Profiles of Mountain People

Mountain Folk

LC Chastain and Tipper-Martins Creek Community Center 2008

This is LC my first Mountain Folk profile. LC is one of Pap’s closest friends.

I’ve known LC my entire life and without a doubt he is Mountain Folk.

LC is a native Appalachian who was born in 1930 in Blue Ridge, Georgia. There were 16 children in his family-7 girls and 9 boys. There were 2 sets of twins-LC was part of one set. Sadly, his twin brother, JB, died at the age of 22 from a brain tumor.

LC is an Army Veteran, who served during the Korean War. After fulfilling his duty to his country LC worked as a truck driver and heavy equipment operator until he retired. He and his wife Frankie (who just happens to be world famous for her biscuits and banana pudding) raised a family of six wonderful folks.

When I started thinking of all the different things I knew about LC and why I thought of him as a true Appalachian, many different memories crossed my mind. It was hard to narrow it down to just a few.

One of the first ones I thought of is a story I heard second hand from Pap. Many years ago while LC was driving a truck on a long haul up north he developed a toothache. Knowing he had to finish his route and not having the money or time to find a dentist-LC took matters into is own hands. After stopping to buy some Listerine to use as a disinfectant he got a pair of pliers and pulled his own tooth. If that isn’t tough I don’t know what is, and it definitely shows the strong independent trait attributed to Appalachians.

When I was in 5th grade my Mamaw (Pap’s mother) died suddenly in the middle of the night from a heart attack. She was only 67 years old. The following morning when I got up and went into the kitchen-LC and Frankie were already there sitting with Pap and Granny. There to do what they could at such a sad time. I think this one sticks in my mind because Mamaw’s death was the first one in my life that truly broke my heart and it was the first time I ever saw Pap cry.

LC is dedicated to helping out his community. He regularly volunteers at the community center and if anyone is hosting a benefit for someone in need-LC is the first to offer help by selling chances, collecting auction items or anything else they need him to do.

LC is known as the chewing gum man to all the kids. He always has a pocket full of gum for them and is even willing to share it with the grown-ups like me.

As you can see, LC has a true generous nature-another great Appalachian trait.

As I explained to LC that I wanted to feature him on my site where I celebrate our Appalachian Heritage, I asked him if he had anything to say about Appalachia. LC’s reply “If I didn’t live here, I’d be getting here as fast as I could.” I think that pretty much sums it up for me too.



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  • Reply
    May 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Great character, love the mountain people. Interesting about L C being HS real name. My Dad’s sister-in-law has a brother named RB. I looked up his birth certificate and it said RB.
    I have a cousin named after his Dad and everyone calls him R.L. Then Mom’s cousin is R.C. But those are their initials, unlike RB’s was which was his name.

  • Reply
    muskat antonopolis
    April 5, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    2008? where uall been since then?
    wonder if this is still alive and kicking? persimmons, groundhogs, cornbread, dandylion greens, buttermilk, blackberry cobbler, fried squirrel, swimming in the river, dogwood in bloom, schools out for the summer – shoes off, wash tub bath on Saturday, my old
    hound dog, sucker fishing in the spring, noodling, camping out and
    getting dirt in my eggs when cooking them on a camp fire – ate em anyway – mighty good, church revivals in the summer time, camp
    meetings, dinner on the ground, family reunions and funerals, cold in the winter and hot summers, rabbit tracks in the snow
    and a fox right behind the rabbit,
    friends young and old, grandpaw telling stories of the family from years ago, momma rocking me to sleep when I was sick, daddy working hard to keep us fed, back to school at the end of summer just when things was getting fun..
    church bells calling us to sunday
    school and church…dinner at grandmaws..always fried chicken and her deeeeliscious…so glad to be able to have these and more memories of east Kentucky in the mountains…

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull, PhD
    January 26, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Tipper: Your post always makes me feel better. But this time you made me sad and happy at the same time! LC’s story is so wonderful! So sorry to learn of his passing.
    I wonder if he knew my brother, Bill Mull, who drove a truck for many years. Bill drove for Clay Ivester. Clay, the wonderful fellow who got Uncle Johnny’s photo to me; even if he was a stranger to me at the Folk School. However, I tried to do him justice in “Fiddler of the Mountains” 2013. If he had not been the thoughtful person he was, I would have never had the opportunity to write another meaningful history of my people in Clay County. BECAUSE I JUST HAD TO SEE/HEAR THE BLIND PIG AND ACORN GROUP THAT BEAUTIFUL OCTOBER evening 10-05-2012, I met Clay!
    Thank you for all you do for PRESERVING our way of life.
    Sincerely, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    September 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for featuring LC. I spent most of my childhood in his home. Your pictures really captured his personality.

