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 Frank -- Hi, When I was a boy some 60 years ago we would drive thru some tiny little town in North Carolina and my father would call it a "jerkwater town". Any idea what that means?
    Sure, Frank. My first hunch was that "jerkwater" meant "a place so far out in the boondocks that a train would have to stop to get water." However, my American Heritage Dictionary says, slightly differently, that it is "an early railroad term for a remote place where water had to be 'jerked' or drawn and carried to trains." It's an interesting phrase which the dictionary says means: "remote, small or insignificant; contemptibly trivial." Thanks for writing. -- John Waybright, Literary Editor
  • From Linda Hopp -- "With both paternal grandparents having come from the Elkton and Luray areas [of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley] I have many fond memories of tales and photos of the good times of their youth in the Old Dominion and somehow find myself in my own older age longing for those happy days of family trips and visits to relatives remaining there not to mention swims in the Hawksbill and fresh well water dripping from a white enamel ladle in the old fashioned kitchen of my great great aunt in Stanley. I feel sad for those who seek riches in all the wrong places today. Your magazine is the next best thing to bringing me back into the bosom of those simpler and sweet sweet times. Thank you."
    :-) Thanks! It's always a joy to hear that A Country Rag succeeds in conveying the charm and value of traditional Appalachian ways. Many organizations -- including the Appalachian Studies Association, the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services (which includes the Archives of Appalachia, Scotch-Irish studies, an in-process Encyclopedia of Appalachia, and the Bluegrass Music Program), The Appalachian Writers Association, and area Arts Councils (e.g. JCAAC) -- seek to preserve the region's cultural heritage and its viability for the 21st century. An important part of that commitment is the diverse effort toward "sustainable community," social and economic cohesion based in part on local ownership of businesses and participation in "grass roots" citizen groups (e.g. The Activist Writers Group, an informal organization of citizens that review environmental issues and communicate concerns with current legislation regarding atmospheric pollution to local, state and federal representatives).
  • From Johnson City Area Arts Council -- "Check out the JCAAC's web site www.arts.org for information. We are planning an Arts Explosion 2000 beginning Oct. 15, 1999, with a performance by classical guitarist Carlos Bendfeldt. A series of literary arts events begin on Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. at the Johnson City Public Library, starting off with Wilma Dykeman. Gallery shows, a state arts education conference (Nov. 8), children's events, etc.... [P]lease mail us a copy of your publication. Where are you located? We have a newsletter that is mailed to members which contains a calendar of all kinds of information from the region."
    Published from Jonesborough TN, A Country Rag, is nearly exclusively an on-line publication, although the best of its prose and poetry are reprinted in hardcopy publications (e.g. writing and recipes in the Alumni Cookbook to be released this year by East Tennessee State University) from time to time. There is a "Best of 1997" chapbook in print and plans-in-progress for publishing a "Best of 1999" edition.
  • From LSWC -- "Would it be possible to share information about the Lost State Writers's Conference in A Country Rag?"
    Yes, of course. The annual Lost State Writer's Conference, held in beautiful Historic Greeneville, TN, is designed for writers of all genres and styles. Scheduled for September 24-26, at Tusculum College, the conference features keynote speakers Lawrence Block and Ellen Douglas. For more information, and/or to apply for fee scholarships visit their website at http://loststatewriters.xtn.net. The "Lost State" in this event's title refers to the State of Franklin, a geographic and political entity within eastern Tennessee during colonial times.
  • From Appalachian Women's Alliance -- "... Many of you know that we just held an anti-racism event in far southwest Virginia. Some of you are aware that we received some pre-event Klan harrasment for our efforts. Just wanted to let ALL of you know that the event was a great success, we formed a community task force to take next steps, we had good participation, especially from the African American folks in the immediate community, we appreciated the presence of some of our anti-racist allies from outside the community (thanks again to all of ya'll who came!), the UMWA were supportive, the Church community came through for us, the governor was contacted, we were "protected" by 5 state troopers plus the county cops, and only one known klans"man" showed (sans hatwear).
    Other news:
    -- We are still seeking submissions (incluuuding original artwork) for the summer issue of the Appalachian Women's Journal, the theme of which is'"You Are Not Alone.'
    -- The 1999 Ironweed Festival is only 3 mooonths away so MARK YOUR CALENDARS for September 11 at the Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, West Virginia. Anyone who is willing to help with publicity, please contact us and we'll send you a press release and a packet of fliers.
    For more information contact: Appalachian Women's Alliance, P.O. Box 688, Floyd, Virginia 24091, Phone/FAX: (540) 745-5345"
    Thanks for adding A Country Rag to AWA's newsletter mailing list and for the organization's efforts to address current and historic concerns of equal opportunity and justice for women and minorities of Appalachia.
  • From Jim Clark -- I'd like to include your e-zine in the Links section of my home page. Feel free to have a look at it: http://www2.coastalnet.com/~cn3368/. Enjoyed your site very much!
    :-) We're always happy to hear about sites by Appalachian artists (Jim Clark is a professor and author of poetry and fiction) and to have A Country Rag linked from other sites! There are ACR logo graphics, blinking and stationary, available for download and use at the e-zine's Zine Scene section.

    "The frightening nature of knowledge leaves one no alternative but to become a warrior." -- Carlos Castenada, A Separate Reality
    road Graphic: Blue Ridge mountain road, VA

  • From Sheldon Wimpfen, Member, Board of Governors, National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum -- "The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum wishes to have a Miner's Poet Laureate. Mine rhyme, in some way related to mining, should be submitted to the Museum at P. O. Box 981, Leadville, Colorado 80461-0981 prior to July 1st. During July a judging panel will select the " Miner's Poet Laureate for 1999". The winner will be invited to present his or her poem at the National Mining Hall of Fame induction banquet which takes place October 19th in St. Louis. Sure would appreciate it if you could include this invitation in an upcoming issue of The Country Rag."
    Glad to. Thanks! There are many contests, regionally and nationally, without entry fees offering encouragement and awards for artists. Regional guilds, area newspapers and on-line searches are good source starting points.
  • From Randall Bentley -- "It's great to be able to sit here in Canadian, Texas... and with a click of my mouse enjoy all that is Appalachia....such a wonderful variety...from A to Z........We have in-laws in Bristol and have visited your fair city of Jonesborough...also have vacationed in Banner Elk, N.C."
    :-) It's always nice to get feedback that A Country Rag is living up to its intentions and expectations! This seems like a good opportunity to thank contributors who, in addition to graphics, poetry and prose, send in Appalachian Country Talk sayings, Links to Appalachia website addresses and descriptions, Country Calendar upcoming events, and Backwoods Recipes.

For more reader questions, comments and answers from A Country Rag, check "Stand Up!" archives for Volume 3, Volume 2 and Volume 1

button Comment? Question? Answer? Email countryrag@yahoo.com.

Where the heck am I? -- Whisk me away

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