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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m writing this from my hospital bed overlooking our little homestead. The end of an era pertains to my past forty some years living out my dream in the foothills of Appalachia and the many encounters I’ve had the priviledge of having with those wonderful folks who live here.
the new beginning refers to my taking the time to jot down some of those experiences and share them with others. These short stories I hope I can keep about the colorful, hill folk and their antics, and less about me. I’m working strictly from memory and I don’t feel like I’m all that great an author, but I do want these kind folks to be remembered for who they are. Nearly all of them have long since concluded their journey through life, I’m just trying to keep their memories alive.

I’ll start with my first introduction to a young feller I met while selecting my first homestead herein this county.
as I was walking down a trail that served as a road to and through the wooded areas I chanced upon David. He was a slim lad of about 14 years. He was wearing a pair of bibbed overalls, some rugged work boots, no shirt, but a friendly smile. He was busy with a hatchet, whittling out and fitting a new wagon tongue for the old road wagon parked in the middle of the trail. Off to one side his team was tied off to a tree limb. His team consisted of his grandfathers 17 hand 30 something year old mule and his cousins Shetland pony.
as we chatted getting acquainted it became obvious that I could learn a lot from this youngster when it came to getting stuff done without benefit of modern equipment and fancy gadgets.
I wound up buying 40 acres including that woodsy trail, became good friends with David, along with his several brothers, sisters, ma and pa. He and his kin will be discussed at different times throughout my tales here, just wanted to get started...

hope y’all enjoy hearing these stories as much as I’ve enjoyed living them.

more later
 

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I’m writing this from my hospital bed overlooking our little homestead. The end of an era pertains to my past forty some years living out my dream in the foothills of Appalachia and the many encounters I’ve had the priviledge of having with those wonderful folks who live here.
the new beginning refers to my taking the time to jot down some of those experiences and share them with others. These short stories I hope I can keep about the colorful, hill folk and their antics, and less about me. I’m working strictly from memory and I don’t feel like I’m all that great an author, but I do want these kind folks to be remembered for who they are. Nearly all of them have long since concluded their journey through life, I’m just trying to keep their memories alive.

I’ll start with my first introduction to a young feller I met while selecting my first homestead herein this county.
as I was walking down a trail that served as a road to and through the wooded areas I chanced upon David. He was a slim lad of about 14 years. He was wearing a pair of bibbed overalls, some rugged work boots, no shirt, but a friendly smile. He was busy with a hatchet, whittling out and fitting a new wagon tongue for the old road wagon parked in the middle of the trail. Off to one side his team was tied off to a tree limb. His team consisted of his grandfathers 17 hand 30 something year old mule and his cousins Shetland pony.
as we chatted getting acquainted it became obvious that I could learn a lot from this youngster when it came to getting stuff done without benefit of modern equipment and fancy gadgets.
I wound up buying 40 acres including that woodsy trail, became good friends with David, along with his several brothers, sisters, ma and pa. He and his kin will be discussed at different times throughout my tales here, just wanted to get started...

hope y’all enjoy hearing these stories as much as I’ve enjoyed living them.

more later
You may want to consider recording some of your stories in addition to posting them here. It would be a good resource that your local historical society may be interested in having. It would provide an additional resource for teachers to pull from when their students are studying the local history of their region.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You may want to consider recording some of your stories in addition to posting them here. It would be a good resource that your local historical society may be interested in having. It would provide an additional resource for teachers to pull from when their students are studying the local history of their region.
Recording these tales is not really an option for me but yeah, I get it. Lost my voice a few years back to throat cancer. For now I want to get them written. So many to do, so little time!
 

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Recording these tales is not really an option for me but yeah, I get it. Lost my voice a few years back to throat cancer. For now I want to get them written. So many to do, so little time!
Sorry to hear that. But please do consider giving them to the historical society. Even if you just copy and paste them into a file on your computer.
 

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I would love to see your place and the way you live. I'm fascinated by books like the Foxfire series. Looking forward to the stories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, more about davids kin.,, mostly to give folks better perspective.

davids grand parents were part of what I call the old local folks. They were born and bred here, many have never been out of this county. David’s grandpa was a farmer, raised tobacco mostly. David’s daddyBen) helped around the farm and cut timber when the weather permitted. Grandpa, n grandma lived just across the road from Ben. Back then said road was gravel. Grandpas house had a well with a sand bucket and was used by both households for their water supply. Grandpas house was the typical Appalachian style two roomer with board bat siding, tin roof. Bens house while larger had lost most of its living room floor to water rot Over the years. Both houses were located near a small creek at the bottom of the hill I had to go up to get to my place.
When will you be heading back home?
oh, I’m home now, just have the hospital bed set up in the living room, that way I can see most of our farm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, time for one more episode before I have to go see my heart doc,

