2013=2014 -- Happy Vernals
to our Native World!

(Click above for ACR's Great Escape Cyber-Tour MultiSection)

Click for enlargement -- ACR Caprice Kaleide Folk Art Digital 'Collage-Painting'

Made in the USA by American citizen/taxpayers

Click for enlargement -- ACR Caprice Kaleide Folk Art Digital 'Collage-Painting'

Holy days in the USA 2012-2014
(click above for Jobo Tennessee seasonal pix)
(click below for Jobo Tennessee Folk Art Village)


For clear background to read text throughout ACR, run cursor over graphics display.
Video Note: If videos are "stuttering," let them play through one time (to get the data in memory for technophiles) and then choose "Replay" for a continuously smooth stream.
Reign in My Name, click for Asylum and Paradise poems
(Midi below: Mountain Music)

(Midi below: When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again)

(Midi below: Jolene)

click for new ACR super-section 'Baubles and Bubbles Sound & Light Show'

A COUNTRY RAG, INC., Jonesborough TN -- Mission statement: To encourage contemporary arts and tourism in Appalachia, with special emphasis on the endeavors of women and minorities.

Map of Mountain Empire -- click for enlargement Jobo TN Mixed-Denomination African Church -- click for enlargement What is it? From its inception this ACR, Inc./OSCR site has intended to create and has created a tranquilly peaceful cyberspace "ivory tower of the world" for thoughtfully intelligent, knowledgeably skilled individuals and groups globally and regionally to express and share their wholesome existences and responsible experiences helpfully and artistically. Out of its initial structural format as a somewhat diminutive and narrowly-focused local commercial e-zine ACR, Inc. developed organically over the years since 1996 into its currently incorporated presentation and non-profit focal status as a spiritually-infused, relatively monumental, multi-media, cross-platform collaborative educational art installation on the World Wide Web of, for and by the United States of Appalachia, i.e. The Mountain Empire. As art imitates life, it's infinitesimally unlikely -- mostly due to randomly revolving, multitudinously varied individual page backgrounds of an unquantifiable number of directional choice possiblities -- any viewer will experience the same ACR site twice.

A Country Rag has been and is a labor and legacy of love. Happy Holy Days! -- jH, 12/2012 ACR Country Christmas Wreath -- click for Jazz Notes in the Misty Blue SuperSection ACR 'The Love Dividend' -- click for Air Anniversaire MultiSection

Blue Mist Mountain Empire -- click for enlargement

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ACR, Stars of the C Galaxy -- click for enlargement Embedded video notice: Multiply-gifted and skillfully inspired hi-tech individuals and groups (who retain copyright claim) worldwide have shared freely their oustandingly extraordinary artistry, representing the felicitous intersection of our fields of knowledge in arts and sciences, within videos and on websites usually cited by web address toward the end of each. To find out details about a favorite and enjoy more of their exploratory expositions, check there. (Clickable listings in full-screen mode of related videos also at the end of each increase exponentially the possibilities for interactive viewing exploration and discoveries. You never know what unexpected treasure you may uncover!) Grateful blessings to all. -- jH

As of Winter 2012/2013, this cyber-installation has 23 Stand-Alone (including 4 Multi-section) compilations out of 55 related and independent ACR sections(see QuickStart Index) [resulting in 19 convenient In-A-Box Supersection configurations(see SuperGuide Overview)]:

'Spirit Self,' digital graphic by jH -- click for enlargement "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me." -- Jesus (John 14:1-3, 6)

"... Beyond its mythology in the American imagination, Appalachia has long been a vanguard region in the United States -— a cradle of U.S. freedom and independence, and a hot bed for literature and music. Some of the most quintessential and daring American innovations, rebellions, and social movements have emerged from an area often stereotyped as a quaint backwater. In the process, immigrants from the Appalachian diaspora have become some of our nation's most famous leaders...." -- review of United States of Appalachia by Jeff Biggers

"I think music is a great way to tell a story that breaks people's hearts and stirs them to action. My family has a history in underground mining, and I have a deep love of West Virginia from the years I spent playing and studying there...The least I could do is write a song." -- Musician Vince Herman, Great American Taxi, regarding Aurora Light's Mountain Empire anthology CD The Journey Home

"I'm really interested in the relationship between language and society -- how documents become more than just nouns and verbs and adjectives. I'm interested in how they become a living, breathing social organism." -- Logan Lockner, Daniel Boone High School senior and 2010 winner of the academics-based Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship for Emory University (valued at around $200,000 and named after its benefactor, the President of Coca-Cola)

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Historic Jonesborough is an event-packed all-season playground for all ages. Check its on-line calendar and ticket-purchasing capability for schedule of free and fee-based opportunities for learning and entertainment.

Scope out what's been happenin' via Charlie Mauk professional pix on-line slide shows
(send one free as an e-mail greeting card, or purchase a high-quality print!)

