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 the story of Daintry Allison’s first experience teaching school in the second decade of the 20th century. She’d been trained in Old Fort, NC to use the switch liberally with unruly students in her nearby Catawba Falls schoolhouse. Trouble was, the daughter of the town bully figured that rule didn’t apply to her. And the girl’s father had run more than one teacher off the mountain.
“Drifting” on the Ohio River was a great pastime for those who owned a skiff or johnboat. There was always something floating down stream. In the early days many things of value could be caught, logs, railroad ties worth a dollar, new sawed lumber, boat and barge planks, frames of small buildings. If there came a sudden raise in the river – the better the drifting.
Odis Isaacs started working for the mines when he was 12 and worked in Moore Hollow, KY until Howard Smith got killed in Marlow’s mine in 1946. Smith ran a motor in the mine when the accident happened and Odis was coupling at the end of the cars that Smith was pulling. It was the last trip of the day and Smith wanted to get out as much as he could so he was pulling 22 cars, which was way too many.
Your mouth will water when you hear Olga Hardman of Clarksburg WV discussing the sumptuous French style cooking of her extended family. At one of her noon meals with Aunt Clarice and Uncle Augie, she has her first encounter with frog legs. As she watches the muscles of the frog legs contract and appear to jump in the pan, she becomes quite reluctant to try them.
We’ll wrap things up by tagging along on the road with Miss Lester, a Boone, NC district nurse. Her job involves traveling up and down the hollers in search of local granny women, and encouraging them to come into town clinics to get additional medical training.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by the Wheat Valley Bluegrass Band in a 1984 recording of the traditional tune ‘Alabama Gals.’
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.