I’ve Got Some Questions for You

I was thrilled so many of you enjoyed the garden tour. Using more video on the Blind Pig & the Acorn is something I’ve been studying on. You may have noticed in the last several months I’ve used short clips of things going on around the house.

Here’s what I have in mind for future videos:

  • Interviews with people who live in Appalachia
  • Instructional type videos
  • A deeper look into the traditions, folklore, language, and culture of Appalachia
  • Stories from Appalachia
  • And of course music will always be high on the video list

I’m not interested in delving into controversial subjects—there’s plenty of people out there already doing that aspect of Appalachia. The thrust behind the videos will be the same one I have for the blog: to celebrate and preserve the heritage and culture of Appalachia.

My questions for you:

Would you like to see the type of videos I mentioned above?

When it comes to celebrating Appalachia, what did I leave out of the list?

What video content about Appalachia would you enjoy watching?


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  • Reply
    Jenny De Armond
    July 6, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    I started thinking about my wish list and realized that it’s long! Cooking, baking, and gardening always draw me in. Other topics of appeal: dance, knives and axes, anything related to fiber and handwork, clothing and dress, and holiday traditions.

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    July 5, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Yes indeed! I’ve been playing with video on my blog too–it’s a challenge for me, with the satellite internet we have to have. But I’d like to see more videos, and it sounds like everyone else would too.

  • Reply
    Gina Smith
    July 4, 2020 at 11:46 am

    More of all of the above and thank you for celebrating and avoiding the controversy. Your site is a refuge from all of that.

  • Reply
    Darrell Keith Cook
    July 4, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Hi Tipper, I like what you have been presenting. Adding videos and getting stories from people about our mountain heritage would be wonderful.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 4, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Tipper, I love all the posts you do. I did especially enjoy the garden video, but I also love the others.

  • Reply
    July 4, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I would certainly enjoy and appreciate instructional type videos featuring people who live in Appalachia. But I know how much work and time is involved in making quality videos, so I don’t even like to ask! I’ll stay tuned 🙂

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 3, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    I’d like to see more videos of you and your whole family in which you all speak. In length and in content. I like listening not only to what you have to say but how you say it. It’s not just the words but their arrangement. And it’s the tonal quality of your voices. It’s not because I find you different that I like to hear you speak but in fact it’s because you are the same. It’s because that’s the way I talk.
    You know I can’t think of a day that I don’t recall a word or phrase and wonder if Tipper knows it and uses it. But as quickly as I recall I forget. The Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English is an excellent reference but falls far short of being complete and even worse it is $754.87 on Amazon.

  • Reply
    Leslie Haynie
    July 3, 2020 at 10:11 pm

    Wonderful ideas! Id like to see seasonal topics too.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    July 3, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Happy 4th to everyone. The President and First Lady will be in South Dakota tonight for a Speech in front of the 4 Presidents from the Past.

    My friend Jim and his brother Don came to see me one time. They brought with them some Moral Mushrooms, I hadn’t never heard or seen them But Jim cooked them and they tasted like Pork Chops to me. They were Good. So, I fixed some fried Taters and Nantahala Half- Runners and Cornbread in a Cast Iron Skillet like Nobody’s Business and I didn’t burn or scorch anything.

    Usually Jesse Allen eats with me three or four times a week. One time I was Sick and Jesse howed out my garden, instead of him telling me Muckin’ out stories about when he worked in Tunnels. He was in his 90’s, and I was amazed at how he knew all their names and where they lived.

