In 1942 everything is going good for Tanner Hill. He has a good job, two healthy sons and a wife who loves him. As he makes lots of extra cash with his moonshine, he can afford many luxuries his neighbours cannot. And he’s not worried about conscription.
However, he soon realizes good things do not last forever. One argument after church with a disgruntled man with revenge on his mind and Tanner’s world is turned upside down. Forced into making a choice, Tanner chooses to follow his brothers and enlists. He leaves for the fighting so far away as a private in the Royal Canadian Engineers.
It will be three years until Tanner returns home. It won’t be the same.
With the long hood and wraparound grill, wide whitewall tires, Leslie’s Chrysler is an eye-catcher. People stop and look when he cruises down Main Street. He laments on the ride to Moncton how much he’ll miss the car. Tanner teases him.
“More than the wife?”
He doesn’t answer.
June 20, 1942.
Music from Ricky’s Dance Hall is blaring out the open windows. The Harnett brothers play guitar with Morty Filmore on the standup bass. Charlie Doyle plays the fiddle and his wife Nelly plays the washboard strapped to her chest. She’s the caller and sings her calls to the square dancers.
"Tanner made the mash up three weeks before, having added the yeast last Sunday. It’s ready for distillation. He added it to the still and built a fire under it. Not much later, he’s holding mason jars under the drip line at the bottom of the wormbox. Copper tubing coming from the thumper, where it was distilled a second time, is wrapped in a coil through cold water from the brook. The vapor cools to a clear potent liquid of 120 proof alcohol. The mash has been simmering perfectly and he can smell the corn and the yeast."