Appalachia Overheard



I hired in in 19 and 59. Back when you taught your kids to build straight fences.



Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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  • Reply
    August 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks so much to b.Ruth for sharing her memories of seeing those fenced-in haystacks! Considering how much of my time is spent trying to keep livestock from wasting hay, I admire the “build a stack then fence it in” approach very much 🙂

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    July 31, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Sorry that I missed you all last night, but this broke leg has me not moving very much. Have to stay off and not put my weight on so that it will heal faster.
    Peggy L

  • Reply
    July 31, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I was all ways taught to put the barb-wire on the inside of a fence so when the cow or horse pushed against the fence it wouldn’t push the staples out of the post.. now days folks put the barb wire on the outside to keep the neighbors out instead of the animals in.. times have changed..

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    July 31, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I’m with Miss Cindy on this one!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Change ….it’s everywhere. The places my Dad worked are gone. The places my father-in-law worked are mostly gone. Several of the places I worked are gone. I think now it happens to every generation. I feel less at home all the time, like the song ‘I Can’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore’.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 31, 2015 at 11:26 am

    In 19 and 59 your folks hadn’t even thought of you and mine were wishing I had come with a warranty.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Last night at the Bryson City
    Library, I overheard this couple
    seated in front of me. As Chitter
    lead with her Violen playing
    “Crazy Arms”, the lady said “Oh
    Honey they’re playing my favorite
    song”. How touching! and on a
    Blue Moon.
    It’s been awhile since I’d seen
    Chitter and Chatter and Mom, so
    it looked like 3 girls just
    singing and playing their instruments and having fun. They
    do the sensible, traditional
    music handed down thru the
    generations. I’m sure glad I
    was there and got a real blessing…Ken

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 31, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I turned 11 in 19 and 59. Seems like a short time ago…

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 31, 2015 at 10:28 am

    and Don…Well doggone, (no pun intended but would work here) I got to listening to Don’s link of Mark Cathey and the bear hunt…The recording stopped when he got to the part when Honeycutt commented on the fight between the bear and dogs at bear pen and near the top of Smoky!…I guess Cathey went on to make a believer out of Honeycutt and the rest of the group that Cathey knew what “old bear dogs” sound like when they are on a bear trail…LOL
    Quinn, I have seen on occasion fenced in haystacks on hills in NC years back…They do the same today with metal rings…All cattle and goats, sheep are able to reach in for hay. This way they don’t scatter the hay over the field. They have a tendency to waste and go on to the next stack if not enclosed somewhat. Also noticing the gates for changing pastures, that farmers use to move cattle, horses, etc. back and forth as the grass is eaten down and save the stacks for eating mostly after the grass is eaten down…Some of those hills are really dry and drain…good fodder doesn’t always grow that well when constantly grazed on.
    Of course, I may be dead wrong. I am more of a see’r, remember’r and observer from my grandparents farms in NC back in the 40’s…LOL
    Thanks Tipper,
    Post some of that music from last night…OK!

  • Reply
    Michael M. Cass
    July 31, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I grew up in Middle Georgia and was in public school there 1947-1959, and the word “kids” was not used. Our teachers told us it meant young goats, and others taught us that only “Yankees” used “kids” to mean human children. How that has changed!
    And now young southerners, including my granddaughters, say “guys,” another “Yankee word,” to mean females as well as males–as in a server’s asking my wife and me, “What would you guys like to order?”
    I’m not complaining, just remarking. Many of the changes in language since 1959 are bright, witty, and useful.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    July 31, 2015 at 8:40 am

    In the factory, folks who were hired on first had a friend or relative talk for them. Translated to mean a currently employed person who spoke in glowing terms to the personnel manager.

  • Reply
    Vann Helms
    July 31, 2015 at 8:32 am

    The laughter of little children before they reach cellphone and computer age is still one of those magical things that I value. The innocence of youth will always be treasured.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 31, 2015 at 7:55 am

    19 and 59 was a long time ago, good straight fences were needed then, not so much now. Things valued now are very different. I wonder what we will hold important in another 50 years. Sometimes I wonder what we hold important now.

  • Reply
    July 31, 2015 at 7:54 am

    By an odd coincidence, last night I was looking at photographs from the 1940s including some taken on farmland in VA. The long, neat fencelines caught my eye, and also the way some harvested crops/hay were piled for storage in the fields and fenced off from livestock. The stacks in the pictures linked below reminded me very much of descriptions from novels of Thomas Hardy based in 1860s England, and I wondered if anyone I know has ever seen the like in real life.
    Here are a couple of URLs, in case of interest to you or your readers:
    I even downloaded one of the massive TIFF files so I could peer at things in higher resolution. Tell you what, that Library of Congress is a wonderful resource!
    Have a great day, Tipper and Blind Pig folks 🙂

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    July 31, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I believe it was 19 and 58, Tipper;-)
    I really enjoy listening to Robert talk. His cadence and tenor remind me of Mark Cathey:
    Sure hated missing you all last night. Hope it went well.

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