During our photo outing he showed me one of the old shot houses, where liquor was bought and sold
Back in the day, a shot house might have been a legitimate commercial establishment or it might have been a shack in the middle of the woods. Even
This (below) is not an old still, nor is it an old shot house, but it is a
In spite of the
Below is what used to be called the Jolly Spot. "Jolly" was a ubiquitous term slapped on just about every
underaged drinking establishment gathering place around for youth young adults looking to engage in some frivolity.
My personal favorite was the legendary Jolly Lobster, across the river, which had no official relationship whatsoever with the Jolly Spot but which relied on very similar products to ensure the jolliness of its patrons. As long as you had a pulse you could get in to that place, and even then blood flow to the brain appeared to be optional based on some of the characters I saw running around there. (I much preferred the Spectrum, and once or twice visited the Inn Place, but all that's for another day.)
Anyhow, the Jolly Spot was not just a shot house or a juke joint but a place where Chesapeake Bay Father played when he was the drummer for a legendary band known as the Dynatones. He said one night at a dance there, someone got stabbed. Thankfully the person was not seriously injured but I'm sure he was
quite a bit wonky a far cry from jolly leavin' out of there.
Here's what the Jolly Spot looks like today:
What I really wanted to share about this place is one of Mathews Mark's stories that he left in the comment section on an earlier post. It was downright hilarious, plus now I have the photo to go along with the story.
Here's Mathews Mark:
"...At one time we had over 10 local shot houses (bootleggers) in Mathews. They had names like Jolly Spot, East View Inn, West View Inn, R. Jordans and Wormlys to name a few. Mathews was a dry county on Sundays therefore you would go to one of the local shot houses for a drink . 1/2 pints of old crow, rum etc. were $4.00; a six pack was $4.00; and a chicken sandwich (a whole breast or leg slapped between 2 pieces of white bread was $1.00.
For those of us that were under age, as long as the owner knew your father and you had cash (cash being the main thing) you could get whatever you wanted. I spent many a Saturday night banging on the back door of one of these joints.
It went like this:
(tap, tap ,tap )
Owner: WHO IS IT?
Me: IT'S MARK.
Owner : MARK WHO, YOU A COP?
Me : NO, I AM WINFRED'S BOY.
Owner: OH, YOU'RE NOT HERE TO COLLECT A CAR PAYMENT ARE YOU?
(CBW's Note: Mathews Mark's Daddy sold cars, and it was right about here that I cracked up laughing.)
Me: NO, I NEED A PINT AND A SIX PACK.
(Forgot to tell you we are hollerin' thru an old oak door that weighs about 400 pounds.)
Owner: DAMIT YOU AIN'T PAYED ME FOR THE LAST PINT YET!!!!!
Me: YES I DID!!!
Owner: OH, OK, JUST CHECKIN.' TELL YOUR DADDY I WILL BE UP THERE MONDAY WITH MY CAR PAYMENT...
Then the door would crack open and out would come a box for your money then a bag with your spirits. This went on for years..."
As I was working on this post last night, I called next door to confirm with the Chesapeake Bay Parents that CB Father did in fact play at the Jolly Spot. After a brief conversation with my mother about the stabbing, she asked, "Why do you need to know all this?"
"Because I'm putting up a picture and a post about the Jolly Spot tomorrow," I replied.
CB Mother: "Oh, we're so proud."
CB Woman: "Thank you."