Appalachia Celebrating Appalachia Videos Interviews

Poor as a Church House Mouse in Appalachia

Paul and Bill Yonce

I switched things up in my latest video interview. I let Paul ask the questions.

Paul actually conducted the interview with Bill Yonce for another project we were working on a few years back that never came to fruition.

Bill is a legend in our neck of the woods. He was the main dj for local radio station WKRK for 50 years! That’s a long time of talking on the airwaves.

His voice is recognizable to most everyone who grew up in Cherokee County during that time.

I hope you enjoyed the video. Bill’s life story is a perfect example of someone coming from humble beginnings in Appalachia and working hard to make a good living doing something they love.

*If you’d like to send Ken Roper a card you can send it to him at:
Ken Roper
c/o The Laurels
70 Sweeten Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28803

He’ll only be there a limited time so sending the card quickly is important. I’ll share his new address once he lands there 🙂

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  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 24, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    So many different trails of thought from this interview, any one of which is worth pursuit. Poverty of dollars is not poverty of mind or spirit. We are each different, yet the same in some degree. Life takes unexpected turns and twists and we generally are never entirely sure whether things work out afterward by redemption or were working forward by design all the time. And in a society at large and in organizations of all kinds within it, when the civic spirit is what it ought to be, ability is recognized and rewarded.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 24, 2020 at 11:18 am

    Have you ever heard “poor as kyarn”?
    Have you heard someone who was thin and frail referred to as “poor”?

    Troy Lee Whiteside died this past Tuesday. Western North Carolina lost an exemplary human being.

    • Reply
      Ann Applegarth
      September 24, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      I’ve always heard of frail folks said to be “doing poorly” or more often “doing right poorly.”

  • Reply
    September 24, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Mr Younce has a lot to be proud of. It’s a shame his moxy is unheard of these days.
    His generation always seen the bright side of life and made the most of life’s opportunities.
    Thank you for your service to our country !

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    September 24, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Very interesting! And I’m happy to claim Bill Yonce as a citizen of New Mexico for a short time at least! Although I have
    heard “poor as a church mouse” all my life, the term that my family used was “poor as Job’s turkey.” I also heard “dirt poor” quite a bit.

    • Reply
      Jeff Streeter
      September 26, 2020 at 1:52 am

      My roots are in Rockcastle county Ky, near Big Hill. Moving back soon to raise dogs, guini hens and ducks. I love the people, the trees, the crawdads, the rocks and of course….the food. Please keep in touch.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    September 24, 2020 at 8:22 am

    Mr. Yonce is a very humble man indeed. He worked for 80$ a month which is incredible to me. And he got by at that! He made music but is reluctant to refer to himself as a musician. You can tell he’s a good and honest fellow who has lived a lot!!! God bless this national treasure!!!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 24, 2020 at 8:16 am

    That’s a wonderful interview! I’ve heard it before on your You Tube Channel and I enjoyed it just as much the second time as I did the first. He certainly has a wonderful outlook on life and I find his stories very interesting. I didn’t live here during his days as a radio announcer but I’ve no doubt he attracted lots of listeners with his wonderful outlook on life and his wit!

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