Merlyn applies the plastic seal on the top of each bottle of Templeton Rye and is the foreman for all of the bottling crew, although he says “nobody really knows that.”
Merlyn was born on April 17, 1929, and spent most of his life as a builder and farmer near Templeton. He served in the US Army and was stationed at Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Merlyn calls himself a woodworker, although that is like calling Michelangelo a church painter. He has made two wooden cars and a life size, self-powered stagecoach, all of which are favorites at area parades and social gatherings. Merlyn has also been designing custom wooden boxes to store and display Templeton Rye. When asked why he started making wooden cars, he said, “I saw somebody make one on TV and said I can do that.” He told his wife Pat not to worry, because if it didn’t work, he would just burn it.
Merlyn’s dad stored the bootleg Templeton Rye during prohibition and Merlyn tells the story of when a cow fell into a hole in the pasture and had to be pulled out by a team of horses. Later, when out playing, Merlyn explored the mysterious spot and found that it was a secret bootleg storage hold.
Merlyn says he works for Templeton Rye to keep himself busy. He and his wife Pat live on a century old farmstead just west of Templeton and raise miniature horses. They have six children and twelve grandchildren.
Other fun things to know about Merlyn Zubrod:
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite quote: “Well, I’ll be.”
Where he’s most likely to be on a Saturday afternoon: Working in his shop
Person he would like to have dinner with: Hillary Clinton
Favorite food: Bread pudding
Hero: His dad
Favorite way to drink The Good Stuff: Straight on ice