Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Squirrel Meat – “It’s what’s for diner”

-From the field to the diner table-

I got this off Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Squirrel meat is considered a favored meat in certain regions of the United States where it can be listed as wild game. This is evidenced by extensive recipes for its preparation found in cookbooks, including older copies of The Joy of Cooking. Squirrel meat can be exchanged for rabbit or chicken in recipes, though it can have a gamey taste. Unlike the healthfulness of most game meat, the American Heart Association has found squirrels to be high in cholesterol.

-In the U.S.

In many areas of the U.S., particularly areas of the American South, squirrels are hunted for food. Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee mentioned his experiences eating squirrel during the South Carolina primary, saying that "When I was in college, we used to take a popcorn popper, because that was the only thing they would let us use in the dorm, and we would fry squirrels in a popcorn popper in the dorm room." He later told Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert that squirrel constitutes "a Southern delicacy". The Ramapough Mountain Indian Tribe of New Jesery considered squirrel as an inherent tradition.

-In the U.K.

For most of the history of the United Kingdom, squirrel has been a meat not commonly eaten, and even scorned by many.
But in the early 21st century, wild squirrel has become a more popular meat to cook with, showing up in restaurants and shops more often in Britain as a fashionable alternative meat. Specifically, U.K. citizens are cooking with the invasive gray squirrel, which is being praised for its low fat content and the fact that it comes from free range sources. Additionally, the novelty of a meat considered unusual or special has added to the spread of squirrel consumption. Due to the difficulty of a clean kill and other factors, the majority of squirrel eaten in the U.K. is acquired from professional hunters, trappers, and gamekeepers.
Some British are eating the gray squirrel as a direct attempt to help the native red squirrel, which has been dwindling since the introduction of the gray squirrel in the 19th century. This factor was marketed by a national "Save Our Squirrels campaign that used the slogan, “Save a red, eat a gray!”

**“Not for children or the weaker stomach”. Highly-Educational.

**“Not for children or the weaker stomach”. Highly-Educational.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Answer to the September quiz is!


The following are actual laws in different states. Which is one from Washington State?

*A. No person may walk about in public if he or she has the common cold.
RCW 70.54.050
Exposing contagious disease -- Penalty.

B. Persons may not live in a trailer as it is being hauled across the city.
C. It is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.
D. Citizens may not greet each other by “putting one’s thumb to the nose and wiggling the fingers.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bill Dance

Bill Dance Outdoors is a fishing television series hosted by retired professional tournament angler Bill Dance. I’ve been watching his show over the years and man does this guy have the worst luck. Here’s a few bloopers from some of his shows.

I just ran into this website called It is an internet television channel that provides streaming TV shows and product demonstrations to a variety of outdoor folks. I foreseeing this being my new outlet to the outdoors once it gets 10-20 deg below here this Winter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009



We hope that there will be additional opportunities to visit these Cascade families and learn more about their lives. As we have indicated, though, they may be a dying subculture, because the influx of new families from Appalachia has dried to a trickle and the timber industry is in the tenth year of a depression. The children of these families have also been much more willing to use education as a ticket to the world outside. It was a point of pride to our informants that their children had all completed high school. Many had gone to college. In the process they learned the skills that made them employable in the thriving communities along Puget Sound. The land as homeplace has not seemed to exert as strong a pull on these Western Appalachians -- perhaps because their ancestors had already broken roots in going to Washington in the first place, partly because the outdoors is in the heritage of everyone in the state and is not lost just because one moves to the city. At any rate, the towns we visited were no longer prosperous, if indeed they ever had been, and they could no longer keep their younger residents from looking longingly elsewhere. Fifty years after Clevinger's first studies, we could still find these Cascade Appalachians, but someone looking for them in another fifty years may very well find that they have disappeared into the general population. Before they do disappear, however, we think there is much more they may be able to tell us, not only about their present lives in Washington, but about the Appalachia they left behind.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


You probably already knew these topics were coming up – “Critter Stew and White Lighting”

