5 Things Appalachia

5 Things

1. Pap was better at running the tv than Granny. They both love to watch the western channel and they love the Andy Griffith Show too. Pap had the tv programmed where it would switch over to Andy every evening. Granny is usually watching the show when I come by after work to check on her. She said she thought it was so sweet that Pap fixed the tv for her since she didn’t know how to fool with it like he did. One day she told me “Every evening when it turns to Andy and Barney I think how he’s still looking out for me even though he’s gone.”


2. The Deer Hunter was out working in a field the other day when he spied some dewberries by the side of the way. He cut the top off a plastic water bottle and picked some for me. There used to be a few dewberries down at Pap’s big garden, I need to go see if they’re still there.


3. Brasstown is a buzz with the sound of children this week-it’s Little Middle Folk School at the John C. Campbell Folk School. The girls are too old to attend as students, but they are volunteering. Chatter is helping with all sorts of things from finding out the needs of instructors to directing traffic. The lucky dog Chitter is helping out in the jewelry studio as an assistant. I used to write about the classes the girls took when they were students. You can see the old posts at the links below:

Two Blacksmiths are Living at My House
Two Knitters Moved In Last Week
Two Jewelers Moved In Last Week


4. Since Pap died Granny has about drove herself crazy going through old pictures and papers. She found Pap’s college ID card a few weeks ago. I knew he went to college on the GI Bill, but had never seen the card before. Back then the community college hadn’t been open for all that long. The college was started on the site of an old prison and in those days it was mostly technical programs that were offered. Pap took electronics and learned how to wire the house he was building for him and Granny at the time.


5. Paul and I are slowly making progress on the dvd I told you about a few weeks ago. I made a playlist on Youtube of our top 22 viewed videos-you can go here to see/hear it. I’ve been letting it play in the background as I work. I find myself being amazed at the wonderful music even though I was right there when it was being made. I’ve especially been enjoying When the Roses Bloom Again.



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  • Reply
    Carol Isler
    June 24, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Yay for Pap mastering the remote. Sounds like something Ken would do for me. I have a Masters in educational technology but can’t program all that TV stuff.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I enjoyed reading your “5 things.” Unique and memorable.
    And I’m sure you were encouraged and cheered by remembering them all!
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    June 23, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Awww, how sweet of Pap to set the tv to play Andy for her every night. And you know what, I bet he’s sitting right there watching it with her, even though you can’t see him any longer.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Tamela-thank you for the comment! Why 5 things? Well I saw where someone did 10 random things on a blog, but I figured Id never come up with 10 so I gave 5 at try and seemed perfect for me : ) 

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    What do folks with 190 channels do? There’s only 24 hours in a day?!
    We just get what comes over the airwaves and, due to the engineering skills of my mountain goat, record what little we want to watch (even the news) so we can pass over the commercials and “news” that isn’t worth watching.
    I trained some transplanted dewberries to grow up a trellis; but since Mom and Dad moved on the property Dad tore them out to grow grapes. We both like growing things but we grow very different things. Even when I had dewberries on the trellis, critters always seemed to get to them first.
    How did you come up with “5” things – not “3” – or “7” – or “4”? Just curious – or nosy – however you want to think of it.
    I’m still going through boxes of deceased relatives. Every once in a while I find a real treasure – like a old old photo of an Indian in full regalia on a glass plate – so I can’t bring myself to give away the boxes – discovering hundreds, maybe thousands of old photos I’ve never seen. Unfortunately, as you might have guessed, very few of them are labeled. If nothing else, this process emphasized to me that I don’t want to leave my kids anything but a few well organized scrapbooks and photo albums for them to go through (and a few thumb drives with important information) – – wish me luck!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 23, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    To answer Miss Cindy’s question, blackberries are briars that stand upright and have big thorns spaced along the stem. Dewberry stems are more like vines and trail along on the ground. Dewberries have many more thorns but they are much smaller. Dewberry vines look sorta hairy but that “hair” can cut the blood out of you if you get it wrapped around your leg.
    Dewberry fruit is a little more rounded than the blackberry and in my experience a lot sweeter.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    After playing a bunch of the Blind Pig Gang’s songs, I looked in my Bookmarks and played “Just a Touch of the Past”. I love that song, especially where Paul has a Brain
    Freeze for just a jiffy and that LOOK Pap gives Paul at the 3rd verse. He means “now
    son, don’t make us have to do this thing over.”ha
    I enjoy the 5 Things…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    1. How can we know before we go what it is like on the other side? There is no doubt in my mind that Pap is still watching over all of you.
    2. I agree that genley dewberries are better than blackberries. I used to have a secret patch of blackberries that grew around an old hog pen. They tasted like dewberries and were as big as my thumb. But the woods crept in and then there was none.
    3. I’m sure your girl twins will be a welcome addition at the folk school.
    4. I found a photocopy of my birth certificate from 1950. It is a negative of the original so it is black with white print. I scanned it and used Picasa to reverse the image back to black on white. I plan to post it on my website soon. Am I not worried that someone will steal my identity? Nobody could stand to be me for more than 2 minutes. They’d pay me to take it back.
    5. I don’t know about everybody but when I listen to music I can isolate one part and just listen to it. I am sitting here listen to the bass part in the songs that have it. You’re good!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    June 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I have been picking blackberries for the last three days. They are at the stage where maybr 5% of the berries are actually ready to pick, but that just means that there will be LOTS of berries before the season ends. Getting ready to make jam this afternoon.

