“I’m glad we live in a rural place not like them people in the big cities stacked up like cordwood.”


Overheard: snippets of conversation I overhear in Southern Appalachia

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  • Reply
    April 4, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    After living and working in five large cities we moved

    near a small and bought a house out in the country. Since then more houses have been built near us and we heard recently that one is to be built on the lot beside us. There’s also been a horse barn built behind us and they leave the lights on all night. Street lights have been installed in front of us. I can’t see the stars anymore. I don’t want to move again but it is getting more tempting.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    My Aunt currently resides in a nursing home following an accidental fall. This is very unfortunate with current events, because they are permitting them to add more beds and causing crowding. She told me the other night they are “packing them in like sardines.” There is not a lot I can do to make her circumstances more pleasant, as they are not permitted visitors at this time. This is not an ideal situation, and it sure makes seniors more susceptible to exposure. She will fare much better in that situation than I would, because she always loved crowds. I love people, but prefer to be in the company of one or two instead of a crowd. Our reunion has had as many as a hundred, and somehow that kind of family crowd is enjoyable.

    I have not often heard “stacked up like cordwood”, but thought of one that has become politically incorrect. Makes me fear that many of our treasured Appalachian sayings may fall by the wayside with that close scrutiny. I am encouraged by such sayings as “nothing good or bad lasts” and “history runs in cycles.” It does and “this too shall pass.” When I hear or read old stories about the great flu pandemic of 1918 I cannot help but think that almost exactly 100 years later “history repeats itself.”

  • Reply
    April 4, 2020 at 11:54 am

    You said a mouthful that time. And explained why this virus is spreading so fast in the big cities. They are packed in so tight that they don’t have room to spread out, so when one catches it they all do. I’m so glad that we still have countrysides, and farms and hills and hollows, where we can still take in a deep breath of air and not worry about who just exhaled it and what germs might be in it.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    April 4, 2020 at 11:29 am

    I’ve heard it said that Daniel Boone left the Yadkin River Valley for Kentucky when someone built a cabin a half-mile from his. He said the darned place was just getting too crowded.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 4, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Not only have I heard that phrase, I say it all the time! That is the cause of most of the worlds woes. People are not herd animals.
    If I had my druthers “social distancing” wouldn’t be 6 feet, it would be 6 miles.

  • Reply
    gayle larson
    April 4, 2020 at 7:59 am

    How very true. We are blessed.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 4, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Amen. It gives me the heebee jeebies to even think of living in a city. I did that for a year or so when I was in fourth grade then again much later in married student housing, don’t want to again. I like people in small doses.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 4, 2020 at 7:42 am

    I don’t know who you are quoting but that is a statement I have heard many times over the years from many different people, and I have to admit I agree with it 100%!

  • Reply
    aw griff
    April 4, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I lived in the D,C. area for 6 months back in 1968 while in the Army. They were stacked like cord wood then and I understand it’s much worse now. Although I enjoyed the many sights like going to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, Mount Vernon, Smithsonian Institute, etc. Way too crowded for me and I’ll never go back.
    I hear a friend of mine occasionally say that he is so poor that he buys his mail.

    • Reply
      April 4, 2020 at 12:02 pm

      I spent 18 months in DC in ’62 and ’63. My canned quote was, “I feel like an animal in a cage!” Went from DC to military (Army) and was finally fortunate enough to return to my roots here in North East Tennessee. When I think back on DC it usually brings Bobby Bare’s song, “Streets of Baltimore” to my mind.
      PS: Thank you for your service.

      • Reply
        aw griff
        April 4, 2020 at 3:16 pm

        JUSTICESHOULDBEBLIND, thanks for your service too.
        Had a couple of good friends when in Vietnam from E.TN. Me being from E.KY. gave us much in common.

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