Robin Williams has been much on my mind because, like him, I suffer from depression. Compared to Robin Williams, my talents are small, but I sense an empathy.
As a child, I always felt like a visitor. I think this is a familiar experience for all abandoned children. I had lost both my father and my mother, and although I was clothed and fed by my grandparents, I always had the feeling that I was not “of the family.” I was never embraced or treated with affection, but this is a familiar experience to many Appalachian children.
Hunters turn up quite often in the telling of Appalachian bestiary stories. The Agropelter mentioned a moment ago loves sitting high in trees and pelting the unsuspecting hunter walking below it with pine cones or bark. The poisonous Hoop Snake forms itself into a sort of wheel by seizing the end of its tail in its mouth, then rolling down the mountain in pursuit of its victim, the hunter. Then there’s the Cirqulous, a large round bird which was supposed to be an easy target for hunters, “but since the dead bird rolled away when it fell, hunters were often unable to retrieve it.” Sort of like the fisherman describing ‘the one that got away’ as he spreads his hands apart showing how large the durn-blasted thing was. It would seem that a hunter who returned from the forest with a less than stellar haul had better at least have some entertaining stories to share.
On a cold Saturday morning in Dillsboro, NC (December 30, 1882), an accident occurred which the Raleigh Observer would call “the most awful that has happened in any of the public works of this state.”
It involved the drowning of 19 convicts in the Tuckaseigee River.
Pickens County SC’s most famous outlaw — and in his time, the nation’s best-known bad-man — is coming back to The Oconee Community Theatre, in Seneca, near where he lies dead, but not forgotten. Lewis Redmond, whose monologue paints a life of local bootlegging, a regretted murder, popular adoration and a rough few years in […]
Please welcome guest blogger Gary Carden. Carden’s autobiographical “Mason Jars in the Flood” received the AWA Book of the Year Award in 2001 and his dramatic monologue, “Prince of Dark Corners” (Neal Hutcheson’s film about the outlaw, Lewis Redmond) is currently on PBS. In addition, he has been awarded the N. C. Folklore Award in […]