Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Brasstown NC In 1920 – In 2012

Clays corner brasstown nc

John C Campbell Folk School - Fred O Scroggs
Fred O. Scroggs-photo provided by the John C. Campbell Folk School

Fred O. Scroggs was a storekeeper here in Brasstown, NC-he was also quite the historian and played a significant role in the John C. Campbell Folk School being located in Brasstown.

Back when I prowled through his papers in the JCCFS Archives (if you missed it-you can click here to read it), I found where he had jotted down various sayings he heard in his store. To put it in his words: “Some sayings and “idle talk” around store – (stove) by some of my older customers.”

  • I ain’t a well enough read man to know.
  • I’ve knowed the like uv that.
  • None uv us put here to stay allus.
  • They’re jist plum purty.
  • He’s not got any corn hardly gathered.
  • Well enough off.
  • Low down sorry good-for-nothing thing.
  • In the long run, it don’t pay.
  • Old Bill’s daddy was jist that a way.


Clays corner brasstown nc

Clay’s Corner 2011 – Clay fixed cornbread for me and a few guests

According to Fred O’s notes, he jotted down the sayings between 1920-1930. Skip ahead to present day Brasstown 2012.

Clay Logan is the local storekeeper and has been for at least 20 years. People still gather at the store to sit and talk. I sorta doubt Clay is taking time to jot down what they say-but I am absolutely positive you can still hear the sayings above along with similar phrases by the folks who visit with Clay (like Pap).

Over the last week-I’m also positive there has been much talk about the court ruling in favor of PETA against the NC Wildlife Association around Clay’s store. The ruling means there may not be a Possum Drop this New Year’s Eve-seems silly to tie up our courts with a possum drop when there are so many other important issues. And even sillier to assume the catching, releasing, and feeding in between traumatizes the possum. But If I know Clay he’ll come up with something just as good-if not better. If you want to read more about the court case-just Google it and you can see what both sides have to say about the issue.



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  • Reply
    February 18, 2013 at 10:52 am

    How about replacing the “Possum Drop ” with a “Peta Drop”? Maybe a member of PETA might volunteer. They would, of course, be fed and treated humanely, and dropped slowly and gently ! But I guess it would have to actually just be symbolic.
    Drop a big sign that says “PETA”, that way the drop wouldn’t have to be too slow or gentle.

  • Reply
    November 20, 2012 at 6:22 am

    What a ridiculous waste of resources when there are sick people out there doing truly horrendous things to animals. PETA needs a hobby!

  • Reply
    Gorges Smythe
    November 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    You know, a BAKED possum drop really DOES make sense! (Of course, THEY would be too dense to see the irony in it.)
    Your post reminded me of someone, maybe Andy Griffith or Don Knotts, conjugating “a-fixin’ to.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    In a world in which we daily witness mans inhumanity to man, why does PETA choose to protect the possum. I guess they like to take on little causes they know they can win. I wonder how many people will refuse to donate now knowing their funds might be used for such a petty endeavor when much more horrendous atrocities are taking place.
    Read up on possums. They have a protective device that allows then to “play possum” when they encounter an unbearably stressful situation. They can just go to sleep and be oblivious to all the light and noise whenever they are being lowered to the ground. Or maybe they like to stay awake and party with the rest of the animals.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    November 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Is that just crazy or what????? I guess PETA is jist that way-a low down, sorry, good fer nuthin’ thing!

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    November 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Very interesting post Tipper.. My husband works for Clay at the Community Center there.It is so sad about the Possum Drop but knowing Clay he’ll come up with something, that’s for sure.. I’ve wrote a Poem/story about the Possum Drop.. Hopefully it will be in my new Book.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 19, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I’d bet that if you could make the possum understand what he was in for, you would have a line of volunteers for the possum drop. I think the PETA folks need something productive to do to keep themselves busy.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    My Goodness! That PETA sticks their noses in places that don’t
    mean any harm, like the Posseum
    Drop at Clay’s Corner. That ole
    Posseum is treated better than
    most animals in cages at the zoo.
    Just like the stupit atheists who
    would like to ruin the Manger
    Scenes at Christmas Time. This is
    our heritage and Their Rights End
    Where Mine Begins…Ken

