Tag Archives: appalachian culture

America loves the yo-yo

West Virginia entrepreneur Donald F. Duncan (1892-1971) had never heard of the yo-yo until 1928, when he encountered Pedro Flores on a business trip to California. Earlier that same decade, Flores had immigrated to America from the Philippines, and initially worked as a bellhop at a Santa Monica hotel. Carving and playing with wooden yo-yos […]

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You never seen so many eggs in your life as I had

At Easter, kids would hide eggs. Go around to hen nests and get a egg or two every day and hide them so you’d have some for Easter. Well, Papa had about twelve or fourteen old Rhode Island Red hens. And Papa said, “I know good and well them hens ain’t laying.” Well, I’d go […]

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As Meat loves Salt. A folktale.

“Which of you shall we say doth love us most?” asks King Lear of his three daughters at the opening of Shakespeare’s tragedy. Shakespeare often re-interpreted well known tales & legends in his plays—the Lear story is a very old European folk motif that turns up in literally hundreds of variants of the “Cinderella” tale. […]

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The stretch-out and the strike

By the mid 1920s Appalachia, land of farms and farmers, had been crisscrossed by railroad tracks and dotted with mill villages, and the Piedmont had eclipsed New England as the world’s leading producer of yarn and cloth. But along with the promise of new jobs came intense competition in the decentralized textile industry, depressing wages, […]

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It was a live burial, in a way

“The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is an independent public corporation founded by Congress in 1933 to control flooding, improve navigation, assist farmers, provide cheap electric power, and make “surveys of and general plans for [the Tennessee River] basin and adjoining territory . . . for the general purpose of fostering an orderly and proper physical, […]

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