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 an oral history from Tennessean R.M. Edwards. “I have often seen the goody, goody boy turn out to be a very worthless sort of man, while the harem-scare-um-devil-may-care brother may turn out to be a first class citizen and successful business man.” Looking back on his early 19th century childhood in Loudon County, Edwards has more poignant nuggets of wisdom to share on the human condition.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
Until the middle of the 20th century ‘Dendroica cerulea’ was common throughout much of eastern North America, and was most abundant in the central Appalachian Mountains. But today the Cerulean Warbler is America’s fastest declining migratory songbird. We’ll take a look at some of the key environmental challenges to this species faces.
Next, guest reviewer Alan Bailey, who writes for ThePitPass site, offers his thoughts on the recently published “Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill France,” by Daniel S. Pierce. “Though Pierce grew up within earshot of the former Asheville Speedway,” says Bailey, “he didn’t fall in love with NASCAR until a college roommate urged him to attend a race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1994. Pierce was an instant convert and has since interwoven his passion for the sport with his profession in studying Southern history.”
“Conley delivered the mail on horseback from Travelers Rest to Wild Dog and places in-between and beyond,” Glenna Vickers Burton tells us about life in Travelers Rest, KY during the 1930s & 40s. “He started delivering mail after his return from WWI. Sometimes he delivered groceries from our store or Aunt Sarah’s, when one of his patrons was out of meal or sugar or some other staple item. Many times he was paid for the extra service with a pint of moonshine. But no one ever saw him drink this or any other form of alcohol. He probably gave it to someone who liked moonshine. I bet, if the truth was known, he gave some of that stuff to Sigsbee Scott, our Travelers Rest postmaster.”
“F. A. Seagle was called to Marion today in connection with the undertaking department of Seagle Bros,” reports the April 20, 1928 edition of “The Southwest Times.” It doesn’t appear that much happened that particular day; it was just another day in the life of Pulaski County, VA.
We’ll wrap things up with a telling of ‘Tailypo,’ a classic Appalachian scary tale for kids of all ages. After a day of hunting, an old woodsman finds only a small rabbit to feed himself and his three dogs. Still hungry, the man begins to doze off. Just as he is about to fall asleep, a strange creature creeps through a crack between the logs in the wall. Bringing lots of troubles with it.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Library of Appalachia, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Hubert Rogers in a 1977 recording of the classic tune “Cotton Eyed Joe.”
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.