• Episode 71: Musician's Creative Life on the Road with Andrew Wakefield

    In this episode of "Gateway to the Smoky Podcast," host Joseph Franklyn McElroy introduces listeners to Andrew Wakefield, a Asheville-based musician known for blending traditional and modern sounds into his music. Andrew shares his global influences, from a childhood in Korea to Southern and Appalachian music. They discuss Andrew's journey through various music genres, his current bluegrass focus, and the importance of live performance energy. The conversation also touches on the challenges of a musician's life, including constant travel and the need for creative space. Andrew highlights Chimney Rock as a must-visit in the Smoky Mountains and recommends Gypsy Queen for dining in Asheville. Listeners can learn more about Andrew's work and upcoming gigs through his website.

    E71 - 21m - Nov 9, 2023
  • Episode 70: Cooking Authentically with Jennifer Cole

    About this Episode:

    In this podcast episode, I interview Jennifer Cole, a successful chef who has won the competition show “Chopped” and has been cooking professionally for over 25 years. We discuss her career path, including working in Atlanta, New Orleans, Paris, and Spain before returning to her family farm in Haywood County. Cole emphasizes her interest in working with local farmers and using locally sourced ingredients in her cooking. The conversation also touches on topics such as the importance of creativity and understanding recipe rules as a chef, favorite ingredients like olive oil and heirloom beans, and the growing trend of farm weddings.

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    00:00: 27–00:01: 01 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Hello. This is Joseph Franklyn McElroy here with the Gateway to the Smokies podcast. I have with me today my guest Jennifer Cole, who is a native of western North Carolina. And her family has actually been in Haywood County for generations. And she’s had a successful career as a chef for over 20 years, including winning chopped on in season 8. Hello, Jennifer, how are you doing? 

    00:01:01–00:01: 02 Jennifer Cole:  Good, how are you? 

    00:01:02–00:01: 03 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Yeah, cool. 

    00:01:04–00:01: 05 Jennifer Cole: Good to be here. 

    00:01:05–00:01: 11 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: How was that how was that? Was that exciting to win the season? Was it a difficult challenge? 

    00:01:11–00:01: 20 Jennifer Cole: Well, you know, it was a lot of fun. I think a lot of people didn’t really expect an old gal to be able to win it. 

    00:01:20–00:01: 21 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Yeah. 

    00:01:21–00:01: 23 Jennifer Cole: Yeah, So it was a lot of fun. 

    00:01:24–00:01: 25 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: And what did you cook?

    00:01:25–00:01: 28 Jennifer Cole: Oh, God, it was a lot of stuff. Three different courses.

    00:01:29–00:01: 31 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   Really? They give you the ingredients, say, make it.

    00:01:31–00:01: 40 Jennifer Cole: In a basket. It’s actually one of the few TV shows. It’s real. They actually give you a basket, and you don’t know until you open it. 

     00:01:41–00:01: 44 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Really? Wow. And then you have to figure out so can create and be able to fly. So creativity is very big.

    00:01:44–00:01: 45 Jennifer Cole: Very important.

    00:01:47–00:02: 13 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Well, when you reach out to us after moving here, I sort of gave you the challenge in a spot to come up with a guest chef menu here at the Homecraft at the Meadowlark Motel. And you did a really fantastic job. We had a lot of people show up. What were the three dishes were a moose. 

    00:02:13–00:02: 40 Jennifer Cole: I did a Mexican chocolate mousse is the dessert. For the appetizer, I did roasted beefs with field greens that I picked on my farm. That was with local trap that I cured overnight. And then for the entree, I did a red one braised local beef cheeks with goat cheese Ballinta. I mean, goat cheese risotto. 

    00:02:41–00:02: 53 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Wow. Yeah. That was really fantastic. That was good. Well, you said you’ve been cooking as a professional for 30 years. For 20. What was your first cooking job? 

    00:02:53–00:03: 18 Jennifer Cole:  Well, I put myself through college waiting tables and cooking. I was waiting tables, and they were short of line cooks, and they’re like they asked for a volunteer among the wait staff. And so I was like, I’ll go home. So started doing that. Also worked for a catering company in Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Catering Company, which still exists. And that’s how I got started. 

    00:03:18–00:03: 27 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Yeah. And then did you experiment with other careers for a little while or anything, or did you just go straight into cooking as a career?