    Jesse Allen was 94 or 95 when he died, Myrtle was glad I came, I had never been to a Cremation before. I looked around and decided I was early, and then I saw it—a box like a Cigar Box with his ashes inside. I fought back the Tears when I saw these words …Jesse Allen. …Ken

  • Reply
    Luann Sewell Waters
    July 3, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Yes! So many good ideas!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    July 3, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Tipper, I’ve always enjoyed your BP&A almost since its inception. And my late son, the Rev. Keith Jones, and I, have contributed much, to our great joy and appreciation. I would add one thing of great importance, at least to “my” mountain people over in North Georgia–and that is their relationship with the Lord. We used to enjoy “2nd week in July” yearly revival after crops were “laid by,” and after vegetables were fresh, coming in from our garden, so we’d have plenty to “feed the preachers” as they visited “their” day to come to the Dyer house for the noon and (too soon) the early evening meal, too, before nighttime revival meeting was held. We had morning and evening services in our “protracted meetings,” as the revivals were called. And of course, you’ve already mention, the stories, stories, stories! How rich! Keith, my son, began trying to get all his story-telling stories “down on paper,” (so many were ‘in his mind’). He taught storytelling at John Campbell Folk School, as you remember, and was asked to many places to tell his stories. I hope his widow or one of his sons can find (on his computer, I’m guessing), his beginning book of his compiled stories. I hope this goes through. I’ve had a hard time posting on Blind Pig since you changed “servers,” or whatever, from a few years ago.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    I think you have always had great ideas…Expanding more cultural practices makes sense to me. I agree with Jim C. going to the source of the crafts rather than school taught crafts would be better…since they learned from the people of the mountains…For instance, my Grandmother made small rugs for gifts and home use. She used old used clothes and tore in strips and wove and sewed them together. Later he daughter told her of a place where she could buy a whole bag of lengthy pieces to use for her rugs…I still have one somewhere I think. I wish I had learned as a girl how she made them so quickly and easy. Seemed she could snap one up in no time. She also had a loom handed down to her but she never did weave much to my knowledge. Her Mother would have been born in the 1800’s…She loved to quilt and any and every piece of used or new garment leftover fabric was saved for quilts. She made her own down pillows as well as putting in the stuffing for fluffy up a old mattress that had flatten out…Of course, by the time I was nearly grown all her old learned life chores had begun to disappear. There was only one old down mattress left when her estate was settled back in the sixties…it had been saved for nostalgia purposes in case of emergency company…She made soap, churned made butter and buttermilk too. She could catch an old hen, kill it, pluck it and have on the Sunday supper table quicker than you could even think about it…amazing…My job was putting the hen to sleep before choppin’ it’s old head off…I tucked the head under it’s wing, held it with both hands and moved it around and around in circles. When she said, “Stop” I handed her the bird, she pulled out the head from under the wing and off with its head with her axe on her chicken killing stump…I know…ewwww! She said, “No worry, it was drunk asleep and didn’t feel a thing”! Sure enough, it didn’t try to fly away or nothing, just addled like and let its head lay right on that choppin’ block! I still got tears in my eyes…sigh…
    Oh the memories….Thanks Tipper….Sorry, I have been absent for a while commenting, but still read your great blog..

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    July 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Yes x 4 !

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    I have waited today so I could mull your questions over. You didn’t leave much out it seems. Like Jim, I wondered if you could do an occasional simple recipe. Two that come to mind that might lend themselves to video were your cheesecake and the pizza dough. But I think there was one about either Granny’s biscuits or maybe gravy?

    I also wondered (if JCCFS folks are agreeable) if a video tour of it would be feasible. If you could share family stories related to JCCFS that would make yours unique from anything else that has, or would ever be, done. I’m sure BP&A readers would like to hear you tell stories of strange things that have happened went you all were playing, whether at JCCFS or elsewhere.

    I wonder to if you could do one or more short videos about “Vanishing Appalachia”. I remember your post about the signs we used to see like Jesus is Coming Soon but there are also the old See Rock City, Mailpouch, etc barns – if any are left. I know there are other websites that do things like this also so maybe you don’t want to go there but maybe you know of something similar that is specific to the Cherokee County area?

    One last idea, maybe too ambitious, but a narrated video road trip could be a hit. You pick the where and I why. I think your far away readers would like to see your countryside and/or some of its special places.

