Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mountain Born

Mountain Born by Jean Boone Benfield is "a recollection of life and language in Western North Carolina" and I highly recommend it to any of you who have an interest in the folkways of Appalachia.

I don't know the author (who grew up in the next county) but much of what she writes is familiar to me -- and delightful!


Ms. Bennfield writes of growing up in the Forties and Fifties, of Asheville at that time, of food and farms and family life, of traditions and superstitions, and, best of all, she lists some seven hundred old words and sayings --'some not fit for polite society.'

"Helpless as a one-legged man at an ass-kicking" is one of my favorites. And "not enough sense to pee a hole in the snow." And -- well, I could go on.

For those of you who've told me that my books remind you of your grandparents or other kin, this is a book you'll love!

Thank you, Ms. Benfield, for this loving, witty, and wise compilation of memories!

In other news -- we had a whole day of sunshine yesterday! What a pleasure! 
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18 comments:

Marilyn said...

I think it's wonderful when the history or 'flavour' of an area is preserved in books like this.
I am so pleased that you had a day of sun ...we had a day of sun today after 24 hours of rain.

Star said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I just love folklore.
I'm glad the ice is melting so you can get out once more. Here it is the same. I can, at last, see the pavements under the snow and ice.
Blessings, Star

Martin H. said...

This kind of book is so important, as is local history, generally. As things stand, it's so easy to lose touch with our surroundings.

I love the examples you quote, particularly the first one.

Pat in east TN said...

I'm going to have to get that book ... it sounds oh so interesting.

It was good seeing the sun and knowing the roads were clearing so we can at least get out and stock up and finish celebrating Christmas with family/friends. What a December we've had!

Brian Miller said...

nice...hope you enjoyed that sunny respite..interesting book...might have to check it out...

Miss_Yves said...

Funny expressions!
The old rural langage was full of strenght, very far from the "politically correct "langage we have to bear nowadays.

Rainsong said...

I know that this book is set across the land on different mountains and another ocean, but, with your pictures, I feel like I have met these folk. My blood come from western Washington (the state) where we were "busier" than a one-legged man (often he was an Indian) at an ass-kicking contest. Never heard of snow sense, gave my guys a laugh when I asked.
Deborah...of Whidbey Island long before it was chic and of Robe Valley in the Cascade foothills where we shook our heads at the senselessness of "flatlanders"

Helen T in SC said...

Is this a book you got for Christmas and, if so, are there others you could mention?

Vicki Lane said...

There are a number of books that purport to give 'hillbilly' lore and language but this is the best done I've seen.

Yes, it was kind of a Christmas gift -- I often make a list of books I'd like to have and my husband gets them for me. I was in the bookstore (Accent on Books) doing some shopping and this caught my eye. So I bought it and gave it to him to wrap up for me -- silly games.

And I did get some other books and I'll do a post on them tomorrow or the next day.

Deborah -- you live in an area I've never visited. It sounds beautiful.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Thanks for the recommendation Vicki -- I'll check with my library -- barbara

dana said...

Just what I need, seriously. A good book of interesting information I can relax and read. No murder mysteries for me for a while! I need to relearn how to relax!

I'm on my way to Amazon.com, where I hope I can find this book. Thank you for recommending it.

Canyon Girl said...

I know I would enjoy this book. Thanks for recommending it and providing us with such wonderful quotes. The one-legged one had me giggling here.--Inger

tony said...

Best Wishes for 2011.Regards From Tony.

jennyfreckles said...

Sun and snow is a magic combination. And it's good to have an absorbing book to while away the time. I've just started reading yours!

Mama-Bug said...

Loved this post Vicki, got to get this book. Sounds like some good reading. I've already finished two of your books I got for Christmas. They are just too good to put down. Someone told me to get Sally Bliss' books; any comments? Hope you have a wonderful new year! Hugs from Mamabug!!!

Vicki Lane said...

I don't know of any books by a Sally Bliss, Mamabug. There is Sallie Bissell who has written four very good, somewhat dark, mysteries set in my area about Mary Crow, a half-Cherokee lawyer. I like these a lot. The first (if I remember correctly)is IN THE FOREST OF HARM.

Mama-Bug said...

Thanks Vicki! I'm glad you've given me the author's correct name; my friend is along in years and wasn't exactly sure. I'll check on Sallie's books next trip to the book store.

Tipper said...

It's on my list now : )