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notes to the prose and poems Selected Prose 1. The Cumberland Mountains,a portion of theAppalachian Mountains west of the Tennessee River Valley. 2. James Edward Oglethorpe (1696–1785) founded Georgia in 1733 and later served as the first colonial governor. 3. “Pided” is mountain dialect for having a sickly pallor. In this context, “moccasin ” refers to a water moccasin snake. 4. Granville Sharpe (1735–1813) was a leading British opponent of slavery. 5. The town of Darien was the site of the first English settlement in Georgia. 6. A large depression or sinkhole in the ground that usually occurs in areas containing primarily limestone rock. 7. In mountain dialect, “furren,” or foreign, can mean from anywhere beyond the familiar territory, not necessarily from a different country. 8. “Pretty Saro” is a traditional Appalachian love ballad. “Single Life” is a popular folk ballad extolling the single life from the perspective of a woman. 9. Tom Watson (1856–1922) was a Georgia politician who served as a U.S. senator and was the Populist candidate for the U.S. presidency in 1904 and 1908. His politics took a decidedly anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic turn at the end of his career. 10. Richard Dyer-Bennett (1913–91),hailed as “the twentieth-century minstrel,” was one of America’s most popular folk singers in the 1950s and 1960s. 11. Lowell, Massachusetts, was the scene of dramatic textile mill strikes by young women workers in 1834 and 1836. Falls River, Massachusetts, was the scene of a dramatic textile mill strike in 1903. “Brown lung” is a disease endemic to mill workers, caused by small lint particles in the air of the mill irritating the lungs of workers. In 1934, the United Textile Workers of America organized a general strike in all of the textile mills in Georgia.“Flying pickets” were groups of union advocates who attempted to spread the strike. Labor unions strongly prefer “closed shops,” where all employees must be union members, over “open shops,” where only employees who so choose have union dues deducted from their paychecks. Between 1963 and 1980 the Textile Workers Union of America attempted to organize the textile giant J. P. Stevens. The effort was widely known at the time this article was published (1979) because of a well-publicized boycott of J. P. Stevens products. 12. Textile mill strikes took place in Gastonia and Marion, North Carolina, and Elizabethton , Tennessee, in 1929. Cabbage Patch was the name given to one of the bestknown “poor white” neighborhoods of Atlanta. The neighborhood was so-named 04.Notes.205-blnk 216/West 12/2/03, 11:50 AM 205 206 because low-income people often ate cabbage,an inexpensive food,which,when cooked, emits a distinctive odor. 13. Tobacco Road (1932) by Erskine Caldwell (1903–87) is one of the best-known American novels depicting southern sharecroppers. 14. James Still (1906–2001) was one of the most respected Appalachian authors in the twentieth century,best known for his novel River of Earth (1940). Jesse Stuart (1906–84) was one of the most popular and prolific twentieth-century eastern Kentucky authors, best known for his novel Taps for Private Tussie (1943), which became a bestseller. 15. West is referring to the Berry School, in Rome, Georgia. 16. This gap in the Cumberlands, specifically in Walden’s Ridge that runs from Alabama into Virginia, provided relatively easy access from the South and East to the Bluegrass Region of what is now Kentucky for many early settlers, most famously for Daniel Boone in the late eighteenth century. 17. Hindman is the county seat of Knott County, Kentucky. The town is also the site of the Hindman Settlement School, which was founded in 1902 to serve youth in the mountain region. 18. Bad John Wright (1844–1931) was one of the most colorful characters near the border between eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia. Wright was a circus performer, a Pinkerton detective agent, a Confederate soldier, and the Sheriff of Wise County, Virginia. 19. John Fox Jr. (1862–1919) and Lucy Furman (1869–1958) were two of the more notable writers to publish stories about Appalachia in the early 1900s. Furman also taught at the Hindman Settlement School. She was the author of several books, most notably The Quare Women (1923). 20. Hindman, Kentucky, is located at the forks of Troublesome Creek. 21. Leather shoes commonly associated with poor working people. 22. Kim Mulkey was Don West’s maternal grandfather, a Radical...


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