We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening:
We open today’s show with guest author Phil James. The Virginia newspaper columnist and author focuses on the lives of the regular folk of the Albemarle County countryside with his two books Secrets of the Blue Ridge, the second of which has just released.
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.
“I was borned right here in these mountains, and since I was a boy I’ve knowed ever trail within twenty-five mile,” says the teller of the story ‘Sure-shot Bessie,’ from Bundle of Troubles, and other Tarheel Tales, a compilation by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the WPA in North Carolina that appeared in 1943. “My pappy were a gunsmith afore me and he teached me the trade,” the storyteller continues. You can be sure that his creation, Sure-shot Bessie, was a rifle unlike any you’ve ever encountered!
We’ll wrap things up with an extended overview of the history of Greenville, SC’s Reedy River by guest author John Nolan. “The Reedy River put Greenville on the map,” says Nolan, “and, like its meandering currents and rushing falls, is the centerpiece for its rise, fall, and triumphant rise again.”
And thanks to the good folks at the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Jim Woodward in a 1980 recording of Midnight.
So call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian history.