O Shenandoah! Stand Up and Testify

record "Stand up! Have you ever been there? Stand up and testify. I say, stand up, if you've ever been there. Stand up! Identify! STAND UP! Have you ever been there? STAND UP and testify. I say, STAND UP, if you've ever been there. STAND UP! Identify!"

(Lyric from Mel McDaniel's country song)


If an e-mail address isn't listed, please send answers, comments to A Country Rag.

  • From PIBBSTER@aol.com -- How much is it to subscribe to the Valley Gossip? Is it mailed or e-mailed? And how often does it come out?? Thanks.
    The newsletter is free, distributed by e-mail, and "hosted" each month by a different zine writer. Send requests to be added to Valley Gossip's mailing list to country@shentel.net
  • From gypsy@shentel.net -- Thank you so very much for your issue of the newsletter. I have not subscribed - but have read it before and enjoyed it a lot. Please do subscribe me. Also - You may wish to visit my URL and see some particularly beautiful views of our mountains - I think they are most special. I am also a writer and if there is anything I can do to help out - let me know and I will see if I can. Perhaps my story or ~work~ might be of interest to our local people too.... If so - you may feel free to share the link with any and all - the more the better - for there is much need of grief support in our area... My best to you and yours and all that you are doing! Thank you again... GYPSY
    What a great letter! Thanks! A link's been added to your wonderful site in the zine's "Virginia Links" section. Submissions of area writing and art are always welcome and may be e-mailed to country@shentel.net . General guidelines are listed near the bottom of the zine's "Share-A-Bit" section.
  • From Daeseung Kang -- Hi. I'm a foreign graduate student in Cleveland, Ohio. And I would like to ask you a favor. I am planning to visit the Shenandoah National Park this weekend, staying two nights in Luray, VA. I am looking for a lodging such as cottage which can accomodate three families including two my neighbor families(6 adults 5 children total), while cooking by ourselves. Any suggestion of a place with a good view. Thank you for your time.
    There are many well-maintained cabins, cottages, larger houses, and bed and breakfasts throughout the Valley. Good sources of information are specific county/town Chambers of Commerce, which are listed with all the major search engines; Shenandoah Valley Travel Association, which is linked from the zine's "Country Calendar" section; and VisitVirginia, a comprehensive site maintained by the Commonwealth's Department of Tourism and linked from the "Virginia Links" section. In planning visits during particularly popular seasons -- for instance, when the leaves change -- it's a good idea to make plans and reservations well in advance, as bookings are heavy. The local Chambers are a good source for vacancies available due to last minute cancellations.
  • From Clinton Sisson -- What do you have against Staunton Marketplace ?
    Nothing! Valley businesses are increasingly on-line with well-designed and informative websites. Staunton Marketplace is a good example of that. The zine's "Valley Scenes" and "Virginia Links" listings are reciprocal to selected non-commercial sites and fee-based for commercial ones.
  • From Walt Townshend -- I enjoyed reading your e-zine! My family loves the Shenadoah Valley, and especially the walking bridges. We've been to the one at Narrow Passage (Chapman's Landing), the one near Bryce Ski Lodge (Stony Creek Brethren Church)....but where are the others. Is there a Guide to Walking Bridges in Virginia (or the Shenandoah)?
    Walking bridges, which we presume are those suspended rope and wood constructions across streams, rivers and chasms, were once popular all over the rural Shenandoah Valley and other areas of Virginia. In recent years, however, safety questions have meant the demise of most of them. In fact, where we live in Page County, NONE of the dozen or so we remember from years past remain today. Of course, many old bridges, including the famous restored all-wood Meems Bottom Covered Bridge just south of Mt. Jackson, are open to pedestrian traffic and make wonderful places to walk. Even the main bridges on major thoroughfares often are available for cyclists and walkers, too, and they are fine vantage points from which to enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery hereabouts. We know of no guides to Virginia or Valley walking bridges, but if any of our readers have knowledge of them, we would be delighted to receive e-mail on that topic. -- John Waybright
  • From William A. Akers -- I am planning on moving to that area. Could you help me in contacting the local board of realtors for Page County and/or the Harrisonburg area? thx!