The Themes of the Interviews

After conducting interviews in all of these communities, we think we have discovered a number of themes -- themes relating to the needs to create a decent life for one's family, to test one's limits in a land of huge forests and abundant wildlife, to maintain spiritual wholeness and personal identity thousands of miles from one's place of birth. Here, briefly, are some of them.
Most of our informants had stories to tell of their trip west and seemed to regard it as one of the great adventures of their lives. The migration story Frankie Nations told us was probably typical. "We came here," she told us,
in 1937. All us kids were born during the Depression, so my dad, it was hard for him to get work there, so we started on out on September 1, 1937. There was ten of us in the car, a little '31 Chevrolet, and we had a little utility trailer pulling in the back with all our belongings in it. And those kids ranged from one year to seven -- there were four of us, four children -- Mom, Dad, and two uncles and an aunt, and a guy who came with us to help drive. So we all got in this car and we started out and it took us ten days to get from North Carolina to Darrington. My sister and I, we had to sit on a can on the floor between one of our uncles' legs, because there wasn't enough room to sit in the car, and every time I moved my uncle would say, "Sit still." Well, being five years old, you can't see out the window or anything. I had a ring on my bottom for a long time for sitting ten days on that can, and so did my sister.
Frankie remembered there was so little room in the car that most family belongings had to be left at home. Her family did bring their feather beds with them, however. When night came on the trip west, her mother took out these feather comforters and the family slept on them by the side of the road. Other Appalachians came west with even less; Corbett Hale told newcomers traveling with him that they were restricted to one suitcase. Time and again we asked people what they possessed from their family's first trip to Washington. Only Mabel Hale Compton could tell us the story of material possessions with an Appalachian origin -- some quilts brought by her family from Wolf Pen Creek, Kentucky.
When they arrived here, some families were set up in already furnished houses. Others were not so fortunate and either had no close relatives who could assist them or else somehow missed connections. About their own arrival in Washington state, recounts Ethel Toler,
We come by train to Chehalis. We were a day earlier than what the people were looking for us, and here we got off the train we didn't know where we was at, we didn't know where Riffe was and we had twenty dollars in our pocket. So the taxi was just across the street from the railroad station. So Homer went over there and we got a taxi which cost us sixteen dollars to go to Riffe. He didn't know where Riffe was, the taxi driver didn't. He knew what vicinity it was in. He'd seen somebody had had a trip to Riffe and what they had charged for going. Well, he said, it's sixteen dollars and we'll find it.
And find Riffe the Tolers eventually did, though they arrived in town with only four dollars between t hem. Nevertheless, they considered themselves fortunate to be in their new community, as evidenced by the stories of privation they told us about their previous life in West Virginia. Typical meals back home, said Ethel, were "biscuits watered gravy for breakfast and corned bread and beans for dinner. One month we had a little money left over, so we went down to Krogers and they had this beautiful curly kale, so we had enough to get that and we had enough to get a little package of yeast. We went home, we cooked that kale and I made hot rolls and we really eat that. That was treat." The Toler home near Welch, West Virginia, was also remembered as a sign of their former poverty. "The last house we lived in before we left West Virginia," Homer Toler told us,
was built in January out of green hemlock: two little rooms. The front door was a barn door. It was made out of green lumber. They put up two corner boards here and two over there and two over there and the roof was sloped one way and no studding in it, and we swept four inches of snow off the floor part of it and put a roof on it of lightweight tarpaper, and we moved in. And they just nailed the green hemlock up and down and then one by four over the cracks. And one place in front of the front door where it was kind of cut cross grain, why she woke up one night and pow, scared to death. And she wanted to know what it was. I said that's just a board seasoning and cracking. And her dad had given us a big old wool rug. And she woke me up one morning, she said what's that cat doing? And it was laying right up close to where the stove was. It had come up under the house, raised the rug up, the cat was laying there asleep. In front of the front door there was a piece busted out in one of the floor boards about that big, it was kind of wedge shaped, and the cat went in and out of that hole.

The Toler memories of grinding poverty are similar to other memories our informants shared with us. What Barbara Ann Austin remembers most about her first trip to Kentucky, for example, was their lack of indoor plumbing. Other Cascade families remember their former homes with more affection. The Darrington Tarheels seem convinced that conditions back east have improved so much that there is no longer an economic incentive to cause people to move to Washington. Still other families keep alive a nostalgic picture of life in the East. In the home of Mabel Hale Compton there is an oil painting of a modest Kentucky log house owned by her family. It would be instantly recognizable to many people interested in Appalachian studies because it is the Amburgey cabin once lived in by James Still.
To a greater or lesser degree Cascade Appalachians also retain memories of family food traditions. When we ate lunch at her home, Frankie Nations served us leather britches beans and corn bread. Stack cake seemed to be remembered fondly by all our informants, and Sis Dolleyheide is still supposed to bring it regularly to church dinners (Toler tape). The Jones family reported a family tradition, now ended, of raising bears for meat. Frankie Nations remembers with amusement a story about her mother who, in Frankie's words, would "try anything":
One morning there was a porcupine under the house. When Dad went to work he saw this porcupine. That evening he came home from work and there was a real nice plate of chicken on the table. During the day Mom had got the twenty-two. She'd gone under the house, she'd shot the porcupine and she'd skinned it.