    00:03:28–00:03: 45 Jennifer Cole:  Well, studying political science at Chapel Hill to go into law, and then decided the decided, there’s a lot of lawyers out there. I want to do this. I like the instant gratification of seeing people’s face light up when you let them try something new. 

    00:03:45–00:03: 46 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Right. Yeah. 

    00:03:46–00:03: 57 Jennifer Cole:  So went to Atlanta and did an 18 month apprenticeship with a very well known at the time chef in Atlanta and started there. 

    00:03:57–00:04: 12 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   Cool. And what do you think is more important in being a chef? Is it understanding the science and the rules of recipes or creativity?

    00:04:12–00:04: 20 Jennifer Cole:  Well, science and rules usually go more toward pastry or baking. You have to understand the rules so you can bend them. 

    00:04:20–00:04:21 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   Right. 

    00:04:21–00:04: 26 Jennifer Cole:  And you have to be able to be creative to bend them. So a little bit of both. 

    00:04:26–00:04:45 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Cool. All right. I took one class, I think, in New York City. Was it Culinary Institute? And I think there was a question at one point said, what’s your favorite ingredient? What’s the best ingredient? Baking or butter? 

    00:04:47–00:04: 48 Jennifer Cole:  Well, I think olive oil. 

    00:04:48–00:04:52 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Olive oil, okay. There you go. Good. Olive oil.

    00:04:52–00:05:02 Jennifer Cole: I mean, I was in Spain for twelve years and that was beaten into my head. Butter is France, olive oil is Spain and southern Italy. 

    00:05:02- -00:05:05 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Okay. And it’s better for you. 

    00:05:05–00:05:07 Jennifer Cole: Yeah, I mean, butter’s a lot of fun. 

    00:05:07- -00:05:17 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Yeah, butters is a lot of fun. Yeah. Especially on biscuits. So you’ve lived in, you were here, you were in Atlanta, right? 

    00:05:18–00:05:40 Jennifer Cole:  I cooked in Atlanta for five years, and then I moved to New Orleans for a couple of years, and then I moved to Spain for twelve. I was in Paris for two, and then moved to New York when the economy tanked in 2008. 

    And then moved back to New Orleans in 2015 and have just moved home to my family farm. 

    00:05:40- -00:05:44 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: That’s fabulous. Of all those places, where did you have the most fun cooking? 

    00:05:44–00:05:49 Jennifer Cole:  I have fun cooking wherever I go. I mean, you got to have fun. 

    00:05:50 -00:05:56 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Yeah. Well, it sounds like Madrid was the biggest experience, so that must have been very formative. 

    00:05:57–00:06:07 Jennifer Cole: Spain was very formative, and Spanish cuisine is amazing and diverse and regional. And you can find something new every day. But you can do that up here too. 

    00:06:08 -00:06:15 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Of course. Both New Orleans and New York City are food towns. Right. 

    00:06:15–00:06:19 Jennifer Cole:  Frankly, in my opinion, new Orleans beats New York. 

    00:06:19 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Really? 

    00:06:19–00:06:27 Jennifer Cole: Yeah. You got four full growing seasons. You got fresh produce all the time. 

    00:06:28 -00:06:30 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: That’s good. You got great seafood, 

    00:06:30 -00:06:41 Jennifer Cole:  you got great seafood, you got great charcutory, you’ve got great local farms, which is very near and dear to my heart. So, all that.

    00:06:42 -00:06:49 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Well, we’re filming here at the Meadowlark so we’ll get a little bit of background noise. I hope everybody doesn’t mind. Hope you don’t mind. 

    00:06:50 Jennifer Cole: I don’t mind. 

    00:06:50 -00:06:54 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  So what inspires you to move back to Haywood County? 

    00:06:55 -00:07:16 Jennifer Cole:  Well, my family is from here. I own a farm with my two brothers, and we’re not doing anything with it, so I wanted to move home. And while I am working as a chef, I also want to do some stuff on my farm. We got a lot of lands to play with. 

    00:07:17 -00:07:18 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Yeah. How many acres you got there?

    00:07:18 Jennifer Cole: 90,

    00:07:18 -00:07:24 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   90 acres. Wow, that’s a nice big farm. Was it farmed in the past? 