so far I’ve acquainted y’all somewhat about my nearest neighbors. There were many similar families up and dow the back roads back then. One such family was the smiths. Robert k smith was our district magistrate, he was also a tobacco farmer and an interesting character. Robert k had two sons about my age. One of my favorite stories took place in 1880. It was hot hot hot! I had gone to see Robert k about getting my driveway graded but when I got there I had missed him. Leaving his one room log cabin I spotted his boys by the side of the road loading cedar logs on their truck. Carl would follow the mule to top of hill, pull a log down, load it then Stanley took his turn. Did I mention how hot it was? Anyhow the boys had a milk jug of water sitting in the shade. And I was thrilled when they offered me some. I took a big gulp.... thought I’d choke to death! Nope not water.., pure moonshine! Them smith boys added several chapters to my stories later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would love to see your place and the way you live. I'm fascinated by books like the Foxfire series. Looking forward to the stories.
Somewhere in this forum I managed to get a few pics posted in an article about building our log home. Just as I was putting together the second round of pics, my old comp died! Not sure now how much of our farm got posted but fairly sure some of the house site is there. I’ll see if I can find the link for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bees and banjos

this episode is about an old gent that lived way back in the hollow behind Robert k smiths log house. His name was Houston hurt. He and his nephew lived on a farm, raised a tobacco crop every year to cover their living expenses. Again Just a simple house... four rooms and a path. They raised most of what they ate, never had electricity or running water. The old timers called Houston the bee man. He had a way with bees. Would rob anyone’s bees. For a share of the honey. Never owned a car, just walked or rode a mule to the post office once a week or so to pick up His mail and catch up on the latest gossip. Houston’s mama taught him to play the banjo as a wee lad. She’d leave it on the bed as she go out to tend the garden or other chores leaving Houston with strict instructions to not touch mamas banjo! I loved to listen to that old man play!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Politics, bossism, Election Day

Over the course of my first spring and summer I’d met several of our community leaders, I’ll now introduce you to some of them.

At the very top of the list was a wisened ol boy by the name of Woodrow Wilson. He held the office of county judge executive. Not much happened in the political world without his say so. He was a large man, about 6’6” weighing in at well over 300 lbs. he oversaw the counties money, where it got spent, and to whom. At that time our county budget mostly went to the schools and road districts. This made his job quite lucrative at the very least.

In order for him to keep that position he of course had to win those pesky elections every 4 years, which meant he had to keep the voters happy. He was very good at that. Roads were important, and ol jj understood the game. JJ being short for his nickname... jumbo jelly belly. He kept the roads open, bridges safe and passable. Even private driveways and farm roads found themselves be graded and maintained at the counties expense. My own included. Other elected officials understood how things worked as well. This brings us to my very first Election Day in this new to me county.

Robert k smith being the head of the roads in my district had provided me with an excellent driveway. However rob wasn’t completely satisfied with my loyalty, so on Election Day he gifted me a fifth of liquor and twenty bucks in exchange for my promise to vote for him.
Upon my arrival at the voting house I was also greeted by his opponent.... who offered me another fifth and fifty bucks to vote for him. I, being a man of honor and integrity, had to refuse his offer. I had learned that in this culture a man kept his word, I’d promised Robert k my vote, no room to back up now. I also began to understand why politics, voting and such matters were left up to the menfolk.

After yapping with neighbors a while I took my turn at using the voting machine, assisted by Robert k smiths son of course to make sure I understood how operate said machine. I got it right, and went on with my day. Robert k won the election, I had a nice driveway, a fifth of whiskey and twenty bucks.... life was good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Does anyone know what time it is?

Along towards evening we had an alarm go off nearly everyday. Living on an old gravel road, a good distance from prying eyes of the law made it possible to know what time it was... at 6:33 pm the younger fellers of the neighborhood would come roaring down the road, sliding sideways round every curve! Yup... tonights episode of “the dukes of hazard” had just finished up! It was time for them to practice their own driving skills! This vehicle abuse was usually perpetrated by bens boys and his brother bucks grand sons. (Cousins that lived a few miles up the road) occasionally they would be joined by miss Delphi’s boys. Miss delphi had been blessed with 5 boys and a couple girls prior to her husbands getting killed in a logging accident. Like most of the old locals they had a farm which provided them with basics, but feeding a pack of kids required a bit more than just a garden. Miss Delphi had picked up where her husband had left off. She took his place on the logging crew. As I recall the logging company paid a dollar a truck load for all the timber you could cut, limb and top. Miss Delphi usually out cut her male counterparts by one or two loads a day. If she had little else she had grit! Needless to say her boys grew up a wee bit on the wild side... never meant no harm but loved to have a good time.
 

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I would love to see your place and the way you live. I'm fascinated by books like the Foxfire series. Looking forward to the stories.
I love stories like this too! I'm now afraid that something severe might be happening to YH. I would however like to say thank you for the years of making me smile!
Man, i really do like the Foxfire books. We had a small book store near my house. The owners lived across the street. When i was like 30 something i found out they were going to close, nobody in the family wanted the store, so they were selling off their inventory. I found a first printing of Carla Emory's book and was ready to buy it when old man Dutton comes over and asks if i would be interested in other books like the "encyclopedia", i said of course. He went up stairs and came down with an arm load of books. He had ALL the Foxfire books...:love: I will admit that some of the stories were....
questionable, but, i couldn't put them down. Fascinating history right there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks to all for your kind words of encouragement and wishes of well being on my behalf. As to my health, I’m fine as can be expected for an old man who has lived a long full life. I wouldn’t change a thing even if it were possible! I am where and who I am today because of all the wonderful folks I have met over the years. It’s been one heckuva ride!
 
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