Appalachia Celebrating Appalachia Videos

Appalachian Characters – Josh Griggs

Josh Griggs

Appalachia is full of unique colorful characters. In today’s video I’m sharing an interview I did with one of those individuals: family friend Josh Griggs.

Josh is one of those people who are so funny that your face hurts from laughing after you spend time with them.

He has an amazing inspiring life story and if you stick around to the very end of the video you can enjoy some of his humor.

I hope you enjoyed the video! If you’d like to see Josh play the piano mostly using the black keys-go watch this video.


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  • Reply
    John Bates
    September 28, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    We totally loved this interview. He is a true southern gentleman.

  • Reply
    Gina Lee Smith
    August 29, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    Love it, just love it

  • Reply
    Sallie the Apple Doll Lady
    August 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    I really enjoyed this interview and his piano playing. It was a bit of surprise and nothing like I expected when I read the title. One thought J had is that I would like to hear about him again after a few more years. Most of us know a few characters but we don’t usually know their whole story. I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to your next interview. Thanks to all who contributed.

  • Reply
    SusieQ & Donnie Ray
    August 29, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    I just loved watching this on YouTube the other day, so interesting …watched again :).

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    August 29, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Good interview, Tipper! Josh Griggs is super! I think his students are blessed!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 29, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    I think I know now why Josh only had 2 brothers. I’ll bet his parents decide not to have any more kids because they might have another boy and wouldn’t be able to name him. They had used up all the boy names and would have had to name him Sue.

    • Reply
      September 19, 2021 at 7:19 pm

      They could have named the next one Edward.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    I enjoyed Josh’s talk about Appalachia the Best since I been on here. I know he’s Appalachian as I am, cause I’m from Cherokee County, N.C. close to the Robbinsville Bridge and the Topton Baptist Church. I’m a bit over 72 and I’ve had a good life, until the Dope Heads moved in. Neighbors use to look after Neighbors, when we went to Church, we didn’t even lock our doors. We lived right in the middle of Drunks and Moonshine Makers, but narry a time did they ever try to get me or My Five Brothers to taste of that Stuff. They had Families and wanted to live here, just like we did, only We Farmed. Daddy and Mama taught us Boys to do what was Right, and all, and that why I call me ” the Last of the Mohicians.” …Ken

  • Reply
    Kenneth Ryan
    August 29, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    This was an absolutely wonderful interview! I loved every second of it.

  • Reply
    J. Wayne Fears
    August 29, 2020 at 11:09 am

    What a fun and interesting interview. Keep it up, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Ron Pries†
    August 29, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Absolutely loved the Josh Griggs interview. I am looking at it from a very different perspective. I was born in New York City, but after owning a home in Blairsville GA for 18 years, I sold the home yesterday, I have come to appreciate the people and the culture of Appalachia. There are city folk and there are country folk. I am , at heart, a country folk.
    Tipper thanks for doing what you do and thanks for raising such great girls, two at a time.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    August 29, 2020 at 10:45 am

    I just finished watching the interview with Josh Griggs and it was great! I was so blessed hearing how the Lord called him to teach and then provided the means. He was funny and articulate, a real amazing Appalachian. Thanks so much Tipper, for introducing this wonderful person to your readers and listeners.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 29, 2020 at 9:37 am

    I love it. So much to take away at so many levels. Made me think of so many things. Probably the strongest was the whole theme of special ed and how it has been woven throughout his life by design and not by happenstance. It is tragic and unfair for anyone to be labeled and by that be locked in. And the worst part is what he said about believing it oneself, creating a prison of the mind. That is so true and a child can’t realize what is being done to them. God bless those who have the kindness and the wisdom to be instrumental in saving people from such lies.

    His story about Hwy 64 up the Ocoee River gorge lets me know he feels, as I do, that we might as well be perfectly honest with the Lord, even when our honest feelings are ugly. He knows anyway and knows when we are being dishonest. Josh had a narrow escape that day, perhaps measured only in minutes.

    Josh could get a slot at the International Storytellers Center at Jonesboro, TN (if he hasn’t already). I would love to go hear him.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 29, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Tipper–A great delight. One has to wonder whether Josh could talk without his hands. He reminds me of my Grandpa Joe in that regard, because his hands punctuate, emphasize, and generally give meaning and character to his words.

    Also, you may have at least a handful of readers who will have known Bryson City’s Doc Kelly Bennett. Josh reminds me of a young version of Doc Kelly. Nattily attired, bedecked in a bow tie, and absolutely full of life. Doc Kelly was a pharmacist and the proprietor of Bennett’s Drug Store, the place where a couple of generations of Swain County teenagers hung out whenever they were in town and had spare time (and maybe a bit of money to spend at the drug store’s soda fountain).

    Jim Casada

    • Reply
      T. R. Atzenhoffer
      April 27, 2021 at 10:47 pm

      If Jim refers to someone as like my Great Grandfather Doc Kelly, then it must be true. I guess its time I watch the interview and stop reading the comments that lead me here while doing some family history research.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 29, 2020 at 8:06 am

    What a wonderful interview, I enjoyed every minute. He’s our people! Thanks Tip and Josh.
    I particularly appreciated the part about being held back in school I understand it well having experienced something similar myself.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2020 at 7:53 am

    I did not have time to watch the entire video, but remember going through Copperhill on my way to Chatanooga. I always like to drive the backroads and also to go like my parents would go before the interstates came along. One memory I have, besides seeing one of the mines, is of a line being painted in the parking lot of a store and being able to stand in 2 states at one time. My children got a thrill out of that. I had a uncle that lived in Chatanooga.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    August 29, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Josh Griggs IS INDEED A CHARACTER!!! Here’s to Cherokee County who had the good sense and good fortune to hire this excellent man and teacher. Many well wishes to the man with 5 names!!!

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