Appalachian Mountains

Calloused Hands

Dad was quiet, tall and lanky, dressed in baggy, bibbed overalls and work boots. Sawdust settled between the leather laces and on his sweat-stained hat. The dusty hues contrasted with jet-black hair and chinquapin eyes that darted about with sharp glances. His smooth, shaven face was tanned, but roughened by mountain elements. His long-term commitment of love and responsibility fueled muscle and sweat to feed, clothe and shelter the family. His diploma was calloused hands.

I asked Granny Lou if robbing the meal wagon was a sin

“Grandpa Frank was about thirty years old when he and all other men that were worth account in White County joined the 65th Regiment to fight in the Civil War. There was nothing civil about it. My mother was about five years old when he left for Service, but remembered the hard times. The Yankees stopped all supply routes, so women and children had to attend the fields and do all the hunting for survival. Imagine scraping dirt off smoke house floors to boil for salt, or using parched rye or corn for coffee substitutes.”

Appalachian Voices Review

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.

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