Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Elders Pass It On

My life in appalachia - Starting Them Young

Last night the Blind Pig Gang made music under towering Pine Trees for a local benefit. It was nice. There were other groups there as well. Pap had been bragging about one of them on the way to the show-the gentleman in the photo. Pap told Chatter “He’s a real entertainer. If all he had was a pinecone I don’t doubt the crowd watching him would enjoy it.”

I’ve seen Pap’s friend in action before, he’s one of those folks who were born to entertain. But as I hid from the bugs in the light of the tiki torches last night-what I noticed most about his set were the 2 times he allowed a child to come on stage with him. He encouraged them to sing-he helped them with the words-he made them feel like they were part of his team. I looked at him in a new light-I knew he was an entertainer-but last night I discovered he is an Elder passing his knowledge to the coming generations.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    September 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I love that kind of interaction between elders and kids. I wanna be that kind of Grandmother (hopefully WAAAYYYY in the future)

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    September 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Heartwarming post Tipper….pulling at these ol’ heartstrings.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    So special!! when an older person takes the time to give attention to children.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I bet that was a lot of fun. I’ve
    always had respect for my elders,
    it was taught to me by my parents
    and I taught it to my girls. Now
    they will teach what they grew up
    with to their children. That’s the
    way it should be too. The time of
    this digital age is making it much
    harder for folks to carry on what
    once was. And a lot of the younger
    generation don’t give a hoot about
    about our past.
    Now that the weather is getting
    cooler I can get out and enjoy
    some Gospel Bluegrass music again.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Sounds like ya’ll had a great time. Good to hear that some folks still take time for the little ones.
    Do you or Pap remember an old song titled “The Transformation of a Texas Girl” ? Would like to hear it. Thanks.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Where would we be without our Elders? I try to learn as much as possible from them. What they teach may not be pertinent at that time, but it will be someday. You can bet on it!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    September 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Very touching. It is truly important to recognize such inspirational individuals. Often times we might think our “old adages” aren’t remembered or used in the lives of those who come after us. Hopefully we will all have an opportunity to see otherwise in a life we may have touched.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    September 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    It is so important that we as elders pass along what we know to our youth.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    September 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

    A thought for you Tipper:
    Blind Piglet and an Acorn… A blog about Appalachia for the children. From the comments here, I gather that most of us are older.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

    That child will probably never forget the night she joined him on stage and a new performer may have been born right before everyone’s eyes last night. I love it!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    September 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Wish I could have been there too…Sounds like fun and such a beautiful evening…
    If one guides young children in the way and the right directions, they will always remember and come back to their roots…
    We learn everyday here on the Blind Pig…Your posts, the thoughts expressed and memories past, always make my day…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 11, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Sandra, I think you are correct there are not many elders left but even sadder than that, there are few of the young that are teachable. It’s a two way exchange.
    We are very fortunate to have Tippers blog that sets a forum for us to teach and learn about our Appalachian Traditions!

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    September 11, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I think that too Tipper…when an entertainer brings or pulls in someone from the audience, the entire audience then feels the greater connection between both groups. And that in itself, is a great thing. Then if you try to share what you do, you are not only letting them into your world, but you are teaching them too! Last Saturday at the museum where I work, we have a “Old Days Way” type event. Demonstrators share their skills such as quilting, spinning, blacksmithing, etc. Any time they can, they pull in a child and let them do a part of the job. The child goes away with a much greater appreciation for how life once was. We even have musicians playing old time music.. I always think of you and your family every time they performed! I also realized I knew a lot more than I did last year, and that’s because of your wonderful writings! I have learned so much from you and your commenters in the time I have spent here with you~

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    September 11, 2011 at 8:34 am

    God Bless our Elders — the younger generations don’t seem to have the connection anymore and it’s a true loss.

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 8:29 am

    It must have been a beautiful night. Wish I could have been in that crowd in the high country and heard the little girl sing.
    Thank you Tipper.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 11, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Tipper–Historians are fond of saying “you can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been,” and there’s a great deal of truth in that adage. Keepers of the culture, such as the entertainer you mean, help us travel the path ahead by keeping the one our forebears have already traveled in the forefront of our minds.
    My paternal grandfather and my father were such folks, and I feel greatly blessed to have been able to share their tales, recollections, and insights on mountain days and ways.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    September 11, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Sounds like a very nice evening. The old folks have a lot of wisdom and the craft they have learned to pass along. The trick is to get the young folks to understand that this is valuable stuff!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2011 at 6:12 am

    so sweet, you know i wish I had been there. I am very much afraid there are not many elders passing on their wisdom now.

  • Reply
    Tim Mclemore
    September 11, 2011 at 4:12 am

    I have seen folks like this, they are a joy to be around, it’s not all about them, it’s about just having fun and sharing in the fun. There is a lot one can learn from someone like this, not only in their God given talent, but just everyday living.

  • Leave a Reply