Sunday, November 25, 2012

A FOXFIRE reading

Nostalgia meets techno thrills

Res Ipsa Loquitor

I put up a little store before I got  I was about 20 years old and I had 30 some dollars and believe I sold a pair of steers for some 30 some dollars and I put up a store in  daddy's barn loft.  He had the barn down below the road and the road was just about level with the door that went in the loft.  I done real good.  I had lard flour, sugar, and stuff like that.  I would trade all week except on Saturday.  My brother had that old 28 Chevrolet truck, and I hired him to take me the Hiawassee with my corn.  They'd bring corn in about all the time.  I taking corn and buy my groceries from Frank Duckworth.  I wouldn't get them wholesale-you had to go to [somewhere] to get them wholesale.  I wouldn't get them wholesale- I couldn't go there, but Frank would give me a discount on the groceries.  I'd bring them back and sell 'em.   I hauled in lots of corn that people traded to me.  I made good money.
Res Ipsa Loquitor
 Later I box up one end of Mommy's old long porch and had my store there.  Then I got able to build me one.  I built a store 8 foot wide and 12 foot long below the road, and a lot of trade their.  Then I rented Frank Korn's house, a big old longhouse out there.  I put a store in one end of it, and I lived in the other hand.  That's where I live.  When we got married.  Has been a long time ago.

I put up at store and I had little money.  My brother had a family and he ain't have any money.  He wanted me to go with him to Clayton in on the truck with him, where he could get my money.  He was a little sharper than I was and I did it.  Well, it didn't turn out right.  I couldn't drive and he kept the truck all the time.  He had me out one day teaching me to drive the truck.  [I ran into the bank of the road] with it, and that's the last time he let me drive.  I swapped in my part of the truck for two little steers after that  was the first time I ever tried to drive.

When I got able, I bought me A-model and Paul Hornsby learnied me how to drive.  He wouldn't get in it with me.  He said on the fender and told me how to drive.  He was afraid I would react.  So he stood on the fender.  He said a bit in their where if I had started to rack, he could have jerked it back in the road, but he stood on the fender.  I learned how to drive that a-model.  Bracket.  [The next thing we got was an old 41 Chevrolet truck.  I bought it off the county, they had already wore it out.]

Read from  "Life is Good", page 365, Foxfire 9

I'm still all excited about  Dragon, but don't quite know what to do with it.  I grabbed a book off the shelf at random and talked a few paragraphs.   The Foxfire series, of which that was an excerpt,  is a real treasure. At one time back in the 70's I had the whole collection, buying as they came out.  Over the years I loaned copies to friends who never returned them;  I'm left with only 6 volumes.   What they are  is this guy Wiggington went down to Appalachia,  and in a continuing  series of interviews set to recording the culture's history.  Alas, here's what I just discovered.

In 1992, Wigginton pleaded guilty [1] to one count of non-aggravated child molestation of a 10-year-old boy. He received a one-year jail sentence, and 19 years of probation. He admitted the molestation rather than face 20 accusers of his misdeeds. Required to leave the Foxfire project, he moved to Florida. Wiggington is required to be registered in Florida as a sex offender-Since then, the Foxfire project has continued under the auspices of the Foxfire Fund

Jesus!  Anyway, Wigginton certainly didn't record in print that aspect of Appalachian culture, if indeed the folklore is true.  If you want to learn how to make lye soap, or get rid of tapeworms, bore a rifle barrel, or dance with snakes, these books are a great resource.

Also, The WPA Folklore Collection is rife with great first hand stories of olden times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was in Veet Nom with this very dependable troop from westernmost western West Virginia. I had myself half-grown up in southwest Missouri, and thought I knew what a hillbilly was, but this guy was a step above that. I'm not sure he'd ever had shoes before the army put a pair on him. Anyway, somebody sent us the first Jerry Clower record, the one with the coon hunt story. We were sitting around drinking beer and laughing our asses off at the record, when West Virginia wanders in to find out what the comotion was all about. He's looking back and forth at us, and acting a little puzzled, and clearly not finding any humor in it. Finally, he can't stand it, and asks:

"Wot inna hell is so funny? Hell, I've done half of them things my own damn self."

It was a serious question; he really did want to know. We couldn't begin to tell him.

Sir H the Comet

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