Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Family


Chitter and Tipper at Granny’s

“Appalachian people are family-centered. Mountain people usually feel an obligation to family members and are more truly themselves when within the family circle. Family loyalty runs deep and wide and may extend to grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, and even in-laws. Family members gather when their is sickness, death, or a disaster. Supervisors in northern industries have been perplexed when employees from Appalachia have been absent from jobs to attend funerals of distant relatives.”

~Loyal Jones –Appalachian Values

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Tipper

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

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Rev. Rose Marie "RB" Redmond
    June 8, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I wonder if that kind of closeness and loyalty comes from living similar lives and knowing first-hand the struggles the others have gone through.
    In today’s world, so many families live so far apart from one another, often not ever getting to know extended family members at all, so when one is in need, the closeness simply isn’t there for some other family members to relate to.
    Sad, isn’t it.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Ken
    June 8, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Tipper,
    I don’t know about other places, but here in Appalachia folks use to have their family wakes at home. I’ve been to several when I was a kid and when I look back, I can remember how small those living rooms were. You’d have to wade thru people on the porch to get inside. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    My feeble mind failed to mention earlier that I have the book “Appalachian Values” by Loyal Jones. It was given to me by an anonymous benefactor several years ago. If that person is reading this, This book is a treasure and I am eternally grateful!
    By the way, Loyal Edward Jones is the uncle of the wife of my 1st cousin 1X removed. Seem like a stretch to call him kin? Not in Appalachia! Here he is close kin.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    What is not evident in the quote by Loyal Jones is that those same northern supervisors often sought out folks from Appalachia to fill their jobs. Second only to family loyalty is loyalty to work which comes back around to supporting their own. Those supervisors knew that when these mountain people said they had to be away from work it was a true family emergency and not a desire to go fishing or play golf.
    My deceased brother in law worked for Baker Furniture in Andrews before they moved out. When we would go over there to visit, his first words would be “How are you doing?” His second “How is your work going?” He wasn’t truly concerned with things at my job. What he was really asking was, “Are you getting to work enough to support your family?”

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    June 8, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Oh yes, family is all, and our family tends to hang in there with 2nd, 3rd, and 1st cousins once removed. Hard to keep up when your parents came from extremely large families.
    My sister and I often say all of our entire social gatherings growing up tended to consist of wakes and funerals. Also in this circle were friends, and would see folks remembered from childhood show at funerals of our loved ones. Indeed my daughter said her teachers once became suspicious at so many absences to pay respects to her great uncles and aunts. We are very dedicated to children in the extended family, and no orphaned child ever went unclaimed by a doting relative. I found to my joy that adopted children are embraced easily.
    My dear Tipper, you make such a nice photo bomber in that picture. Will be so great to see a big smile back. We’re all rooting for you, and your deep Appalachian roots will give you the tools you need for healing. God Bless!

  • Reply
    grannysu
    June 8, 2016 at 9:33 am

    I have seen this with my neighbors, and with my granddaughters whose mothers are from these hills. My family, scattered from Louisiana to England to Australia, does not have that cohesiveness, but we’re learning as my siblings and cousins have been adopting the ways of the native Appalachians who have married in, and from those of us who have moved here and have learned the importance of family.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 8, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I remember when it was common to address male elders as “Uncle” and female ones as “Aunt”. I just took it for granted then but later just thought it a courtesy title. Not until I got involved with genealogy did I start thinking that it may have originated in actual family relationship then became a courtesy title over time. We lost something when that folkway faded out.
    My genealogy dabbling has lead me to the conclusion that the Southern idea of everybody being cousins comes the closest to the way it really is because it captures the idea of being related but at an unknown distance.

  • Reply
    Cynthia Schoonover
    June 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I’m not from Appalachia, but my family has always been close and we gather for all occasions. Sadly, our family has grown smaller over the years.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 8, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Unguarded moments of thoughtfulness, you look a thousand miles away.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

    While not from Applachia, my forefathers were and more importantly the South. Family is always first. Living in Florida with mostly northerners, I daily see people who have no sense of family or place. Where they are from is always home.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

    While not from Applachia, my forefathers were and more importantly the South. Family is always first. Living in Florida with mostly northerners, I daily see people who have no sense of family or place. Where they are from is always home.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

    While not from Applachia, my forefathers were and more importantly the South. Family is always first. Living in Florida with mostly northerners, I daily see people who have no sense of family or place. Where they are from is always home.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    June 8, 2016 at 8:32 am

    While not from Applachia, my forefathers were and more importantly the South. Family is always first. Living in Florida with mostly northerners, I daily see people who have no sense of family or place. Where they are from is always home.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 8, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Tipper,
    This post is so true of Appalachian family! Members will show up in a crisis! If they get any word of it at all, even if one hasn’t seen or heard from that particular family member in years or last critical event!
    How many times I’ve overheard or directly had said to me…”Good to see you, haven’t seen you since the reunion year ‘fore last or was it Uncle..(Billy Bob’s) funeral?”….ha
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 8, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Family is very important, as Loyal Jones notes, to Appalachian people. We gather together “en masse” when we are sick, in trouble, there is a death, or we just celebrate happy occasions like a wedding, a birth, or family reunions! Now we’re nearing the season of family reunions! The time of “big gatherings” and “catching up” on news, eating and laughing, singing and celebrating! Makes me happy just to think about family! With all our foibles, we are family!

  • Reply
    Kat magendie
    June 8, 2016 at 7:14 am

    I was reading Family Graces last night so I could get into VK’s head and write something else about her, and there, I’d forgotten, was the part about gritted bread – and how Gary used the recipe from someone in Brasstown – Pap – and etc., and at the end of the book is the recipe you gave me. Made me smile.
    I’ve been reading your blog in my email for a long time but it’s good to be here “in person” and blogging/blog-walking again. *smiling*
    I wonder how far Andrews is from me!

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