Newly elected Sheriff Franklin Smith and his family moved into their new home on the first floor of the Lawrence County, Alabama, Jail in January 1951. He would lead a war against moonshine liquor that became the stuff of legend, rising from the mists like a ghost, the story goes, to nab unsuspecting makers and sellers of illegal spirits. Sheriff Smith and his fellow moonshine raiders busted more than 1,000 stills during his eight-year tenure and jailed hundreds of distillers. But the aftershocks of one of those raids turned the sheriff's life upside down. Facing possible prison time, his quest to regain his good name and reputation is a compelling part of "My Father, the Ghost." But there's another side to this "Ghost" story. You will meet a delightful array of jail characters, like Jackleg, the whiskey hauler; Big Richard, the murderer; and Peg, the nervous floor mopper. Screwdriver was the little 11-year-old prisoner who became everybody's favorite, including the sheriff's. You will meet Willie B., whose cat phobia had him climbing cell bars; Leland Herschel Bull, who sawed his way out of a third floor cell; and Sherman Lancaster, the jailed preacher whose flock tried to pray his cell door open. Luvenia, the jail cook, prepared banana pudding and yeast rolls for the prisoners upstairs; John Franklin, a prisoner, taught the sheriff's daughter to drive. The still raids, the arrests, the sheriff's federal trial, gutter politics, and jail characters . . . they're all part of the true story of this Southern sheriff and his family of the 1950s. You will laugh and you may cry as you read the touchingly intimate story of the man they called "The Ghost."
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