Somebody had told her that was real good to eat, and all, so Mom's a real good cook, so she cooked up this porcupine, but she made the mistake of one of my sisters' still being at home. She was sick and she didn't go to school. Well, we were all eating this chicken. That night this one that had stayed at home from school and my Dad, you know, he used language that wasn't too good at times, and he looked across and the younger wasn't eating any chicken. "Well, what's your problem that you're not eating any chicken?" He looked at Mom and he said, "You're feeding us that porcupine." That was the end of the chicken. Nobody ate chicken after that.
Within some families another food tradition, of course, is moonshine. For a number of Cascade families, this was an important Depression-era business. Mabel Hale Compton recalls a relative just tin from Kentucky. Her father put him up for a few months until he could get on his feet. Finally, her brother noticed the relative spending a lot of time down in the woods by the creek. When she and her brother investigated, they found the relative's new still. It was certainly not the only still operating in eastern Lewis County during those years. As Woodrow Clevinger reported to the Lewis County Historical Society,
I don't want to mention names, but there was one merchant in this town who didn't make his money selling groceries to loggers and lumberjacks who wanted credit. He really made his money from bringing in corn, ground corn, and wholesaling it to X number of Kentuckians and West Virginians and Virginians. Unfortunately they couldn't grow corn in this climate, and God knows they couldn't grow sugar. But they was brought in over the Tacoma Eastern Railway by the carload and unloaded here and distributed out through the hills here, [and] converted into good white whiskey. It was ten dollars a gallon, and two dollars and a half for a small pint. And this money did not go in the State Bank of Morton either. These mountain knew better than to build up a bank account, because the revenue people like to audit bank accounts and so it was in cash, hard cash carried around. I hate to say, I laughingly say, that the only pin money I made in 1926, '28, '29, and '30 was picking up moonshine bottles behind the dance halls in this town and along the road to Davis Lake road, bringing t hem down, getting five cents a bottle. And every Monday I'd come in, I go to my buyer, who I won't mention, my relative. Five cents a bottle, and I'd always come through with at least ten. Fifty cents -- that's a lot of money for a kid in 1928, '29, '31. (Clevinger tape)

The moonshine tradition continued until well after the Second World War. Charlie Jones remembers working with Stogie Parker for the Morison Lumber Company. Stogie used to quit work early every Friday "to get his saw fixed." Everybody knew, says Charlie, that Stogie needed the time to tend to his moonshine business. Stogie had high standards. When he arrived in Washington state, he once told another interviewer, he and his brother "went up there on the hill and got a half gallon from an old guy. I wouldn't drink it. Didn't have no bead on it like Carolina whiskey" (Strickland 41). Stogie's high standards were adopted by other moonshiners. When I asked David Buchanan about moonshine, he said, "Oh, you must have been reading about my cousin." His relative had been arrested in1989 for distilling a product which the federal agents said was the best they had ever tasted.
Still another theme in our interviews is the bigness and openness found in their adopted state. When they go back east, the Cascade Appalachians say, everything seems smaller. The Tolers now consider the river they once lived along in West Virginia to be just "a little bitty branch." When Laura asked them what had caused the change, Homer Toler said, "Just being here in the open spaces. There was no difference in the size of it-- only in your mind." The Cascade Appalachians told us that people in the East could not accept the scale of things in the state of Washington. "So when we went back and told people about what big timber there was," says Willie Madden, "they'd laugh and make fun of us, you know. It just couldn't be that way, you know. It's just not true." All the loggers we talked to had saved photographs of logging crews standing by logs measuring twelve feet or more "at the butt." It was a measure of their manliness that they had felled some of the largest trees on earth. And it was a measure of eastern provincialism that relatives in Kentucky or West Virginia had thought these pictures had been faked.
A final theme in the interviews is the relationship these Cascade Appalachians had with their church. Willis Weatherford and Earl D.C. Brewer have repeated the observation that Appalachians may be the most religious and the least churched people in America (161). To an extent that was also true of our informants. Some of them were regular church attenders; others were not. But religion still seemed important to them. Partly this was because church was indexed to so much of life as they knew it back in the Southern mountains. The dinners on the grounds, the hymns, the emotional services, the familiar accents-- all of these things could be found on Sunday mornings when, for a time at least, people could imagine themselves back home. They could fall back into familiar gender roles, sing the beloved hymns, and in general feel the comfort of "the good old-fashioned way." For people who had been born and raised in West Virginia or Southeastern Kentucky, the church was a cultural institution through which they could maintain and take pride in their distinctive heritage. And it was about the only such institution: surrounded by a larger culture with a completely different tradition, cut off from their relatives back east, working in a "democracy of the woods" which accepted any man, so long as he was a hard worker, watching their children bussed off to receive a secular education none of them had been given, the Cascade Appalachians viewed their faith as a bulwark against a larger and more sinful world. Old Regular Baptists in Washington state continued the unique lifestyle and worship practices they had known in Appalachia.
When the first generation began to die out, however, something began to happen to Old Regular membership in the Cascades. It appears to be what other migrant churches have experienced in this country (and the Old Regulars are very much a migrant religious group once they leave the Appalachians). H. Richard Niebuhr has said the following about migrant churches:
During the first period of competition and of economic conflict between immigrants and natives the churches of the immigrants tend to differentiate themselves as cultural organizations, which maintain and emphasize their separate individuality not on doctrinal but on cultural grounds. But after accommodation has set in, after the old language and the old ways have been irretrievably lost, after contacts with native churches have increased, the battle ground of competition changes. Ecclesiastical and doctrinal issues replace the cultural lines of division, and the loyalty of an English-speaking, second generation is fostered by appeal to different motives than were found effective among the immigrants themselves. The need for continued differentiation and for the self-justification of an organism which is strongly desirous of continuing its existence, are responsible now for a new emphasis. Denominational separateness in a competitive situation finds its justification under these circumstances in the accentuation of the theological or liturgical peculiarities of the group. (229-30)
Niebuhr says two things here: that first generation migrant churches concern themselves with cultural values, and that the second generation churches, seeing themselves dissolving in America's melting pot, feel compelled to re-emphasize their doctrinal differences. That observation seems to apply to the Cascade Appalachians.