    Your message has been forwarded to the Page Chamber of Commerce for reply. However, you might want to contact them personally at pagecofc@shentel.net. There's a link to their website, where you may find more information you need, at the top of the zine's "Country Calendar" section. Also you may find some information useful to you by checking the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association's website, also linked from that page. The zine's "Virginia Links" section contains listings for a few other area Chambers and for Visit Virginia, a comprehensive state-run site. Good luck to you!
  • From Frank Porter -- Thanks. The music was super. I wonder how to download the music??
    If you're a bit technically inclined you can save any music file from any site you like by copying (and probably renaming) the file from your browser's cache sub-directory. It'll be the most recently dated file with an .mid extension. There are also many good midi sites with extensive archives. Do a search with one of the engines (there's a link to Yahoo toward the bottom of the zine's Table of Contents page, for instance) on "midi" and you'll see listing/links to a variety of music sources.
  • From J. P. Letellier, Naval Research Lab, Code 5320 -- How about a button on top to turn the music off? It is bother when I am looking for something!
    If the music's distracting from the zine's content, your browser's "stop" button or menu "stop load" command will in most cases end the midi play. Alternatively, most speakers have a volume control which can be turned all the way down.
  • From Alley -- I love the background music. When I hear "Shenandoah" I get so homesick my gut aches but I continue to listen. I would enjoy seeing more articles like Don Silvius' writings. Anything related to genealogy would be a hit with me. I was really impressed with this site!
    Thanks for the compliments and comments! Alley has her own geneology site, Shenandoah Ancestry , complete with related links and background music.
  • From Linda Cunningham -- I just found this ! Terrific SITE !! Please see my page (I live in Winchester) ... I have the Patsy Cline Fan Club page with info and pics and links..
    The site, which Linda modestly neglected to mention in her note, includes some prize-winning poetry of hers and background on her musical career!
  • From KateSeager@aol.com -- Do you know where I can find information on what might be going on in the Shenandoah Valley this November? (11/22-29) We are staying near Bryce Mountain and we are not much into downhill skiing. Do you know of any good crosscountry spots? Or just nice, peaceful hiking places? We also have 3 chldren ages 9, 7 & 4. I saw something about horseback riding, do you know if something like that is available in November?
    The on-line presence of Valley and Virginia attractions has increased dramatically in the past year, and we are now able to access nearly all touring information we might need via the internet. There are extensive listings/links to travel sites in the zine's Valley Scenes, Virginia Links and Country Calendar sections.
  • From Grace Cangialosi -- Being brand-new in cyberspace, I was delighted to learn about this site a few days ago--it's by far the most fun and the most beautiful of any I've found so far! Love the stories, humor, photos, and especially the MUSIC! Already had a message back from someone here to whom I had sent a note of appreciation. Love it--keep it up!
    :) Thanks! to you and all readers who take the time and effort to compliment the zine and its many gifted authors/artisans. Compliments may not "get us anywhere," but we sure do appreciate 'em now and then!
  • From James Beatty -- Looking for words and music for O Shenandoah...
    You'll find a midi file of "O Shenando" playing in the background of two sections: "Holler Notes" and "Shenandoah Home"; a popular version of the song's lyrics is transcribed in the zine's "StandUp!" section for 1996.
  • From EdwardsHam@aol.com -- I am not that familiar with lovely internet sites (mainly business & professional) but I love yours--especially the music! I am a former (brief--12 years ago) resident of Harrisonburg. Your E-zine brought back some great memories. As a life-long resident of Surry County in Southside Va. (except for time in Harrisonburg and some college years in Charlottesville) I felt right at home. Thanks.
    That's the kind of comment we truly appreciate and that keeps the Country Rag on-line and on track! Thanks to you and many others who've taken the time to write similar messages to the zine and to its talented writer/artists.
  • From babe@epix.net -- I'm having a graduation Party on June 15th for my son and 4 of my nieces and nephews who are graduating from H.S. and one graduating from college as an R.N. I was wondering if u had any poems and since its fathers day was wondering if u had for that also!! I'm not good with words!!
    :) A very unusual and challenging request! Here's a free verse poem for your second occasion. Enjoy your party!


