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kristy Jones

Indeed, you don't want the "World" to discover what you have there. I live in Colorado again after living in Nashville for twenty years. I moved back because all of my family lives here, and I knew I only had a few good years with my parents left. But I miss the values, and the warm kind people of the Southeast. I visited Ashville once and decided North Carolina would be a wonderfull place to retire.
It's strange, and I try to tell my sister and brother in law who love blue grass and play instuments, that there is a spirit, a sweet gentle spirit, that pervades that region. And things always seem to work out, as though that spirit is on your side. And you have people who care, and want to know there neighbors, who see the value in everyday relationships.
In Colorado, although it has plenty of people who worship nature, they forget it's creator.
Denver became the high tech center of the West for awhile, and the people who came here from Silicone Valley had the values of, big houses, flashy cars, prestige, and self glorification. Thus the "spirit" here is oppressive, not gentle. I always tell my family that murphy's law is the strongest here that I've ever experienced. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong, and the simplest task becomes hard & difficult here. It's the strangest thing I've ever experienced. And as for people placing too much importance on intellignece and education, although your region has far more educated intelligent people than it's given credit for, the truth is, the word of God sais that God hides the truth from men who place their faith in their own intelligence. And the Kingdom of God is such as little children, nieve, trusting sweet children.
Although I was raised here in Denver, it has never felt like home. But all those years when I lived in Nashville Tn., I would come back after a Christmas visit in Colorado, and when the plane touched down, I would sigh and say aahh, Im home! thanks for your article. Please forgive the mispellings, I posess only talent, and a music and art education! something the folks in Hollywood worship you for as long as it nets millions!!

Tom Bailey

You have to forgive me. My thoughts back up and queue like coal cars being prepared to be pulled to their destination. I sometimes couple too many together and it confuses me and thee. One point is about the state of my birth and formative years. My Grand dad would talk about early union organizing days as if the people who are, maybe, icons today were just close friends or acquaintances of his. He would say things like, "They shot ol' Sid (Hatfield, I learned after so many years and tellings) comin' out of the Post Office at Matewan. I was workin' on the railroad and knew all of the telegraphers. If a telegrapher was not fast enough to copy one of the main line, big city, telegraphers he would open the key and find another who could. There was one ol' Boy who could keep up with anybody, anywhere. They would contact him and he would take the telegraph message. Then when he had 'Keyed off' that ol' Boy would contact the station the massage was meant for and transmit it." Apparently, those fast actors from far away places like Cincinatti, Louisville or Richmond just thought everybody in Southern West Virginia was fast on their key transcription. Of course, no one knew and then everyone knew, any telegrapher could tell one operator from another by the cadence of the sending tapping dots and dashes. We are just really good at improvization and someone will usually help another in the hills, where I was born.
That is avery nice primer for Hillbilly lore and learning. I really enjoy reading your work. Please keep it up.

Barbara Whittington

Took a while for me to figure out how to leave a comment.
I'm happy I found your blog.
I'm going back to read it now.
I've heard your name lots in reference to WV writers.
I love the organization though I haven't made it to the last few conferences. Health issues.
Happy to connect through your blog.
Barb Whittington
member of WVW, near Stoutsville, OH

Martha Backus Wood

What a serendipidy to find you today. I was born in West Virginia 70 years ago and am writing today (mostly for my grands) my memory of a visit to the holler as a 4 or 5 yr old. I am strangly drawn to the area, even though my mother, a bit of a snob, always turned up her nose at the thought of our hillbilly relatives and left Charleston when I was 6. I love your site!

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