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    November 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I usually heard..”Low down sorry good-for-nothing wretch!”
    Well, I ain’t a well enough well read woman to know…but I think PETA ran outta thangs to do when they finally got the fur coats hung back on the animals…
    I feel during that time, the endangered animals slaughtered for their fur was a plausible effort..
    But, to turn on a well fed possum that will turned loose and just might come back for another hand out, is just silly…They’ve run out of thangs to do…
    They really need to teach those deer to read the the deer crossing signs, ’cause they never ever cross where supposed to!…The money would be better spent.
    Thanks Tipper, PS..Another thang to PinnacleCreek, I agree!
    If I see a spider, whether it be a brown recluse or not, (I never take the time to check), it is squashed, stomped, whacked, smacked, stobed, vacumed, sprayed or otherwise distroyed if it is in my abode! So sorry, PETA….

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    November 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I’ve not really studied PETA that much but I must say I do love animals. Fried, baked,broiled or what ever but i’m not gonna go over 10 bucks on the baked possum. I wonder if they taste like chicken or whistle pig.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    When I read about The ‘Possum Drop in the national news I said “O my stars and garters, the gummint has found Brasstown!” Reminds me of the folks from New York City who rented a car to go driving in the country (New Jersey) and called the police because of a wild and dangerous animal in in the ditch. It was a ‘possum, of course; Lawd he’p ’em if they had seen a squirrel, the wild and dangerous animal that climbs trees…
    …and are delicious at breakfast.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I’ve been amazed at the publicity about the Possum Drop. At least everyone knows where Brasstown is now.

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    November 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Oh PETA, they make me so angry – they are so violent and absurd they’ve lost support from many, many people who love animals. They do more harm than good. I love animals and contribute to many more worthy animal rescue groups. This is ridiculous to stop the possum drop. How about a Peta Person drop? Feed them some meat for a few weeks and let ’em roll, err, drop. Ed, as usual, has a good idea too!

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    November 19, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Interesting to say the least, however, I think I’ll stay out of this one. If they come in the night, I’ll just stay snug in my bed. The sayings, well, I may have heard them, but they probably went over my head ‘ cause I’m still learnin’.

  • Reply
    Barbara Woodall
    November 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

    The mention of Brasstown brought back a memory.
    When I was about 6 or 7, my eldest brother took the family (except Dad, he’d not go) to Brasstown Bald.
    Mama said, “It’s s’ steep you’ll skin your nose going up. Don’t none of you younguns fall down. You’ll roll all th’ way to the ocean and knock it dry.”
    Once on top Ed pointed out state views. When he said, “North Carolina”, Mama replied, “Well Lord have mercy! I see Aunt Alvia’s girl a’ hangin’ out hippins.”
    We younguns done a double take as she grinned.

  • Reply
    November 19, 2012 at 8:07 am

    PETA is just silly, and it has lost its effectiveness by fighting silly battles. Next thing you know they will be taking people to court for spraying Recluse spiders. Oh well, the Appalachian spirit is strong, and there will be a good replacement I am sure. Hmmm, I sure hope they don’t try to stop Punxsutawney Phil from predicting the weather on Groudhog Day.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, Ph.D.
    November 19, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Hey Tipper: All them ‘sayings’ you shared this morning SO EARLY are mighty familiar to me! Your post is always enlighting!
    Last night my sister, Eddie Lee, called to tell me about Clay Ivester’s death! Now I am so sad, as I had put an article in the “Progress” sharing our wonderful moments with you all and Clay down at the Folk School! I just hope somebody writes a fine acknowledgement about Clay and his many qualities and outlook on life! I will never forget our time spent with him – so brief!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Edwin Ammons
    November 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Would it be too late to change it to a baked possum drop? I think that would be legal. Then at the end of the revelries they could auction it off and give the proceeds to PETA. Who’ll gimme five? Got five! Who’ll gimme ten?

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    November 19, 2012 at 7:45 am

    You have got to be kidding me. One possum injured, or killed, or teased a year and it’s a court case. Seriously how many did they run over getting to that courthouse?

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