    • Reply
      Ron Stephens
      July 3, 2020 at 3:43 pm

      Oops! Meant to write “you pick the where and the why”!

  • Reply
    Sherry Thacker
    July 3, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I love reading your blog. I like it all but I am most interested in the history and traditions of Appalachia. I grew up in the Shenandoah so far in the sticks that you almost had to pipe the sun in. I am now in E. TN and still very close to the mountains. I love it here. So any history or traditions will be great and I love everything else too.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Sounds awesome, I’m good with anything you throw together, I wished I had at least taped conversations of a couple Old Timey Preachers I was so fortunate to get to know before they died, I could sit and listen to them talk all day, I’m talking about riding a mule to spread the Gospel, in any kinda weather. I’ll get to sit down with them one day and finish our conversation, they wouldn’t believe where and what we’ve become since they’ve left.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I really like your ideas. Your blog is a place of cheer what with all that’s happening now.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    I would enjoy all of those choices, all interesting , especially interviews and personal accounts . Enjoy the virtual tours , & how to’s. I will appreciate anything and be thankful:)

  • Reply
    Rick Shepherd
    July 3, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    Yes to your videos and yes to all those good comments!….Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    July 3, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Sounds like a good idea, Tipper. I would like videos on superstitions, traditions, folklore and the such. Oh how I wish I had asked my grandma more questions about her past before she died.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    I agree with commenter #1. I LOVE hearing Christian testimonies – life events that led people to the cross, who influenced them most in their walk with Jesus, and a reinforcement of the old-time Christian life values. I also love the simplicity of the mountain way of life and love to hear older people tell of the “good ole days when times were bad.” I love hearing older ladies talk about recipes that have been handed down from generations past and their days of raising babies and keeping house. I crave hearing about life when God was always first, family was second, and hospitality to friends was a common way of life. When people dropped by for visits and drank tea in rockers on the front porch. I would also love to see interviews with people who are swimming against the tide and living this way in 2020, in total defiance of all our crazed, unhinged world has turned into. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts! Sending hugs and much love to all of you today!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    July 3, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Sounds terrific!

  • Reply
    aw griff
    July 3, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    When I think of something I go back to your list of five and it’s already covered. I think your idea is great if you can find time to do it. I did think of religion, who brought what beliefs, when and where. That really is covered on culture you already mentioned.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Interviews with the older folk will be interesting. Hope those will include lots of old snaps shots and photographs. There are two questions I like to ask older people. 1. How did you come to meet the Lord Jesus ? 2. How did you meet your husband / wife ? Both have to do with love and a life changing event. Everything on your list is of interest, we all can learn from others.
    Thank you for your work, research and sharing.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 11:45 am

    I would love to just see the area where you live and surrounding areas. All of the rest of the ideas sound great!

  • Reply
    Sue McIntyre
    July 3, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Great idea! I especially enjoy the recipes and ways to preserve food, even though all things “Apalachie” feed my soul. “There is a remedy in almost every weed”, a very wise woman told me once. Sure do wish I had paid more attention then. I wish you well.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    July 3, 2020 at 11:20 am

    any of these subjects would be appreciated. However don’t get so involved in making movies until the blog becomes a burden. Unless you are going to make a dedicated YouTube site, the videos need to be short. One of the things I like about Blind Pig is I can read it or watch a short video, get a happy feeling and move on to what I have to do. This includes reading the comments as they usually add to the stories.

    One suggestion I didn’t see mentioned is a video of the town for those of us who have never been there. Kinda like the opening scene of Northern Exposure without the moose.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Thanks Tipper for asking. I would enjoy all of them especially the interviews with older residents of the area. I was told of a few old-timey ways of treating sores, etc., with plants from the wild and that would be interesting as well as:
    someone or group singing shaped notes as an old gospel “Harp Singing.” and I would also like a question to be asked to
    people who live in Appalachia, if they were told where their people came from into the US. I was told my ancestors came here in 1700’s from Ireland and the other part was American Indian. It has always been fascinating to me to know if they did indeed pass that information on down through each generation.

