Henry County, Indiana
Genealogy and History
The American people celebrate the Fourth of July with good reason. That is the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of our Country. Well, about 1877 I think it was, the glorious Fourth came on Sunday, so it was celebrated on Saturday in Middletown. I was glad to get away from the store. So in the afternoon I went up to see cousin Lincoln SUMMERS. Soon another boy, Frank DUTTON, came. We had intended to play croquet, but in a little while my father and 3 or 4 other men came and Uncle Simon SUMMERS invited them to play croquet. After playing quite a few games, Uncle Simon went to the cellar and brought up a big pitcher of Cherry Bounce or wine. He gave us boys a drink of it - several times. We thought it was nice. After awhile the men took what wine was left and went up the street a couple of blocks to play some more croquet. Lincoln proposed that we get some more Cherry Bounce. We had no idea it was intoxicating so we went to that cellar and soon found the wine keg. We all drank very freely of it. All we wanted which was quite too much. We went back up stairs and began playing croquet. Before many minutes everything was in a whirl. The ground was covered with moving balls and we all decided to get away from there before our dads returned and found we had been into the Cherry Bounce. The women folks were over to neighbors. So we had the place all to ourselves. We decided the best place to hide was up on the observatory on the top of the house. It was a large square brick house of about 15 larger rooms and an observatory on top from which a fine(?) view of all the surrounding county could be had. No one went up there often. So we climbed up three stairways and reached the top. It was terribly hot. We were all so dizzy we could hardly walk. We could see in the distance the creek and the old swimming hole. So we decided to go swimming and cool off and get sober. We could see our dads were still up the street playing croquet. So carefully down we went and we had to follow the railroad and cross a high trestle to get to the swimming hole. We were all good and drunk by that time. The swimming hole was in a pasture belonging to Dr. WELSH. Arriving there I was unable to climb over the fence. So the other two boys who were older than I took down the rails so I could get over. Soon we were in the water but the Cherry Bounce seemed to increase our intoxicated condition. We were having a glorious time. After an hour or so I became dreadfully sick. I wanted to go home. They argued that would not do. I was determined to go.
[Glenn's note: Grandfather Sanders was a notorious "teatotaler" in his adult years.]
Contributed for use on the web by Glenn Sanders and generously shared with us by Cheryl Trowbridge Miller