Monthly Archives: August 2017

Only play this game with an honest man

The game was described on images in Theban tombs. Romans played a variant called micare digitis (of which Cicero said “you must have great faith in the honesty of any man with whom you played in the dark.”) The French, who still teach it to their children, call it la mourre. And in Appalachia, starting […]

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Sevier County’s African-American architectural legacy

“The architectural landscape of Tennessee’s rural areas, small towns, and large cities is comprised of hundreds of historic buildings designed and built by African Americans. “One rural county in East Tennessee has an extraordinary history of African-American builders. Established in 1794 along the North Carolina border, Sevier County has never featured a large black population; […]

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Dirt racing at Pennsboro

The town was once a stop on the Northwest Turnpike, one of the main roads west in the early days of the country, running from Winchester, VA to Parkersburg (now West Virginia). Later the town was a stop on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad that ran between Clarksburg and Parkersburg. During those early 20th century […]

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America’s Roadside Evangelist

Before there were interstates, when everyone drove two lane roads at leisurely speeds, Burma Shave signs were posted all over the countryside in farmers’ fields. Five small red signs with white letters, about 100 feet apart, each containing 1 line of a 4 line couplet……and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving […]

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