Appalachian Voices Magazine
- posted by Madison
Barbara Taylor Woodall, a distinguished writer and Appalachian native, tells the gripping — and sometimes humorous — story of her life growing up in the heart of the Georgia Appalachians in “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore.”
Woodall was born in 1954 and raised in a family that maintained a very traditional Appalachian farm life. From producing their own milk, to community hog-butchering days, their only way of life was to live off the land. While tending to the farm and family came first, Woodall’s father made sure that education fell into a close second.
School was never a thing of interest for Woodall. During her early education she often got the switch from her teachers, but she finally discovered a passion for school and writing when she met a passionate english teacher named Wig who inspired his class of 1966 to create what is known today as The Foxfire Magazine. It contained stories and interviews from elders that Woodall and her classmates gathered. These students shared a passion for the heritage of the Appalachian Mountains and the land they were raised on.
With time comes change, and Woodall saw firsthand how the green and fertile mountains she and her family once knew saw things of change like highways, and traffic, and shopping centers. Her book resembles old folk storytelling, and like all story tellers, Woodall maintains a distinguished voice. Her once proud and joyful tone takes a solemn turn as she realizes the mountains are no longer what they used to be. The mountains aren’t hers anymore, “inevitable changes both to the landscape and its inhabitants clash dramatically with cherished memories of a passing era.”
Although Woodall explains the grave situation of what the mountains are becoming, the book does not end on a sad note. Her hope and faithful attitude is instilled in the reader and bring more awareness to Appalachia. What one man does to the mountains affects his children and his children’s children. Her only wish is that generations in the future can enjoy the cool crisp mountain streams and the winding trails which she spent most of her childhood exploring.