The Appalachian Retelling Project

Mountain View

A few weeks back I stumbled on The Appalachian Retelling Project website. Once I realized the site was dedicated to telling the stories of Appalachia you know I was intrigued.

Elon Justice created the site. Here’s what her about page has to say:

“The Appalachian Retelling Project was born out of the belief that stories – Appalachian stories – have power. Stories of resilience and ingenuity in times of hardship. Stories of the unique knowledge, communities, and people held within these hills. Stories that challenge the tired narrative that Appalachia is a place incapable of solving its own problems.

Appalachia is a place filled with incredible storytellers – yet the narrative is often driven by individuals and organizations who don’t know what it means to be from this place. We want to change that with stories told by you – the people, families, and communities that make our home so special. We want to hear your best story about Appalachia that the media hasn’t told yet. Together, we can help change the narrative of our region and its people.”

Anyone can submit a story to the site and I sure hope you’ll consider doing just that. The submission form is super easy to use, but if you have any trouble Elon will be glad to assist you.

Drop back by tomorrow and I’ll share the story I submitted to the The Appalachian Retelling Project website.


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  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    August 25, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    From my home in the coalfields of Virginia, I grew up and saw every day the great resiliency of our people,;the great uniqueness of our people; the wonderful resourcefulness of our people. I will write and try to remember all that.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    My brother has been gone for about 11 or 12 years now to be with the Lord, and I miss him so. Perhaps it’s because he was the one closest one to me: I had a whole bunch of brothers, and I loved them all.

    Daddy had made Me and Harold a bow and arrow sometime back and mine was in the house. I had a Cap-buster pistol and I had just finished watching Roy Rogers and I asked Harold to go to the woodpile and Play Cowboy and Indians. He agreed. I had a reddish colored handkerchief on, and I felt like today’s Willie Nelson of Steroids.

    Harold hid behind some Rocks and I was at the Woodpile. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him move and drew my cap-buster from my holster and fired three times. Harold knew I was a good shot, as he went down, he fired that bow and weed arrow and it went Plum across the yard and hit me right between the Blinkers. The Good Lord must be looking after Little boys, but that Arrow hit me at the base of my nose and the blood just pored. Any closer and it would have put my eye out.

    Mama was looking at us playing, and brought a Wash Cloth and took care of the situation. In less than a week, I was alright. I was about 5 or 6, and Harold was a couple years older. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 25, 2020 at 11:32 am

    You know me, I had to go and read everything on the website. So there’s no need for me to drop back by tomorrow except that I can’t start my day without my morning dose of blindpigandtheacorn. Even though it might be a bit of a rerun I’ll be here that’s addicted I am I guess.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2020 at 11:08 am

    I think this is true not only of Appalachia, but once upon a time in rural communities. Everybody knew everybody and helped one another. The church and school were the center of the community. When my childhood church had Homecoming services every year, we had dinner on the grounds. One year it was raining so much, we had to have tables inside and people were eating wherever they could find a seat. On top of that, the roof leaked! We also had ice cream socials at church, with hand-cranked ice cream, and the occasional fish fry. There was a one room school in the eastern section of our county that had grades 1 and 2, and then they went to the elementary school in the next little town for grades 3-6. The school eventually closed in the 60’s, but the county bought it and restored it for a landmark and park.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 25, 2020 at 10:30 am

    There is a treasure of stories in those hills and hollows, far more than will ever get saved on paper. I like to read the stories of Appalachian “born and raised” folks because I know that they know what they are writing about. I don’t have any patience with outlanders making a reputation riding our backs. Glad you found and shared this site with us.

  • Reply
    August 25, 2020 at 9:27 am

    This is wonderful. Appalachia is the nation’s best kept secret, because those who grew up here know there could not be a better place on earth. In each of us, especially it seems Blind Pig readers, we have a yearning to tell about the beauty and uniqueness of growing up here. I remember hearing the song by John Denver, and the crowds from West Virginia would sing along with a passion I have never heard. The surrounding states are so much like those mountains, that I feel at home when I travel outside my beautiful state. Why is it I never see the ragged poverty they try to portray. We are so much more with our closeness with kinfolk, blackberry cobblers, friendly neighbors, and backyard gardens.

    In my work when I walked up to a porch with folks stringing beans, I knew I was going to meet some fine folks no matter the county. I see lovely people who help out in times of need. Numerous backyard gardeners who willingly share from their harvest. Then there are such beautiful mountains covered with every color and ever changing with the four seasons. Even my memories are filled with Dinners on the ground, one room schools, and many other pleasurable things unique to the Appalachia of yesteryear. You tell ’em, Tipper, as only you can. I may give it a whirl, if I can quit enjoying all this work that comes with Summer in Appalachia.

  • Reply
    SusieQ and Donnie Ray
    August 25, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Sure will check out her page…,I appreciate learning good things that can impact my life in listening to stories others so kindly and generously take time plus real effort to share… its good to learn about perseverance, resilience, how God worked in their midst. You can relate , and learn, and simply care …. even pray for one another…. I listen to stories from other places also….church, family ,past generations, and present … as a fellow learner, even though from a distance. Thankful

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    August 25, 2020 at 8:37 am

    This is a wonderful, refreshing opportunity to let OUTSIDERS know about REAL HILL PEOPLE not some bigot’s creepy, weird place with weird people perception which is usually how HOLLYWEIRD portrays us – take for instance that horrible movie DELIVERANCE… smh in anger every time I think about it. I for one can’t wait to see what you submitted! Have a great day, Tipper, and top o’ the mornin’ to ya!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 25, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Tip, I checked it out and it is a lovely site wonderful picture of our mountains as well as the stories.
    Hooray for Appalachia!

  • Reply
    sheryl paul
    August 25, 2020 at 8:16 am

    How exciting

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