This is a true story taken from the real-life events of an ordinary couple, Chick and Junerose Keating. We were born into extraordinary times and experienced extraordinary events and adventures. This book is a memoir, a journal, and a tender and wonderful love story; a walk through history during the times of what is now referred to as the “Greatest Generation.” More so, it is a soul-searching portrait relevant for anyone setting the bar too high, and having the wish, the ambition, the talent and the courage to reach for the stars without fear. To have equal regard for success or failure. Consistently refusing to accept the price of success: selling, giving or losing one’s personal values in life. Those are the values that matter the most.
Over the years I have been warned against writing this book because of the sensitivity of some parts. In the end I followed the advice of the most important person in my life: my Junerose. She told me, “Just write it as truthfully as you know it all happened, Sweetheart. Follow your heart.”
Some of the names herein have been changed because of sensitive matter or other reasons. The events presented are as true and accurate as my memory allows, and from reviewing documentation in my files. I have relating the facts as truthfully as I know they happened, and as my Junerose and I experienced it all. As we saw it, and as we lived it.
No man could love a woman more than I loved my Junerose. We enjoyed every moment of our many wonderful years together. She was a woman of great courage, who meant more than life to me.
(Excerpt from the book, My Line in the Sand, by Chick Keating)
Prohibition, which made the selling of alcohol illegal, was not a popular law in New Orleans. Homebrew, a beer made at home in large crock barrels and bottled in dark longneck bottles, was being made and sold almost everywhere. Some people made it for their own use, while others made it and sold it on a small time basis. Law enforcement officers turned their heads, especially with the small-time neighborhood operations. Conditions were so hard that if a man could turn a couple of bucks making and selling homebrew, more power to him. Some families with no other way to earn a living sold homebrew beer to survive.
My uncles operated a small homebrew operation next door to us. They supplied a small store down the block called Mike Weinman’s. The store sold slices of cold watermelon served on wooden tables in the front of the store. In the back, men would gather at the bar or at the card table to socialize, and buy my uncle’s illegal homebrew from Mr. Weinman himself.
My first job at age six was to cap the freshly brewed bottles of homebrew. I would put a metal cap on the bottle and press it into place with a jack-type tool. Often, we kids were allowed a sip or two to sample the newly-brewed beer. The whole process was not a scientific operation, as occasionally a bottle in storage would explode.
My pay for capping all of the bottles made at one operation was fifteen cents and a hot apple pie from Grossenbacher’s Bakery, located next to Weinman’s. I would look forward to the fifteen cents and the hot apple pie, eating the whole pie on the way home and signaling to the neighborhood that a fresh batch of homebrew was finished. My uncles would always get a laugh when they saw me walking home with a half-eaten pie.