    It's just a day
    like any other
    when I remember
    dreams you've taught,
    magic you've said,
    hugs you've given
    and comfort,
    jokes, tales
    and wonder.

    On father's day
    there's your card
    and a gift,
    but in many ways
    these special hours
    are glued like any others,
    with remembrance,
    and bound by love,
    thanks and prayer
    for you.

  • From Vicki Benton -- My daughter is doing a project at school and she needs recipes from the mid to late 1800's. Do you possibly have anything that would be helpful for her.
    Well, hopefully... The zine's cooking section contains many traditional "word-of-mouth" country recipes. Particularly, there's a wonderful recipe for Amish/Mennonite cake and another for squirrel stew .
  • From Ann Barnett -- Do you know the "origin" of Shenandoah, i.e., what it actually meant in the Indian language. I have (unsuccessfully) been trying to find out...
    "Shenandoah" has been cited as one of the ten most beautiful words in any language (in "The Book of Lists," for one). There's a wonderfully written, well-researched exploration of its derivation in a subsection of the zine's "Country Calendar" section, and a shorter explanation in the archived "Trivia and Scene Questions" section.
  • From Myra Cole -- I just read in Texas that "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (Virginia)" is no longer the state song. Can you email me the words to the new one, or print them in Shenandoah Rag?
    Sure. With a little help from the web research department...
    House Bill No. 2360, offered January 20, 1997, amends and reenacts 7.1-37 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the official song of the Commonwealth, as follows:
    "Whereas, the Commonwealth has no effective official song because "Carry Me Back To Old Virginia," declared the State song in 1940, has become so controversial that it is no longer possible or appropriate to use the song; and
    Whereas, the official song should reference the rich history and tradition of the Commonwealth and invoke images of the natural and scenic beauty its citizens celebrate; and
    Whereas, the Commonwealth requires an official song that can be sung on all occasions with pride and affection; now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That, upon repeal of the designation of the current state song, "Virginia," lyrics and music by Donna and Jimmy Dean be designated the official song of the Commonwealth, the words of which are as follows:

    From the Blue Ridge to the great Atlantic Ocean
    There's a Commonwealth of beauty known to man
    As the mother of the Fathers of our country,
    Heaven chose her as the birthplace of our land.


    Virginia, dear old Virginia!
    There's no place on earth I'd rather be.
    Virginia, sweet old Virginia!
    My Old Dominion home keeps calling me.
    When I think about the beauty of Virginia,
    I remember dogwoods blooming in the spring.
    When the sun sets on the Shenandoah Valley,
    Sometimes I think I hear the angels sing.
    They sing. . . .

    Virginia, dear old Virginia!
    There's no place on earth I'd rather be.
    Virginia, sweet old Virginia!
    My Old Dominion home keeps calling me."

    -- John Waybright

  • From haystix@pond.com -- Can you tell me what the "Storybook Trail" in or near Luray is? I saw it mentioned on another website but with no explanation.... Where are the good B&B's or Inns in your area? We're planning a trip in late March. What does one do that time of year in the Shenandoah area?
    The best source of information on attractions and accommodations in this area is the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association which maintains annotated listings and a comprehensive search engine. Link to them directly through the zine's "Country Calendar" section.
  • From Myra McCormick-Cole, mcole@templejc.edu, -- Raised there. Used to recite a poem that started:
    Slow turns the water......IN VIRGINIA.
    Overhead the seafowls.........IN VIRGINIA.
    and ended:
    And when my time has come to die
    Carry me through Goshen Pass
    When the rhododendron is in bloom.
    Can you find this poem for me?
    Sounds familiar. Anyone know the full poem?
  • From mikis@www.datastream.net -- First, I would like to commend you on a wonderful site. Being from middle Georgia, I appreciate the opportunity to view a site reflecting positive, humorous contributions on Southern life. Secondly, I would hope your researchers could clarify a few things for me.... just how long is a coon's age; and when Buck was a calf? As in "long as a coon's age" and "since Buck was a calf". Also, who was Buck?..."

  • From Deborah.Calabro@FMR.Com -- I am trying to find out where the phrase "Since Hector was a pup" came from and who Hector was. Have you ever heard of it?

    Sorry, the research department is stumped. Maybe some helpful readers will know the origins and exact meanings of these country sayings...
  • From Sheldon Wimpfen -- Thought the zine's readers might enjoy this poem circulating through the 'net.

    "If Dr. Seuss wrote help files for Microsoft:

    Here's an easy game to play.
    Here's an easy thing to say.
    If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
    And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
    And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
    Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

    If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
    And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
    And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash.
    Then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

    You can't say this?
    What a shame, sir!
    We'll find you
    another game, sir!

    If the label on the cable on the table at your house
    Says the network is connected to the button on the mouse,
    But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
    That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
    And your screen is all distorted by the side affects of Gauss,
    So your icons in the windows are as wavy as a souse,
    Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
    'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

    When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
    And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary RISC,
    Then you have to flush your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
    Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

    Author Unknown"

    Love it! Thanks!

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Where the heck am I? -- Beam me back home

Original material O Shenandoah! Country Rag April, 1997. All rights reserved.