In the 1930s, there were eight Old Regular churches in eastern Lewis County, Washington. By the fifties there were still six of them. Now only two Old Regular churches exist in the whole state. Some of this attrition is due to the fact that there is no longer a significant Appalachian migration to the Pacific Northwest. In the first forty years of this century, people like Corbett Hale could practically guarantee work for all who came. In the days when whole families arrived, and then sent back for their relatives, the Old Regulars could always maintain some kind of "critical mass" with which they could maintain their cultural integrity. But the influx of new families from Appalachia has dried off to a trickle, and the timber industry is in t he tenth year of a depression. The children of Cascade Appalachian families have also been much more willing to use education as a ticket to the thriving communities along Puget Sound. At any rate, the towns we visited were no longer prosperous, if indeed they ever had been, and they could no longer keep their younger residents from looking longingly elsewhere.
I shall claim here, then, that the Old Regulars have gone through a transition like that which Niebuhr predicted for other immigrant churches when the first generation gives way to the second. Without their children, without the replenishment of adults from back home, the Old Regular churches found their memberships dwindling. A natural tendency when something like this happens is to seek converts. But the Old Regulars were not used to doing this and had not developed the naturalization processes that would make the assimilation of new converts from other traditions easier. Outsiders brought disturbing ways with them -- singing out of noted songbooks, for example, or bringing womenfolk with bobbed hair (Hale tape). In the absence of a culture no longer shared in common, what Niebuhr predicted would happen in the immigrant church, an emphasis upon religious peculiarities, happened to the Old Regulars as they fought to retain their distinctive identity.
Whether or not to bob one's hair, for example, was an explosive issue which swept through the Washington churches during the 1950s and 1960s. This shows how, after the passing of the first generation, an immigrant church retreats to doctrine in order to differentiate itself from the outside world. When he joined a little over forty years ago, Corbett Hale found himself in the middle of this transition. "They was a lot of older people," he told us, "and all of them passed on, and it got down to me. I moderated the church for I guess twenty some years after the older ones went out. We had six churches at one time, and before they all died we began losing them. People coming in from other denominations and overpowering the majority of the vote, and just pulling them out of the Association." Hale referred here to the New Salem Association, a large group of Old Regular churches, headquartered in Kentucky, to which the Washington churches belonged. In 1955, the New Salem Association passed a resolution restricting the admission of women with bobbed hair. In 1968, the Western Union Old Regular church in the state of Washington asked for a reconsideration of this rule. When the resolution was softened some churches in the East protested, and newcomers found themselves arrayed against the Old Guard.
Other issues arose to exacerbate the difference between the two church factions. In Washington state the intramural fights over faith and decorum brought the Old Regulars to almost total disarray: the church at Mossyrock left the Old Regulars altogether, Morton locked its doors, the Mt. Olive and Western Union churches switched to the more liberal Friendship association, individual congregants also switched their affiliations or stopped attending altogether ( Hale and Toler tapes). The bitterness is still there after more than twenty years. "It's a shame what they done up there," Dovie Hale told us. "They'll have to stand before God for it." Of the breakaway churches, her husband says, "They call themselves Baptists and they lying when they do."
Mt. Olive and Western Union are the last of the Old Regular churches in Washington state. When we attended a service at Western Union two summers ago, a combined service for the two congregations, we sat among forty members. Only one younger couple was there. Despite their obvious devotion, the congregants could quite accurately be described as a "faithful remnant."
Fifty years after Clevinger's first studies, therefore, we could still find worshipping Cascade Appalachians whose mountain religion had bonded them together in a new home for a hundred years. Of course, very little else exists that can take the place of their old-time mountain faith in giving a sense of social cohesion and a feeling of distinctiveness. Little of an Appalachian material culture got transplanted to the West because these families arrived with so little. Once they began work in their new homes, they found themselves scattered throughout a heterogeneous workforce which included, besides Americans from a dozen or more logged-out states, a number of other nationalities. Then, as has happened with so many other immigrant groups, they found their educated offspring learning new skills and different values. Finally, the small communities in which they clustered found themselves subjected to a decade-long recession. Why stay among one's fellow "Tarheels" when the prosperous towns along the nearby I-5 corridor can offer so much more?

