From the Fall of 2002 until the Summer of 2005, I was a member of the faculty at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. During that time I was working on my dissertation so, in addition to the memories of friends and former students (some of whom I still keep in touch with thanks to Facebook), there is a very real connection between "Prohibition" and the Johnson County seat. Today I was honored by being able to come to Franklin and talk about the book at the Johnson County Historical Museum (http://www.johnsoncountymuseum.org/).
Located in the former Masonic Temple (interesting note, Franklin is home to an American Baptist college, a United Methodist retirement home, and a Masonic retirement community), the Johnson County Historical Museum offers a very nice research library for local history, several exhibit galleries, and a wonderful speaking space in its auditorium. While we were hardly at capacity (once again weather was a factor, it was really to nice to spend an hour inside listening to speaker on Saturday), there was a nice group gathered to hear my presentation (and buy a few books), including my mother-in-law and father-in-law (who now make Franklin their home). My talk centered upon Shumaker, but also on the many links the dry crusade had with Franklin, including this: http://www.thewillard.com/index_files/history.htm (if you go, have the tenderloin, or the pizza, or the burger, in that order).
As always, it was fun getting feedback from the audience. One gentlemen (as a joke he told me after) wore a Miller High Life t-shirt, and asked about the relationship the Klan had with Prohibition, as well as if Prohibition had any bearing on current drug laws. A woman told me that she had a relative who was a sheriff in Tennessee who was killed by bootleggers during the dry years, while another man asked about the price of home brew, and yet another question centered on Paul McNutt (http://www.in.gov/history/2719.htm).
It was a good day (which included lots of time with the kids and the in-laws) as well as a long one. But well worth it! I'm very much looking forward to talking with the Marion County Historical Society in August and the Elkhart County Historical Society in October. More on some other fronts later!