A Country Rag--Stand Up!

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 Sharon -- Where did the saying "laid a goose egg" come from, or why the negative aspect of it?? Am just wondering.... Found your site to be delightful! Would love to help in any way. Please respond.:)) Thanking you in advance.... from Oklahoma, where the wind comes whispering down the plain....:)))
    "Here's my guess: A goose egg is shaped like a big zero. Therefore, to lay a big goose egg is to accomplish nothing. This goes back to my childhood when I remember my mother referring to 'goose egg' in the sense of 'zero' or 'nothing.' The zine is particularly eager for sayings and traditional recipes that readers may remember. Of course, if you're a writer of Appalachian fiction or history, and/or a regional graphics artist, we also accept submissions of material for review and publication." -- John Waybright (waybrite@shentel.net), Literary Editor
    drawing Graphic: Quick art in the open air, Laurel Bloomery, TN

  • From "TillLilly" -- I will be moving up there in a couple of months, and find that your "zine" gives me a flavor of excitement that is easily missed. Many thanks........it makes me anxious to get up there!
    "We welcome you with open arms! The Shenandoah Valley is not only one of the most beautiful places in the world, but also one of the friendliest and most historical. Once here you may want to contact our area ISP and visit the specialized on-line sites that stay up-to-date on valley news, events and festivities." -- John Waybright
  • From Don Van Natta -- "Hello, I am doing a little history research. My mother was born in the Luray area and I know very little about family on her side as she died fairly young.... Where would I write to see if birth and or death records exist? Your reply is appreciated...we plan to visit the area and would like to look up some records, family cemetaries and maybe some cousins.
    You can do a lot of research with your computer alone! If you want to start in Page County, there is a site called Genealogy in Page County, Virginia at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/2521/page.htm as well as the Genealogy Society of Page County, Virginia at http://www.rootsweb.com/~vagspc/pcgs.htm and the Page County Heritage Association at http://www.rootsweb.com/~vagspc/pcha.htm. You will probably find links to other sites from these sites, as well as some snail mail addresses to the local libraries, county courthouses, etc.

    band Graphic: Rehearsal, Fiddlers Convention, Laurel Bloomery, TN

    Birth, death and marriage records would be available at the county courthouse. By the way, a marriage record is an excellent source of information. Your mother's marriage record would include (for both of your parents) their place of birth, parents' names, occupations and age at the time of marriage. Once you find parents' names, then you can move on to census records. You will also have the information you need to look for grandparents' marriage records. There are also several books which list tombstone inscriptions in Page County, which may guide you to the cemetery in which she is buried. Local newspapers may also provide information once you establish dates of birth, death and marriage. An obituary is also a great source of information.

    When you visit the area, make sure you visit the local library, court house and the Page County Historical Society. In most cases, people at these places are very helpful. Be sure to bring your camera and lots of film - if you've never visited the area, you'll be impressed with its scenic beauty!

    I wish you the best of luck in your searching and if I can be of further assistance, do not hesitate in contacting me. -- Don Silvius (dsilvius@intrepid.net), Technical Editor

  • From Lee Marlin Schneider -- May I have permission to use the Quicksburg train station image toward the bottom of your Vintage Lines section for my Nebraska Orphan Train website? I will include a link with it to "A Country Rag."
    Yes, thank you for writing. You're welcome to use the Quicksburg graphic and we'll recommend your site, which offers fascinating glimpses into a little-known piece of American history, to A County Rag readers. -- John Waybright, Literary Editor

