This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in eastern Wake County. Maybe the spring weather makes people a little too crazy. In 2005, police found a 10-year-old out for a drive in Zebulon. In 1990, the community came out for Pilot Baptist Church’s third annual Pinewood Derby. And in 1965, local and ABC authorities busted a massive moonshine operation just off of Highway 97.
We’re taught to bring a designated driver when we go out for a drink. One Zebulon man brought one with him, but the problem was that he was only 10 years old.
A father who was too drunk to drive and allowed his 10-year-old son to take him to the store was charged with misdemeanor child abuse Feb. 19, authorities said.
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Enrique Hernandez, 26, of 715 Shepard School Road, was a passenger in the vehicle driven by his juvenile son, Zebulon Police Officer Andy Castaneda said in his incident report. The policeman pulled the car over near the Resco Mart – less than one mile from the suspect’s address.
Hernandez was charged because of the impending danger the child could have suffered, Zebulon Police Officer Chris Bray said. Because of the juvenile’s age, he did not incur any charges.
“It’s a little unusual for me,” Bray sad, adding he knows of underage teenagers attempting the same feat. “But I’ve never heard a 10-year-old being allowed to drive. That’s a first.”
Oh, for the days when life was as simple as a pinewood derby. The third annual Pilot Pinebox Derby, sponsored by Pilot Baptist Church, garnered 40 competitors 25 years ago. Gerald Jones took the win.
There were no blown engines or paint-trading crashes in the third turn, but there were fast cars and winning racers Saturday at the third annual Pilot Pinebox Derby.
Nearly 40 part-time miniature car carvers from the community turned out at the Pilot Fire Department to compete in four divisions. Some car owners were barely old enough to grasp the concept of a finish line, while others were as old as stock car racing veterans. All, however, were young at heart and quickly took to the sheer fun of the night.
The cars were built with speed in mind, but some designers adhered to the theory that it is just as important to look good as it is to run good. There was a car resembling a banana, another shaped and painted like a pencil, some marked up like the pros, and others cut in the mold of the classics.
Attention to appearance paid off for Amanda Jones and Gerald Jones, who walked away with “best-looking car” honors in the youth and adult categories, respectively. Perhaps they wanted their racers to look good in the winner’s circle because that is where both ended up later.
Maybe it’s time to dust off your derby car and see how well it runs!
Fifty years ago, distilleries that are now becoming popular in the state were secret operations heavily investigated by Wake County law enforcement. This week during that time, it was all but the wild west as officers raided some Zebulon moonshiners.
Zebulon’s newest manufacturing enterprise had its operations ended last Friday. But local civic leaders expressed no worry about loss of the business.
Officers raided a two-story cement block building 3 1/2 miles east of Zebulon on Highway 97, moving in about 5 p.m.
On the second floor of the building they found five 500-gallon submarine stills and 22 250-gallon barrels of mash.
The building had been unoccupied for months. Formerly it was used as a juke joint.
Only one of the gas fired stills was in operation at the time of the raid. But officers did find 90 gallons of white whiskey and 900 pounds of sugar.
Willard Perry and Pete Ferrell, both of Bailey, were taken to Wake County jail following their arrest at the still site.
The raid was staged by Federal ATU men, Wake County ABC officers, and Wake Deputy Sheriff Steve Blackley.
Officers said water for the operation was pumped from a well used to supply the building with water. Refuse from the whiskey making was piped down bathroom facilities.
It was about 3 o’clock in the morning before the raiders completed destruction of the whiskey-making operation.