Saturday, May 13, 2017

The year the Gold Coast committed suicide

Collection of all posts on the Gold Coast 

1946 was the year the Gold Coast blew up.  The notorious Gold Coast culture finally crossed the line.  Beatings, arson, stabbings, and even shootings were not rare occurrences  in that part of Rankin County.  However, there is one time-honored rule among those for whom crime is a regular way of life and it was damn sure true back in 1946: don't kill a cop.  A constable and a major bootlegger fought each other and then shot each other to death.  The death of the lawman finally brought in fire and brimstone just as it did in The Godfather when Michael killed a dirty cop.  The lawlessness of the Gold Coast had gone too far and people said enough is enough. 


Prohibition was in full swing yet fell it fell afoul of the laws of supply in demand.  Too many people in Jackson wanted to have a drink and too many would-be capitalists pigs saw an opportunity to sell them booze at black market prices.  Bootleggers began operating in an area that came to be known as the Gold Coast in what was known as East Jackson several decades ago but is actually the east bank of the Pearl River in Rankin County.  Flood control was virtually non-existent so the area was one of swamps and the river.   Drinking, gambling, and general carousing flourished on the Gold Coast - until the law would come shut it all down.  The forty or so years of the Gold Coast's existence saw a grown-up's game of cat & mouse take place between the bootleggers and the police.  Friendly politicians got fat and happy off of the bootleggers until things got out of hand.  Public outcry would then bring in a new crop of law and order politicians who busted the bootleggers - until the pendulum swung the other way at the ballot box.


The year began with the usual news about the rough ways at the Gold Coast.  The Gold Coast had quieted down somewhat during the war years but the GI's were coming back home.  Young men want to sow their wild oats and the Gold Coast was the main field available for such plowing.  However, a sensational murder took place a month before the killing of the constable.  A young woman went to the Gold Coast with some friends for some drinking and dancing.  She left Rankin County but disappeared later that night.  She was bludgeoned to death.

Constable Norris Overby and bootlegger Sam Seaney killed each other on August 27.  The headlines screamed for a crackdown on the Gold Coast.  The Governor was mad.  The churches were mad.  The District Attorney and Sheriff actually began to take their jobs seriously.  The law came crashing down on the Gold Coast and sent the bootleggers scurrying for cover.  Bootlegging kingpin Red Hydrick his his stash but it was seized a week later.  The bust nearly broke Big Red.  The authorities seized several truckloads of booze on his property that was worth $50,000 ($663,000 value today).  Red had just bought his Christmas inventory and was caught with his pants down just as the Jap carriers were at Midway.   The local drugstores reported a week later that they were selling more cough syrup that contained alcohol.  Some things never change.  The newspaper also noted that there were no traffic fatalities recorded in Hinds or Rankin counties during the following Labor Day weekend.  The newspapers even decreed that the Black Market tax should be repealed but that idea never saw the light of day at the Capitol.  The tax decreasing $20,000 per month ($265,000 value today) after the shutdown of the Gold Coast probably kept that tax alive over all opposition.

The Gold Coast eventually resumed its ways of whiskey but it would never enjoy its former "glory" that existed before Constable Overby was killed.



4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It took a while to read through, but I certainly enjoyed that. Thanks Mr. Fish!

Anonymous said...

My father always told me that the cause of the deadly fight between the constable and the establishment owner was that the constable, who was always permitted a free bottle here and there for his personal consumption, came in and insisted on taking a whole case of liquor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks ! I love this history !

Anonymous said...

Hooh Ah!

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS
.