    NOTE:The Nebraska Orphan Train site has interesting stories about orphans and other young children whose families just couldn't afford to raise them, who were put on trains from New York City and other big cities and transported to the Midwest from 1854-1929. Many of them were used as indentured servants in the homes which accepted them.
  • From Barbara Frey -- This Web Site is WONDERFUL AND REFRESHING! Just thoroughly enjoyed it!
    :-) We are still very fond, and occasionally in need, of compliments and encouragement. Thanks! -- Jeannette Harris, Publisher
  • From O. Carpenter -- This may well be out of your area of expertise or service, but I am trying to determine the source of the expression, "--- nail in his coffin." Any ideas?
    "I think it means exactly what it says: One more nail driven into a wooden coffin symbolizing one more step toward the grave. In earlier times, wooden coffins were often custom built while their future occupants were still living. The undertaker in New Market, VA in the late 19th and early 20th century, Mr. Theis, was noted for his fine furniture building in addition to producing well-constructed wooden coffins to specifications set by the persons who would be using them." -- John Waybright, Literary Editor
  • From Barbara J. Riddleberger -- I would like to send this newsletter to a list of my friends. I would like to know what to do and then for you to send me a message as to when this was taken care of and/or how long it will take. Thank you.
    What a lovely idea! Thanks for writing. Just send a list of your friends' e-mail addresses to country@shentel.net and they will be added to the zine's mailing list beginning with the next scheduled monthly newsletter. Should any decide they haven't time for reading the newsletter (or the zine), it's simple to unsubscribe.
  • From Jan Jones -- Hello- Attached is a current photo of the old railroad bridge spanning north river at Stokesville, VA (Near Mount Solon). Stokesville was the end of the line for the Chesapeake-Western Railway that started in Elkton and ran through many small communities (24 stops) on it's 33 mile trip to Stokesville.
    Thanks for your thoughtfulness in sharing a great photo!
  • From Dave Bull-- It was good to get the newsletter again! It is always interesting... I was particularly encouraged by the inclusion of one word in the opening [February] paragraph - trash. Of late my wife, assorted visitors and friends and I, are increasingly aware of a significant increase in the amount of trash on what you so rightly describe as "some of the most beautiful countryside in America." Trash being everything from older cars & trucks just left to deteriorate in people 'yards' to the rarely retrieved disposal of fast-food containers on most of our secondary roads. Recently, one of the Washington TV stations chose not to present Route 689 on their travel show because of the prevalance of debris on this particular road. With this loss of valuable, free air-time, we all lose. May I ask, what do you think can be done? As I mentioned, the inclusion of the word 'trash' in your publication can do a lot to inform and educate our residents of this situation. ...Perhaps our talking here could help. What do you think?
    Thanks for this nice and interesting letter. The trash along Shenandoah Valley roads, creeks and rivers is sad -- and, of course, shows up more this time of year. There was a law passed a few years ago designed to rid at least some Valley counties of unserviceable cars, except in junk yards, and I believe it's had some effect. The trash problem never seems to improve much. Shenandoah River Canoe Outfitters (Luray, VA), in particular, has a wonderful program for cleaning the river banks. At one time, jail inmates were used, on a voluntary basis, to pick up roadside trash, earning extra credits for time served in the process, but I believe that program has been abandoned. We can all help by not disposing of garbage along roadsides or river and creek beds, by encouraging children and friends to do likewise, and by picking up others' trash as we're able.
  • From Myra McCormick Cole -- Live in Texas but originally a Virginian and always will be. Like to get news of Shenandoah Valley-native of Lexington and Roanoke. Alma Mater is Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg. After serving in US Navy as Supply Corps Officer, married Texas! Thanks for the lovely zine news.
    Glad you enjoy the newsletter with its revolving introduction by different regular zine writers each month. And that A Country Rag provides a "home away from home," as its meant to, for you on the internet.
    graphic: Handwork on display for Quiltfest 98, Jonesborough, TN.

