Matt Weinstock, March 7, 1960
Jiggers! The Revenooers!
On a recent weekend, as reported here, a Laurel Canyon couple held an old-fashioned home brew party for 40 guests. The man obtained the crock and makings from a market which stocks them, put up four batches, 56 quarts, of which 48 were guzzled, and a high old time was had by all.
It now becomes my stern duty to advise these people that they violated the law and are subject to fine, imprisonment or both. They are what were known during the prohibition era as scofflaws.
A man from the Treasury Department's alcohol tax division saw the item, telephoned and said, "If you know who these people are you better tell them to bust up their equipment or they're liable to be in trouble."
I presented a hypothetical question. If he had their address would he knock over the place? He doubted it.
HAS ANYONE BEEN arrested lately in the L.A. area for making home brew? No.
However, under sec. 5054 (a) (3) of the U.S. code, anyone wishing to make home brew must first apply for a permit qualifying him as a brewer. Then he must pay a gallonage tax -- the section states it is due and payable on production -- of around 30 cents a gallon, with a maximum of 31 gallons permitted.
But, you say, these people weren't going to sell this home brew, they made it for their own use; in fact, as a gag. Doesn't matter. It's illegal.
Incidentally, a law permitting home brew to be made for home consumption was introduced in the last session of Congress. It passed the House but got stymied in the Senate. There was a nasty rumor that a beer lobby was active. And so we're stuck with an anachronism.
But that isn't the only silly law pertaining to homemade beverages. Another one states it's okay for a person to make up to 200 gallons of wine a year for home consumption- if he's the head of the family. Single men? Nope.
A WOMAN returning a book to the Beverly Hills library was charged 50 cents because of crayon marks on it. Writer Martin Ragaway, standing nearby, managed to catch the title, "Control Your Child Through Discipline."
ONLY IN L.A. -- Mrs. Jeanne Nickson, principal of the 52nd St. Elementary School, received a phone call from a citizen who said the house across the street from him was on fire. "It looks like a pretty big one," he continued. "Lots of smoke is pouring out." Mrs. Nickson asked if he'd called the Fire Department. "No," was the reply. "I just thought I'd call the school -- I know the boy who lives there goes to your school." She prevailed upon him to call the Fire Department, which came and put it out.
LOOK OUT FOR Don Hidalgo De Nada. He rushes up and asks, "Did you hear about the German stripper coming to Las Vegas? Calls herself Hofbrau -- Will Unravel" . . . Speaking of strippers, be on the alert also for Nola Hahn, cashier at the Follies Theater, who asks, "Do you know where I can buy a tow truck cheap?" You say, "No, why?" and she says, "I'm planning to become a bouncer at a drive-in theater."
RE the MADNESS -- Instead of stamps one gas station chain gives a 1 cent per gallon rebate on the posted price. Hooray . . . A man found a card on his car inviting him to inspect the new foreign cars at an Anaheim agency. On the back was written, "500 blue chip stamps free if you present this card between 6 and 9 p.m. tonight" . . . Bill Larkin, writer for Bob Hope, proudly tells friends he has kicked the stamp habit. Says he pastes them on the windows of stores which give them, as he walks out.
AT RANDOM -- Remember Lakewood's dilemma -- what to do about a Korean war fighter plane in a public park, damaged by youngsters climbing over it and a hazard? It will be restored as a war memorial, Councilman Bill Burns advises . . . Bird-watching note: Helen Feige reports that about a dozen red birds, apparently house finches or linnets, visit her yard near Florence and Normandie and drink her cat's milk out of a pan . . . man looking at the initialed knobs on the dashboard of a Toyopet wondered about the S on the cigarette lighter. Stood for smoke, he was told. Inscrutable, those people . . . A typo in the Belvedere Citizen stated a couple were "moneymooning in Las Vegas." Could be.