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Thread: Calling Bobby C

  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Calling Bobby C

    The purpose of this post is to encourage Bobby C to tell us more stories about his grandfather's experiences at Jim Beam, his memories of Carl "Shucks" Beam, etc.

    Go Bobby!


    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Calling Bobby C

    Gladly I was born in 57 so most of what I remember as a child is the 60s. The distillery used to be a pretty wide open place as far as coming and going went , I remember when they didn't have security police there, I think they had one of their own guys watching the door. My Granddad would take me in alot, this was after the main plant and bottling lines were shut down. One thing I remember was they had their own water plant and for a while was having trouble treating enough water for the next days run , so he would be there to all hours of the nite treating water and I would be out of the way watching. They had big pumps and air compressors ran by 35 and 50 Horsepower electric motors. This was a real treat to be around this huge industrial equipment. For those of you who don't know a 50 HP electric motor is about the size of a Chevy 454! Needless to say they jarred the earth. This was all pre OSHA so there were no guards on the belts that I recall seeing ,they ran about 5 or 6 v belts . The way I understand it nowadays is you have to sign in and be escorted everywhere down there now, even the retirees who like to drop in on their old buddies say it's too much hassle now. I'll probably get all my stories out in 4 or 5 more installments so stay tuned.

    Bobby Cox

  3. #3
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    Re: Calling Bobby C

    Which plant are we talking about here? Clermont, I assume. Where did you live growing up?

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

  4. #4
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    Re: Calling Bobby C

    Clermont, we grew up on a hill to the East of it toward Bardstown . You could look out the front door and see the plant. Back then they fired with coal and had 3 boilers with 3 big stacks . It seemed they always used the center one with one or the other also . I always wanted to see all 3 going at once but don't recall if they ever did. One morning we woke up and one of the stacks was on fire at the bottom . Besides everyone shitting their pants my grandfather made it to work very quickly that day. Later in the 70s they switched to natural gas and crude oil . They built a new boiler room beside the old stone one which is also still there. They had 2 boilers in it. there was a process for switching from Natural Gas to Crude Oil on the fly, ( Not shutting it down) some of the higher ups decided there must be a way to switch back as well . They tried it one night, Kaboom! I guess the main thing is no one got hurt except for some ass tearing. Imagine they cut oil off and started filling it up with Natural Gas then they got ignition. It blowed the front of the boiler apart . They put it back together, one of the guys had to do a weld in a 8inch space with the welding stinger on a 5 foot stick. And it held! My grandfather would go over to Boston occassionally one time he was over there a month but it became more infrequent as time went on .

    Bobby Cox

  5. #5
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    Re: Calling Bobby C

    For those who don't know, the Boston Bobby refers to is Boston, Kentucky, in Nelson County, where Beam's other distillery is located.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

 

 

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