We used to roll out the cider barrels and have a darn wild party! I say USED TO because in the fall of 1943 my Great-Grandfather got into a little trouble for doing just that!
As I said it was 1943 and World War Two was in full swing. He had 7 boys but all of them were fighting the war overseas and he needed to get his potato crops out of the ground to help feed the troops and the nation. Not knowing what to do, he contacted the War Dept up in Bangor Maine and got permission to use German Prisoners of War to help with the potato harvest.
Well they did a mighty fine job, save one poor chap who tripped over a potato barrel as he spotted my Great Aunt bringing water to her father. He was so enthralled, so taken by the beautiful farm girl that he ran smack into a potato barrel as he locked eyes onto her. She was only 14 at the time though
Anyway after the crop was in the basement of the barn, true to a long standing NoSmoke Tradition, out rolled the cider barrels. Now this was no ordinary cider, one of the endearing qualities of my Great Grandfather was his ability to make a pretty stout cider jack even during the prohibition days, if you know what I mean. They say you cannot make pure alcohol from cider, but it can be done. A man does not get a lot by volume, but it is pure.
So in the Fall of 1943 the POW's, Guards and my Great-Grandfather commenced to partake in a little hard cider. It was the first alcohol the guards and POW's had taken in large quantities in awhile, so about 9 PM they decided to keep the party rolling and run a few more barrels out of the barn. They had a roaring good time until the wee hours of the morning when they went back to the POW camp in Bangor. The commander of the camp was quite perturbed and even more upset when he saw how sloshed both the POW's and the Guards were. That day he set out for my Great Grandfather's farm to inquire about the irrational behavior, and when asked my Great Grandfather admitted what he had done.
"But you have seven boys fighting them over in Germany. What in the world are you doing getting them drunk?"
"Well the tradition here is, when the potato are in the barn, we have a little party by getting the cider barrels out, and they did a fine job of harvesting the potatoes and German or not, they deserved a little fun." As they talked however, the Commander of the Base had to sample some of the cider in question, and it is my understanding that not a word of this ever reached the War Dept down in Washington DC.
AS for the POW's, it was said that relations between Germans and American's actually were good following the war because German POW's went home to say that they were treated well. In fact I would like to think the NoSmoke family had a little something to do with that stretching of the olive branch...