Ancient Cherokees found protection from the cold

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in a September 2002 edition of The Smoky Mountain News.

It’s only late summer but I’m already thinking about winter. We have heated and cooked with wood for quarter of a century now, so having a supply of kindling and firewood on hand has always been a priority. 

The untold story: Smokies seeks to showcase history of African-Americans in the park

Many plotlines weave through the story of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but if the park were a book, some of those plotlines be written in bold, with others buried in small type. 

“We probably go overboard in telling the story of the white Appalachian settlers to this area,” said Susan Sachs, the park’s acting chief of resource education. “We do a better job of telling the stories of the Cherokee, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement. But then when it comes to the African-American story, we know that we are failing there.”

Book has important lessons, links to bygone era

In Ancient Rome, the Senate awarded a general who had won a great victory with a triumph, a parade that included the loot, captives, and slaves won for Rome. During this celebration a slave stood in the chariot behind the victorious general, holding a gold crown above his head and whispering throughout the event, “Remember, thou too are mortal.”

Through Spain, frame by frame: Camino de Santiago offers a long-distance walk steeped in history

The more you know about the Camino de Santiago, the harder it is to define. 

The simple explanation is that it’s a walking path that travels through Spain. But in reality that description is a mix of truth and fiction. 

If these stones could talk: Friends work to restore Bryson City Cemetery

It’s quiet and peaceful on the hillside of Bryson City Cemetery. Overlooking the hustle and bustle of downtown, all you can hear are birds chirping and the freshly cut grass crunching underneath your feet, but if those old stones could talk they’d have some stories to tell. 

A stirring story of America’s push west

Sometimes we open a book, slip into its pages, and find ourselves the recipients of three wonderful gifts: information and enlightenment, lively prose, and a great story.

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West (Simon & Schuster, 2019, 330 pages) grants all three gifts to its readers.

A few good books about old times

In 1960, when I was in elementary school, the pop group Dante & the Evergreens rocked my young ears with two hit songs on the radio: “Alley Oop” and a little later, “Time Machine.” (Both songs are available on YouTube. Have some fun and give them a listen.) In “Time Machine,” a young man sees a picture of Cleopatra in a book, falls in love with her, and vows to build a time traveling “thingamajig.” Here is the song’s refrain:”

New book details the history of the John C. Campbell Folk School

In Craft & Community, regional author Anna Fariello presents the early history of Western North Carolina’s John C. Campbell Folk School. 

Founded in 1925, the school was a dream of John and Olive Dame Campbell, a working couple who toured the Southern Appalachians in an effort to chronicle its people and their culture. 

Book examines stark example of racism

On February 12, 1946, just hours after his discharge from the Army, Sergeant Isaac Woodard got into an argument with the driver of the Greyhound bus he was taking to his home in Georgia. In the small town of Batesburg, South Carolina, the driver parked the bus, found Lynwood Shull, the local police chief, and asked Woodard to step from the to speak to Shull. Within minutes, following an altercation with Shull, Woodward lay in the Batesburg jail, permanently blinded by the beating he took from Schull’s black jack.

Books helps us understand our own history

“We need to know what kind of firm ground other men, belonging to generations before us, have found to stand on. In spite of changing conditions of life they were not very different from ourselves, their thoughts were the grandfathers of our thoughts, they managed to meet situations as difficult as those we have to face, to meet them sometimes lightheartedly, and in some measure to make their hopes prevail. We need to know how they did it.”

— John Dos Passos, cited in the epigraph for Wilfred M. McClay’s Land Of Hope

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