Friday, August 7, 2009


-The Setting for the Interviews-

Considering the role environment plays in the lives of our informants, it is important that we begin by giving some sense of where these Cascade Appalachians live. The families we talked to had certainly moved from one mountainous region to another, but while there are similarities between the two areas, there are also differences. As Willie Madden, one of our informants, put it, "One thing, you go back there and they talk about the hills, don't you know. And they got hills back there, but here you got a hill it's fourteen thousand feet. You take any of our hills around here, they hills." Mr. Madden's point is well taken: from his front window in Eatonville, one can see the top two miles of Mt. Rainier rising from its surrounding countryside. Not only is Mt. Rainier (at 14,410 ft.) the tallest volcanic peak in the continental United States, but its flanks are large enough to hold a permanent glacier comprising fifty square miles. Just south of Rainier lies Mt. St. Helens, still twice the height of the Appalachians even after its top fifteen hundred feet have blown off. Above Rainier are the North Cascades, clusters of snow capped mountains which march in an unbroken line to the Canadian border.
The western Cascades where most of the Appalachians settled featured lush vegetation, predominantly cloudy skies, and mild temperatures. When the migrants first arrived, some of them, including Iva Forrister's mother, thought it would never stop raining (as recounted on Forrister tape). Nevertheless, they became accustomed to the climate, so much so that when couples like Frankie and Regal Nations returned to the Southeast to visit, they found it difficult to sleep because of the combination of heat and humidity.
The Washington Cascades are pierced by four mountain passes which rank among the most spectacular in the United States. During the winter these passes may be closed by snowfalls as heavy as any recorded in our country. Nevertheless, for most of the year, communities in the Cascades are relatively accessible from the lowlands of Western Washington. Good roads would take most of our informants to major population centers like Tacoma and Seattle in less time, say, than it takes to get from Perry County, Kentucky, to Corbin, or from Cherokee to Gatlinburg. Thus it would be true to say that the communities we studied are more physically isolated from other parts of the Cascades than they are from the lowlands to the east and west. This east-west orientation extends to the political structure of the region: Cascade towns are part of large counties which stretch all the way to Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean.
The first predominantly Appalachian community in which we conducted interviews was Darrington, northeast of Seattle. Darrington is most associated in the minds of other Washingtonians with the "Tarheels" -- a term, by the way, which is often used to describe any Southern mountaineer now living in the state. Willie Madden, for example, was born in Knott County, Kentucky, but he calls himself "just a Tarheel." The word has even become a verb: "when people go back east to visit, they are said to be "tarheeling." In any event, a newcomer to Darrington quickly makes the connection to Appalachia. The town is the site of a long-running Bluegrass festival. Its Southern Baptist church publishes a cookbook with a recipe for stackcake, a traditional Southern mountain delicacy, and it still takes part in a singing convention every fifth Sunday. As recently as 1947, writes Elizabeth Poehlman, a good five hundred of Darrington's 850 residents were from the area immediately surrounding Silva, North Carolina (119).
When we pulled in to register at Darrington's Stagecoach Inn, we were greeted at the front desk by Dave Buchanan, a relative newcomer to Washington. In our interviews with him and with Regal Nations and Charlie Jones, we got the sense that many Darrington residents had moved there because they or their parents felt they had lost the freedom of the frontier back in North Carolina. Washington state seemed to be bigger, wilder, freer. Yet civilization had reached here too. The immigrants who had come to Washington to hunt without limits and be free from federal timber policy now found themselves in the thick of the fight over the last stands of old-growth forest in the Pacific Northwest. The anger Darrington loggers felt toward environmentalists was almost palpable; it was in Darrington, for example, that we were told our first spotted owl joke. 3