"The newly formed Jonesborough Regional Fine Art Foundation Inc. recently announced its plans for permanent location and gallery space to be located in Historic downtown Jonesborough, as well as the establishment of a Fine Art Speaker’s Bureau. The gallery will be located at 144 E. Main St., adjacent to the Dining Room restaurant. The gallery will be known by its regional cooperative title of Jonesborough Fine Art and is expected to be open to the public by mid-July. The speaker’s bureau will provide civic and educational institutions with speakers on subjects related to the appreciation of the visual arts. Presentations are expected to last approximately 45 minutes and are suitable for groups of all ages...."--Johnson City Press,7/2/2011

"The 7th Old Glory Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m. at the Visitors Center in Jonesborough. There will be entertainment by the Jonesborough Novelty Band and Celebration Show Choir, refreshments served, silent auction items, a cake walk and games plus a presentation by the Color Guard of the Daniel Bone high School Marine Corps Junior ROTC..."-- Jonesborough Herald & Tribune, 4/5/11

antique car, Main Street, Jonesborough TN "On a warm October day in 1973, Jonesborough played host to the first National Storytelling Festival. With some of my friends and neighbors, I rolled an old farm wagon into Courthouse Square and, around that wagon, we told stories. The festival was tiny, but something happened that sunny October day that has forever changed our culture, the traditional art form of storytelling, and this Tennessee town.
"Recognized as the world's first public event devoted exclusively to storytelling, the festival ignited a renaissance of storytelling in America and around the world.
"When I created the idea of a storytelling festivalI wasn't dreaming of a great festival. Instead, I was dreaming of a great community. You see, the first festival wasn't born out of a love of storytelling. Sure, we all love a good story. But, instead, the first festival was born out of a love for our community. We wanted to stage four seasons of activities to celebrate and honor Jonesborough's history and traditions. So, the festival was first served up as a community event.
"... In 2002, the center campus -- a three-acre facility in downtown Jonesborough and just a stone's throw from the site of the first Festival -- was opened, the first facility anywhere in the world devoted solely to the tradition of storytelling. And now, as we are approaching four decades of the international storytelling revival, the Center is launching a new and important vision -- a journey toward a new horizon.
"... The power of storytelling is unquestionable. We unconsciously live in a labyrinth of daily stories. And now, after years of scientific research in 17 different fields, analysts conclude that storytelling is our most powerful tool for effective communication. The depth and breadth of research reveals, without a doubt, that the human mind is hardwired to think in stories...."
-- Jimmy Neil Smith, founder International Storytelling Center, for Heritage Preserved by (ret.) Judge John L. Kiener, Herald & Tribune 3/23/10

OCTOBER 7-9, 2011 --National Storytelling Festival
Jonesborough TN

Jonesborough Novelty Band "The Jonesborough Farmers Market is gearing up for its third season, one that will bring a few changes and some major growth to the local-only market. The market kicks off Saturday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to noon, in its new location on the east side of the old Jonesborough courthouse, along Dogwood Lane, said Curtis Buchanan. Opening day will feature the Jonesborough Novelty Band at 9 a.m., and coincides with the town-wide yard sale.... This year will feature four or five new permanent produce vendors, something market organizers are very excited about, Buchanan said. In addition, there will be two new meat vendors, one offering beef and another offering animal welfare certified lamb. Virtually all the vendors are from Washington County. 'The new vendor response has been really good this year,' Buchanan said. 'We’ve already got close to 30 vendors who are committed full-time, which is quite a bit more than last year.' Last year, the market had 70 vendors total throughout the whole year, with 30 the most vendors at a single market...." -- Kate Prahlid, Assistant Editor, Herald & Tribune, 5/11/10

Video below, local treasures Lightnin' Charlie and the Mudbugs
at Johnson City Tennessee's Acoustic Coffee House
(Click here for more Lightnin' Charlie music and info)

Been missing your favorite regional band? Check out
Radio Gotricities
very cool homegrown music player with extensive genre selection,
band index and weekly performance schedules!

part of the Gotricities info and event site
(or click here for)
!Old-Time Country Music Streaming!
from BlueHighways TV Music Box
(or here for)
ReverbNation Radio
!choose one or all genre and other options also!
(or here for)
WNCWfm 24/7 streaming from NC's Isothermal College
(or here for)
free streaming on-line talk and music of a pretty incredible variety from resources around the world! This is a total gem.
(or here for)
Our Music
art of, by and for the people
(or here for)
Mountain Stage
streaming from West Virginia
(or here for)
NPR Concert Music Archives
streaming audio from famous venues monumental to intimate across the globe

"Women On Air can be heard on Wednesday, 3:00 pm and Friday, 6:00 pm EST on WEHC 90.7 fm [Kingsport] and online at www.ehc.edu/wehc...."--Susan Lachmann

"Music is a balm most needed in dark days. Hard times are here, but we are in good hands with three artists who bring us a haunting and healing thing: 'Dear Companion,' music by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore produced by Yim Yames...." -- Dear Companion

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Don't miss the
High Country (North Carolina Mountain) Webcams
which range by viewer choice from changing scenery in the hiking and ski countries of Maggie Valley and Banner Elk to "The Paris of the South," downtown Asheville, and quaintly conserved Black Mountain's natural waters and hills and artful, historic village!!

"...now began the wondrous splendors of the hidden world...we emerged into an immense passage, whose roof was far beyond the reach of the glare of our torches, except where the fantastic festoons of stalactites hang down within our touch. It looked like the arch of some grand old cathedral, yet it was too sublime, too perfect in all its beautiful proportions, to be anything of human, but a model which man might attempt to imitate. It was not a large, gross cavern,...pendants were of a delicate lightness, and a most beautiful hue..." --Henry E. Colton, 1858, explorer/discover of Linville Caverns within Humpback Mountain, Marion NC (~40 miles northeast of Asheville; ~35 miles southwest of High Country Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock; half-hour tour adult $7, senior $5.50, child $5)

The Department of Appalachian Studies has early photographs -- from their extensive multi-media Archives of Appalachia historical record -- of this region's buildings and roadways and people on-line now, as well as in their ever-growing repository at ETSU's Library!

