I am the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran. My father, Benny F. Shown, Sr., served honorably from 1967-1968 with Second Platoon in B Battery of the 29th Artillery. He served with the First Air Cavalry Division, various infantry units, and, in some cases, with Special Forces. He rarely spoke aboutContinue Reading

King Frederick flashed his old, worried eyes at the queen as they stood beside an ornate wooden bed where the chalky Prince Laverlier lay. The young man’s condition was a mystery to the day’s conventional physicians. The prince had been bled, burned, and poulticed half to death, but, alas, nothingContinue Reading

Welcome back to Part 2, the last of Appalachia Bare’s series about the Daugherty surname. Our focus here will mainly be on Sir Cahir Rue O’Doherty, the last Gaelic/ Irish Chieftain. Understandably, Cahir is not from Appalachia. But I remember something my grandmother once said to me: A Daugherty isContinue Reading

Like just about everyone else in this region (and across the nation), I am a conglomeration of peoples. I am Irish, Scottish (Scots-Irish (Scotch-Irish)), German, English, Dutch, French, Swiss, Bohemian, Melungeon, and I could go on. The earliest known existence for any of my ancestors in this region was aContinue Reading

One day, I’d just hung up the phone after talking with my mother, and my oldest son asked, “Mom, how come you talk different when you’re on the phone with Mammaw?” “Do I?” I asked, puzzled. My youngest son chimed in, “Yeah. You do. You talk more country. It’s weird.”Continue Reading

I Appalachian women are, arguably, the most unacknowledged and undervalued segment of our region. But . . . that fact wasn’t always so, particularly in the matriarchal Cherokee tribe, where lineage was matrilineal (meaning the descent was determined through the female line), and where women were completely independent. They couldContinue Reading

A few years ago, I visited the Coal Creek Miners Museum in Rocky Top (formerly Lake City, formerly Coal Creek), Anderson County, Tennessee. The facility provides a historical glimpse into the lives of coal miners in the Fraterville and Briceville mines, particularly from the late 1800s to the 1930s. TheContinue Reading

When someone reflects on Women’s suffrage in the United States, that person might recognize women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or Alice Paul. Here in Appalachia, however, we had our own heroine who worked tirelessly for women’s rights and issues. This Women’s History Month, Appalachia BareContinue Reading

We’ve come to the third and final post in a series about the Extraordinary Tanner family (See posts one and two.). Today, we’ll meet the trailblazing, tenacious Tanner women, who were exceptionally intelligent and highly successful in a time when women, especially African American women, weren’t afforded serious education orContinue Reading

Two kinds of hollows exist in the mountains. The first kind is the nice, pleasant, winding road that leads to a lake or park out in the boonies. The second kind is an offshoot from that nice road and it snakes down into a deep, dark holler. I grew upContinue Reading