  • Reply
    Rooney Floyd
    July 3, 2020 at 9:48 am

    I would like that effort. In a way, it would be a modern (digital) follow-up to the hugely successful “paper and pen” approach that Foxfire blessed us with fifty years ago. Like Jim, I think craftsmanship would be one of the major subjects of interest. As you always do, give some focus to the personality behind the method also.

  • Reply
    Bobby Garrett
    July 3, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Great Idea! I really like the “old Redemies” and Foraging for wild Foods.Never heard of Creasy Greens until I read your Blog.I vfound that I have walked on them all my life,but never picked and ate them.They are certainly on my list for this next season.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I loved the garden video and can’t wait to see what you do with this project. One idea came to mind – quilts of Appalachia. I used to live in SE Pennsylvania and saw a lot of Amish quilts. Are the patterns of Appalachia the same? Also, in PA I learned that quilts often contained signals for the Underground Railroad. Did Appalachian quilts ever contain messages about anything? I remember reading in the book “Christy” that one of the character’s granny had brought quilt patterns from Scotland. Just a possibility! Thanks for all you do – I look forward to reading your blog every day!

  • Reply
    Allan Guy
    July 3, 2020 at 9:01 am


  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 8:53 am

    Watching a video on any of the listed topics would be exciting. I especially look forward to your grammar test, recipes, superstitions and folklore but I will be happy with any video about Appalachia.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 8:46 am

    Oh Tipper, I am so excited about the videos! I am so very thankful my sister introduced me to The Blind Pig. I am learning so many things & well…y’all are family! All this information & stories makes me even more connected. I am very sorry that I did not tape conversations & tales that our older folks told. So, please go for it, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ken in s w mo.
    July 3, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Going back a few years I could not wait for the next foxfire book. The interviews with the people who lived in the area was my favorite.that would be my kind of video. Ken in S W mo.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    July 3, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Girlfriend, you’ve got it all covered pretty well from what I’ve read. I’ve laughed a lot, shed a few tears, and learned some good stuff from your blog. Did I mention the PET CROW story lured me in for I love crows and ravens! They’re tough birds that don’t fly away when winter strikes hard. They’re very smart and live 30 years. When they’re guarding, if one should get killed , the guard is killed to show weakness and lack of attention are not tolerated. How’s that for taking your job seriously? You rock your site exactly how you feel because your instincts have been right on!!!! Even my husband ( who’s a NYC boy) loves to read about the Blue Heron coal company and the BANTY hen loose in town and the videos of your land, garden, etc. He said “ ONLY IN THE HILLS “ and he said “ your people are the salt of the earth!” He isn’t a hunter but he likes hiking and gathering wild edibles. He also likes guns. Who’d have guessed the funny little man who likes numbers would fit into the hillbilly life? He even asks for beans now!

  • Reply
    Vann Helms
    July 3, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Preserving the different dialects of the older mountain folks should be one of your prime goals.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 8:28 am

    I love this idea. I am a YouTube addict, and at end of day I enjoy their informative and educational channels. You would do excellent in videos to educate many on how unique Appalachia really is. I have run out of Appalachian documentaries to enjoy.

    By far the most interesting videos I have ever watched are when the ole timers are interviewed, and they can tell us so much about how everything was once upon a time. I was always the one in a huge extended family who found my way, even as a child, to a seat near an older family member to learn and listen. That is how I was so very fortunate to have an afternoon visit once with my great grandmother. It was a large gathering with no introductions, but I managed to hang onto every word from this lady born right after the Civil War. I still remember an elderly neighbor (born 1872) who always wore a bonnet and long apron. She told us children about warnings and her belief some humans had demons. She warned to always be concerned if we heard three knocks with nobody there. While a little troubling, it certainly was an interesting part of a really old belief system. Tipper, this is an opportunity for you as well as your followers.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 3, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Oh yes especially the stories from those who have alwsys lived in the area, the lore and the traditional ways of acting. Noy do much into how to becsuse I don’t learn yhat way. But all of Jims suggestions are rigt on

