Stephen Dalton you will LOVE this little inside scoop of history.

A small Italian woman that made moonshine in a bathtub was mentioned in Tortilla Flats and Cannery Row, as well as a few other (more obscure) publications by John Steinback. That iconic lady was my great grandmother. I get goosebumps looking at her marriage certificate, she was 15 years old on arrival to Cannery Row and already had a son, baby Salvatore Belleci. Her first official record of her infants existence was hand written. The clerk couldn’t understand her English, so her sons name appeared on paper as “Sammy Bell.” Lol. The name was corrected to his proper name years later but he was always known as Sammy Bell. His mother, my great grandmother, was the little bootleg-whiskey-woman in Steinbeck’s novels- the one that sold flasks from her back window to makes ends meet through the depression and prohibition. I actually lived in that old house for a few years and I will never forget my Grandpa saying he and his mother used to have to step over the passed-out John Steinback frequently. He liked his beverages and “took naps” on city sidewalks in old Monterey. Just gives me an eerie and mystified feeling thinking of it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Written by

I write about funny and complicated things for a variety of interesting people. I read more than I write. I am your audience too.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store