The towns of Mineral and Morton, Washington, lie south of Darrington. These communities were largely settled by Kentuckians. Woodrow Clevinger's father had come from Pike County, Kentucky, along with over one hundred others, and Clevinger was later to estimate that over two thousand families in the immediate area of Mineral and Morton had a Kentucky ancestry (Clevinger tape). Corbett Hale, one of our informants, was responsible for a number of those migrants all by himself. For over forty years he attended Old Regular Baptist church association meetings back east, and every return trip he brought some more former neighbors back with him.
Just down the slope from Morton are Riffe (now under water because of a new reservoir) and Mossyrock. These were West Virginian communities. The first immigrants from the Mountain State may have been Anthony and Laura Bown, who arrived with their five children in 1889 (Nix and Nix 91). They were soon joined by others, including the sixty families who chartered a train from hawk's Nest, West Virginia, in 1893. We were privileged to join the descendants of these families in worship when we attended the annual communion ceremony at Western Union Old Regular Baptist Church in Silver Creek, Washington, a couple miles down the road from Mossyrock. The West Virginian families were joined at worship by Kentuckians who had previously attended a Morton Old Regular church now disbanded because of disputes over governance, use of church funds, and bobbed hair ( Hale and Toler tapes). The more liberal Western Union congregation (along with another small congregation near Raymond, Washington) still "corresponds" with sister churches in the Friendship Association of Old Regular Baptists, a loosely affiliated denominational group otherwise located along the West Virginia-Virginia border. The lined a capella singing, the rhapsodic preaching, and the emotional intensity felt during the footwashing ceremony powerfully demonstrated that a vital part of Appalachian culture could be transplanted and take root in the West.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Over fifty years ago, Woodrow Clevinger documented the existence of a great many closely knit Appalachian families along the Cowlitz and Skagit rivers of the Pacific Northwest. 1 All the families could still trace their origins back to specific locations in the Southern Appalachians -- Clevinger's own ancestors, for example, had moved in from Pike County, Kentucky. Other families originated from throughout the Cumberland Plateau and along the valleys of the Kanawah, Clinch, and Big Sandy rivers. Wherever these people had migrated, Clevinger wrote, they tended to congregate around relatives and neighbors whom they had previously known back East.
In the summer of 1988, while using a James Still fellowship to study the connections between poverty, literacy, and educational attainment in Southwestern Kentucky, I came across Clevinger's earlier research. I wondered what had happened to these Cascade Appalachians in the fifty years since he had written about them. If they were still around and part of identifiable groups, it seemed to me that they might profitably be compared with the kin they had left behind. After all, both populations were derived from the same stock, inhabited similar terrain, lived for the most part in isolated and self-contained communities, and made a living from small scale farming, lumbering, and mining. I wondered if Eastern and Western Appalachians were also still sharing much of the same material and expressive culture. I wondered if they were still corresponding with each other. Most importantly, I wondered if the Appalachians of the Cascades had surmounted some of the problems faced by their relatives back east and, if they had, how they had managed to do so. The two issues I had been examining in Southeastern Kentucky (poverty and low educational attainment) seemed intractable, for example. If the Western Appalachians had had better success in dealing with these problems, then I certainly wanted to know how they had been able to do it.
In July and August of 1990, thanks to grants received form Berea College's Appalachian Center and the Faculty Scholars program of the University of Kentucky, my wife Laura and I finally had a chance to visit the Washington Cascades. While there, we did research in the libraries of the local historical societies and also collected a number of oral histories. 2 All of our informants were members of families who had originated in the Southern Appalachian mountains, and they seemed to possess a number of common characteristics. They continued to live lifestyles strongly dependent upon lumbering, they maintained strong ties with the kin back East, they lived near and often intermarried with families who had migrated from the same area as they had, and they possessed a cultural identity which seemed to differentiate them, at least in their own minds, from their neighbors in their adopted state. We found they had interesting stories to tell about why they moved, the adjustments they made after they arrived in Washington state, and the ways they still felt a kinship with other people from the Southern highlands.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


"Hi, I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Me in the "kneeling" right before a tornado warning.

"Kentucky windage": A method of correcting for windage, gravity, etc., by aiming a weapon to one side of the target instead of by adjusting the sights.
I just returned from a training evaluation on the Kentucky/Indiana state line where I tested the new M-4. This is my new standard side arm and after using the larger M-16 for over 11 years this small pea-shooter took some getting used to.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Here’s a southern cuisine I tried and became a routine snack.

1 12-oz Coca Cola. Other cola drinks may be substituted, but a real Coke is best. The Coke must be in a BOTTLE, not in a can.