Graphic below: Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia
Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine The circumstances surrounding the naming of Appalachia are as hazy as a mid-summer's day in the Blue Ridge. A widespread legend has it that Hernando De Soto or the surviving members of his expedition named the mountains. Henry Gannett in The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States, published in 1905, writes, “The name was given by the Spaniards under De Soto, who derived it from the name of a neighboring tribe, the Apalachi.” He also notes that one Brinton “holds its radical to be the Muscogee apala, 'great sea,' or 'great ocean,' and that apalache is a compound of this word with the Muscogee personal participle 'chi' and means 'those by the sea.'” The North Carolina Gazetteer by William S. Powell uses almost the same words, but offers a different translation: “The name was given by Spaniards under De Soto in 1539 for the Apalachee Indians whose name meant 'people on the other side' (of a river presumably).” The second edition of Webster's Dictionary is similar: “The mountains were called Appalachian by the Spaniards under De Soto, after the Apalachee Indians.” Richard Drake, in a survey of the emergence of the concept of Appalachia, also accepts this account: "De Soto became lost in the maze of the southern Blue Ridge in 1540, and named the mountains for the Indians who dominated their approach.”

In the face of this consensus it is surprising to find no evidence in the surviving accounts of the De Soto expedition to support the claim that either the conquistador or any of his companions ever intended to designate the eastern mountain chain for the Apalachee Indians, who lived in what is now northern Florida, a considerable distance from the mountains. Whether the mountains actually were termed something like “Appalachian” by one or another Indian tribe may never be clear. The best explanation of the De Soto legend may be that the early mapmakers, confused by the vague accounts of locations and distances given by the Spanish explorers, transposed the territory of the Apalachee further north.

Tracing the origin of the name requires that three distinct designations of “Appalachian” or its variants be distinguished: an Indian tribe, a village or province, and a mountain range. The first encounter of Europeans with the Apalachee tribe was recorded by the expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, which landed in Florida in the vicinity of Tampa Bay in April 1528. The story is related by Alvar Núnez Cabeza de Vaca, who was one of four survivors of the Narváez expedition to return to Spain. Within a few days of Narváez' landing, a scouting party along the shore found pieces of cloth, items possibly of European origin, and traces of gold. “Having by signs asked the Indians whence these things came, they motioned to us that very far from there, was a province called Apalachen, where was much gold, and so the same abundance in Apalachcn of everything that we at all cared for.” Perhaps the riches of Apalachen were augmented by the Indians' eagerness to be rid of the Spaniards.

Two months later the Narváez expedition reached the village of Apalachen, probably near Lake Miccosukee in northern Florida. The Spaniards found a land rich in corn and game, but instead of treasure they received only harassment from the native residents. Less than a month after their arrival, the members of the expedition had had enough, as Cabeza de Vaca describes: “In view of the poverty of the land, the unfavorable accounts of the population and of everything else we heard, the Indians making continual war upon us, wounding our people and horses at the places where they went to drink, shooting from the lakes with such safety to themselves that we could not retaliate ... we determined to leave that place and go in quest of the sea. . . . “ But the myth of the riches of Apalachen survived the rude reality of the place.

In 1539 the expedition of Hernando De Soto spent the winter months at the village of “Apalache,” no doubt the same place visited by Cabeza de Vaca. Having heard stories of gold in a distant country, De Soto began a march north through present-day Georgia toward the mountains in March 1540. From the accounts that survive, neither De Soto nor any members of his party designated the areas in or near the mountains as Appalachian. The Gentleman of Elvas is clear that the mountainous regions were called the provinces of Chalaque and Qualla by the native inhabitants. Similar terms appear in the accounts of Luys Hernández de Biedma and Rodrigo Ranjel, factor and secretary respectively to the De Soto expedition. Surprisingly, no such term as Apalache appears at any point on the so-called De Soto map, on which are inscribed 127 names and legends.

Diego Gutierrez is the first mapmaker to record a variation of Appalachian. On his map of America, published in 1562, “Apalchen” appears to the north of mountains which are shown stretching from east to west inland from a rather inaccurate coastline. This map may have been made before 1554, in which case the account of Cabeza de Vaca must have been the source of the term. In any case, the region is far removed from the home of the Apalachee tribe near the Gulf of Mexico in northwestern Florida. Zaltieri's “Map of the Discovery of New France,” published in 1566, follows Gutierrez in locating the region of Apalchen roughly in the center of a truncated continent, some distance from Florida.

