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for Dorothy...

Posted by Suzanne D on 8/27/03 at 12:44 (128160)

Dorothy, I enjoyed your post about your KY memories which is now on the next page (and is why I'm starting a new thread here so you don't miss my reply).

My father was raised in Wayne County's neighboring Russell County, and I enjoyed visiting my grandparents' farm. Then, years later, my husband preached in two churches in the southern end of the county in Creelsboro and Rockhouse Bottom. The ladies there, along with my grandmother, were the best cooks I have ever known. Everything tasted superb! And there was an unhurried pace there that was so refreshing. Not that they didn't work hard! Grandma got up before sunrise, milked cows, cooked for workhands, made all her own clothes, and still found time to help all the neighbors when they had sickness or death. But there still seemed to be time to sit on the porch at night and visit with neighbors and friends.

Well, I had better stop, or everyone will surely think I am 'older than dirt'! :)

Your daughter's story was humorous! Yes, I teach first grade, and you hear it all! :)

You'll have to tell us about those books you mentioned. I wasn't familiar with them. Do you know of Janice Holt Giles' books? She was from Adair County, where I grew up.

Take care!
Suzanne :)

Re: for Dorothy...

Dorothy on 8/27/03 at 17:49 (128198)

My recollections are much like yours and I find myself with that kind of Kentucky longing that so many understand. I suppose that Harriett Simpson Arnow's best-known book is The Dollmaker and that probably was accentuated when Jane Fonda produced/starred in a movie based on it. Harriett Arnow was one of those unusual authors who were both critically praised and popular. She was likened to John Steinbeck, one example that comes to mind. Cooking from women in Wayne County? Oh my goodness! The BEST! My aunt had a brick smokehouse and smoked her own hams and bacon from hogs she raised, etc. herself and the wonderful gardens... You know, I don't think I ever commented on one of your posts in which you referred to stereotypes and I will just briefly (briefly does not come easily to me!) - I think the stereotyping that occurs with regard to people in Kentucky and Tennessee, most particularly, although other places, too is so awful. 'My people', as my mother always referred to our family there, were not formally educated - with a few exceptions - in the generations through WWII, but they were some of the smartest people and they revered education and reading. Through the 1970s, they were still living like they had lived since the 1800s, but because they were not rich and not eager for change did not mean they were not smart. Much has changed since about the 1970s and I am not enamoured with many of the changes there - all of the ills of the rest of the world have come to the most isolated places, too - so I treasure the memories I have of other times.
I haven't read the author you mentioned, but am familiar with the name. I do love Robert Penn Warren (WKU has a Robert Penn Warren 'festival' annually) for excellent writing. Bobbie Ann Mason is a good contemporary Kentucky writer. For southern/Appalachian (mysteries) writing that is always critically praised for its good writing - something that doesn't come often to mysteries, although I love a good mystery - is Sharyn McCrumb (I only guess the spelling is right). When I was a kid, I filled a small jar with some Wayne Co. soil to take home and I kept it for many years. Why? Because I was a romantic kid! You take care, too.

Re: for Dorothy...

Suzanne D on 8/28/03 at 19:38 (128324)

I always enjoy these chats, Dorothy! I wish we could talk sometime.

Suzanne :)