1 small package of regular salted peanuts. DO NOT use dry roast, spicy or unsalted or anything else.

Open the bottle of Coke. Drink one swallow. This makes room for the peanuts. Pour the peanuts into the mouth of the Coke bottle. Use your thumb and forefinger to form a funnel.

Drink the Coke and peanut combination. You get a mouthful of peanuts with each swallow, at first. Gradually the peanuts thin out. As the peanuts swim around in the Coke, they change flavor. The challenge is to "drink" all the peanuts and not leave any stranded in the bottle.

This is actually more satisfying than an RC and a Moon Pie. Combining peanuts and Coke with a Slim Jim or beef jerky is overkill.
Philip Jones, IT Reporting Team Leader
Subject: RE: Two Years of Folly -- gardens
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Long story short, I attended a school in southern California from early April to mid June. Here are some scenic photos of places we passed. It was a 63hr round trip drive accompanied by an energetic 2yo boy, 6-month pregnant wife and a 130 lbs. Rottweiler. It might sound a little rough but we had a great time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Answer to the April Quiz is!


Otis Campbell (Hal Smith) worked as a glue dipper in a furniture factory Monday-Friday and drank all weekend. After a binge, Otis would usually lock himself in the town jail until he was sober. He had a key to the front door of the courthouse and the cell keys were hung on a nail near the cells (presumably, to accommodate Otis).

"Beck, Ken, and Jim Clark. The Andy Griffith Show Book. St. Martin's Griffin, 1995"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April snow means we must GO!

Well we’re bracing for another snow storm here on 4 April 2009. We live on the flat land boarder of Illinois/Wisconsin and the word positive can be foggy at times. Life truly isn’t that bad but I sure do miss home. I’m a Western Washingtonian, bred, born, rose and always will be, regardless where Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (USMC) direct me to live. I loved the outdoors growing up, spent most of my first 18 years in the woods. There were a couple rebel years in early high school I was invited into the city to see what was going on but even then the sticks were my comfort zone. Still, with the comfort of brush and mossy backed tress I always thought I would end up loving life in Florida or California for my adulthood. Well - I’m here to say “DO NOT” take Washington State for granted. After living around the nation and visiting almost every state, I can honestly say that if I combined the best aspects of North Carolina, California and the Midwest it would still have no comparison to the magnitude of the 42nd State.

Washington State has it all - rain forests, beaches and tide pools, unparalleled vistas, high desert, volcanoes, wildlife, glaciers, lofty mountains, wilderness, jagged peaks, trout-laden lakes, and wild rivers to name a few. The recreational opportunities are endless, from sportfishing, hunting and whale watching to whitewater rafting and mountain climbing. There is fun, adventure, and challenge out there for all ages.

God bless you the reader and God bless Washington State.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Answer to the March Quiz is!

Where did the word Buckaroo originate? The word Buckaroo originated from the word “Vaquero” in the state of California.

The origin of the California Vaquero dates back to the 1770's, long before old California joined the rest of the United States. The Spanish conquistadores had a big hand in getting this horse unit going, and its members were selected from the Indians along the mission trails. A recruiting job had to be done and it's doubtful there were any forms to fill out. It's likely that the ones who showed an interest in horses were chosen right off the bat.
School was held in the field every day, and the instruction was in Spanish. The riders were told "Your reason for learning to ride these caballos (horses) is to look after the vacas (cows)." When one of the students became a journeyman, he was awarded the supreme title of a vaquero; this title or rank was given to a great many of these stock-tenders through the years, up to the 1920's and 1930's.
The California vaquero had a heap of time on his side, plus the weather helped him along, giving him all it took to get his lessons down. Competition ran high, adding to an already unbeatable scholarship on the oak-studded ranges.
In the early days of fiestas and siestas, the ol' boys made most of the horse gear that they used, for there were no shops in which to purchase it. Again, this is where time played a big role in the life of the vaquero, as making these items took a lot of it.

First, an old, thin cow provided material for the job. She had to be killed and undressed with a sharp knife, then a string had to be made of this pelt of rawhide, so that ropes, hackamores, bosals, quirts, reins, etc., could be fashioned. Selecting the right hide to make a piece of gear, and getting it to be eye-appealing, takes an expert rawhide worker. With their scores of manaƱas, the old masters turned out beautiful works of art for their own use and the use of other vaqueros and buckaroos. A lot of pride was invested in all of these pieces, so it goes without saying that a horse wearing this kind of jewelry performed in a top manner.

