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RUM RUNNER—PROHIBITION dives deep into 1920s Detroit’s world of elegant speakeasies and raucous jazz clubs, cast against the backdrop of mogul-creating industries.

Rampant rum running turned Detroit into one of the most exciting, quirky, and frenetic cities of its day. For those who love historical adventurous epics like The Great Gatsby or the action chronicles of Indiana Jones, Rum Runner will be a thrilling discovery. Jack Lyons, a Mid-Western nobody, a farm boy from nowhere, returns from The Great War as a scarred combat aviator. By day he leads his growing aviation company, but by night, Jack directs his multi-ethnic band of brothers smuggling liquor across the Canadian border. Using his speed boat Francine, they evade all threats while leveraging their profits to help less fortunate veterans. Jack’s greatest threat, other than himself, is the notorious Jewish Purple Gang and their relentless OCD lieutenant, Ira Cohen. They run Detroit’s illegal vices, exterminating anyone who crosses them.


As Jack battles the Purples, our emotionally impaired aviator’s world is turned upside down when his path crosses Ava Murphy, an orphaned Latina-Irish customs attorney. They begin a slow burn, bumpy romance, neither one sure about the other. As Jack confronts his past demons,

will Ava become his nemesis or the love of his life?

Cartoon of man counting money
Two cartoon thugs with machine guns


“Our country has deliberately undertaken a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose.”


-Herbert Hoover, U.S. President
on the 18th Amendment enacting
Alcohol Prohibition. 1919.


Our journey begins in the Roaring 1920’s and draws similarities to our current 2020’s. Both represent ages of unparalleled changes in Technology, Social Awareness, Health Concerns, Political Corruption, division of the Rich and Poor, Racial Tensions, and the repercussions of a Worldwide Pandemic. But the similarities don’t end there. Iconic visionaries ruled business - Henry Ford in the 1920s and Elon Musk today. The public idolized sports figures such as Babe Ruth and LeBron James today. Big business ran the United States - AT&T, General Motors, RCA, Westinghouse, Radio, and newspaper publishing empires. Today, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Exxon-Mobil, and Microsoft rule America.

During the 1920s, we had just recovered from World War One, endured the Spanish Flu Pandemic, and experienced the birth of aviation. Today, America is recovering from several pointless wars, enduring a Pandemic, and witnessing the birth of commercial space travel. The Roaring ‘20s had prohibition, gambling, opium dens, political unrest, and significant immigration issues. Now, we face multiple drug addictions, voter unrest, racial divisions, and continued immigration issues. Thrust into an ever-changing world, Rum Runner’s characters face challenges that resonate with today’s shifting cultures. As the French writer Jean-Baptiste.

Alphonse Karr once wrote, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

America was wide open for exploitation. A swirl of alcohol, drugs, and scammers filled the country with opportunity for any enterprising individual. Detroit was reinventing itself, seemingly every day. Of these Detroiters, about 75 percent were immigrants or first-generation Americans. African Americans were relocating north in sizable numbers during the Great Migration. Women gained the right to vote and impacted a changing society. Prohibition created an entire subculture of risqué clothing, music, dancing, and a liberated lifestyle while encouraging every man’s entrepreneurial spirit. Detroit, often referred to as the Paris of the West, allowed prohibition, organized crime, gambling, opium dens, and speakeasies to flourish. Detroit opened its doors to the rivers of illegal booze flowing through multiple illicit, clandestine channels. Between a roaring automobile and a budding aviation industry, the Prohibition liquor trade turned 1920s Detroit into one of the most exciting, quirky, and frenetic cities in the world.

This is a tale of individual conscience. Deciding between what is right and what is wrong. Whether or not you cross the line? Does the end justify the means? Rum Runner tells a tale about brotherhood and morals. It’s a journey of friendship, love, forgiveness, and sacrifice.


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The Prohibition liquor trade turned 1920s Detroit into one of the most exciting,
quirky, and frenetic cities in the world. Its population doubled in 5 years

Prohibition Fueled Detroit’s Growth

Detroit Police boats patrol Rum Alley.


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Michigan was the first state to declare Prohibition in 1917.


Jack Lyon’s nemesis.

The relentless, diligent Gang violently shut down any independent Rum Runners


Jack Lyon’s nemesis.

The relentless, diligent Gang violently shut down any independent Rum Runners


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Francine – Jack Lyon’s custom Chris-Craft rum running speed boat

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Jack Lyon’s rare 1925 Czechoslovakian motorcycle and sidecar.

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1927 Buick LaSalle Phaeton Convertible


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Jazz was influential to Detroit’s rising music scene.


1920’s Fashion. Detroit was known as the style capital of the West.

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Buffalo Soldiers. All Black Western Army Regiment 1896. Their
horses were replaced by bicycles to save the government money.
Characters in our story have bonds prior to World War One.

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