Tag Archives: appalachia

George W. Christians, American fascist

It is the privileged role of the Art Smiths, the William Pelleys, and the George Christians to lay only the cornerstone of fascism. It is in their rudimentary organizations that the petty bourgeoisie receives its first elementary schooling in dictatorship. It is from the Smiths and the Pelleys that it learns to scrap its democratic […]

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Mrs. Weatherly served as Librarian, Janitor and Handyman

A Fort Payne, AL city library had been established during the 1889-1891 boom and located on a second floor in the Opera House block. But during the mid-1890s depression years there was no money available for library service. Although various women volunteered their services as librarian during these years, no new books were purchased. Old […]

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The origins of Old Harp singing, part 1 of 2

Liner notes for 1951 Folkways record ‘Old Harp Singing,’ featuring the Old Harp Singers of Eastern Tennessee, by Sidney Robertson Cowell— ‘Singers in the Harp’ number many thousands of people through the South and West who sing religious folksongs and fuguing tunes.  They are accustomed to meet on one or two Sunday afternoons a month, […]

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A town once meant as many things as there were people in it

A town once meant as many things as there were people in it.  For instance, there are noises of the early 1900s that you are not likely to hear again— A fire engine, belching smoke, and drawn by three horses abreast, racing to a fire; sleigh bells on a wintry evening; the rattle of a […]

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The whacks of a Shillelagh

St. Patrick’s Day is only a couple of weeks off, and one of the things you’ll always find plenty of at that celebration is shillelaghs. The shillelagh [siúil éille is an old Gaelic word meaning “oak club”] is a wooden cudgel associated with the Shillelagh Forest in County Wicklow, Ireland, famous for its once massive […]

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