    00:07:25 -00:08:00 Jennifer Cole: When I was a kid, it was a tobacco farm. My grandfather always had cattle on it. We had pigs when I was a very small kid. And then when my dad took it over, turned it in more into a gentleman’s farm and grew gardens and had goats and had a couple of Sicilian donkeys and turkeys and guineafall. And right now we are just playing with it, renting it out to a couple of different local farmers. 

    00:08:00 -00:08:34 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:    All right, so that’s great, right? Yeah. There’s a number of farms, I guess you would call them becoming gentleman farms at Haywood County. There’s actually one that’s out over in Crab Tree that is a bison farm. But they’ve also put in train cars as like, cabins that you can rent and they have a whole train thing. Is that something you’d be looking to do? Is that make yours into the destination as well? 

    00:08:35 -00:08:36 Jennifer Cole:  No, definitely not. 

    00:08:36 -00:08:38 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Purely just a farm. Farm, farm. That’s cool. 

    00:08:39 -00:08:55 Jennifer Cole: Although we do have somebody that’s coming tomorrow to take pictures with, I think, like a bridal party on the farm. She has an agreement with my brother that as long as she gives us a heads up, she’s welcome to do that also.

    00:08:58 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:Farm weddings? 

    00:08:59 Jennifer Cole: Yeah. 

    00:09:00 -00:09:01 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  You got some pictures? I guess. 

    00:09:01 -00:09:10 Jennifer Cole: I just want to know if they’re on the property so I don’t call the police. 

    00:09:10 -00:09:15 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  You mentioned pig farms. I don’t remember a lot of those around here growing up. 

    00:09:15 -00:09:28 Jennifer Cole: It’s usually for self-use. I mean, we would have pigs for us a year. Okay, I’m not talking a huge pig farm. 

    00:09:30 -00:09:46 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Well, it was strange. I was walking around with my kids in Asheville, in North Asheville, not too far from downtown. All of a sudden we passed around the corner and they were in the backyard. There was somebody that had a huge hog right in the backyard in Ashville. I was like, how are they doing that? They smell pretty bad, don’t they? 

    00:09:46 -00:09:49 Jennifer Cole:  Actually, they don’t. They don’t smell as bad as chickens do. 

    00:09:49 -00:10:03 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Really? Chickens are pretty tasty smelling. I mean, how tasty is it? Like only when they don’t smell too good. When they’re not cooked organic odor. Cool. 

    00:10:03 -00:10:10 Jennifer Cole:  But in New Orleans, you have feral chickens running around all over. Yeah, it’s very interesting. 

    00:10:10 -00:10:15 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  So you mentioned how you really want to work with local farmers. What’s your vision there? 

    00:10:15 -00:10:45 Jennifer Cole:  Well, I’m as a chef, and I love working with local produce. I’m an avid forager and still a beginner, but still very interested in that. I can’t wait until the farmers market in Waynesville opens in April. Looking forward to doing business with them personally and hopefully as a chef. 

    00:10:45 -00:11:03 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Cool. There’s a couple of people that have been on this podcast before. I’ll introduce you to Ila Hatter, who’s a well-renowned forager right? And you might find some interesting. And then there’s Will Ritter, who is up in Madison County is doing heritage seeds. 

    00:11:03 -Jennifer Cole:  Oh, interesting.

    00:11:04 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Right? 

    00:11:06 -00:11:12 Jennifer Cole:  We have a couple of heirloom seeds that have been we had some beans that have been in my family for at least four or five generations. 

    00:11:12 -00:11:25 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Right. Wow, cool. He’d probably lived to collect those and having the opportunity to share with you. Yeah, I love bold beans. The big long ones like that. Yeah. All right.

    00:11:26-00:11:27 Jennifer Cole: You grow them in your cornfield? 

    00:11:27 -00:11:48 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Yeah, that’s what I’m planning to have a little bit of corn and beans this year. Maybe you’ll give me some of your beans. We’ll see you here. Now, you’re looking for besides building your farm, you’re also looking to work with various restaurants or whatever that might want. 

    00:11:50- 00:11:58 Jennifer Cole: Some good for a good fit. Not only teach a good staff, and build a good staff, but learn from people. 

    00:11: -00:11:48 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  That’s interesting. I mean, the reason we exist is to focus a little bit on the heritage of mountain culture foods. Mostly smokeys, but also other mountain cultures. And that seems to be your interest now. 

