The Whiskey Boat

The Whiskey Boat (1933)

Artist's notes...

Prohibition brought a great thirst to the United States.  Millions
parched throats sought relief. The shallow water of Burnt Ship Creek near North Tonawanda meanders inland from the Niagara River through mostly desolate countryside. In the middle of a summer night in 1932 an old Richardson general service boat with two armed guards on deck makes its way slowly toward a ramshackle dock. The Amiee-Gee’s sits low in the water, its muffled inboard engine is hardly audible above the familiar sound of night creatures. Faint wisps of smoke rise above the vessels gurgling wake. Waiting on shore a well-dressed man and woman stand next to a 1926 Cadillac while two men carefully back a Buffalo stake truck into position. The rumrunner had been traveling undercover of a cloudy sky most of the evening, but a light breeze has cleared the way for a full moon to coolly and dangerously light the landscape. The peaceful scene carries an uneasy tension as the two parties prepare for their rendezvous.