John Emerald: a Life Well Lived

John Emerald Sharp was born in 1928 to Hugh and Elizabeth Sharp. John’s family was what one might call merchant class. They worked hard and were successful at their endeavors. John definitely picked up a successful work ethic from his family.

John at around 10 years old standing next to his younger sister Shirley.

While young John worked hard, he also played hard to the chagrin of his mother Elizabeth. In fact, Hugh’s 1942 Buick Limited was no match for young John as he managed to destroy it with several rolling motions while John and a young lady were bouncing around inside the accident. Thankfully no one other than the Limited was worse for the wear and no, alcohol was not involved, just stupid teenage driving.

During World War Two John enlisted in the Army Air Corp and was trained as a nose gunner on a B-24 bomber. His timing was good and the war was spinning down when it came time for overseas deployment. So he and his crew were left with a four engine bomber with no purpose other than to entertain themselves. One day they decided to fly to the co-pilot’s home town. The town had a four lane highway that went through the center of several downtown buildings. They lowered the gear and flaps and descended below the tops of the downtown high rises. Their low level adventure caused two minor car accidents and one lady to have her baby early. Obviously they were met upon landing and all were demoted in rank.

With that John was sent to be a clerk in the orderly room. Big mistake on the Army’s part. You see John had learned to type working for his father and he wasted no time in typing himself a promotion that was one rank higher than when he was busted. He also assigned himself as manager of the post service club where he was in charge of watching airmen consume reasonable quantities of spirits and beer.

John Emerald (Second from the left) He sent this picture to his mother Elizabeth just to get a rise out of her.

John Emerald was a thinker. During military basic training he memorized the name and serial number of a fellow airman. In addition after being assigned to a unit John shed his combat boots for Indian moccasins. More often than not John would be stopped by a superior who would ask for his name and serial number to report his out of uniform violation. John would confidently spit out his fellow airmen’s name and serial number for the superior to record. Some months later John ran into the airman who reported that everywhere he went trouble followed him. Feeling bad John stopped using his name but kept the moccasins. After all he could always type his way out of trouble.

John’s true love was Sarah. He first saw her as she tied up her horse outside his business. After one look he turned to a friend and said, “I am going to marry that girl”.

Sarah was a St. Louis beauty queen who was visiting her parents Spurge and Laura for the summer as she was finishing up high school in St. Louis and living with a girl friend and her parents.

While she liked the country town she didn’t think much of the country bumpkins she was observing. But John managed to charm her enough to get a date. On their first date John showed up with a floral box. Sarah rushed around the house to find a vase for the up coming flowers. However, when she opened the box and unwrapped the floral paper there were dead weeds instead of flowers. Why the date continued is a mystery, but three months later they were married, a marriage that lasted over 60 years. Oh, by the way, when John proposed to Sarah he gave her a ring box and when she opened it there was a wooden ring that said “sucker”. John’s mother Elizabeth was so appalled she went out and bought Sarah a beautiful diamond the very next day.

John and Sarah raised two boys. John also took his father’s tobacco and candy business to new heights. And up to his death you could always see that mischievous sparkle in his eye.

John was a Scotch drinker and we think having a distillery and single malt named after him would meet with his approval.

John Emerald with his Family

John’s family history reaches back to Scotland and true to our heritage we have led off with a flavorful single malt whiskey in a new Southern style (Alabama Single Malt). Barley smoked with southern pecan and peach wood gives John Emerald’s whiskey an excellent mouth feel with refined and subtle smoke notes.

A spirit that’s smart, adventurous, playful and brings out the best in life. Just like John Emerald Sharp did each and every day.

John Emerald party trick: Put a spool of white thread in you sports coat inside pocket. With a needle poke the white thread though the jacket to the outside allowing the offending thread to be in plain sight. Then as ladies would see the thread and try and help John look presentable by pulling it out, they would find the thread to be never ending. A simple trick that provided a lot of fun for John and the unsuspecting ladies.

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