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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.



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Susan True replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone
"Soulfully beautiful."
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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Little Switzerland Books and Beans

August 30, 2019 from 3pm to 6pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author at Little Switzerland Books and Beans on Friday, August 30, from 3-5. A book signing will follow. Julia will read from her latest books A Neighborhood Changes, A Part of Me, and A Place That Was Home.See More
Aug 26
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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
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Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8

Must-See Book about Heirloom Garden Plants and Appalachian Traditions

Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste: Heirloom Seed Savers in Appalachia by Bill Best (Ohio U. Pr. trade paper, Apr. 2013, 220 pages, $22.95) 

Best, Appalachian seed-saver for 50 years, and president of the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center (near Berea KY), dishes on beans, tomatoes, apples, corn, candy roasters (a kind of squash), and cucumbers. He then turns his attention to the keepers of heirloom varieties, and to the communities that grow from shared practices.

“Consider an alternative world in which memory and local culture go into every child’s lunchbox.” Howard L. Sacks, a local foods leader, entices in the foreword.

Best, in his writing, speaks personally and authoritatively from experience, and he has a lot of it—in the field, kitchen, centers of study, and among friends and colleagues.

Don Fox of Madison County once told him how an ancestor from Scotland, who had fought with the British during the Revolutionary War, had fled to WNC and married a Cherokee woman, who contributed to their marriage a special kind of greasy bean, which is still cultivated by descendants.  Family traditions constitute a major force in heirloom seed saving.

“Greasy beans,” expensive on the market, “are so named because they have slick hulls,” Best writes.  “They are exceptionally tender and tasty.  Even when they are fully mature and have turned yellow, they can be strung and broken easily.”

Best grew up on a farm in Upper Crabtree in Haywood County.  He inherited seed-saving habits from his mother, who got them from her mother, Kate Sanford.  Best offers “Grangy’s” recipe for relish, using varieties of peppers.  Recipes, like garden products, are family history.


See 20-minute video about him by Joe York and Matt Bruder.


--Rob Neufeld, May 18, 2013

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