  • Reply
    June 23, 2016 at 9:19 am

    If I can find the local news on my TV, I’m happy. I pay for the premium package on Dish Networks for the grandkids who are not daily visitors. What a waste of money! I have been known to cancel service in the summer and pay a new installation fee again in the fall. The last time I turned on a show I was looking forward to watching was sometime in March.
    Is that jewelry Chitter made? Pretty!
    Pap was such a handsome man. When I grew up our address was just route #2 with the city and state. How did the mail carrier ever find us when everyone else in the area had the same address?
    The dewberries usually get ripe here around the 4th of July.
    I absolutely love Pap and Paul’s version of When The Roses Bloom Again!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    June 23, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Tipper—I partially agree with Ron that dewberries are better than blackberries. Taste-wise they are the crème de la crème of the berry world, and I think the reason you don’t see as many as once was the case is that they grow best on recently abandoned farm land and fields. Not many people doing that sort of thing anymore.
    Where I disagree with Ron is on the ease of picking. Maybe if you are young, spry, and catty dewberries are easier, but for someone of my vintage the bending is anything but a blessing.
    One other thought on dewberries. Those low growing vines can be tough as leather. I once saw a buddy chasing a crippled rabbit get tangled up in them while on a dead run. He tripped, turned a complete flip, jammed his shotgun into the ground in the process, filled the barrel with mud, and barely broke stride.
    That buddy was Jackie Corbin, a Bryson City boy who was a first-class high school athlete and even more a scholar. He got a Ph. D. from Vanderbilt and spent the better part of four decades there as a researcher. He was one of the team that discovered Viagra, but to local folks he’ll always just be “Grubby” Corbin (his nickname).
    The Deer Hunter’s dewberries started me down a rabbit trail that has wandered all over the place, but I’ll finish by saying that of all the cobblers I’ve consumed, and that’s a passel of them, nothing quite matches a dewberry one (although one from black raspberries come mighty close).

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 23, 2016 at 8:22 am

    How can you tell the difference in a blackberry and a dewberry? The Deer Hunter is a sweetheart! I have some black raspberries growing along my creek, I need to clear out some out around them so they can grow better.
    Those pendants Chitter made are lovely. They’ll make a nice necklace.
    Sorting through stuff is Granny’s way of processing her loss, it might take her a while.
    When The Roses Bloom Again has has 40,461 views…WOW!!!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 23, 2016 at 8:06 am

    In my opinion dewberries are much better than blackberries. But I rarely see them.And they are much easier to pick to.
    In our house my wife knows the tv, dvd, etc. I don’t have a clue because I don’t care to know.
    After Mom died we found her high school graduation announcement and a letter of recommendation from a doctor she worked for. I probably had known as a boy they were there but had forgotten.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 23, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Five nice things! I’ve been away, and this is a perfect

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 23, 2016 at 7:55 am

    The tv issue sounds like our house except the other way around. Finally taught Ron enough to work the remotes and he hasn’t stopped.
    The dewberries look so good. I am a berry lover and will go pick several times when in season. I also freeze them in 4# bags to last throughout the year. This year I made blueberry jam for the first time, so proud

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