Appalachia Overheard

Overheard

Overheard-in-Appalachia

“It was dark and we were standing on the top edge of a walled bank. He clambered off down the wall while he was talking. Just went plain out of sight right in the middle of a sentence.”

Tipper

Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I think I typed ivy hell….which is the same as the common phrase Laurel Hell….
    thx Tipper

  • Reply
    Jeanne
    April 15, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    We have many “walled banks” in our town and area. Walled for either the building of roads or were put in as retaining walls in many yards. When it rains “cats and dogs” for many days on end, we start to worry about our walled banks. We have had a huge section of ours give way one spring and cost us “an arm and a leg” to rebuild.
    So maybe after “he clambered off down the wall” and went out of sight right in the middle of a sentence….the wall collapsed on top of him. Can happen around here. Dig fast friend!!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 15, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I think I would have said “clean out of sight.” Clambering is usually done in an upward direction but there’s no reason why you can’t clamber down. I just hope he didn’t go head first.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 15, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    One night Neil and I were coming back from a beer run to Waynesville (Swain County was still dry then.) I was busting to pee and there wasn’t a bathroom for miles. Besides, back in them days, the roadside was the best option anyway. We called it “hitting the woods”.
    West of Dillsboro, before they built the four lane, there was a wide place on the left so I asked Neil to pull over. The pull off was on the outside of a curve and all the car’s headlights passing in both directions were shining right on me. I decided to step around behind a big oak tree at the edge of the pull off. Well, there was no behind. The tree was hanging on the edge of a dropoff that seemed like a hundred feet down to the Tuckasegee River. I freefell for a good long ways before I hit, then slid on down to the river’s edge.
    It was black dark and I couldn’t see anything except the headlights of the cars passing by overhead. All I could hear the river running and Neil’s car radio blaring. I checked to see that all my limbs were moving and I wasn’t gushing blood from anywhere then I tried to clamber back up the bank. There was nothing growing there to hold on to so needless to say, I made no progress climbing in the dark. I yelled for Neil to help me but he couldn’t hear me over the radio.
    I decided to work my way down the river hoping to find more suitable place to climb back up to the road. As I said it was darker than dark so all I could do was feel my way along. I must have moved a couple of hundred feet or more before I felt any vegetation. It felt like vines. Grapevines, honeysuckle or poison ivy, I didn’t care. The terrain had leveled out a little bit so I could get some footing and with the help of the vines I managed to clamber back to the top.
    But I’m not home safe yet. At the top there is an overhang. Like at the top of a roadbank where the soil had eroded away leaving nothing but a mass of roots with a little dirt and a lot of rocks. That was what I was up against (or better said, up under.) I could no longer see the headlights nor hear the radio. My yells for help only echoed back to me from the mountain on the other side of the river. I had two choices. Wait there for help or climb up over that barrier.
    I knew that sooner or later Neil would wonder what had happened and come looking for me. But for now he was content sitting in his Corvette listening to the radio and sipping on a cold one. And I wasn’t near where he last saw me. I just knew he would assume I had fallen in the river and go get the rescue squad to come and drag my lifeless body back up the mountain. Either that or I would get horselaughed when they found me. I decided I had to go for it.
    Mountain climbers do it all the time but they have all kinds of gear and they do it in the daylight. I had nothing but determination. I felt around until I found a good sturdy root and hand climbed it as far as I could. My feet and legs were still dangling in midair. I started swinging my legs back and forth until I finally got my left one up on the top. I scratched and clawed at everything I could get ahold of until I managed to get my whole body up.
    I laid there for a few minutes before I struggling to my feet. I brushed myself off as best I could and staggering to the car. I opened the door and fell into the seat. “Where have you been? I was just getting ready to start looking for you!”
    “You see that big tree over there?”
    “Yeah.”
    “You know what’s behind it?”
    “No, what?”
    “Nothin! “
    I had a lot of scratches and bruises and was sore for a couple of weeks but the only real damage was to my pride. Neil laughed at me all the way home and every time he saw me for a while. I didn’t deserve it because I wasn’t a drinker and was only along in case he needed me to drive. I helped him clean out his car the next day since I had left a lot of dirt and trash in the seat.
    You know the saying “What goes around, comes around!” Well it did! But that is a tale for later on.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 15, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Tipper,
    There’s one of those pretty girls again, trying to hear something going on on the other side of a door. And she’s listening through a snuff glass.
    Since I’m not much of a reader, I have no idea where that little snippet came from. Maybe some of our other Blind Pig bunch will know. I love reading their comments…Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Sure raises lots of questions. Who was out in the dark ? Why were they there ? What happened to the one clinbing down the wall ? Have to make up the story to account for it all. However, it sounds much like something our grandson would be involved in before too many more years go by. He is an adventurous sort.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 15, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Tipper,
    Yes, but did he finish the sentence? At least he didn’t “FALL” out of sight or I guess you would of heard a yell or scream! Look down in there! He’s lost in the Ivy Hell ! I’ve heard stories that some never get out of one! Ooooohhhh, just skeery as can be!
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    April 15, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Yes, I still use the word ‘plain’ to mean completely. “He’s just plain good natured.” or “That rascal is just plain ornery.” or “She’s just plain pretty in that blue dress.”

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

    That certainly would make a good start to seberal genres of ficton. Who can develop a story from that?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

    That certainly would make a good start to seberal genres of ficton. Who can develop a story from that?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

    That certainly would make a good start to seberal genres of ficton. Who can develop a story from that?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

    That certainly would make a good start to seberal genres of ficton. Who can develop a story from that?

  • Reply
    George Pettie
    April 15, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Words that appear contradictory (“plain” and “out of sight”) make sense when “plain” is understood to mean “completely.” I’ve mostly heard it as “Just went clear out of sight…”

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 15, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Curious snippet, I wonder if he came back?

  • Reply
    Carol
    April 15, 2016 at 7:13 am

    The most interesting one of these yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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