Creek and holler folks is one of many synonyms used to describe people who live in the mountains. A few others that come to mind:
- Branch water people
- Mountain people
- Ridge runners
- Hill people
I don't care what you call them, I just call them my people.
Brasstown is all a buzz with the preparations for the biggest doings of the year: the John C. Campbell Folk School's Annual Fall Festival. This will be the 43rd consecutive year of the festival and I believe it gets bigger every year.
Blind Pig reader, Rooney Floyd told me he attended the first festival and there wasn't but about thirty people there. These days the two day festival draws well over 10,000 people.
I always heard the name Brasstown came from a corruption of an Indian word that meant fresh green place or something like that.
The community of Brasstown is unique in that it is split between two counties. My portion of Brasstown lies within the boundaries of Cherokee County while the area down around the post office lies within Clay County. This anomaly causes some interesting tax mix-ups. One time years ago Clay County put a warrant out for Paul's drivers license because he didn't pay his taxes...only he didn't owe taxes to Clay County because he lived in Cherokee County.
Brasstown is unique in other ways as well.
It's the home of the annual New Year's Possum Drop, its one of the areas you can readily find fairy crosses, and hey it's the home of the Blind Pig and The Acorn too.
If you make it out to the festival The Pressley Girls will be playing on Sunday October 8 at 2:00 p.m on the Festival Barn Stage. We'll be hanging around the stage before and after so please come find us to say hello.
I've never seen Granny's zinnas as pretty as they are this year. She saves her seeds from year to year by snipping off the dried seed heads in late fall and storing them in an old paper envelope till the next spring when she plants them again.
Granny is continuing to improve and has even felt good enough to can a few runs of greenbeans over the last week. We were able to get her one of those life alert things and she wears it every day.
p.s. Chitter is having a great sale over in her Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop. 25% off everything in the shop, no minimums and it even counts on the existing sale section as well! Go check it out! Christmas is just around the corner 🌲
p.s.s. The Pressley Girls will be performing Friday September 22, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Blairsville, GA.
The orange colored jewelweed grows all over my mountain holler, but I've never seen the yellow variety until this past weekend. Let me tell you it is beautiful! Especially when its growing right beside a patch of the orange as it is at my friend's house.
I was pleased as punch when my very young tour guide showed me how to pop the small seed pods by gently touching them. I love it when I see kids who know the same little tricks I took joy in as a child.
You can go here to read about the orange jewelweed that grows at my house.
p.s. The Pressley Girls will be performing Friday September 22, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse in Blairsville, GA.
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.
If you're around a camping area or attend an evening cookout after dark in Appalachia (and in other places) you're likely to see citronella candles sitting around in an effort to ward off the bugs.
Instead of using store bought candles or torches Pap built a small fire and placed green or damp leaves and branches on it to produce a smoky haze to ward off the bugs.
Pap's fire didn't smell near as good as the citronella, but I do believe it worked a whole heck of a lot better.
The Deer Hunter is the man who can fix anything. I swear it doesn't matter what is tore up he can figure out a way to make it work like new. Sometimes I think he's MacGyver-remember him from tv?
Unlike most musicians we don't own a sound system so we're always at the mercy of whoever we're playing for and often have to just make the best with what's available. At a recent show they were one vocal mic short which meant Paul or Chatter one would have to play and sing into the same microphone. The gentleman helping out thought he saved the day by finding another stand in the back until we noticed it was missing the mic holder. Oh well we all said, we'll make do.
Before I knew what was going on The Deer Hunter followed the man back to the room where he found the extra stand to see if he could find something else that might work. When he failed to find anything he taped the microphone to the stand allowing the audience to hear Paul's amazing flat top picking as well as his beautiful voice. I said "Where in the world did you get the tape?" The Deer Hunter said "I had it on the handle of my knife, all I had to do was take two pieces off." See what I mean about MacGyver? Who carries tape on their knife handle just in case?
I know there are resourceful people like The Deer Hunter all over the world, but it seems my area of Appalachia is chock full of them: folks that can figure out how to fix things with what they have on hand and I'm mighty glad to be married to one of those people.
p.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday June 10, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. at Vogel State Park - Blairsville GA.
I've been noticing a clump of weeds just out the backdoor. The green bunch is growing right in the portion of gravel that leads you to the back steps.
Even though it's in the way, for some reason I've kept ignoring it choosing to walk awkwardly around it instead of pulling it up.
I was beginning to think I had another fairy tale on my hands. Every time I passed that way I felt the small plant nudging open the file cabinet in my brain, but I could never get the drawer it was in open until today.
As I side-stepped the plant on my way down to the garden I realized what it was trying to tell me.
The skinny spiky top heavy stems were trying to remind me of long recesses at Martins Creek Elementary School and of a group of sweet girls who played together, argued together, and made bracelets, necklaces, and crowns from narrow leaf plantain stems.
p.s. It was way back in 2012 when I shared my own personal fairy tale with you here on the Blind Pig and The Acorn-would you like to hear it again?
p.s.s. The Pressley Girls will be playing Saturday June 3, 2017 @ 1:30 p.m. Art, River & Music Festival - Murphy NC and on Saturday June 10, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. Vogel State Park - Blarisville GA.
Over 1200 elementary students recently watched a professional theatre show at a college in Appalachia.
Students working hard to better the lives of their families and ours.