We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. You can start listening right away by clicking the podcast icon over on the left side of your screen. If you’d rather grab the show off itunes for later listening, click here.
We open today’s show with a look at the family business of Kentuckians John Wesley & Katherine Langley. Professional politics was their game, and when John was jailed in 1926 for bribing a Prohibition officer, Katherine ran for and won John’s Congressional seat. Several years later when he got out of jail he expected her to turn the position over to him. She wasn’t budging.
In a 1953 speech to the Homemakers Club of Mt Savage, MD, Mary Bowen will take you back to courting days at the turn of the 20th century. Bicycle rides, stopping for licorice at the corner store, and of course the swirl of the local dance floor on Saturday nights. She’ll make you want to fall in love all over again.
Dr. Charles T. Pepper, an ex-Confederate surgeon, opened a successful pharmacy in Rural Retreat VA after the war.
In addition to dispensing patent medicines, he spent time mixing mountain herbs, roots and seltzer into a fizzy brew. But he wasn’t the one who brought the famous soda we know as Dr Pepper to market. And the man who DID bring it to market may have named it after the good doctor, or not.
Next we’ll jump forward to the present. Meredith Doster Edgerton, of Appalachian State University, has received an Appalachian Sound Archives Fellowship at Berea College. The fellowship program encourages scholarly use of Berea’s non-commercial audio collections that document Appalachian history and culture, especially the areas of traditional music, religious expression, spoken lore and radio programs. We’ll have a look at how Doster Edgerton won this honor.
If you’re a lacrosse fan, you’ll appreciate our next segment: a Cherokee fable centered around the game of stickball. A tiny mouse wants to join a team full of animals many times his size and weight. But they scoff at his potential as a player. He figures out an ingenious solution to get around his perceived disadvantages and gets the best of them in the end.
The woods are full of raspberries, huckleberries and blackberries in July. Before the era of plastic containers if you were out and about, and happened upon a stand of berries, you could fashion yourself a bark berry basket from a nearby poplar tree. Let’s find out how they’re made.
We’ll wrap things up with an article written by one C.G. Fennell, in the summer 1930 issue of The Alabama Historical Quarterly. He challenges just how good the so-called ‘good old days’ really were by comparing the difficulty of traveling from Huntsville to Deposit Ferry on the Tennessee River in 1860 to his own day. What had been a full day trip on rutted roads in olden days had been reduced to a 2-hour trip on hard paved roads by 1930.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by the Six Bits of Rhythm Jug Band in a 1939 recording of “Old Man Moses.”
So, call your old blue-tick hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.