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Tipper posted a blog post

When You Get in the Habit of Saying the Same Thing

Have you ever been around someone who used the same word or words in every sentence? Years ago, I was introduced to a man who at the end of every sentence said and what not. I remember being obsessed with listening to him. I wanted to see if just once he wouldn't say and what not. It never happened. He said the phrase at the end of every sentence just like clock work.A few other habitual sayings I've…See More
Thursday
Bil Stahl updated their profile
Feb 17
Ann Miller Woodford posted an event
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Ann Miller Woodford at Gospel Singing program: Liberty Baptist Church, Sylva, NC & Exhibit; WCU Mountain Heritage Center

February 19, 2017 from 3pm to 5pm
WCU's Mountain Heritage Center and curator, Ann Miller Woodford, will present an exhibit on African-American far western NC community, music, and history, based on Ann’s book, When All God's Children Get Together: A Celebration of the Lives and Music of African American People in Far Western North Carolina.The exhibit is based upon Woodford’s book of the same name, which examines musical traditions of the African-Americans as practiced at home, work, churches and schools.The exhibit examines…See More
Feb 16
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Feb 15
Rob Neufeld posted blog posts
Feb 15
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Rytson

Tyson’s Emmett Till book probes darknessby Rob NeufeldEVENT: Timothy Tyson discusses his book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., Asheville, 6 p.m., Wed., Feb. 15.  828-254-6734.             The headline about the publication of Timothy Tyson’s new book, “The Blood of Emmett…See More
Feb 13
Tipper posted a video

Kudzu Kickers - Waltz Clog

In case you didn't know-we dance too! Our clogging team is called the Kudzu Kickers. In this video we were practicing for an upcoming festival. The Pressley ...
Feb 11
Tipper posted a blog post

Memories and Food

Each of us have memories that are connected to food. Typically those remembrances are directly related to our childhood, you know the things we ate around the family table like the chocolate gravy I told you about earlier this week.A few years ago I…See More
Feb 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Feb 8
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Jewish Studies special events March 23-26

Center for Jewish Studies 35th Anniversary Events from press releaseUNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) will celebrate its 35th anniversary with a series of special events on and off campus March 23-26. Rick Chess talk and readingUNC Asheville Professor of English Richard Chess has been director of the CJS for the past 25 years and will deliver the 2017 Phyllis Freed Sollod Memorial Lecture on the celebration’s opening night. A poet and essayist, Chess will offer a vision of Jewish…See More
Feb 7
Julia Nunnally Duncan updated their profile
Feb 7
David E. Whisnant updated their profile
Feb 6
Rob Neufeld posted blog posts
Feb 4
City Lights Bookstore posted an event
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David Joy Presents His Second Novel at Jackson County Public Library

March 3, 2017 from 6:30pm to 8pm
The Jackson County Public Library and City Lights Bookstore are co-hosting an event with David Joy on Friday, March 3rd at 6:30 p.m. He will present his second novel, The Weight of This World, in the Community Room of the Jackson County Public Library. Set in the Little Canada community of Jackson County, The Weight of This World is a story of three people haunted by their past. A combat veteran returned from war, Thad Broom can’t leave the hardened world of Afghanistan behind, nor can he…See More
Feb 4
Tipper posted a blog post

Hiccup Cures

Do you ever get the hiccups? Every once in a while I do. If I have them once during a day-I always have them again before the day is over. My record is 5 different times in one day.We've all heard drinking water or holding your breath is the remedy to stop hiccups. According to John Parris saying this tongue twister will cure them:Hickup, snicup, rise up, right up! Three drops in the cup are good for…See More
Feb 4
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The German experience settling WNC

The German migration to Western North Carolinaby Rob Neufeld PICTURE CAPTION: An immigrant family comes down the Philadelphia Wagon Road in the mid-18th century, as had the George Schuck family done, and as this Scots-Irish family is doing in an 1872 “Harper’s Weekly” illustration, titled, “The…See More
Feb 3

New Deal boosted Haywood sharecropper’s family

by Rob Neufeld

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Dan Cochran poses with his family—his wife, Ila; Howard, Pansy, and Chester; and Peggy Brock’s and Kaye Minchew’s mother, Mabel Jean, c.1927.  Ila was a good seamstress; and the families would have been ready for having their pictures made by having their best clothing clean and pressed and ready for photographer to arrive. Photographers did sometimes provide clothing for folks to pose in.

            Franklin Delano Roosevelt started going to Warm Springs, Georgia in 1924 to cure his polio, and it not only affected his health, it affected his outlook on agriculture.

            Something about the South moved his heart.  He made many car trips to small towns.

            In Americus, Ga., he told a Chamber of Commerce audience in February 1928, “I would rather tackle new things in Georgia than attempt to rehash things in New York.”  He was running for governor of New York at the time.

            Cotton had caused the depletion and erosion of much soil in the South, and Roosevelt advocated reforestation.  When he found out that the train awakening him at Warm Springs at night was carrying milk from Wisconsin, he proposed that dairy and beef cattle be raised on depleted cotton lands.

            Southerners were not putting their hands out when they thought financial help might be coming their way.

