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 right 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 1962 interview with Sanders Russell, harness race champion. Just prior to this interview, at age 62 and recovering from a broken leg, the North Alabama native won the famed Hambletonian. “Bi Shively won the Hambletonian when he was 73, you know. I quite frankly am looking forward to next season and a string of them after that.” Sanders Russell lived to be 82 years old.
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.
In the fall of 1941 on the eve of the United States’ entry into WWII, the Auburn High School freshman class of 1941-42 undertook an extraordinary community project. Under the guidance of their homeroom teacher, Harry W. McCann, Jr., who taught math, social studies, and English, the students decided that a place for social gathering and recreation was an important need for the people of Riner, VA.
“In your grandfather’s time the blacksmith shod horses, made plough points, built wagons and carriages, and made all kinds of tools and implements,” says Thomas Hidden in his 1944 book The Sons Of Vulcan. “He could turn his hand to making guns or clocks or locks and keys. Here is the kind of shop he worked in and here are some of the things he made.”
Next, we present a selection from Kentuckian Sarah Ann Jackson’s ‘My Journal for 1835.’ The diary was found between the walls of an old house in Laurel County, KY, but there is nothing that tells us if it was written in that place or how it came to be there. It was the only item found there. Jan Philpot, of the Laurel County Kentucky GenWeb site, transcribed the diary in 2001.
We’ll wrap things up with Viola Brown Black’s poem Home, written about her childhood home. The house still stands on Bell St. in Hiawassee, GA. It was built by her father, Lona Cicero Brown, in 1909.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Digital Archive we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by Jimmie Rodgers in a 1928 recording of Untold Treasures.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corn-cob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.