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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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Rob Neufeld updated their profile
Apr 13
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

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
George Ellison left a comment for Renea Winchester
"luv ya Renea ... Kephart bio finally done after 40 years ... free at last ... free at last... great god almighty ... free a last!"
Apr 5
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
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Connie Regan-Blake Storytelling at Hendersonville Public Library at Henderson County Public Library - Main Branch

June 13, 2019 from 6pm to 7pm
Join Connie Regan-Blake for a family oriented evening of stories at the Hendersonville Library.See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake presents A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 6, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Please join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her workshop participants in an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” Here are the tellers for our April 6th “Slice of Life” performance.  Christine Phillips Westfeldt, Kyra Freeman, Steve Tate, Alberta Hipps and more! The event is hosted by the …See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake's Taking Your Story to the Stage Workshop at StoryWindow Productions

April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019
The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Set in Connie’s home tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC, this workshop provides a supportive,…See More
Apr 1
Rap Monster posted a blog post

Stealth Hazy - 'Gun Clap'

Stealth Hazy - Gun ClapI got 80 rounds with a beam on it riding dirty I'm smoking chronic top off hear that system pound 808 thats subsonicI double down quadruple upstraight droppin with no cutwilt chamberlain on the reboundand you a fan just starstruckI…See More
Mar 26
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Mar 2
Sue Diehl shared their event on Facebook
Feb 8
Sue Diehl posted an event
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Montreat College Friends of the Library Celebrate National Library Week at Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College, Montreat, NC

April 9, 2019 from 3pm to 5pm
Patti Callahan, author of the recent novel Becoming Mrs. Lewis, and Don W. King author of Out of My Bone: the Letters of Joy Davidman, A Naked Tree: Love Sonnets to C. S. Lewis, and Yet One More Spring: a Critical Study of Joy Davidman, will co-present on their works about Joy and her husband C.S. Lewis.  The event is free and open to the public on April 9, 2019 in Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College.Reception and Book signing to followSee More
Feb 8
William Roy Pipes posted a discussion

TWO NEW APPALACHIAN NOVELS

I have, just released two Appalachian Novels.OUT OF THE SHADOWS, begins deep in the Appalachian Mountains of in WNC. It is partly a true story about a young man who ran away from home at the age of fifteen. He meets another runaway, and they fall in love.A journey where he faced adversaries, but also success as he walked, hitchhiked, and made his way across the country.GONE LIKE A CANDLE IN THE WIND, is a story of three young people growing up in a farming community in the Appalachian…See More
Jan 28
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Main Show

The Main Show: a story-poem stage presentation(part of  Living Poem)See video of Act 1, Scene 1: The SettingProgram Notes (A program note reader comes out to read from the program notes.) Reader: Don’t listen, children, and do not hear.(A monster is coming and there’s no escapeWithin this story, and no good way to tell it, Except to gaze at the horror as at a…See More
Jan 26
Don Talley posted a discussion

Hollywood Pictures Inc in Fairview

In the 1920's it seemed the whole country was caught up in excitement about films and Hollywood.    Asheville and Western North Carolina were well aware of the hoopla of Hollywood.   In fact, Hollywood (or at least filmmaking) was already beginning to come to Western NC.I recently stumble across an article from the Jun 6 1926 issue of The Asheville Citizen Times which mentions that Hollywood Pictures Inc, was planning to film just south of Asheville, near Fairview.  But....was this really…See More
Jan 23
Connie Regan-Blake posted events
Jan 16
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Intermission

IntermissionHear audio by clicking mp3 attachment!(Part of poem, "Coalescence") I thought I might take a break at this point to look around,Now that I’m in the business of making things resound.It’s so nice to have the luxury of being carefree. If you stop and sit back and try to take in everything,It stuns you and you can’t focus on anythingUntil something crops up, and what…See More
Jan 16

A Boone drama inspired a theater of dreams in Arden

by Rob Neufeld

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Paul Trueblood, General Manager of the “Thunderbird” production, on the phone, drumming up business.  Photo by June Glenn, Asheville Citizen-Times, 1952.  

          “Forest Amphitheater, nine miles south of Asheville, will become one of the most popular entertainment centers in Western North Carolina,” George McCoy wrote about the new venue in the booklet for the premiere of “Thunderland: The Story of Daniel Boone.”

            Outdoor drama had been big in North Carolina since 1937, when “The Lost Colony” was staged in 1937 in Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island.