  • Reply
    The Tile Lady
    September 9, 2008 at 8:25 am

    LC seems like the sweetest man! Thank him for me for his Korean War service! And tell him I was very impressed with his story. I agree–I’d be getting to Appalachia as fast as I could too! It’s always been a dream of ours to move closer to the mountains, and one day maybe we will make it!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 3, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Paul, the pig tongs is probably the tool farmers used to put the ring in a pigs nose. See the Deer Hunter, he can show you what they look like.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    LC, you rock! Such a kind hearted spirit … but you can also see the mischevious look in your eye. I’ll bet you’re a riot to be around. 🙂 xxoo

  • Reply
    May 1, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I never knew that LC was a twin. If JB was anything like LC, the world lost a wonderful soul that day. You just can’t beat LC. I remember that in order to keep the county from putting a dump on our school campus, LC volunteered to do all the grading work at another site for free. LC’s full of interesting true stories, like the time he was chased on the Autobahn by MP’s. He was taking another soldier to the hospital so the MP’s turned around once they saw him pull into a hospital. BTW, pap tried to pull his own tooth once too, when he was a kid. He used a pair of pig tongs, whatever that is, and passed out in the process. No access to physicians…That’s one part of early Appalachia I’m not nostalgic for!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2008 at 9:42 am

    GREAT idea to interview and blog about actual folks in your area. You did a great job and made L.C. feel like family without being too wordy. Isn’t it funny about the chewing gum? I remember that everyone always knew my Mammaw had Doublemint gum with her to share all the time. It wasn’t so much the gum. It was the willingness to share a little of what you have. The sweetness of that person to have thought of you ahead of time just in case your mouth was dry in church or you needed to freshen your mouth after a big dinner. It’s the sharing of such a little thing yet it’s so big in our minds.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Wonderful post and pictures of LC. Sounds like the kind of man we could all use in our lives. I’m really looking forward to meeting your next Appalachian folks!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 30, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    What wonderful stories. LC certainly has a bright twinkle in his eyes. I would say than he qualifies as a genuine “character” as well as a great feature.
    My father, a born and raised Appalachian, had an initial for his first name. Folks used to do that. Makes you wonder if they had so many children they ran out of names or maybe they had so much work to do that they didn’t have time to think of names.
    I wonder what the history is behind initials in the place of names.

  • Reply
    Granny Sue
    April 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Oh yeah. There are many such in these hills. What a guy. I bet he was proud and embarrassed to be featured on your blog. Embarrassed because he doesn’t see himself as anyone special. We know he is.
    Tipper, I love your blog. You know these mountains and their people.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    You make me miss my home in WV. But I can visit when I want. I really miss the mountain people.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I’d say your family was greatly blessed to have an LC in their lives. He sounds like a colorful character, and an integral part of his community. I also salute him for his service to our country!

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    April 30, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Tipper, you’ve got me teary-eyed again, stop it already. 🙂
    Very, very sweet Appalachian man that I can see you are blessed to have in your circle of friends.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Hi, Tipper! I enjoy your blog so much. Some of the people you talk about remind me of my mom’s family from northern Missouri. Very rural/small town country people who always have a story to tell.
    This is such a lovely tribute to LC. He seems like a neat ol’ guy.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 2:25 am

    this is really neat. i really liked his comment about “if i was living here i would get here as fast as i could” how very true. how i feel about da UP now…i cannot imagine living anywhere else, even thou it snowed a wee bit this morning, april 29th!!!! the fuchsias are stuck in the house for a couple more weeks

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 1:43 am

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing LC with us – I look forward to learning more about the Mountain Folk around you.

  • Reply
    April 30, 2008 at 1:24 am

    LC sounds like a character. Funny about him pulling his own tooth. My grandfather who was an old time tough guy pulled his own tooth with pliers as well. Interesting post. I love to hear about the people in other regions. Keep up the great work.

  • Reply
    gracie muldoon
    April 29, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    I loved this story.. reminds me of my daddy.. Rev Carl Howard. He’s the chewing gum man in our family – and he and my mother have always worked hard to have what they have – yet so willing to share it with others not so fortunate.
    They’re both from the mountains of Kentucky.. and I’m proud to be the daughter – an heir to the rich traditions they grew up with. My mamaw – was my first real heartbreak when I lost her as well. The pain never goes away does it. Thanks for sharing it – i trully enjoyed LC’s story. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 29, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Just wondering….If LC aren’t his initials, then what is the story behind his name? Do his sisters and brothers have letters for names, too?

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