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“The Storms are on the Ocean” as a Metaphor for Homesickness

The iconic Carter Family of Country Music origins (A. P., Sarah, and “Mother” Maybelle) were known for their classic songs. “The Storms are on the Ocean” is one of them. I have been dabbling in autoharp playing for a while … Continue reading

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A Trip to the Smokies

Vacations were not something we enjoyed a lot in my youth.  Getting my Dad to take us all somewhere was a challenge.  But once in a while we got to go. The first time I ever went to the Great … Continue reading

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A Sojourn Among Pine Trees: My Time at Duke

Nine generations of the family lived in the lap of mountains.  Like doting grandparents they watched over us, protected us from whatever was beyond and taught us lessons in silence. The sounds of our stories and songs echoed from the … Continue reading

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When Full Service No Longer Referred to the Gas Station

I went off with my grandfather to the stock yard one Saturday and when we came back we noticed they had placed a trailer in the middle of the new lot, thrown some gravel in front of it and put up one of those little rented lit signs with movable letters. Welcome the “Magic Fingers Massage Parlor.” Continue reading

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A Weird Tale My Dad Told Me

Summer used to bring us into a room we didn’t get to use the rest of the year:  the front porch.  Our porch was about ten by twenty.  It had four big columns on the front holding up the roof. … Continue reading

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Dancing On One Leg

My son doesn’t belong to me.  He was born into another family and came to our family about six and a half years ago as we became his foster parents.  Without saying too much, let me just say, he came … Continue reading

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Ode to Soup Beans and Corn Bread

What is it about Soup Beans? Most Appalachians can tell you what soup beans are:  dinner.  A lot of us have eaten them throughout our lives, as a staple of the mountaineer’s diet.  They’re cheap, you can leave them stewing … Continue reading

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