Honors for designating the mountain range Appalachian must go to Jacques Ie Moyne de Morgues, an artist who traveled with the French Huguenot expedition of René de Laudonniere to Florida in 1564. The expedition constructed Ft. Caroline at the mouth of the St. John's River (named the River of May by Jean Ribaut) on the east coast of Florida. Stories of precious metals from the mountains led to several attempts to forge alliances with Indian tribes that would give the French access to the mountains. Le Moyne never actually travelled north to the mountains, but he did paint a scene of Indians collecting gold from the streams running from the “Apalatcy Mountains.” The description with the engraving of the scene notes:

“A great way from the place where our fort was built, are great mountains, called in the Indian language Apalatcy; in which, as the map shows, arise three great rivers, in the sands of which are found much gold, silver, and brass, mixed together. Accordingly, the natives dig ditches in these streams, into which the sand brought down by the current falls by gravity. Then they collect it out, and carry it away to a place by itself, and after a time collect again what continues to fall in. Then they convey it in canoes down the great river which we named the River of May, and which empties into the sea. The Spaniards have been able to use for their advantage the wealth thus obtained.”

This is the strongest evidence we have that the mountains were termed Appalachian in some Indian language. How reliable is this derivation? Le Moyne and the other French explorers under Ribaut and Laudonniere were no doubt familiar with the narratives of the Narvaez and De Soto expeditions and their stories of the wealthy province of Apalache. The only maps available at the time placed Apalache or Apalchen in the vicinity of the mountains. The Huguenots could have been expected to ask Indians about gold in the mountains of Apalache. For their part, the Indians would have indicated the mountains as the source of such gold and copper as they may have acquired. Did the French put the name Apalatchi into the mouths of the Indians or was it a native term? With the evidence at hand, it is impossible to say. What is certain is that Le Moyne's map, “The Province of Florida in America”, is the first to clearly name the mountains as Appalachian. Inscriptions on the map read “Montes Apalatchi, in quibus aurum argentum & aes invenitur” ("in which gold, silver and copper are found"), and in the lake fed by the waterfall, “In hoc lacu Indigenae argenti grana inveniunt” (“In this lake the natives find grains of silver”). A village of Apalatchi is also identified.

In 1586 Richard Hakluyt took a statement from a Spaniard, Pedro Morales, taken prisoner by Sir Frances Drake in Florida. Morales noted that “Three score leagues up to the Northwest from Saint Helena are the mountains of the golde and Chrystall Mines, named Apalatchi.” Hakluyt added, “He saith also that he hath seene a rich Diamond which was brought from the mountaines that lye up in the countrey Westward from S. Helena. These hills seeme wholy to be the mountaines of Apalatchi, whereof the Savages advertised Laudonniere. . . . "

Le Moyne managed to escape the massacre of the Huguenots by the Spanish under Menéndez de Avilés and return to France in 1565. His map, which is customarily dated 1565, was not actually published until after his death when the map and paintings of the new world were purchased by Theodore de Bry, who brought out an illustrated edition on the French expeditions in 1591. Thus, perhaps fortunately, Le Moyne's version of the Appalachians was not available to Gerard Mercator in preparing his world map of 1569, which “is the first map to show the Appalachians as a continuous mountain range stretching parallel to the coast in a southwestnortheasterly direction. . . . Mercator's delineation of the southern mountain region by a roughly inverted Y is in general not improved until the early part of the eighteenth century.” There is no indication that Mercator named these mountains Appalachian, however. Apalchen on his map appears to designate the region between the forks of the Y of the mountains. drained by the “River Sola” (probably the Savannah River).

Once published, Le Moyne's map had considerable influence. In 1597 Corneille Wytfliet published a map of “Florida and Apalche” which terms as Apalche the territory between Virginia and Florida (north of the Rivers Secco and Sola, or Savannah River). Jodocus Hondius published an edition of Mercator's atlas in 1606 with a revised map of the southeast that shows Le Moyne's waterfall and lake, his inscriptions about precious metals, and the “Apalatcy Montes auriferi,” or “golden Appalachian Mountains.” William Cumming comments on the impact of Le Moyne's map: “The map contains many striking details, frequently erroneous, which were incorporated in other maps for over a hundred and fifty years. It was Le Moyne's misfortune to have many of his errors in-corporated and even exaggerated in Mercator's map of 1606, upon which for half a century much of the subsequent cartography of the region was based.”

During the eighteenth century, the term Allegheny emerged as the principal rival to Appalachian. By convention the southern half of the eastern mountain chain was known as the Appalachians and the northern half the Alleghenies.15 The overall designation alternated between the two. Ambivalence about the appropriate term for the entire region is apparent in Washington Irving's proposal for a more accurate name for the country than “United States of America.” In a letter to the editor of the The Knickerbocker in 1839 signed “Geoffrey Crayon,” Irving suggested, perhaps tongue in cheek. “We have it in our power to furnish ourselves with such a national appellation from one of the grand and eternal features of our country; from that noble chain of mountains which formed its backbone, and ran through the “old confederacy,” when it first declared our national independence: I allude to the Appalachian or Allegheny mountains. We might do this without any very inconvenient change in our present titles. We might still use the phrase "The United States," substituting Appalachia, or Alleghenia, (I should prefer the latter,) in place of America. The title of Appalachian, or Alleghenian, would still announce us as Americans, but would specify us as citizens of the Great Republic. Even our old national cypher of U.S.A. might remain unaltered, designating the United States of Alleghenia.”