            In the fall of 1932, when Roosevelt, on the verge of winning his first term as President, drove out to Georgia farms, “residents of Warm Springs,” Kaye Lanning Minchew writes in her new book, “A President in Our Midst,” moved their “scrawny cows away from roadside fields when they expected (him) to be driving by since they wanted him to see only fat cows.”

 

The Haywood connection

 

            In 1936, Roosevelt made a trip through Haywood County during a campaign for his second term.  Minchew’s mother’s cousin, Bill Rolland, had been there.

            “FDR came through Canton,” Rolland says.  “My mother took me to see him.  There was a big crowd.  I was five.  A big fellow picked me up and out me on his shoulders so I could see the President.”

            Rolland’s father, George Eph Rolland, and uncle, Dan Cochran, had been working at the Smokemont saw mill when Champion closed it down in the late 1928 in a deal with the National Park Service.

            George was a blacksmith and mechanic, and got a job at Champion Fibre Company in Canton.  Dan had been a laborer at the lumber camp, and did not.  But many former Smokemont men got jobs with the WPA, which began in 1935; and two of the family’s young men—Minchew’s uncles, Howard and Chet—went off with the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program that had begun in 1933.

            Bill Rolland recalls sitting around the Zenith radio in his parents’ home in Fibreville, Champion’s mill village.  His father was more well off than others— because of his job and because he had a farm on the Pigeon River—and cousins and friends would often be over, listening to Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats.”

            “We must begin now to make provision for the future,” Roosevelt said in a April 28, 1935 broadcast.  He was introducing the Social Security Act as well as unemployment insurance and a works relief program that would put to work “3½ million employable persons, men and women, who are now on the relief rolls.”

            Dan Cochran had become a sharecropper.  He was not interested in Social Security, though he would be grandfathered in with people who’d never had deductions taken from paychecks. 

            He did not benefit from work relief; he was an independent farmer, so poor, his granddaughter, Peggy Brock remembers her mother saying, his children had “gathered chestnuts in the fall to pay for shoes.”

            When the Farm Security Administration was established in 1937, Cochran did turn to the New Deal for loans. 

            “Records in the county FSA office,” a 1939 issue of the “Waynesville Mountaineer” reported in a feature on Cochran, “show he was worth $229 in the spring of 1936.”

 

Success story

 

            “First Cochran worked as a farm laborer,” the “Mountaineer” began their feature.  “During the winter he cut pulp wood and saved enough to buy a $65 mule.  The FSA lent him money to buy another.  Then he sold the mules and bought two brood mares.”

            By raising and selling colts, Cochran paid off his loans.  Consequently, the FSA, “upon advice of the Haywood County Tenant-Purchase committee, decided he was worthy and able to take a further step up the ladder—that of farm ownership.”

            Minchew, a professional archivist, found and got a copy of her grandfather’s farm loan application form from the National Archives. His wife, Ila Woody Cochran, had helped him sign it, for Dan, a man of multiple talents—he could also play a banjo by ear—was illiterate.

            With the loan, Cochran bought 50-acres of bottomland between the East and West Forks of the Pigeon River, and went about making many improvements and repairs to the buildings.

            The proof of New Deal effectiveness resonates within Cochran’s extended family with faith in being tenacious, a belief in the dignity of poor people, and support of government boosts to those who need opportunity and relief.

            “My mother was the first in her family to finish high school,” Brock says.  “My cousin Jerry, who was Dan’s first grandchild, was the first to finish college.  In my own family, we all have graduate degrees...and Grandpa signed his name with an X and was never able to attend school.”

            Bill Rolland got a Ph.D. in physics from Duke.  “Then I decided to teach and be poor, and I’m successful at that,” he said.  He taught ten years at King College in Bristol; and then 45 at St. Andrews Presbyterian College (now University) in Laurinburg, N.C.

            Grandpa Dan was amazed at the turn in family fortune.  “I sure am thankful for this chance that has been given me,” he’d told the “Mountaineer” reporter.

            “Grandpa never drove a car,” Brock chimes in.  “One time he was going to the store with Uncle Chet, and they picked up a hitchhiker.  Grandpa told him, ‘That’s okay, we were once poor, too.’”

            “Grandpa always called me Billy,” Rolland relates.  “He kind of growled.  ‘Billy, come here,’ he said, ‘I’ll show you my bank book.’  He was so proud.”

            Cochran’s vigor was legendary.  “I remember going to see him when he was maybe 92,” Rolland says.  “We were out on his front porch, which was two feet off the ground.  There was something he had to do in the yard, and he just jumped off the porch.”

            “When he died at age 95,” Minchew noted, “he’d never been in a hospital a day in his life.  He went down to the mailbox to get the mail to bring to Chet, and his ducks were following him, and he just fell down on the way back.”

            “The only photo in Grandpa’s house,” Minchew says, “was one of Roosevelt.”  And now she has written a book that includes many photos of the President and accounts all of the good he did for Georgians and people with leg ailments.

THE BOOK & AUTHOR

Cover of “A President in Our Midst: Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Georgia” by Kaye Lanning Minchew (U. of Georgia Pr., 2016).  Kaye Lanning Minchew presents her book of photographs and history, at Blue Ridge Books, 152 S Main St., Waynesville, 3 p.m., Sat., Aug. 6.  828-456-6000.

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