Appalachia Overheard




“Do you remember that time that David cut his head in the woods and Hoyt put pine-rosin on it? We liked to have never got that pine-rosin off of him! All Hoyt said was well I stopped the bleeding didn’t I?”



Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia


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  • Reply
    Lee Mears
    August 27, 2017 at 1:09 am

    My Grannys bottle of asphidity smelled a bit like rosin or turpentine.?? I think the Asphidity ‘gum’ came from pharmacy ???
    It was rough and she thought it cured everything. When she mixed a spoonful with water it got cloudy.
    Also, the Camphor was gum.
    Granny would send a male member of the family to Liquor Store for a small bottle of whisky to make them both. LOL

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    August 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    We used to chew pine resin like chewin gum. It lasted a long time. I will never know how bad it was for me. When we we were out playing far from home and bleeding would not stop, we would put a piece of spider’s web on it and the bleeding would stop. Later, when I was grown, I read that people used spider web for bleeding during childbirth in the 1800’s. We always got pine resin on our clothes from playing, and mom made us scrape it off before washing the clothes, and that was a job. But pines were all around us, and they would bleed big globs of resin everywhere. One could not avoid it, and one just had to play in the trees. So glad things are better, Tipper. Still praying.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    In addendum, if you can manage to get a really bad infestation of rawzum, you might require a few extra days on the river to completely relieve you of your problem. This remedy well works well when applied to a plethora of conditions caused by civilization and over population.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    We pronounce it /raw-zum/ and yes that’s an m at the end.
    There are three ways to remove rawzum from your hands that I know.
    1. Rub your hands real good with dirt or sand then wash the dirt or sand off.
    2. Let it wear off (the most common method.)
    3. Take a day off and float the Little Tennessee on an inner tube (this is the preferred method but it doesn’t work well in late January as you are likely to freeze off certain vital body parts.) Constant paddling with your hands gives you prune skin but the rawzum comes off.
    {These work well for that sticky stuff you get on your arms and hands when you have to work in baccer.}
    I reckon #2 would be appropriate for David because who wants dirt scrubbed into their head especially if it has a cut on it. And #3, soaking your head in the Little Tennessee for the required length of time, could be dangerous.
    For anyone who might read this and look on a Tennessee map for the Little Tennessee River, start in Rabun County, Georgia. It rises there and runs north by northwest intersecting North Carolina before it ever gets to Tennessee. Once it reaches Tennessee it is no long a wild river but becomes a series of lakes before it joins it’s daddy the Tennessee River.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2017 at 10:57 am

    There’s that pretty little Chitter again, listening through a snuff glass on the other side of a door. I’ve had pine rosin on my hands before and about the only thing that will remove it is gas. Soap will remove gasoline. …Ken

  • Reply
    August 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Sometimes practical ain’t pretty!
    Makes me think of using superglue in surgery.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I wonder if peanut butter would have loosed it like it does with gum?
    Pine rosin is very handy stuff for sure!
    May ya’ll enjoy the blessings of the weekend 🙂

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 26, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Well, if it works! Who knows what kinds of discoveries have come out of necessity. And besides the turpentine in the sap was anti-bacterial as well.
    Pine rosin was the major ingredient in a salve my Grandma made. It really worked and didn’t smell bad either.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    August 26, 2017 at 7:58 am

    That reminds me of the turpentine bottle in our medicine chest.
    It was put on anything that hurt.
    I remember having a boil on on my butt and my father put a small bottle of turpentine in a pot on the stove and heated it like you would a baby bottle. After it was heated to his liking he turned it upside down right on the boil and it drew all the bad stuff out within a minute.
    I cannot smell turpentine to this day without remembering that day. I am sure the neighbors down the road thought I was being killed from all the screaming I did but he just looked at me and said “I got rid of the boil didn’t I”?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 26, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Quick thinking

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 26, 2017 at 6:25 am

    Hay, if it works! When i was little and got a cut or scratch my mother always out turpentine on it.

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