thunder Road take place, is still there. It is called the Beech Community Store.

Life is like a tapestry isn't it? The threads of history weave in and out of our lives.

Thunder Road was the first movie in which Mitchum had a leading role. He also directed much of the movie. It is considered a classic today, even though it was filmed in black & white.

So Sweetie Pie, hop into my souped up 1951 Ford Coupe and let's take a ride in the mountains as we sing ....


Let me tell the story, I can tell it all
About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol
His daddy made the whiskey, son, he drove the load
When his engine roared, they called the highway Thunder Road.
Sometimes into Asheville, sometimes Memphis town
The revenoors chased him but they couldn’t run him down
Each time they thought they had him, his engine would explode
He'd go by like they were standin’ still on that Thunder Road.

And there was thunder, thunder over Thunder Road
Thunder was his engine, and white lightning was his load
There was moonshine, moonshine to quench the Devil’s thirst
The lawmen they swore they'd get him, but the Devil got him first.

On the first of April, nineteen fifty-four
A Federal man sent word he’d better make his run no more
He said two hundred agents were coverin’ the state
Whichever road he tried to take, they’d get him sure as fate.
Son, his Daddy told him, make this run your last
The tank is filled with hundred-proof, you’re all tuned up and gassed
Now, don’t take any chances, if you can’t get through
I’d rather have you back again than all that mountain dew.


Roarin’ out of Harlan, revvin’ up his mill
He shot the gap at Cumberland, and screamed by Maynordsville
With T-men on his taillights, roadblocks up ahead
The mountain boy took roads that even Angels feared to tred.
Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike,
Then right outside of Bearden, they made the fatal strike.
He left the road at 90; that’s all there is to say.
The devil got the moonshine and the mountain boy that day.

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Nov 30 @ 2:33PM

Dec 1 @ 2:24AM  
Oh yes! I remember this moviie very well.. My brother wihch was 16 years older the me use to run moon shine. Didn't know that until he told me when the movie came out... I was very young then, and didn't undersatand it all. He had a 1950 Mercury then, and later( actually about 45years later) I was able to restore, and give to hin his moon shine running car. It was outfitted with a false tank, and souped up Merc flathead engine.. he died a few years later, but still enjoyed the Merc.
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