This is probably the first appearance in print of the term Appalachia; the Latinized suffixia was in vogue at the time in forming names of states or countries. Irving wasn't the only one to show a preference for Allegheny over Appalachian. The 1860 census, for example, in a study of mortality rates in "the great natural divisions," terms the area "From Pennsylvania through Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, &c., to Northern Alabama" as “The Allegheny Region.”18 An article published by geographer Arnold Henry Guyot in 1861 is credited with establishing scientific and popular usage for the entire mountain range. Evidently, Guyot also had difficulty deciding which term is more appropriate: “He apparently hesitated between the names. His map, prepared in advance, used Allegheny, but his final title was On the Appalachian Mountain System.”19 Guyot naturally notes the east to west division of the Appalachian system into parallel chains of mountains separated from the plateaus by the Great Appalachian Valley, and he also proposed dividing the system from north to south into three areas: the northern division, from the Adirondacks to the Gaspé Peninsula in Canada; the middle or central division from New York south of the Mohawk to the New River; and the southern division from the New River to the extremity of the system. He also places the central and southern division together in a southern section. Guyot's authority was followed by John Wesley Powell in his Physiographic Regions of the United States, which designates the eastern mountains from New York to Alabama as the Appalachian Ranges. Powell introduces a new twist, however, by terming the entire upland area to the west of the Appalachian mountain ranges the Allegheny Plateaus. He also uses the New River as a dividing line between what he calls the northern and southern Ap-palachian ranges.

At this point our survey shifts emphasis from geographic nomenclature, now firmly established, to Appalachia as a cultural region and a social and economic problem area. Until the Civil War, “the Appalachians” was simply a term for a physiographic section of mountains. There was little to distinguish the way of life there from life generally on the American frontier. The “discovery” of Appalachia as a distinctive cultural region was led by the writers of the “local color” movement who began in the mid-1870's to use the mountaineer as a subject of fiction and travel sketches published in popular national magazines. Carvel Collins records that between 1875 and 1900 “more than two hundred novels and stories were published which described the hill people as quaint and isolated, living peculiar lives in the shadow of awe-inspiring peaks.”21 Three underlying social and historical forces contributed to the discovery of the traditional subculture of the Southern Appalachians in the period following the Civil War: the mountaineer's loyalty to the Union, the end of the frontier, and the rapid expansion of industrial capitalism. The first served to distinguish the mountaineer from other Southern whites, and the second and third made him appear an anachronism in comparison to the mythical mainstream American.

Educators and social reformers sought to define this Southern Appalachian cultural region as a social problem area deserving the attention of church home mission boards and private philanthropic foundations. The first person to give a precise geographic definition to the Southern Appalachians as a cultural region was William G. Frost, President of Berea College from 1892 to 1920. Together with his former student, C.W. Hayes, then working for the Geological Survey, Frost identified 194 counties he called “the Mountain Region of the South” in 1894. He announced this discovery of “a new pioneer region in the mountains of the Central South” in 1895, and went on to elaborate his view in several articles in national magazines. The most influential of these is “Our Contemporary Ancestors in the Southern Mountains” in the Atlantic Monthly for March 1899, in which Frost describes the region as “The mountainous back yards of nine states . . . one of God's grand divisions, and in default of any other name we shall call it Appalachian America.” Frost's lead was followed by a number of writers including Samuel Tyndale Wilson, Horace Kephart (who gets credit for reintroducing the term Appalachia), and James Watt Raine.

The landmark study and definition of the region was made by John C. Campbell in The Southern Highlander and His Homeland published in 1921.24 Campbell includes sections of the same nine states from Maryland to Alabama identified by Frost, but expands the number of counties included to 254. He identifies three parallel divisions: the Blue Ridge Belt and the Allegheny-Cumberland Belt, with the Greater Appalachian Valley in between. Campbell's initiative in organizing the Conference of Southern Mountain Workers in 1913 and his ties with the Russell Sage Foundation provided the organizational and financial base for a small but persistent social movement to secure an adequate private and public response to the problems of the Southern Appalachians. It was largely the Conference (later the Council of the Southern Mountains), Berea College, and their magazine Mountain Life & Work, launched in 1925, that sustained the relative handful of educators, ministers, and community workers who kept alive through thick and thin the idea of Appalachia as a distinctive cultural and social problem region.

Campbell always preferred the designation “Southern Highlands” for the region. Discussing his reasons for this choice, Campbell wrote, “Southern Appalachians is a term sometimes used, but inasmuch as this term is limited by geographers [evidently a reference to Guyot and Powell] to that part of the Appalachian mountain system lying south of the New River Divide in southern Virginia, some other name for the whole territory under consideration is necessary. The designation Southern Mountains has also been used. But because so often descriptions of depressed social conditions, which are true only of limited areas, have been given without qualification as existing throughout the Southern mountains, this term has come to carry with it the implication that such conditions prevail generally throughout the region.” After a lyrical passage describing the beauty of the mountain country and its romantic folk tradition, Campbell concludes “there is but one name that will do it justice-the Southern Highlands.” A more convincing explanation of Campbell's evoking the image of highland Scotland may be found in his effort to overcome the myth of the degenerate race of “mountain whites” that appeared in some stories of the local color writers after 1889, and in the historical works of John Fiske and others. Campbell contrasts to this genetic argument an environmental explanation centered on isolation, “while establishing the mountaineer in the morally favorable ground of middle-class Romanticism,” as Henry Shapiro comments. But as these issues lost their salience, Campbell's argument against the common usage of Southern Appalachians had little impact despite the classic character of his study.

