Jan 1, 2010

New Year's Day: Country Living

Dancing Outlaw Trailer

Is it just me, or do a nuthatch--as always, bobbing down the tree--and a barn seem like fitting shots for today's entertaining link?

Maybe this video clip is also the flip-side of all that 1964 rural innocence I posted Dec. 23. In any case, it ought to wake everybody up and shake off some mild hangovers. Maybe it's a good break from football, too.

Thanks to the Ohio River Life blog for alerting me to the Whites of Boone County. I still haven't seen the entire documentary, but I intend to.

Dancing Outlaw Trailer

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Anonymous said...

The got an A&W in there?

PJ said...

I thought it was a mockumentary at first - but he's for real. I'm slightly familiar with Appalachia having lived there a (very) short time in my twenties. It's almost ungovernable, an American Afghanistan.

Banjo52 said...

AH, I bet Jesco would say that if you want it, he's got it.

I hope everyone clicked on a couple of additional YouTube videos about that White family.

Paula, that certainly fits everything we read or see about the area. I don't suppose you'd care to mention where you were in those parts in your 20s? I'm a minor map nerd, at least re: the U.S. Also, I grew up about 20 miles into the "safer" side of the Ohio River.

That area farther south has a spell on me that I've been trying to figure out for decades. I suppose you could call it love-hate . . . Maybe I'll try to write about it someday. Are you on the edge of your seat?

PJ said...

I was in Barbourville, KY. Very pretty, and very weird once you get off the main road. Kinda scary, actually. Is it still like that?

Banjo52 said...

Banjo chaotisized this exchange, but it might still be intelligible.

Banjo52 to Paula:

I've stayed in Corbin a few times. Yes, very nice country. But I haven't been off I-75 around there enough to know about scary. One local guy at a gas station in Somerset advised me not to take the eastbound back road I was planning. "You break down, you don't know who you'll run into." Maybe he saw the Michigan plates?

Corbin looked a little down and out the one time I went downtown. But Georgetown and Berea look VERY appealing, and Richmond seemed OK (years ago). Of course, they're farther north.

PJ pensacoladailyphoto@gmail.com:

I recall the name Corbin and Berea I'm well acquainted with as a family member used to be on staff there, but don't know anything about Georgetown.

On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 9:17 AM Banjo52 wrote:

I suspect Georgetown is more a suburb of Lexington these days and/or "just" home to a lot of Toyota workers. But I thought the town and college were very pleasant looking.

On staff at Berea--you mean at the college? If so, did he or she like it there? In my several stops, everyone's been very friendly.

PJ pensacoladailyphoto@gmail.com

Years ago my uncle was director of development at Berea and he seemed to enjoy it very much.

bettertry said...

Reply to Paula . . . "slightly familiar with Appalachia . . ungovernable, an American Afghanistan".

Hummmm. Technically, Appalachia stretches from southwest New York State to northeastern Mississippi.

My experience with Appalachia comes from spending several years in Kentucky and made a lot friends in such places as Harlan County for example.

Government there in Harlan County and other nearby communities where a lot of wonderful people live. My thinking of “government” as it applies to the discussion at hand regarding Appalachia can be addressed in several components. For example, typical local governments that you and I encounter set development standards, zoning classifications, etc. No so in many parts of rural Appalachia (Kentucky) as this component seems to be lacking for any number of reasons including general apathy. They don't need zoning to tell them where they can park their trailer.

Another example, many locals made small fortunes from strip mining of coal in the 60’s & 70’s without any significant reclamation efforts perhaps a dimension of the same issue.

Another example may be the “dry” or prohibition of alcohol sales that are supported by the local churches with funding from the bootleggers. These are not bootleggers in the moonshine tradition but bootleggers who run their own alcohol sales facilities taking cash only. I’ve been through one – it was a “drive thru” operation – operated out of a shed! That was 35 years ago, however. Today, my guess is and it’s only a guess rural Appalachia bootleg activities have expanded to include other substances.

I have not heard of any comparison of Appalachia (Kentucky/Tennessee) to Afghanistan. My opinions focus on KY & TN although Appalachia extends far beyond those States.

My view is a fair comparison does not go beyond the geographic characteristics, i.e. hills & hollows and the difficulty in governing such areas where economic prosperity is but a dream.

Banjo52 said...

Hey, Bettertry, thanks for the interesting information, esp. in paragraphs 4,5,6. Churches and bootleggers in cahoots. So those dry counties are only dry if you don't where the nearest local drive-thru is. (AH, that might relate to your question about A & W).

Wow. You learn something every day.

I still think Paula's point is interesting. Are there ungovernable places in the good old USA? The Hatfields and McCoys as the Taliban of their time? And now the urban gang bangers? The mob underworld? I don't know if the comparison is valid, but it's sure interesting.

Ditto the question: are they "ungovernable" or does the government decide they're not worth the time, money, and manpower? And collateral damage?

Lovers' Lane