Monthly Archives: September 2017

He hunts for work, and he is a damn fool. There is no work

IT IS NIGHT, and we are in this jungle. This is our home tonight. Our home is a garbage heap. Around us are piles of tin cans and broken bottles. Between the piles are fires. A man and a woman huddle by the fire to our right. A baby gasps in the woman’s arms. It […]

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The sorghum season is on!

Kentucky and Tennessee are today the leading sorghum syrup producing states, and neither are shy about the fact. The Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City, TN hosted a sorghum festival September 20, and over in West Liberty, KY the locals of that district celebrated their own 44th annual Sorghum Festival last weekend. Georgia has an […]

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Indoor privies for country people at Cumberland Homesteads

Today, it’s Tennessee’s largest historic district, at approximately 11,400 acres. During the Great Depression, the Cumberland Homesteads community came into being as part of a nationwide New Deal agrarian movement to create subsistence farm communities to aid out-of-work, rural residents. President Franklin Roosevelt assigned the homesteads project to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. […]

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There’s a ghost in this little banjo

Although she never gained the national recognition or recording status that other banjo-playing women in Kentucky achieved, Dora Mae Wagers (1927-1998), was—as the title to her self-produced cassette proclaimed—“A Legend in Her Own Time.” For forty years she played banjo on the stage of the Renfro Valley Barndance, and was often billed as one of […]

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