The Bootlegger

a film by Ryan Geoffrey Walker


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Actual quotes from viewers, sent via Facebook and email.
Names withheld to protect privacy.


2016 December 28

"My mom bought all her kids a copy of this for Christmas. I'm just now sitting down to watch it. Makes me miss my grandma (she passed in 2004) spent many weekends in that small town!"

2016 December 21

"Be proud of the DVD! It's a great piece of history!! Friends from home. Get this DVD. You will love it!"

"We enjoyed the Bootlegger so much when we saw it this summer and are looking forward to watching it again."

"I really enjoyed the Bootlegger when I saw it in Colchester. You did a great job. Thanks so much for all your hard work. Good luck in the future with all your works."

2016 December 20

"I have a copy already and cherish owning it. I bought it at Adam Olivers music store in Macomb. Thank you so much for all you have done for Colchester. There has never been anyone take such a  bona fide interest in our small town. You should be very proud of your accomplishment. I know many, many people appreciate your work also."

2016 December 19

"OMG, cannot wait for Xmas to give to my dad. The movie is incredible. I wish my grandpa was still alive to see it. He dated Kelly's daughter, and he had some stories to tell!! Thank you again so much!"

2016 December 18

"We watched your work a week ago Saturday night and we all thoroughly enjoyed it.  [My wife] and I were the only two of the five who had intimate knowledge of the subject, and the other three had no idea where Colchester could be located. 

I've waited until now to respond, as I just had the opportunity to watch it again this afternoon so I could make comments to you.  First ... it is an excellent, well thought out documentary with many facets which you handled beautifully.  From the opening scenes with the trains and whistles, and a constant siren in the fog really rose ones interest and excitement for what was to come.

Your use of the narrator's addition of newspaper clips was a nice touch which added immensely to the story.  And, your photography and time lapse were extremely well navigated and top quality.... your background music choice was brilliant.

I had forgotten how much footage was devoted to Aunt Beulah's plight and demise, and it fortified that Kelly Wagle had a terrible dark side which like many of them, we're never proven.  Thanks for giving her a voice from the grave. 

In short Ryan, and Kate E., you've produced an excellent documentary film which hopefully will generate the interest and success you seek , we look forward to hearing great news about it.....  Congratulations !!"

2016 December 12

"I received my order today and immediately watched it!  Wow!! I went to the Christian Church all my life and was baptized in the place Kelly hid the booze?!  ....Lots of pieces of my childhood. I am literally tearful at the history of my town that I never knew. My grandpa was in the pictures a lot. He died when I was 4 and oh how I wish he lived longer to have heard the stories.... Thank you for making this. All my children are getting a copy for Christmas. I hope they treasure it always. Thank you!!"

2016 December 10

"You really did a great job with this, I thought it was done really really well.... I really enjoyed the film, thanks for sending and creating!"

2016 December 5

"I did see the Bootlegger this summer in Colchester and I was impressed.  I had read the local book and found the local lore interesting."

2016 December 4

"Watched and loved the film! Nice work! I will convince my library to purchase for their collection.... I feel like your use of images truly captured the essence of this community. Funny because when I was growing up there, Colchester was "dry" and the way people said it always made me wonder about that. I didnt think it was a big deal as a young teen, but now I realize the history behind it.. You really did a superb job. My hats off to you!"

2016 November 4

"I remember my folks talking about Kelly Wagle .... now I know both of them "had connections". My granddaddy was town constable; his son was a driver; my grandpa was his best friend. Wow!! I'll be forever grateful to you and to the author...and to the Colchesterites who posted on FB initially and got me hooked! Thx!"

2016 August 18

"The Bootlegger is fantastic! Excellent work. I love these kind of docs."

2016 July 19

"Saw it and it was AWWWWWWWESOME!!! I discussed my favorite stuff with Ryan already but shout out to Mark Speckman for all the music and Lucas Oswald for the sound design."

2016 July 16

"We really enjoyed your film today! Very interesting & surprised to see the Fountain Green McConnell/Geddes cemetery in it. Good job Ryan!"

"Hi Ryan, Congratulations on your and Katie's documentary film! We enjoyed viewing it in Colchester at the Spotlight Event Center. Please add my name to your pre-order list for the DVD. My father is in a nursing home in Macomb and is looking forward to viewing it also. Thank you."

2016 July 14

"Been listening to and loving the Mark Speckman soundtrack!!"

2016 July 13

"it was my pleasure to see The World Premiere!!"

2016 July 12

"I know a lot of folks who have gone and enjoyed your film – CONGRATS!!"

2016 July 10

"I want to congratulate you, your wife and crew on a job well done. The film last night was great, and I really enjoyed it. I can't wait for the DVD to come out. Thank you for sharing the film with us."

July 9, 2016 at Spotlight Event Center in Colchester, Illinois

July 9, 2016 at Spotlight Event Center in Colchester, Illinois