Video: Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton With His Still, And Memorial Service
If you want to see an old-fashioned way to be brought to a funeral then this is the blog post for you. But first…….
If you are like some other readers to my blog you might wonder why the post about “Popcorn” Sutton is listed among the top ten most-read items week after week. At first I thought the interest in this story was due to just an interesting post concerning a Tennessee moonshiner. But as time went by, and more and more folks commented on the post, I started to understand. “Popcorn” Sutton was a real character, and I say that in a respectful manner. While others seem to have known about him for a long time, it was only following his death that I have come to understand the interest in this slice of Americana.
How “Popcorn” Sutton landed on my blog is really due to the ability of a reporter to write a great obituary for the Wall Street Journal. After all, I like to read interesting obituaries. From time to time when I discover one that is well-written about a most intriguing person I post it here on my blog. So in March 2009 when I read about the life and passing of Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton I put down my newspaper and posted it. I had no way to know that I was about to connect with nearly 30,000 readers, (updated figure as of Dec. 2012) some who would leave comments like this one which arrived just last week.
I’m still sad and sick over his “passing”….I knew Popcorn and was one of the few “Yankees” who he trusted….I live in Upstate SC and travelled up to see him many times. I even named one of my dogs after him…”Little Popcorn”…..And I took him up to Marvins house just before he was “busted” for the second time….”YOU NAMED A DAWG AFTER ME??” he drawled…..My answer was “Yes Sir..a stray just like you”…He cackled and spent the afternoon taking “Little Popcorn” all over the property, just like a big old kid, “Billy Gibbons” beard and cigarette dangling from his mouth….
Late that afternoon, his wife Pam had supper ready….Venison, roasted potatoes, green beans and of course…..cornbread….
When I was getting ready to leave and had already loaded “Little Popcorn” into the truck me came sauntering out of his house…Put his right hand out to shake mine and a “gift” in his left hand…a jug of moonshine…”This is for you…and Thankee fer the day” is all he said…and walked back into the house….
And that was the last time I saw him alive…I followed everything with his second “bust” the only mistake he made was having a few shotguns with him…which turned his conviction into a “posession of a firearm by a convicted felon….and that he couldn’t “stand up” to no fault of his own…he was “broken down” and in bad health…At his funeral, I cried like a baby…and of course “Little Popcorn” was with me to say “goodbye” to his namesake and friend…Our good friend, Popcorn Sutton…
I still keep that jug of Moonshine on a shelf in my bedroom, unopened and untouched and always will remain as a memorial to him and what he “stood for”…..
With all the interest in this man I started to do some more research into “Popcorn” Sutton and found him to be a truly intriguing person that represented a certain period of our history, and a certain way of living. Without me making a judgment on ‘moonshine’ one thing can be stated as fact. “Popcorn” Sutton must have been mighty fun to have talked with, and watched in the hills as he worked.