If we could bring back some of those yesterdays of the heyday of the vaquero, it would raise the eyebrows to the hairline on just about every horseperson is my guess., and I don't think I'd miss it by an inch.
The buckaroo's day often started at two or three in the morning, for he had a long ride just to get to the cattle or to the place where the cattle would be feeding in a clearing, if it was brush country. There were no stock trailers to take him to where the cattle were, so it was ride, cowboys, ride, usually in the dark. (There are still some places in the West where these practices are common, except that they have a little more modern flavor.)
The horse that was used had usually been tied in the barn and fed a good bait of hay in the manger (some of these old barns still stand). Other times, the caviada was run in from a small field, using a horse that was kept up especially to bring them in; this horse was then unsaddled and only the ones needed were caught for the day's work. The rest were turned out to pasture until their turn came.
After feeding his horse some oats and saddling up, the vaquero or buckaroo would get himself a big breakfast because he probably wouldn't have a chance to eat again until late in the evening, if at all. (I've experienced plenty of those days myself, days when my belly button made love to my backbone. And by golly, none of the men I've ridden with ever complained at all about the lack of a noon meal - most of the time, we were so busy we didn't have time to think about food).
The word "buckaroo" is tied very closely to the word "vaquero". Around the time California became part of the United States of America, the name buckaroo was heard as much as vaquero. By and large, the vaquero was brown-skinned and the buckaroo was white. But as the sun rose and set many times, the titles became interchangeable, until they sort of ran together, like "baquero," or so it sounded to me. A great many white men made an effort to become equal to their brown-skinned counterparts, and while riding stirrup to stirrup, they learned to speak each other's language. I've known many top buckaroos and vaqueros of both races, and, although I don't consider myself a one-man judge and jury, I'd have to declare them equal on all counts...and that's not putting it mildly.
- Ernie Morris

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rob Riggle goes to Berkeley

I just spent a week in L.A. with actor Rob Riggle (Former Marine), what a great and real funny guy. I knew he looked familiar but after talking I discovered he's now a comedian/actor. He made this video a while back when he worked on the Daily Show. He goes undercover to report on Berkeley, CA's reaction to a new Marine recruiting station.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Marines in Berkeley
Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things w/ Demetri MartinPolitical Humor

Friday, March 20, 2009

Face Masks

Why do Asian people wear protective masks in public or traveling on planes?

Face Masks

Its 17:38 on 20 March 2009 and I'm writing from the LAX airport in crazy Los Angeles, CA. I’ve always wondered why people of Asian descent wear face masks in public. You usually see it more at the Airport but today I noticed a white American couple at one of the airport stores shopping, talking, laughing, having a good old-time while sporting cool greenish masks. I also observed another American wearing a cool stylish face mask. He was asking a TSA employee for directions and the TSA guy almost had his ear in the “Maskers” mouth in-attempt to actually hear him. Next time you’re out, take notice of the "Veiled Voyagers" and if you are feeling wild, try wearing one of these bad boys for yourself.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tonic Tip

I recently found a stain remover worth mentioning. Especially to those who drink coffee.

OxiClean works through hydrogen peroxide molecules bound within a sodium carbonate structure. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizing substance which will "bleach" the stains away.

After several attempts in removing a child inflected coffee stain from my “light-colored” carpet, I found that OxiClean was the only solution to work.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cat Herders of America (CHA)

Cat meat is meat derived from cats. It is eaten sporadically in southern China, northern Vietnam, Korea, Peru, Britain and Switzerland. During wartime rationing, cats found their way into "rabbit" stews/pies and hence earned themselves the nickname "roof-rabbit" in Britain.[1]

The first cow in America arrived in Jamestown colony in 1611. But what if cows didn’t make their way here, would our western movies surround cats on the prairie?

Monday, March 2, 2009

No Fear

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

“Unwind clip”

Sit back and unwind to the sounds of Mr. Nelson and pictures of the true Cowboy.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's March-Keep Marching

Now is the time, to the battle we go
The enemy's waiting, much blood will soon flow
But fear ye not death, no such honour so high
To fight with your brothers and die
Think not of failure and be strong of mind
Remember our women and bairns left behind
Dawn is now breaking, be ready to fight
We'll feast our triumph tonight

For our kin we must win
Never stop struggling
Never give in
Show them our might!
Show them our pride!

Our culture and creed confined to history
Such a sad tale to tell so my
warriors keep marching on!

The sun is now rising, the birds are in song
Set thoughts of your families spur you along
Smiling they'll greet you, a hero's return
Fame and renown to be earned
Gather your weapons, lock pity away
We shall be drinking as night follows day
Boasting of victory, praising our dead
And glorious times that lay ahead

For our kin we must win
Never stop struggling
Never give in
Show them our might!
Show them our pride!

Our culture and creed confined to history
Such a sad tale to tell so my
warriors keep marching on!