Appalachia Overheard




1st person: I heard you’re working up North?

2nd person: Yeah we’ve been there about a year.

1st person: Well do you like it?

2nd person: No I don’t like it. There ain’t much of my people up there.



Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    February 21, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Reminds me of a conversation I overheard long long ago. My ex-husband (’69-76) was telling his Grandfather about a trip we’d taken up north to visit my folks. I overheard him tell his Grandad there were no grits up north. His Granddad said, “No kiddin’! How they keep their aigs (eggs) on their forks.” I still laugh about that. Dear sweet man, his Granddad was.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    The sense of “my people, my place” is so strong in my parents that even though they spent almost 70 years in Texas, there gravesites are in the birthplace in Kansas.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Vagabonde-thank you for the great comment! You’re right the “from here thing” is sometimes taken to the extreme of silliness : ) 1973-you’ve probably been there longer than some of them have been alive LOL! You only like 3 years to beat me : ) Next time say “Why yes I’m from right here but WHERE are you from?” Maybe that will help them get the point! Hope you have a great night!!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    February 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I love the conversation – real Appalachian talk. That is why I daily read Blind Pig and the Acorn.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I’ve lived in six states and spent time (2-3 months) in probably 20-25 more. In four of the states where I’ve lived I lived in 2-3 different areas. I’ve always found good people and good neighbors everywhere because I reached out and was a good neighbor to them.
    People often ask me where I liked the best. My answer is, “Wherever I am”.
    I think it’s mostly a matter of attitude. The best place to be is in the center of God’s will.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    This is so true. I have been down South for decades, but still I have a French accent, and to folks down here I am not from “around here” – but then I have been away from France for so long that I am no longer from up there. But, to people here I’ll never be one of them even though I have lived here since 1973! It is still very sad for me to be asked, about once a week by someone – Where are you from? How can I respond I wonder.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    February 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    One reason I’m glad the Good Lord saw fit to set me down in the mountains is that you can’t lose me in my mountains. You can always look around and find a point of reference, when I go down east to hunt with a cousin who was raised in flatlands everything looks the same no matter which direction you look. I’ve turned down many jobs where I could have made much more money in other locations but I live less than a mile from where the Lord put me down, I intend to be here when he returns to call me home and don’t want to take a chance that he might miss me. Another great thing is as long as I stay here I do not have an accent, those who talk differently have the accent.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I got a laugh from Garland Davis’
    comment, sounds like a saying from Bill Engvall.
    I got another 3/4 to an inch of
    new stuff last night. Maybe this
    warmer weather will get rid of
    some, cause I still got 3″ at my
    house. Thank God for 4 wheel drives. They’re talking more for
    Monday and Tuesday…Ken

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I have lived in a large city where nobody knew their neighbor, and the very trees were counted. I actually adjusted and met some wonderful folks there. The last time I left my home state for any length of time I wanted to bend down and kiss the dirt. This is home and where my spirit is comfortable, where my ancestors are buried, and I love the familiarity.
    Many of my extended family scattered to the four corners of the earth when the coal mines shut down…mostly Cleveland, Detroit, and Florida. Several years ago I visited an aunt in Cleveland, and I was right on her street, but could not locate the house–before cell phones were popular. A sweet neighbor came out and said, “She lives right there.” After all the laughter and greeting I asked my aunt why the lady did that. My aunt advised that almost everyone on that street had moved there from the south. Yay Cleveland! So far from home, but that lady seemed “my people.”

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 21, 2015 at 10:59 am

    You know it seems more the elevation than the cardinal directions. There is something about mountains that put people in their place. If you are in the flatlands you can look in every direction and see nothing that keeps you from believing you are on top of the world. Mountains disprove that. Even if you climb to the top of a mountain, when you look around mostly what you see are other mountain tops. If you look back down to where you came from, you dare not gloat lest a storm come up and put you right back in your place.
    My motto is: Everyone is better than me except those that think they are!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    February 21, 2015 at 10:53 am

    In the early seventies my Japanese wife and I were visiting my Mother in Winston-Salem. We had stopped at a store to purchase something. There were three or four men sitting on “Pop Crates” on the front porch of the store. While she was buying something, I stepped out onto the porch. One of the men asked if she was my wife or girlfriend. After I told him that she was my wife, he said, “She ain’t from around here, is she?”

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 9:59 am

    When we say “my people” we usually mean relatives. In a broader sense,it’s been my experience that there’s not too many good old boys up there, but there are a lot of northern red necks(blue necks).

  • Reply
    Shirley B
    February 21, 2015 at 9:43 am

    This little conversation says so much to those who relocate,or like myself,would maybe like to live somewhere else .Its my little dream to live where summers are a little cooler,autumn is more colorful,and maybe some snow.(We live in the deep south)But then I wonder how long it would be before I would run into a familiar face at the grocery store or Walmart? I STILL want to give it a try though!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 21, 2015 at 9:14 am

    So much more than neighbors and kin one moved from is meant by “ain’t much of my people up there.” It’s more than going next door and sittin’ a spell and talkin’ with those who sound like youself, understand you. It’s feelin’ a kindred spirit, sharing th’ time o’ day, feelin’ a part of, bein’ comfortable in one’s own skin. It’s belongin’–and that’s a major part of life, of happiness, even.
    But why do we stay where there “ain’t much of my people?” Necessity; makin’ do; makin’ a livin’; makin’ a life. And sometimes the final sundown comes, and maybe our last wish was that we be moved back, even in death, to have the sun rise in the east each morning with the rays touchin’ our grave in the “land of home ag’in.”

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    February 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Indeed! Members of my family and I experienced such a realization when we went WAY UP NORTH! But in time we all came back to the mountains and the good life!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 8:39 am

    That could have been a conversation I had with someone when I moved up North.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Yes, when one relocates, they find a different type of people. Sometimes it can be very difficult to assimilate into a new environment.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 21, 2015 at 7:13 am

    It is very comforting to live among your own people.

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