Jasper was a man of action. It was in his blood. From sunup to sundown he was doing. It was how he’d managed to build a business and keep it successful for almost forty-five years. And he’d done it with his own inimitable flair. He fancied himself in the light of Moore County’s other most famous resident, Davy Crockett.
But Jasper was bad with numbers. Smartly, he always made sure to keep close by him assistants who weren’t burdened with that handicap. Lem, his favorite nephew, had most recently stepped into the role of bookkeeper as Jasper gradually began to relinquish the daily duties of his business. Still, at the age of sixty, Jasper was always there to greet the first employees arriving for work.
On one typical morning, Jasper was alone at his office doing the weekly paperwork. Some of the reports he needed weren’t at his desk so he got up to retrieve them from the safe. Leaning over the dial his eyes glossed over.
For ten minutes, the dial clicked left and right as Jasper tried every possible combination but never came the sound of the bolts.
Jasper checked his pocket watch. Still another half hour before Lem arrives. He kicked with all his might against the lock. Somewhere wrapped within the hollow thud of boot against steel was a crunching sound, his big toe shattering into tiny pieces.
Precisely thirty minutes later, Lem arrived.
“You okay, Uncle Jack?”
Jasper never saw a doctor.
The blood poisoning set in rapidly.
On October 9th, 1910, Jasper opened his eyes and requested, “One last drink, please.” Jasper “Jack” Daniels, master distiller, passed later in the night.
There are several lessons to be learned from this tale but only one of them is a first cause.