Unformatted text preview: a hundred thousand a year (it was rumored), and during election years he got whatever he needed. And they were generous with other politicians. They quietly bought and kept influence. They asked little; they just wanted to be left alone on their island. After the Second War, the demand for moonshine began a steady decline. Since generations of Padgitts had been schooled to operate outside the law, Buford and the family began to diversify into other forms of illicit commerce. Selling only timber was dull, and subject to too many market factors, and, most important, did not generate the piles of cash the family expected. They ran guns, stole cars, counterfeited, bought and burned buildings to collect insurance. For twenty years they operated a highly successful brothel on the county line, until it mysteriously burned in 1966. They were creative and energetic people, always scheming and searching for opportunity, always waiting for someone to rob. There were rumors, quite significant at times, that the Padgitts were members of the Dixie Mafia, a loose-knit gang of redneck thieves who ran rampant through the Deep South in the sixties. These rumors were never verified and were in fact discounted by many because the Padgitts were simply too secretive to share their business with anyone. Nonetheless, the rumors persisted for years, and the Padgitts were the source of endless gossip in the cafes and coffee shops around the square in Clanton. They were never considered local heroes, but certainly legends. In 1967, a younger Padgitt fled to Canada to avoid the draft. He drifted to California where he tried marijuana and realized he had a taste for it. After a few months as a peacenik, he got homesick and sneaked back to Padgitt Island. He brought with him four pounds of pot, which he shared with all his cousins, and they, too, were quite taken with it. He explained that the rest of the country, and primarily California, was toking like crazy. As usual, Mississippi was at least...
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This note was uploaded on 07/18/2010 for the course LIT 301 taught by Professor Dra during the Spring '10 term at American College of Computer & Information Sciences.
- Spring '10