The federal government made its first acknowledgement of Appalachia as a social problem by its comprehensive survey, Economic and Social Problems and Conditions of the Southern Appalachians, published in 1935. The U.S. Department of Agriculture was encouraged to support the study by a cluster of organizations including the Conference of Southern Mountain Workers, the Home Missions Council, the Council of Women for Home Missions, the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, and Community Church Workers. The first of a series of conferences that led to the study was held at the Russell Sage Foundation in 1929. The USDA study contains a section by F.J. Marschner which divides Southern Appalachia into three major divisions: the eastern or Blue Ridge, the central or Appalachian Valleys and Ridges, and the western or Appalachian Plateaus. He then divides these divisions into 16 physiographic subregions. Marschner's delineation contains 236 counties in nine states; the rest of the USDA study limits itself to 205 counties in six states (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia). This modest recognition as a social problem area did not lead in the 1930's to any federal government efforts aimed at the Southern Appalachian region as such. The major New Deal regional development program, the Tennessee Valley Authority, included a portion of the Southern Appalachians, but its origins were in the dispute over the Muscle Shoals dam begun during the First World War. It was conceived as an example of river basin development by a public authority and had little relation to the work of the people promoting Southern Appalachia as a social problem area. Nor did the Appalachian advocates persuade one major regionalist, Howard W. Odum, whose influential Southern Regions of the United States does not include Appalachia among its divisions.30 The various efforts to develop a national system of regional classification that were undertaken in the late 1930's did not adopt the broad definition of Southern Appalachia used in the two classic studies of the area. In the Works Progress Administration study Rural Regions of the United States, A.R. Mangus falls back on the traditional usage of an Allegheny Region including parts of Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and an Appalachian Region including parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia. Another multi-county delineation, the State Social Subregions, was established for the 1940 census; it was modified to the State Economic Area system in the 1950 census which has continued in use to the present.

The low ebb in the movement to identify Appalachia as a social problem in the public consciousness appears to have been reached in the late 1940's and early 1950's. In 1949 the Russell Sage Foundation ended its support of the Council of Southern Mountain Workers and Mountain Life & Work; the magazine was discontinued until revived with the help of Berea College faculty in 1950. Council activities and funding increased gradually following the hiring of Perley Ayer as executive director in 1951. A symposium, Regionalism in America, that ignores Appalachia was published in 1951. Not until 1957 were two organizational efforts set in motion that would lead to a commitment by the federal government to alleviate Appalachian problems. In that year W.D. Weatherford, a YMCA leader who had been recruited to the Board of Trustees of Berea College in 1916 by William Frost, approached the Ford Foundation with an idea for a comprehensive survey of the Southern Appalachians that would update the 1935 USDA study. Southern Appalachian Studies, Inc., received $250,000 for the research which was published as The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey in 1962. The survey covers 190 counties in seven states from West Virginia through Alabama (excluding Maryland and South Carolina). The delineation is based on the State Economic Area system from the 1950 census, and includes only those SEA's composed entirely of Appalachian counties. After publication of the study, the Ford Foundation gave a $250,000 grant to the Council of the Southern Mountains to expand its community development work in the region.

Also in 1957 eastern Kentucky was hit by the most devastating flood in memory. In response to the disaster, Governor Bert Combs appointed the Eastern Kentucky Regional Planning Commission; John D. Whisman, whose ideas have played an important part in subsequent Appalachian development programs, served as its executive director. On January 1, 1960, the Commission issued a report, Program 60: A Decade of Action for Progress in Eastern Kentucky, which called for a broad range of development programs for the area, and also suggested that an Appalachian States Development Authority be established. In response, the Conference of Appalachian Governors was organized at a meeting in Maryland in May 1960 at the invitation of Governor Millard Tawes, and received a study, "The Appalachian Region," prepared by the Maryland Department of Economic Development on an eleven-state area from New York to Alabama (excluding Ohio). At the same time, national attention was drawn to the conditions of the Appalachian coalfields by the presidential primary in West Virginia on May 10.35 John F. Kennedy's debt to the region for his primary victory over Hubert Humphrey led to a meeting with the Appalachian governors in May 1961. Another meeting in 1963 led to the appointment on April 9 of the President's Appalachian Regional Commission, with Whisman as Executive Secretary, which presented its report to Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The report refers to 340 counties in ten states from Pennsylvania to Alabama (excluding South Carolina, and with reservations about Ohio whose governor declined to sign the report).

On March 9, 1965, President Johnson signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act and made the social and economic development problems of the area an official concern of national public policy. The Act established the Appalachian Regional Commission, with responsibilities for portions of twelve states; in August the Commission invited New York to participate in the program under provisions of the Act. New York accepted, and a total of 373 counties were then covered by the ARC. The 1967 amendments to the ARDA joined 20 counties of Mississippi to Appalachia, and also added one county from Tennessee, two from Alabama, and one from New York, for the current total of 397 counties in thirteen states. Political criteria for inclusion in Appalachia have superseded historical, cultural, social, or economic factors. Whisman continues his major role in the development of the Commission, serving first as the Governor's Representative for Kentucky and then as the States' Regional Representative since July 1966.

The 1967 Annual Report of the ARC outlines the “Four Appalachias,” defined by the varying economic bases of the subregions. Northern Appalachia is seen in transition from a coal-steel-railroad economy to new types of manufacturing and service industries. Central Appalachia is focused on the coalfields of eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, southwest Virginia, and northern Tennessee. Southern Appalachia is rapidly converting from an agricultural economy to an urban and in-dustrialized one. The Appalachian Highlands includes the Alleghenies, Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains from New York to Georgia, a thinly populated region with potential for recreation and tourism. In 1974 the ARC merged the Highlands into the other three subregions.

