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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Stockbridge - What to Drink - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Not everything a storyteller does is open to the public.  Aside from work in schools, private events occur.  So far much of my "High Times in the Dry Times" has been in preview performances.  The Brandon Township Public Library preview -- my first for this program -- was indeed open to the public.  What they posted on Facebook can be found at my most recent article about Prohibition.

Next week I head up north for the program I said would be in early October.  It recognizes volunteers (as does another later in the month), so it's not open to the public.  A booking of the program that is public on January 15 at Clarkston Independence District Library came up with a great idea and resource.  Why not serve some of the non-alcoholic drinks that replaced the forbidden drinks offered back then?

The recipes are found in a book called What to Drink: Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Cocktails Served During Prohibition by Bertha E.L. Stockbridge, which is a reprint of a 1920 book, What to Drink; The Blue Book of Beverages; Recipes and Directions for Making and Serving Non-Alcoholic Drinks for All Occasions.  Stockbridge also wrote a 1922 cookbook with a similarly long title, but no other information about her is easily found.

Usually my Keeping the Public in Public Domain segments are stories, but since this week and next promise to be hectic, I want to give an overview of her book this week and some recipes next week.  If there are specific recipes or a category that particularly interests you, please be sure to let me know as I need to choose for next week very soon, but could always do another later.   Emailing me at is always possible or Facebook Friends may message me at .

That second page where she refers to presentation is fun in the way it gives a look back at those times.

I also found it interesting that even back then she found "It is probably as economical to purchase the sweet cider as to use the time and the necessary apples as to make the cider."  With the many cider orchards right now, isn't that good to know?  For my readers in southeast Michigan, I recommend  That link also has links to  hayrides and farmers markets.  When the author, Lisa LaGrou, was asked to rank the many cider mills, she said it depended on what you were seeking and then went on to give specific awards for specific attributes.

It's still hot enough for lemonade and Stockbridge gives a wide variety of flavored lemonades, but remember she warned that she might say more about presentation "imperatives"?   The chapter on "Fruitades" opens with
Once upon a time I had a box of lemons minus their zest (it's used to make soft drinks) so we had to work FAST!  I still remember how old-fashioned squeezing can get old (and painful in cuts!) quickly.  Let's hear it for the makers of RealLemon!!!

Of course in a program about High Times in Dry Times, mixed drinks were a HUGE part of why the Roaring 20s ROARED.  Prior to the 1920s cocktails were not the usual way to drink alcohol.
Talking back to Stockbridge, I hope the attractive looks of all of this is appetizing for you.  Actual recipes next week are not prohibited, thanks to Keeping the Public in Public Domain.
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  

At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key.
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown -
         - Richard Martin -
         - Spirit of Trees -
         - Story-Lovers - is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at .  It's not easy, but go to snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin -  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a., when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

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