Things happen at night in the holler. Bad things. Of course, that goes for big cities, too. But we all know hollers have no street lights or city lights and nighttime is pitch-black along those meandering dirt roads. Nightfall covers a multitude of sins like a cozy patchwork blanket. It’sContinue Reading

Tennessee Williams was one of the foremost playwrights in the 20th century. He wrote close to 40 plays, 70 one-act plays, and several screenplays, achieving great success with The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1947; Pulitzer Prize winner), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955; Pulitzer Prize winner),Continue Reading

Welcome to the second and final posting of Appalachian slave narratives capturing individual responses regarding freedom. You’ll find part one here. Visit the following sources for more extensive and wide ranging interviews: Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1938 – Library of Congress Slave narratives – Project GutenbergContinue Reading

Capturing a misty Blue Ridge morning, we scuttled uphill, down dale, taking up trails, traipsing through dew-covered fields, and slipped off, passing untamed hours of existence. We rested near calm lakes roused by walleye’s sporadic splash, or bluegill’s breath bubbles or striders atop the water or dew-dripped sprinkles pit-patting aContinue Reading

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

On a rainy day in late March our family decided we needed a day in the Smokies, or, to be more precise, under them. Our destination was Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, Tennessee, about 25 miles south of Knoxville. The word Tuckaleechee is derived from the Cherokee word, Tikwalitsi (original meaningContinue 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

At the end of February, we packed our bags (masks, sanitizer, and alcohol spray included) and took a daytrip to downtown Asheville, North Carolina, to visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, honoring the Appalachian writer, novelist, playwright, and poet, Thomas Wolfe. We took the scenic route on 25-W and it wasContinue 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