Leather Britches

Summertime in Appalachia

Appalachia in the summertime
It's summertime in Southern Appalachia. The sun is beating down like the oven door has been left open or someone thinks its still cold weather and keeps chunking wood in the heater.

No matter which way you look the landscape is lush and green with blooms that intoxicate the air with their sweet alluring scent. 

Gardens and orchards are hanging heavy with nature's bounty just waiting to be picked. Folks are taking advantage of the hot sultry air by wading in creeks and rivers and taking swims in lakes, ponds, and pools. With the kids out of school this time of the year is perfect for camping and playing in the great outdoors. 

Summer is the season for homecomings, decorations, and all day singing on the grounds. People in Appalachia take the opportunity summer offers to visit one with another as they talk about those they miss, those that are still hanging on, those that are coming along, and the heat.

You might remember me saying I wish the girls would learn the song Summertime for me...well they never did! But Paul and one of our long time friends Wayde Powell III managed to film themselves doing the song not once but twice.

 Was that some fancy picking and singing or what!

Summertime will be gone before you know it so soak up all you can. 


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Very "hot"

b. Ruth - Some of us older boys might like to hear your version of "Summertime" too. We need a little comforting now and then too. For me today something soothing like that could have been the balm I needed!

Tipper--I'm going to chime in with a hearty second B. Ruth's notion, motion, and emotion to get Colleen to share her tomato and dumpling soup recipe. Not more than three hours ago I sent you off my monthly blog (news flash for all of your readers--Tipper's my new webmaster and absolutely tickled pink as she guides this Luddite through what for me is a confusing world of technology) and the recipe section of it is devoted exclusively to tomatoes.

Tell Colleen I'll even swap a dilly tomato soup recipe if that helps.

Jim Casada

I'm pondering this...
Could you get Colleen to share her recipe for "tomato and dumpling soup"?
Sounds so good...can't say I ever had anything floating in my 'mater soup except saltine crackers or I have dipped a pimento cheese sandwich in the soup....Sounds very interesting, and I wonder if the dumplings are spiced up a bit?
Thanks Tipper,

Tipper, MANY-MANY-MANY Thanks for keeping these old Appalachian Mountain Roots alive, you seem so down to earth in all that you write. Love from a Born-Bred and forever a Hillbilly from the mountains of Southwestern Virginia. KEEP IT UP GAL-
Carl Mullins

'tis the season . . . an absolute favorite as the dry dirt thermals lift the fallen corn leaves to dance through the air. Something comforting and cozy about the song and the summer as the heat envelopes us. Few get to experience "high cotton" these days, much less a ride to the gin in the fresh picked, soft (though a bit scratchy) cotton trailer. Porgy and Bess just give a hint of the lost pleasures of summer.

I don't think I ever heard "Summertime" before, but both did a good job each take.

Those home-grown tomatoes look great, and Red. The Grainger Tenn. tomatoes they have at Ingles are Orange and hard as a rock. My friend I've known since childhood, Monte Kit brought me two tomatoes he growed and I had 4 Great Sandwiches in two days.

Beautiful pictures...Ken

Love this version of one of my favorite songs. Wayde is a master and Paul what a perfect voice for this song

They are getting some good licks. One of my favorites.

I've soaked up so much summertime it is running down my face and dripping off the brim of my cap. It ain't "hush little baby" because I'm sad. That's just sweat in my eyes.

By granny, that's some mighty fine picking and singing! Powell is amazing on the guitar and I liked Paul's comment about him getting his first banjo on Christmas and had left them all behind by January! My wife and I got a good laugh out of that. I hope to see more of them playing together.

Tipper--You've outdone yourself with those few short paragraphs going to the essence of summer in the high country. Just as Chitter and Chatter have made quantum leaps in their singing and playing skills, you've done the same with your writing.

As for the picking and singing, it's a pure delight.

Jim Casada

Your tomato on the vine reminded me of our supper last night. Homemade tomato and dumpling soup. So good. Enjoy all of your posts. Thanks, Tipper.

Summertime is canning time! This year I finally grew enough corn, beans and tomatoes that Miss Sharon doesn't want to can any more. We've used up our stock of jars. That is a first. But the beans are gone now anyway and the corn nearly is. It has been a blessed garden season but we are now in a 2 week streak of no rain and no prospects till Friday. My attempt to grow a second crop of squash, beans and cucumber is in jeopardy. Ah well, the farming life.

I absolutely love the song "Summertime" and Paul and Wayde do a wonderful rendition of the song. Nice picking and singing!

I learned this song in my childhood. As you know it is from the opera "Porgy and Bess"...taught to me by a wonderful third grade teacher!
When I grew up and married and had my kids, I would sing this song to them when a summer storm blew in or when putting them down for a nap...The melody seemed to work or maybe it was my singing and they pretended to be asleep...ha However, as time passed and they quit taking summertime naps or they would play through the summer stormy rain...they would ask me to sing "Summertime" once in a while! I know at least one of my boys knew the words and tune for I overheard him humming and singing it one time...as I sigh memories are falling from my eyes...
Thanks Tipper for this post about Appalachian summertime's...
and Paul and Wayde for learning and playing the song for us...
PS...Beautiful 'mater picture...did you make you a good ole 'mater sandwich with it after taking its picture? I would have!

Oh, that's really good, yes, the girls absolutely need to learn this one! Both takes were excellent.
Good job Paul and Wayde!

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