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On Whiskey and Grease

Drinking the last bottle of Jim Beam

Updated: July 15, 2011, 8:57 AM ET
By Wright Thompson

A whole night of front-porch drinking led us here. My friend, Joe York, comes outside with a bottle of Jim Beam in his hand. The label is faded, creased. Two or three fingers of amber liquid sit in the bottom.

It's his grandfather's bourbon.

He unscrews the cap and tells the story. The Yorks are from Alabama. Joe's granddad died in 1976. Thirty years later, his wife died. When his family was cleaning out their home, they arrived at the bedroom closet. In the midst of well-worn boots ...

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