In terms of social problems, the economy of Central Appalachia remains in persistent difficulty. Some 35 percent of the population lives in poverty by federal standards, two-and-a-half times the national average; per capita income is only 60 percent of the national average. This alone should insure that Appalachia remain on the public agenda for some time to come. Yet as even the Central Appalachian region draws closer to national "norms" of poverty, Appalachian problems are likely to be seen more as national than regional in character. Solutions may be found only in answers to the national problems of providing full employment, adequate income maintenance, health care and decent housing for all, environment protection, public control of natural resources, and democratization of such public corporations as the TVA. Thus it is possible that interest in defining Appalachia as a distinctive social problem area will decline; certainly the focus will be narrowed from the current thirteen-state ARC definition.

The naming and redefining of Appalachia appears to have no end. I have traced the designations of the region from physiographic nomenclature to cultural area, to social and economic problem, and finally to an exercise in political logrolling. Clearly there is no ultimate definition, only delineations that serve particular social, political, organizational, or academic interests. Overall, the social movement to obtain recognition for Appalachia as a problem area must be accorded a remarkable success for a movement which never developed a mass following within the region itself. "Appalachian," after all, has never become a symbol of self-identification for the vast majority of the region's people, for whom the community, county, state, and nation remain more important units of political identity. Despite the apparent decline in those features of the traditional mountain subculture supposedly characteristic of the region, interest in aspects of Appalachian culture is on the increase, as evidenced by the popularity of books on the region's folk arts, Appalachian Studies programs, and this Appalachian Symposium. As long as the people of the region value their distinctive heritage, Appalachia by one definition or another, under one name or another, will continue to make an important contribution to American life.

-- excerpt "On the Naming of Appalachia" from An Appalachian Symposium: Essays written in honor of Cratis D. Williams, edited by J. W. Williamson (Boone, NC: Appalachian State University Press, 1977).

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river land winter scene
Graphic above: Photograph of winter scene at river

antique cars, Main Street, Jonesborough TN The ever-popular and multiply-awarded
Music on the Square weekly performances, every Friday night starting at 7 p.m. in front of Jonesborough's Old Courthouse on Main Street, begin in May and run through October. Bring your chair! You're in for a treat!

antique cars, Main Street, Jonesborough TN "Tourism poured more than $197 million into Washington County in 2008, according to a report by Dr. Steven Moore, director and economist at the tourism institute at the University of Tennessee. That ranks the county 10th highest out of the 95 counties in Tennessee for that year. The Northeast Tennessee region also had the highest percent growth in tourism spending statewide, at 6.3 percent in 2008.... Washington County has 12.7 percent of its total employment in the tourism and hospitality field. Tourism generated $11.47 million in state taxes and $4.57 million in local county taxes, according to the report. The money generated saves Washington County residents more than $300 per year in taxes.... Festivals and niche tourism in Jonesborough helps boost restaurant spending in the county, one telltale sign of tourism, Morse said...." -- Kate Prahlad, Assistant Editor, Herald & Tribune, 4/20/10

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"Nashville --
Chief Executive magazine named Tennessee one of the top three states in the nation for business today in its sixth annual survey of Best and Worst States for Business. More than 650 executive officers rated states in three general categories: taxation and regulation, workforce quality and living environment. Tennessee moved up two spots from fifth in 2009.... The CEOs' most highly-valued attributes included employee work ethic, lower tax rates, perceived attitudes toward business and living environment considerations such as real estate costs and education.... Tennessee also won Area Development magazine's prestigious Gold Shovel Award, which is presented annually to the state achieving the most success in terms of job creation and economic impact." -- Herald & Tribune, 5/4/10

Video above: Go Rest High on that Mountain, written and performed by Vince Gill

ETSU float during Jonesborough Days ~2000 "Disguised as a university campus, East Tennessee State University Arboretum in Johnson City is home to more than 250 species of trees, some of them sprouting with history, charm and mystery. For around 200 years, the Sherrod white oak has seen everything from Andrew Jackson to a whole campus constructed around it. This 103-foot-tall giant was standing when Johnson City was not yet Johnson City. Trees were brought from Asia and planted next to their closest-of-kin in the Asian-American 'sister species' display. Several species of trees, including some maples, tulip poplars and magnolias, are indigenous only to eastern Asia and the southeastern United States. Not all trees have definite roots. No one knows how one particular Toona tree ended up on campus. No record of the tree exists, and Toonas are not native to North America.... A variety of trees scattered throughout campus creates a rustic, scenic setting. Picnic tables and benches rest under the shade of branches. From giant trees to dwarf conifers, the arboretum creates a diverse atmosphere that encompasses the whole campus.... The arboretum memorial program lets anyone affiliated with ETSU plant a tree in memory of a loved one...." -- ETSU student Sloane Trentham in Campus of Trees, TravelHost Tricities

