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Saturday, June 12, 2010

America's Backbone

MOUNTAIN FOLK
By GC SMITH

Appalacians

I see them everywhere. In the cities now. On the streets. In the pool rooms, bars, fightin' clubs. In swank hotels. Still back in the Piney woods.

I see them drivin' pick up trucks. Driving BMWs.

Enduring people.

Wearing the Nation's uniforms. Fighting for the Government. Teaching school. Growing pot. Preserving the Nation. Turning wrenches. Drivin' tractors. Laying brick. Mending fences. Writing laws. Healing the halt and lame. Fighting the Government. Swilling shine.

Hardy folks.

Scots-Irish. Red Indians. Mulengeons. Blacks. Folks with religion. Folks without. Folks doing the hard work. Folks sticking to it. Folks living in the hardwood forests. Livin' in the long leaf pine stands. Cookin' corn whiskey. Hardscrabble farming. Strip mining. Building cabins. Cutting furrows. Building roads.

Good folks.

Folks on mountain roads. On white water rapids. On back trails. On ridge backs. In Hollers. In the hills. In Cypress Shacks. Folks caught in snow drifts. Folks hangin' on.

Music makers.

Dolly. Bill Monroe. Vassar Clements. Chet Atkins. Roy Acuff. Carters (Mother Maybelle. June, Helen and Anita. A.P.). Johnny. Emmylou. Jerry Douglas. Allison. Lester Flatt. Nitty Gritties (Hanna-Ibbotson-Fadden-McEuen-Thompson). Doc Watson. Bela Fleck. Merle Travis. John Prine. Randy Scruggs. Ricky Skaggs. Earl Scruggs.

Footstomping, finger tapping multitudes.

Keepers of the circle. Folks playin' dobro tuned guitars. Mandolins. Autoharps. Washboards. Fiddles. Mouth Organs. Upright bass. Folks voices, solo and harmony. Folks clog dancing. Whiskey sippin'. Singing rounds. Dancin' squares. Early day and modern music makers.

Folks insuring enduring circles.

Singing. Amazin' Grace. Just a Closer walk. Life's Railway. Little Mountain Church House. One Step Over the Line. Walkin' Shoes Don't Fit Me. You Don't Know My Mind. Wildwood Flower. Honky Tonk Blues. Grandpa Was a Carpenter. Lost River. Diamond In the Rough. Sunny Side. Fishin' Blues. Earl's Breakdown. Will the Circle be Unbroken?

Appalachia-Appalachians.

America's backbone. America's people. The circle endures, unbroken.

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