  • Reply
    Diane Carrillo
    July 3, 2020 at 8:20 am

    I am looking forward to seeing the videos and topics as described. Thank you for all that you do.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Yes, please! How about home remedies for ailments, minor health issues, or prevention? I know what “medicine” Appalachia used for many of these, but old timey things like using a potato poultice to draw out infection or tying kerosene soaked rags around ankles and wrists before picking wild berries? These were shared by an 85 year old church member.

    • Reply
      Margie Goldstein
      July 3, 2020 at 8:48 am

      FIREFOX BOOKS have all of whence you seek. Medicine men and women are available at most Native American learning centers and villages set up for public learning of Native American culture.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    July 3, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I really like the idea of videos and I have to agree about controversies. I manage to get enough of that on my own.

    I like your list. I’ll study on it and see if I can think of anything else.

    I’m not caffeinated yet!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 3, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I think it’s a great idea, Tip, and here are some of my thoughts on topics:
    > Dancing,especially clogging
    > How the split rail fences were made.
    > How the bonnets and aprons were made. All the women wore bonnets in the garden and aprons is the house, usually
    made from feed sacks.
    > Raw milk as it was used to churn buttermilk and butter and make cottage cheese…if you can find anyone with milk
    cows and a churn and the knowledge!
    This is a great idea, I can’t wait to see it happen! I will make note of other ideas as the come to me and they will come…I’ll be thinking about this all day!

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    July 3, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Great idea..

  • Reply
    July 3, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Yes I would, all of those, I’m a nose to tail cook, so traditional foods using the whole animal.
    I won’t repeat the others that added. But I agree with them.
    I’ve lived in Vermont and picked up many local dishes, traditional.
    And of coarse herbals.
    And A thanks to you for all you do on here.

  • Reply
    Jim K
    July 3, 2020 at 6:44 am

    Excellent ideas, I would really like the interviews with our older folks.

  • Reply
    Candace L. Esch
    July 3, 2020 at 6:43 am

    Yes please, I would enjoy the kinds of videos you are thinking of offering.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 3, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Tipper–I strongly encourage you to take this bold step, although it is one which will involve a great deal of work. I would suggest maybe a couple of videos a month if you can manage that much. Here are some thoughts/suggestions:
    *Include the occasional coverage of a craftsman or craftsmanship, especially if the subject matter involves a traditional Appalachian craft.
    *Interview some individuals who are experts on particular aspects of mountain culture. They may be professors, researchers, or writers, but I think some of the most interesting interviews of this sort come from everyday folks.
    *You mention stories–be sure that encompasses talented storytellers.
    *Find some old-time or now unusual activities which were once common and cover them–cider making, molasses making, burley tobacco raising, use (and making) of simple children’s toys, etc.
    *Dedicate some video time (it will require spacing of segments over a period of time) to growing heirloom crops–creasy beans, any of the many heirloom tomatoes, candy roasters, Chambers Creek pumpkins, Nantahala runner beans.
    *Do a piece or two on canning, pickling, or drying foods.
    *Show the making of a stack cake, fried pies, or other traditional mountain foods.
    *Devote one or two videos to foraging from nature (gathering poke, picking berries, working up black walnuts, collecting persimmons, finding mushrooms, and more).
    Mainly though, plow ahead.
    Jim Casada
    *Definitely consider folks knowledgeable in regional history.

  • Reply
    Carol Roy
    July 3, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Hi Tipper….great idea on the videos…..I will enjoy no matter ! Enjoy this day! ….Carol

  • Reply
    Janet P
    July 3, 2020 at 6:28 am

    I would like the videos you mentioned. Also wlould like videos on appalachian crafts such as: knitting, sewing, wood crafts,etc.

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