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Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

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
Dawn Trowell Jones updated their profile
City Lights Bookstore posted events
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 13
Rob Neufeld commented on Mark de Castrique's video
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 11
City Lights Bookstore posted events
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
Martha Arrowood Pelc posted a photo

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

Making Them Believe: The 21 Principles and Lost Secrets of Dr. J. R. Brinkley-Style Marketing

Sales tips from the goat gland guy 

Making Them Believe: The 21 Principles and Lost Secrets of Dr. J. R. Brinkley-Style Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy and Chip Kessler (Glazer-Kennedy Publishing trade paper, 2010, 304 pages, $19.95) 

Brief review by Rob Neufeld

Congressman Felix Walker’s long-windedness in “speaking for Buncombe” in 1820 may be one of the most enduring publicity flaps in local history. After all, “bunkum” is in the dictionary.

But Dr. J. R. Brinkley, Jackson County-raised entrepreneur, is a contender with his early twentieth century version of Viagra—goat glands. He made millions, thanks partly to revolutionary marketing techniques.

In 2008, Pope Brock wrote a compelling biography about Brinkley, titled “Charlatan.” Now, two flamboyant and successful businessmen, Dan Kennedy and Chip Kessler (who married into the Brinkley family), boldly celebrate Brinkley’s boldness with “Making Them Believe: The 21 Principles and Lost Secrets of Dr. J. R. Brinkley-Style Marketing.”

Brinkley’s greatest secret, Kennedy reveals, was having his clients “desire to believe” in a product so strongly that they abandoned critical thinking.

Kessler, who writes alternating chapters, sets that notion up with a story about Brinkley’s first sale in 1917. Brinkley had already moved to Kansas. 

Bill Stittsworth, a farmer, complained to Brinkley of lack of pep in bed. Goat parts were surgically added to Stittsworth’s make up. Billy Stittsworth Jr. resulted. Brinkley then had a hook to tap people’s overwhelming desire for offspring as well as for performance.
Modern marketers have followed Brinkley’s lead, the authors demonstrate, by tapping people’s desires to be accepted and loved as hooks for a slew of miracles.

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I'm glad Brinkley's absurdly exciting life is getting some attention. On Friday (October 1st), my short essay on his odd life and lasting impact will appear in the online magazine, Defunct (found here)
Thanks for the notice! Can you post a blog entry when it happens? And do you have an image I can use with a my featuring of the news? Attention-getting--maybe one of Brinkley, if you have it.

The Kansas State Historical Society has a nice collection of photos of him here

Hope that helps.


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