Bluegrass Underground is a monthly bluegrass concert series, recorded live at Cumberland Caverns. Those performances are streamed world-wide on wsmonline.com. Between Knoxville, Chattanooga and Nashville, McMinnville's Cumberland Caverns is "Tennessee's largest show cave and a U.S. National Natural Landmark. The cave displays some of the largest underground rooms and most spectacular formations in America." More than 32 miles of underground caves have been explored now there. Discovered in 1810, the site also includes an historic 1812 saltpeter mine, whose essential ingredient for gun powder was procured here during the War of 1812 and the Civil War. There is "a spectacular one and a half mile tour that allows you to view a beautiful waterfall and gleaming pools. The Underground Ballroom features a unique and beautiful 3/4-ton crystal chandelier. The Chandelier was originally installed in 1928 in the Loews Metropolitan Theatre in Brooklyn, NY. We were lucky enough to rescue it when the theatre was being renovated. It now hangs in one of our largest rooms, the Volcano Room. The Volcano Room is often used for meetings, banquets, and we have even had weddings there. The Chandelier itself is 15’ tall and 8.5’ wide. It contains 150 various color bulbs and countless hand cut crystals. Every tour also is highlighted by the original underground pageant of light and sound, 'God of the Mountain,' an awe-inspiring retelling of the creation." The tour takes about an hour and a half to complete. For hardy explorers, the caverns also offer group daytime and overnight spelunking adventures. -- Cumberland Caverns TN

"The Frist Center opened in April 2001, and since that time has hosted a spectacular array of art from the region, the country, and around the world. Unlike any traditional museum you’ve ever visited, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts has become a magnet for Nashville’s rapidly expanding visual arts scene. With an exhibitions schedule that has new art flowing through the magnificent Art Deco building every 6 to 8 weeks, no matter how often you visit, there is always something new and exciting to see in the spacious galleries.... The Frist Center was conceived as a family-friendly place and one of the most popular locations in the center is the innovative Martin ArtQuest Gallery. It’s a colorful space alive with the sounds of learning through making art! ArtQuest activities abound for people of all ages. With 30 interactive stations, and the assistance of knowledgeable staff and volunteers, ArtQuest teaches through activity. Make a print, paint your own original watercolor, create your own colorful sculpture! It’s all there in ArtQuest, and it’s free with gallery admission for adults and always free for students 18 and under...." -- Frist Center, Nashville TN

Video below: Frist Center's exhibit of Korean artist U-Ram Choe’s New Urban Species

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Chief Dragon, click for explication Winged Dragon, click for explication

mud, bits and pieces, shards
(Click on dragons for explication of symbolism)

"Don't meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with chocolate."

photograph of river scene, click on graphic for 'Appalachian Ecology' Click for APPALACHIAN ECOLOGY

(from Unity's Music Of The Soul: Treasured Poems, freely available on request of that non-profit faith-based organization)

Revealed by Della Adams Leitner
The daffodil is in the bulb,
The pansy in the seed,
Awaiting soil and rain and sun,
Incentives that they need.
Your special talent lies within;
God placed the pattern there.
Give it the sunshine of your work,
The raindrops of your prayer.
And in the beauty that will be
Your soul shall find its own,
The loveliness that God designed
To its perfection grown.
Morning Prayer by Ella Syfers Schenck
Lord, in the quiet of this morning hour,
I come to Thee for peace, for wisdom, power
To view the world today through love-filled eyes;
Be patient, understanding, gentle, wise.
To see beyond what seems to be, and know
Thy children as Thou knowest them; and so
Nought but the good in anyone behold.
Make deaf my ears to slander that is told;
Silence my tongue to aught that is unkind;
Let only thoughts that bless dwell in my mind.
Let me so kindly be, so full of cheer,
That all I meet may feel Thy presence near.
O clothe me in Thy beauty, this I pray,
Let me reveal Thee, Lord, through all the day.

The Answer by Lowell Fillmore
When for a purpose
I had prayed and prayed and prayed
Until my words seemed worn and bare
With arduous use,
And I had knocked and asked and
Knocked and asked again,
And all my fervor and persistence brought no hope,
I paused to give my weary brain a rest
And ceased my anxious human cry.
In that still moment,
After self had tried and failed,
There came a glorious vision of God's power,
And, lo, my prayer was answerd in that hour.

digital graphic: Energy "... Write short poems in the voice of birds./ Birdsong is not made by machines./ Give your poem wings to fly to the treetops./ Don't pander, especially not to audiences, readers, editors, or publishers./ Don't cater to the Middle Mind of America nor to consumer society. Be a poet, not a huckster./ Don't put down the scholastics who say a poem should have wholeness, harmony, radiance, truth, beauty, goodness./ Go to sea in ships, or work near water, and paddle your own boat./ Why listen to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces?/ Don't produce poetry by the Pound./ Don't write re-runs of virtual realities./ Be a wolf in the sheepfold of silence./ Don't slip on the banana peel of nihilism, even while listening to the roar of Nothingness./ Fill the dark abyss that yawns behind every face, every life, every nation./ Make a new poem out of every experience and overcome the myopia of the present moment./ Catch instants, every second a heart-beat...." -- Dr. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder/owner of San Francisco's legendary City Lights Bookstore and poet/author/activist, in Poetry as Insurgent Art, 1975

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane. 
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
- Irish Blessing 

Video above is Maksim Mrvica playing "Exodus" by Ernest Gold

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ACR Cover

Original material c. A Country Rag, Inc. and/or Jeannette Harris, Jonesborough Tennessee, April 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved.