Mears was attracted to the Appalachian Mountains because they are the first and the last frontier. He is recognized throughout the world as an authority on survival tactics. He has become a household name through his various television series, including “Tracks, World Survival,” “Trips Money Can’t Buy” and more.
Local author Barbara Taylor Woodall, a seventh-generation Appalachian and veteran of The Foxfire Book, was invited to be interviewed. Her book, “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore” gained BBC’s attention.
Mears was unknown by Woodall, who doesn’t watch television and has rarely traveled beyond state lines until her book, “It’s Not My Mountain Anymore” was published by nonprofit, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia in 2011. Since then, Woodall is known abroard as The North Georgia BooK-Legger.
Catch the Spirit of Appalachia co-founder Amy Ammons Garza said, “Barbara’s book was an overnight sensation because she is a down-to-earth Appalachian who tells it like it is. It takes courage to say what you really mean. Her absolute authentic voice merges with moving stories that bring laughter and moistens eyes. As a speaker, Woodall’s deep sense of humor transcends the underlying drama of her message. You will be glad you read her book.”
The five-hour filming occurred June 1 at The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center which stands as a memorial to early Appalachian people of a past era, Foxfire students and mentors who squeezed, handled and shaped all the log buildings in place.
“Foxfire was a miracle in education that happened at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in 1966. Foxfire awakened many straying teenage minds like mine to the value of preserving our vanishing heritage. My involvement became a needful addiction.”
As an early Foxfire student, Woodall has deep personal ties to the museum and a strong sense of place in Appalachia.
“I never wonder what inspired our ancestors to brave many dangers pressing south. They sought a place where they could do as they darn well pleased. Solitude was a small price to pay for freedom and independance. My heart is knitted here with golden threads that never rust. It was a great honor to join hands with Foxfire to tread the waters towards Europe and worldwide. I never dreamed a simple book without $5 words would swim the ocean.”
“At the museum, I’m reminded of a much happier and slower lifestyle which early pioneers experienced and I’m glad to share the wisdom of our ancestors, the beauty of our enviroment and our vanished culture with the world.