Appalachians, by GC Smith

Moun­tain folk

I see them every­where. In the cities now. On the streets. In the pool rooms, bars, fight­in' clubs. Inswank hotels. Still back in the Piney woods. I see them dri­vin' pick up trucks. Dri­ving BMWs.

Endur­ing people.

Fight­ing for the Gov­ern­ment. Wear­ing the Nation's uni­forms. Teach­ing school. Grow­ing pot.Pre­serv­ing the Nation. Turn­ing wrench­es. Dri­vin' trac­tors. Lay­ing brick. Mend­ing fences. Writ­inglaws. Heal­ing the halt and lame. Swill­ing shine. Fight­ing the Government.
Hardy folks.
Scots-Irish. Blacks. Red Indi­ans. Melun­geons. Folks with reli­gion. Folks with­out. Folks doing thehard work. Folks stick­ing to it. Folks liv­ing in the hard­wood forests. Livin' in the long leaf pinestands. Cookin' corn whiskey. Hard­scrab­ble farm­ing. Strip min­ing. Build­ing cab­ins. Cut­tingfur­rows. Build­ing roads.

Good folks.

Folks on moun­tain roads. On white water rapids. On back trails. On ridge backs. In Hollers. In thehills. In Cypress Shacks. Folks caught in snow drifts. Folks hangin' on.

Music mak­ers.

Dol­ly. Bill Mon­roe. Vas­sar Clements. Chet Atkins. Roy Acuff. Carters (Moth­er May­belle. June,Helen and Ani­ta. A.P.). John­ny. Emmy­lou. Jer­ry Dou­glas. Alli­son. Lester Flatt. Nit­ty Grit­ties(Han­na-Ibbot­son-Fad­den-McEuen-Thomp­son). Doc Wat­son. Bela Fleck. Mer­le Travis. John Prine.Randy Scrug­gs. Ricky Skag­gs. Earl Scruggs.

Foot­stomp­ing, fin­ger tap­ping multitudes.

Keep­ers of the cir­cle. Folks playin' dobro tuned gui­tars. Man­dolins. Auto­harps. Wash­boards.Fid­dles. Mouth Organs. Upright bass. Folks voic­es, solo and har­mo­ny. Folks clog danc­ing. Whiskeysip­pin'. Singing rounds. Dancin' squares. Ear­ly day and mod­ern music makers.

Folks insur­ing endur­ing circles.

Singing. Amazin' Grace. Just a Clos­er walk. Life's Rail­way. Lit­tle Moun­tain Church House. One Toke Over the Line. Walkin' Shoes Don't Fit Me. You Don't Know My Mind. Wild­wood Flower.Honky Tonk Blues. Grand­pa Was a Car­pen­ter. Lost Riv­er. Dia­mond In the Rough. Sun­ny Side.Fishin' Blues. Earl's Break­down. Will the Cir­cle be Unbroken?

Appalachia-Appalachi­ans. America's back­bone. America's people.

The cir­cle endures, unbroken.

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2 Responses to Appalachians, by GC Smith

  1. Wenonah Lyon says:

    All the images are famil­iar. It's been a long time since I've been to North Geor­gia. I remem­ber the piney woods, the log­ging trucks, the head­lights of a sin­gle car com­ing down the moun­tain at night. the packed red clay of the road cuts.

    The appalachi­ans are nice moun­tains, friend­ly, unlike the rockies.

  2. david coyote says:

    I remem­ber this one. Instant connection.
    Liked it the first time I read it, Jer­ry — still do!

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