Stokes McMillan
Oak Harbor Publishing
P. O. Box 270458
Louisville, CO 80027
Inez Braswell, the wife of Sheriff Roy Braswell, was a hoot! While many of my interviews with other eyewitnesses to the dark, horrible
events of the book left me in a gloomy mood, my hours spent with Inez, listening to her recollect the lighter side of Attala County law
enforcement in her day, usually left me smiling.

Once, she discussed her husband’s actions after discovering a small still in the woods. Typically, she explained, when Sheriff
Braswell found such a low-capacity operation, he and his men would soon stage a daytime raid where the goal was not to catch the
small-time moonshiners but was simply to destroy their equipment. He didn’t expect to nab the whiskey-makers, for most did their
work under the cover of darkness. But not always…
~ Stokes McMillan

Many small time moonshiners dispensed with the security afforded by nighttime brewing and, instead, settled on the convenience of
daylight hours to complete the final step of their production. This enabled Braswell’s team to occasionally nab “small fish” during
daytime ambushes. Seldom did such raids result in the brewers being locked up after they were caught. More often than not, they
were brought to the Sheriff’s office, fined, and released.

Some minor operators were not even taken to town. They gave the Sheriff their word—which Braswell accepted—that they would
soon come to town and pay the fine. And they did. These were the mom-and-pop still operators, people for whom moonshining was
the family business. There were several such families in Attala County, one of whom lived near the community of Zama.
The hills around Zama, located in the southeastern part of Attala County in Beat Five, were a hotbed of moonshining activity. One
married couple, Kentlin and Suzie Myers, had been brewing their own rotgut at various locations near Zama for years. This was how
they earned their livelihood.

On many a sunny Sunday afternoon when there was a slight breeze across the land, Roy would suggest to Inez, “Let’s go on out to
Zama for a while.” They would slowly drive around the familiar hills and hollows of Beat Five until Inez’s nose detected the pungent
smell for which they were searching: fermenting mash. A few days later, when Roy raided the still, he would not be surprised to find
Kentlin and Suzie at work. He and his deputies were courteous as they destroyed the couple’s business. Roy told them, “Y’all come
pay your fine next time you’re in town.”

Without fail, on their next visit to Kosciusko, Kentlin and Suzie would stop off at the Sheriff’s office and hand over the cash they owed
for their offense. Sometimes Suzie would bring Roy and Inez a sack full of fresh vegetables from her garden. She’d hand it to him
with a cheery, “Here you go, you son of a bitch.” Then the couple would return to Zama and start up another still in a new location.

Neither the Sheriff nor the Myer’s held a grudge about the still’s repeated cycle of operation and destruction. Theirs was a friendly
adversarial relationship where each side realized the other was merely doing their chosen job to make ends meet. It was just the
nature of the business.

How Kentlin and Suzie looked upon their endeavor was illustrated once when their young sons were caught stealing car speakers
from Kosciusko’s drive-in theater. The parents had to accompany their children to court with Sheriff Braswell. During the
proceedings, Suzie said, “Judge, I don’t know what’s wrong with these boys. I taught ‘em right from wrong.”

Roy Braswell spoke up. “But Suzie, you taught ‘em how to make whiskey.”

“But that’s just makin’ a livin’,” she replied.
Zama Moonshine