I become a “Tennessee Squire” in 1991 when I purchase a plot of land at the Jack Daniel Distillery. For about $25 (as I recall), I get a certificate of ownership, a title (“Squire Squathole” has a pleasant ring, innit?), an annual pictorial calendar, regular updates about the business, people, and life in Lynchburg (oddly enough a dry town).
By the way — my plot of land is about one square inch.
It’s all done tongue-in-cheek in a deliberately corny style — and look at that, two metaphors involving the taste buds in a post about a delicious alcoholic beverage!
I do love my Jack Daniel’s when summer fades into fall, the skies showing more orange and dark blue, and a frozen drink isn’t as urgent as the warm embracing whiskey glow generated from within that only Master Jack has perfected.
Last month I get a one-page letter from Fred M. Elliott, who introduces himself as “one of the fellows” at the Distillery who serves as caretaker for their vintage antique fire trucks on display, a crowd-pleasing tourist attraction. He complains that there are people around who want to generate revenue by slapping ads on the fire trucks like you see on urban busses. Fred doesn’t like this idea at all, and says it would be like putting your grandma in a gorilla suit on the street to wave in customers. But he’s interested in hearing the opinions of the Squires.
So this Squire writes him back:
Thank you for your note, and the opportunity to comment.
First off, you’re right: never deface those vehicles with advertisements or anything else. If anybody wants to pollute the premises with eyesores, propose putting ads on workers’ overalls and jackets, like Nascar drivers. That should end the discussion.
Second, that’s a great idea about putting grandma to work, although if the senior population here in south Florida is indicative, the gorilla suit is probably redundant. There’s also real danger than some redneck ammosexual will take a shot at her, and claim Stand Your Ground protection.
Fred, I’ve only been enjoying Jack Daniel’s for a little over 40 years (and still no children!), so clearly I’m but a novice. But what I understand is that when today I take a sip or two (or on rare occasions, more), I’m tasting history, a tradition, an ancient formula, a link to a time when life was quite different from now. Jack Daniel’s sipping whisky is not just mere spirits, it’s spiritual. And whatever it takes up there in Tennessee to preserve the look, ambiance, and flavor of the Jack Daniel Distillery and property, you need to carry on, head held high. You’re on a mission from god.
If they want to compromise the integrity of your beautiful antique fire trucks, can lining the whisky barrels with creosote or KILZ be far behind?
Thanks for this opportunity to weigh in, Sir.
PS Grandma says Hello, and “Abba dabba dabba.”