            In 1950, “Unto These Hills” began attracting crowds with its pageant of Cherokee history in Cherokee; and, in 1952, “Horn in the West” dramatized Revolutionary War events on the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre stage in Boone.

            “Horn in the West” still runs, as does “Unto These Hills” with a 2006 rewrite to represent Cherokee culture more accurately (for instance, ballet-style dances were replaced by authentic Cherokee ones).

            The script for “Thunderland” also betrayed a colonist’s skew, and cast white people as Indians.  It built up to the second of two acts, which opens with the mourning of Daniel Boone’s son, James, tortured to death by Indians opposed to the settlement of Kentucky; and proceeded to the sale of Kentucky to Richard Henderson, Boone’s new employer.

            Henderson’s purchase of territory between the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers had been based on a sham agreement with the British government.  However, as Robert Morgan writes in his biography, “Boone,” “Henderson knew the value of precedent and primary claim...(and) once he had attracted thousands of settlers by selling them  parcels of land at bargain prices, who was to get him out of Kentucky?”

            Henderson’s portrayal in “Thunderland” is less cynical.

           

Manifest destiny

 

            Outdoor drama suited the epic way America thought of itself in 1952.  The manifest destiny of its founding years matched the international expansionism of the post-World War II period.

            Boone, despite being Henderson’s tool, was a larger-than-life and sympathetic figure, whom the Indians loved.  His triumphs and tragedies were practically Biblical.

            “Destiny pointed a dramatic finger at Daniel Boone’s cradle; even on the day of his birth,” “Thunderland” playwright Hubert Hayes wrote in his “Story of the Play.” 

            Boone’s mother, Sarah, “a devout Quaker, had turned to the Bible, to find a name for him,” and had come upon this passage in the Book of Daniel: “And he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.”

            Hayes was not only full of American folk pride, he was an Appalachian spokesperson, born in West Asheville.  His first play, “Tight Britches,” about a Great Smoky Mountains community, opened in Asheville in 1933 and went to Broadway the next year.  He served as the manager of the Asheville City Auditorium from 1945 to 1954.

 

Mountain music

 

            The 1950s was a gateway year for tourism in this region.  In 1952, the Cherokee built its historic village; and Hugh Morton purchased Grandfather Mountain.

            Colleges and universities began instituting Appalachian studies programs.  Southern Appalachia represented, to promoters and appreciators alike, an unspoiled English-Scots culture and an area in need of economic uplift and investment.

            For the music for “Thunderland,” Hayes collaborated with Lamar Stringfield, who, in 1928, had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral suite, “From the Southern Mountains.” 

            Stringfield, like Hayes, had many Asheville connections.  Born in Raleigh, he moved with his family to this region at age five, his father serving as pastor of churches in Barnardsville, Burnsville, and Asheville before establishing a permanent home in Mars Hill.

            Stringfield attended Mars Hill College; and, after service in World War I, studied flute and music with Emil Medicus and Joseph DiNardo in Asheville.  After further studies in New York and Paris, and after his Pulitzer, he returned to North Carolina and organized the North Carolina Symphony.

            He is credited with composing the music for Paul Green’s “The Lost Colony.”  The “Thunderland” score was a late career masterpiece.

            The local production was also a fundraising boon for “the college in the sky,” Asheville-Biltmore College, precursor of UNC Asheville.

            Perched atop Sunset Mountain on Fred Seely land, it was looking to grow out of its junior college function and become a four year liberal arts college.

            Sunset Mountain Attractions, Inc. was formed, with former mayor Clarence E. Morgan as president; and, “after inspection of a number of proposed sites,” McCoy wrote, “a 61-acre tract was leased from Biltmore Estate.  On a portion of this tract, at the northwest intersection of Long Shoals Road and the French Broad River, the Forest Amphitheater has been built.  Surrounded by the forest, provision was made to seat 2,300 spectators.”

            Escape to the forest remains a driving force in people’s lives, as does a feeling of not having enough “elbow room,” to use Boone’s phrase, and being under siege.

            “Thunderland” ends with three scenes titled, “Attack!”; “Victory”; and “Daniel and Rebecca Boone’s departure further west.”

            For lack of funding, the drama lasted just one more year.  Forest Amphitheater no longer exists, though its parking area access road has become Thunderland Circle, serving Sunshine Chevrolet.

            A copy of the script of “Thunderland” is held in the North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library.

 

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