  • From Foster Jason, Springfield, VA -- I love y'all's web site. My family is from Page County, VA (and outlying areas) and we've been able to trace their lineage in the Valley back to the Revolution. Love the devotionals and the Va links. My wife and I spent Presidents Day weekend 1998 at a B&B in Stanley. We had meant to attend church at the Leaksville Church of Christ because many a family reunion back in the early and mid-1900s had been held there but we didn't get the chance. Every time I find myself out in the Luray area, I feel like I've come home even though I've never lived there. I hope the popularity of your site continues to grow as more people find it. You may want to add some site references in your local links section about local B&B's cuz there are numerous B&B's in that area that now have their own web sites. Take care!
    Although the zine provides many fun and educational links, including to genealogy research sites, commercial links are fee-based -- partly due to space considerations. You're certainly correct that there are many intriguing bed&breakfast establishments throughout Appalachia. Those in Virginia are listed and linked from the "Links to Appalachia" section through VisitVA's comprehensive website.
  • From Joseph W. Baker -- Greetings, You have a great website. I would appreciate additional information including subscription rates. Are "A Country Rag" and "Shenandoah Country Rag" the same publication?
    Hi. Thanks. There are currently no subscription rates for either the zine on-line or its newsletter by e-mail. As the zine expanded this year to cover more of the Appalachian region, its earlier name of "O Shenandoah! Country Rag" was modified to "A Country Rag," reflecting the e-zine's now broader scope of travel coverage and writer/artist contributions.
  • From Ward Tiffany -- I am looking for a recipe on how to make caviar. Any suggestions?
    Caviar is the salted roe (eggs) of any large fish, e.g. salmon or, regionally, catfish. My favorite way to serve it is: separate the white from the yolk of some hard-boiled eggs and cut them up separately; mince some onions; put the caviar on good buttered crackers; top with pieces of eggwhite and yolk and onion.
  • From Ronald Painter -- Please allow me to subscribe to your newsletter. Someone sent me these sites and I have thouroughly enjoyed them. Still looking, haven't seen it all.
    You're subscribed! Glad you found "A Country Rag" and its now-extensive archives of area data and diverse art/writing. Since the e-zine's inception in April 1996, it has become quite a compendium of works, from historic to humorous, by graciously gifted, mostly-regional contributors.
  • From Carroll E. Bond -- I am looking for any information on how "Luray" got it's name.If you have anything on this I would appreciate it. Thanks.
    Although there has been some controversy, it is now generally accepted that the name is from Luray, France, a small village near Paris. It was the ancestral home of William Staige Marye, who married the daughter of Peter Ruffner. Ruffner was the founder of the town, who laid off and sold the first lots in 1812. This information was lost for generations, possibly because the predominantly German population here was reluctant to grant a French name to the county seat. Therefore, theories arose that it was an Indian name, or was so-called because there was an old blacksmith in town by the name of Lew Ramey. This latter theory, absurd as it may seem, is immortalized in a mural painted by WPA artists in the Luray Post Office in the 1930s.The true derivation of the name did not come to light until the 1960s, when Luray, Va. residents, Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Herzberg, visited Luray, France during a return visit to their native Europe. Noting the similarity in names, they did extensive research in both France and the U.S. to determine that French Huguenots named Marye had immigrated to America from that town in the early 1700s and one of their descendants, William Staige Marye, was a prominent early resident of Luray. Although there is no written record of how the town was named, there are indications that this man, Ruffner's son-in-law, suggested it. A part of Marye's old home still stands on Collins Avenue, once called Marye Lane, and his grave marker is the largest in the old Green Hill Cemetery in midtown Luray. In a diary, still existing, Marye once wrote that he spoke and wrote German better than any of the local Germans could. He was a literate man fluent in French, German and English, among Germans who were illiterate or barely literate. Therefore, the fact that he gave the town its name is even more credible. -- John Waybright, Literary Editor
    river Graphic: Ducks on Tennessee's Nolichucky River near the Appalachian Trail

  • From Knealp@aol.com -- Very cool poem and i love the music. My husband and I live in Little Rock. We just got back from visiting Jonesborough, Tennessee. We are moving that way in May and I just wondered what you thought of the place? Thanks.
    Jonesborough is a charming, restored 18th century village, the original capitol of Tennessee, located in the eastern part of the state. Its quaint Main Street offers reasonably-priced antique stores, an ice-cream parlor decorated with vintage photos and prints, atmospheric restaurants and wondrous craft shops. The best-known of Jonesborough's many events is The National Storytelling Festival held on its cobblestone streets every fall. Surrounded by farms and tobacco fields, within easy driving distance of Johnson City's cosmopolitan amenities, Jonesborough's year-round county flea market abounds with goods from pet rabbits to yard tools to art deco jewelry. As A Country Rag expands to cover Tennessee and neighboring states, look for features on other Appalachian areas of historic interest and beauty in future editions.
    ps ~ Thanks about the poem and music! -- Jeannette Harris, Publisher

For more reader questions, comments and answers from A Country Rag, check "Stand Up!" archives for 1997 and 1996

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

Original material A Country Rag April, 1996. All rights reserved.