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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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Nancy Werking Poling posted an event

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
Jun 10
Caroline McIntyre posted events
Apr 29
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

Grapes and Fox Grapes - Juice and Jelly by Ethelene Dyer Jones


Both grape juice and grape jelly were two of the items we "put up" on our farm when I was growing up in the mountains. My Grandpa "Bud" Collins had a grape arbor. He had the Concord Grape vines staked to a "fare-you'well," so that when one walked under the arbor and it was time for grape harvest, the luscious clusters of ripe grapes hung like purple gold from the vines with broad leaves that ran along the whole length and breadth of the scaffold.

As a child, I was allowed my own small bucket and a step stool on which to stand (having been warned in advance, "Be careful; don't wiggle or you'll fall off the stool!"). From the vantage point of the stool, I could just barely reach the clusters of grapes. My Aunts Ethel and Avery gave me instructions on how to reach to the end of the cluster and gently pull off the whole bunch of grapes. I would soon have a bucket full and be so happy about my grape-picking accomplishment!

And then came something I really enjoyed: Washing the cluster of grapes in clear pans of water. We didn't have running water at that time on the farm, so we drew water from the deep well and had two pans in which we washed the grapes-two washings to insure they were really clean.

The next step was pulling the grapes from the cluster and making sure no stems were put into the pot where we would boil the grapes to make juice for canning or for making jelly. I wasn't allowed to cook the grapes at an early age, but then my mother died when I was fourteen, I found myself of necessity in the role of "head cook and bottle washer" on our own family farm, about a mile away from my Aunts Ethel and Avery-who were always good about giving me advice on any cooking, canning or jelly-making challenges.

We made the grape juice as described in "Blind Pig and the Acorn." I can remember our putting the juice we were planning to use during the winter in green fruit jars, washed clean and sterilized, and sitting in a pan of hot water, with a towel in the bottom of the pan to keep the cans from rattling so against each other and breaking. When the hot juice was poured into the cans, the next step was attaching the sealer. When I was a child, we had a rubber ring and a mason jar top for the sealer lids. It was not until later that we got the current-type two-piece "lid and jar" for sealing cans. I can remember how beautiful-and enticing-the jars of grape juice looked sitting on the freshly-cleaned-out cellar shelves underneath the house. All summer long, as one thing and another "came in" (ripened) and was harvested from the garden or the field, we filled cans and more cans to provide us food for winter use. The grape juice was sort of like the proverbial "icing on the cake" -to have something refreshing to drink during the winter months ahead.

We made a "run" or two of jelly-a "run" being the amount we could make with a five-pound bag of sugar, and the juice measured cup for cup with equal cups of the strained grape juice that we did not can. We made the grape jelly before "Sure-Jell" was available to us in the country. It took a lot more boiling time to cook the sugar and juice, and it had to be tested by dropping a drip of it into a cup of cold water to test to see if it had "jelled." I thought it was an amazing invention when Sure-Jell became available, during my teen years when I was in charge of the "Dyer Family" kitchen at our farm. I could make jelly in "jig" time compared to the long boil and frequent testing prior to Sure-Jell days. As an added thought, if we ran out of jelly, we could use the canned juice to make jelly, too.

Then the Fox Grape harvest came. It was a lot harder to gather these wild grapes, for someone adept at climbing trees along the banks of Town Creek where Fox Grapes grew had the privilege of being the gatherer. Usually it was my brother, always adept at "skinning" (climbing up) a tree. He would go with a bucket laced onto his person with a belt. He would soon get a whole bucketful of the tart grapes and descend to get another bucket to fill. Then we'd go home and begin the process-the same as with grapes from Grandpa Collin's grape arbor-to process the juice and jelly from these wild, tart, not-so-purplish Fox Grapes.

It was a lot of work to gather and process these foodstuffs for winter use. But somehow, we had a way of making it all seem like fun. And the rewards were two-fold; First, the pride in seeing the finished canned products sitting neatly along cellar shelves. All of it, whether grape juice and jelly or other products from garden, field and woods, gave a sense of accomplishment, evidence of a job well done. When ladies of our community "visited around" from farmhouse to farmhouse, they all liked to show their visitors their canned winter store. And the second blessing came when we actually ate the products, sitting in a warm kitchen on a snowy winter day, with the bounty of our harvest and of our frugal work spread out in splendor on the Lazy-Susan table in that kitchen on the farm. Was it any wonder that "to say grace" was so customary then? We were thankful for our work, for the provision of our food needs, and for God's bounty in giving us productive land on which crops grew and the hard-work ethic and determination to, like the industrious ant, lay up for the the days when these products would keep us healthy.

(I grew up in the Choestoe District, Union County, GA near Blairsville. We had farmland along the Nottely River and the creeks of Choestoe.)

by Ethelene Dyer Jones


I hope you enjoyed this piece by Ethelene as much as I did. I met Ethelene about 6 months ago-and from the beginning I was mesmerized by her writing and by the knowledge that history is close to her heart-just like it is mine. Ethelene is a historian, a retired educator, a poet, a genealogist, and an outstanding writer. To learn more about her-and read more of her writing you can visit her here.

Tipper

p.s. To read about one of Pap's Fox Grape adventures-click here.

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