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Spooks Branch, a human history story

Spooks Branch was a singular place in settlers’ loreby Rob NeufeldImportant editorial note:This is a significant historical story that is also, in parts, personal and controversial.  It is about a few families who settled a particular cove and played out their heroic and complex legacies in ways that interacted with place and time.  You don't read this kind of story much because people don't like to expose themselves or stir up trouble, even a little.  This caution makes history classes boring…See More
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Nov 21
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Rise of Asheville by Marilyn Ball

History of the "Asheville 1000" and the 1970s renaissance                       Let’s not miss the history of Asheville’s renaissance, Marilyn Ball’s new book, “The Rise of Asheville,” advocates.            She’d come here in 1977, making her one of the advance guard of “artists, entrepreneurs, and off-the-grid…See More
Nov 20
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Century-ago woman's apple cake recipe

Mmm, them apples in Beaverdam coveIn 1972, Helen Nelon wrote about the traditions of old-time Spooks Branch, off Beaverdam Road.  Here's what she said about her use of apples in a cake.(The full story of Spooks Branch will appear soon.)There were apples for delicious cider cooled in the spring "dreem" (drain), apples for frying for cold winter days, and for special days there were dried apple sauce fruit cakes.These cakes were made of very thin, sweet dough with dried apple sauce spread between…See More
Nov 18
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Nov 16
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Dignity is the key to Richard Russo's inspiration

So funny, and yet so exposing--Richard Russo's geniusSnakes on the lane            In Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Empire Falls, the protagonist, Miles recalls the time his father, driving, had accelerated into a box on a highway.  “What if that box had been full of rocks?” Miles asks.  Unfazed, Max quizzes his son about what he would do about the box.  Max says he'd stop and look in it,  “What if it was full of rattlesnakes? “ his father asks.            The verbal match…See More
Nov 14
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Nov 12
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Humanize the history--especially with Civil War--writes acclaimed author

Writer illuminates tangled web of Civil Warby Rob Neufeld             David Madden has written a book, “The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction,” that deserves special attention.            First, there’s Madden’s background.  In 1992, he founded the U.S. Civil War Center in New…See More
Nov 12
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Nov 10
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Coming attraction--Singleton at Malaprop's & City Lights for Calloustown

George Singleton's latest collection of stories, Calloustown...features the folk who try to survive in a place that has little to offer besides a Finger Museum and a taxidermy petting zoo,It's funny, but also tragic and angry.  The review, "Love-hate humor cries in Calloustown," appears in the Asheville Citizen-Times, Sunday, 11/15/2015.  Singleton's at Malaprop’s Bookstore, 7 p.m., Wed., Nov. 18; and at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21.Here's an excerpt from the…See More
Nov 10
Lockie Hunter posted an event

Juniper Bends Quarterly Reading at DownTown Books & News

November 13, 2015 from 7pm to 8pm
Our very special Autumnal edition starts at 7PM and is sure to be a lively and vibrant set, with featured writers Randi Janelle, Tina FireWolf, Logan Parker, and Annabelle Crowe. Two of our readers have new books out, and as always there is wine flowing by donation. Hosts Lockie Hunter and Caroline Wilson look forward to seeing you there----remember, your wellbeing depends upon it.See More
Nov 9
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Love and Mercy ~ Up On Roan Mountain

My family lived and loved up on Roan Mountain and in the surrounding mountain areas, and this is their story. It's woven into a tapestry that weaves down through the years, before the days of the Civil War and up to present day. They were…
Nov 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

It's All Relative--50 WNC women write about family

Family life as perceived by 50 WNC authorsby Rob Neufeld             If you have biases against small press books or anthologies of local writers’ work, I recommend you lay them aside and take a look at “It’s All Relative” (Stone Ivy Press), 52 stories and poems by 50 WNC women authors writing about family.           …See More
Nov 6

Liars Bench To Play "Birdell" Show At WCU Mountain Heritage Center

Event Details

Liars Bench To Play "Birdell" Show At WCU Mountain Heritage Center

Time: November 15, 2012 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: WCU Mountain Heritage Center auditorium
City/Town: Cullowhee
Phone: 828.227.2276 or 828.586.9499
Event Type: fine, arts, performance
Organized By: Carl E.H. Iobst
Latest Activity: Nov 7, 2012

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Event Description

“Dramatic performance of “Birdell” to be centerpiece of Liars Bench benefit show at WCU Mountain Heritage Center.”

Sylva November 5, 2012—Thursday November 15 at 7:00 pm The Liars Bench presents “Birdell” at WCUs Mountain Heritage Center

auditorium. “Birdell,” a dramatic monologue by Gary Carden starring Bobbie Curtis, is the story of a defiant mountain woman forced off her land by the TVA caused rising waters of Fontana Lake. Carden has announced that this show will be a benefit for the organization. Consequently there will be an admission charge of $10.00. Tickets will be available at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva and at the door the night of the show.

Carden said “although “Birdell” has plenty of pathos, its not just a dark, unrelenting tragedy. It has humor all the way through the play. Some of the things that Birdell does in her garden just might shock a Southern Baptist preacher.”

Actress Bobbie Curtis portrays Birdell Tolly's life and her battle against the federal government. Ms. Curtis' grandparents were forced off their land by the construction of the Bridgewater Dam which formed Lake James. Curtis says “I feel that I am really in her shoes and that I have been there.” Some of Carden's other plays she has performed in are “The Bright Forever” and Ketti Frings “Look Homeward Angel.”

Member Stars Gary Carden, Paul Iarussi will perform Southern Appalachian tales and music also.

Regular cast members include Gary Carden, Lloyd Arneach, Paul Iarussi, William Ritter, the Boys From Tuckaseegee, Barabra Duncan, Karen Barnes, and the show’s mascot Bodine. The Liars Bench recognizes established regional artists and performers and encourages new talent also.

“The Liars Bench is a unique blend of culturally accurate mountain Americana with traditional Southern Appalachian entertainment for everyone. We attempt to treat Appalachian culture with integrity and authenticity and to be an accurate reflection of the Southern Highlanders and their ways. No matter how successful the show becomes I want people to know that The Liars Bench is an honest rendering of Appalachian culture and tradition” said Carden.

The Liars Bench was created in the early summer of 2010 by Dr. Gary Carden, recipient of the 2008 Brown-Hudson Folklore Award and the 2012 North Carolina Award for Literature to promote Southern Appalachian storytelling, music, poetry, drama, and folk arts.!/TheLiarsBench

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