Monthly Archives: May 2011

I’ve prayed for straight hair—or hair of a different color.

If you’ve never been to Plum Grove then you wouldn’t know about that road. It’s an awful road, with big ruts and mudholes where the coal wagons with them nar-rimmed wheels cut down. There is a lot of haw bushes along this road. It goes up and down two yaller banks. From Lima Whitehall’s house […]

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A better race of men?

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia, That whenever the Superintendent of the Western State Hospital, or of the Eastern State Hospital, or of the Southwestern State Hospital, or of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, shall be of opinion that it is for the best interests of the patients and of […]

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B’ar in the Syrup Bar’l

Back in the days when this was new ground you had to cotch a b’ar ef you wanted to keep warm. Yessuh, my pappy knew this country when she was somep’n. He come over the mountains from South Ca’liny with his pappy, my gran’pappy, and gran’maw, when he was jus’ a boy. When they decided […]

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Francis Scott Key’s descendants in western Maryland

In 1870 Alice Key Howard [the author’s aunt], a daughter of Mrs. Charles Howard, bought from a man named Stabler a four room hunting lodge with separate kitchens, standing in a dense grove of oaks, many of whose survivors still surround the present house. Even in my memory there was an oak grove with a […]

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Amaze your friends and irritate your enemies with it.

It’s the whispering foil, the flexatone, or simply, the musical saw. Some consider the musical saw an American folk musical instrument believed to have gotten its start somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains in the 19th century (oh, I suppose we can allow that carpenters and lumberjacks all over the world have discovered that their tool […]

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