    00:11:50- 00:12:38 Jennifer Cole: Absolutely. I mean, I’ve been very lucky dealing with I mean, outside of Madrid, right behind Madrid, you have a huge mountain range, and there’s a lot of classic dishes that are from up there that I had the pleasure learning from people not only as a chef but through friends and their mothers and their grandmothers. 

    00:12:38 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  And you were in Mexico, too? 

    00:12:38- 00:12:46 Jennifer Cole: I’ve been to Mexico, but oahuka, I haven’t been to Wahaka yet. I’m supposed to go to Wahaka this summer. 

    00:12:46 -00:12:48 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  All right, cool. Because those are mountain cultures. 

    00:12:48- 00:12:49 Jennifer Cole: Yeah, for sure. 

    00:12:49 -00:12:59 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  We were talking about the Mexican foods that you were doing. 

    Cool. Well, how can people find out more about you? 

    00:12:59- 00:13:03 Jennifer Cole : They can go on my Facebook or they can go on my Instagram. 

    00:13:03 -00:13:04 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  And what’s your Facebook? 

    00:13:04- 00:13:17 Jennifer Cole : My Facebook is Jennifer Louise Cole. 

    And my Instagram is what is my Instagram? I think it’s Chef Jennifer Cole. 

    00:13:18– 00:13:23 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Okay, cool. Was there anything else you would like to mention about shout out about things. 

    00:13:23- 00:13:30 Jennifer Cole: Meadowlark. You all should come in and go out and good music. I’m definitely coming tomorrow night. 

    00:13:30– 00:13:52 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Oh, yeah. We got some Ananna Kay who’s going to be doing some up-and-coming big-time artist in Nashville. And then we got your menu again tomorrow night with the beef cheeks and the mousse and the salad, and that’s going to be great. It’s been a good week, and people love the food. A lot of got great reviews. Good shoutouts from that. 

    00:13:52- 00:13:58 Jennifer Cole: We had a bunch of people in from Waynesville on Tuesday night and all loved everything, which is a lot of fun. 

    00:13:58– 00:14:08 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  It’s a big table. Well, thank you for being on the podcast. All right. And we look forward to working with you some more. 

    00:14:08- 00:14:09 Jennifer Cole: Thank you. 

    00:14:10– 00:14:11 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  All right, bye, everybody. Bye. 

    00:14:11 00:14:12 Jennifer Cole: Bye y'all

    E70 - 14m - Mar 15, 2023
  • Episode 69: Darren Nicholson - The Intimacy of Bluegrass Culture

    Our special guest in this episode is Darren Nicholson.

    Darren Nicholson ended his relationship with Balsam Range and has launched out in new directions with his music.

    Darren shares all about his new music, what he's been up to, and how the major life-changing events in his life have shaped him into who he is today.



    00:00: 27--00:00: 55 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Hi, this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy with the Gateway to the Smokies podcast, talking about the people and culture of the Smoky Mountains where my family has been around for a couple of hundred years. And I own a business here called the Meadowlark Motel as well as a restaurant called Homecraft. And I'm pretty proud to be back in the area and meeting and greeting, and talking to some wonderful people, like my guest today, Darren Nicholson. How are you doing, Darren? 

    00:00: 56--00:00: 58 Darren Nicholson:  Doing great, Joseph. Thank you so much for having me on. 

    00:00: 58--00:01: 12 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Sure. Last time I had you on the previous podcast series and I did a whole intro. But why don't you do three sentences of what you think is your highlights of your bio? 

    00:01:14--00:01:20 Darren Nicholson:  I'm the world's foremost turkey hypnotist. 

    00:01: 20--00:01:21  Joseph Franklyn McElroy: There you go. 

    00:01:21--00:01:31 Darren Nicholson: I wear frilly leg warmers, and I have quite an impressive Beanie Baby collection. 

    00:01: 31--00:01:49  Joseph Franklyn McElroy: There you go. Let me tell you, I have to look at you quite a bit because you gave me a shirt with I think it was a picture of your album of you with a rose in your teeth doing a deep sort of lunge in your underwear, right? 

    00:01:50 --00:01:53 Darren Nicholson: Yes. It's a provocative pose for an early morning. 

    00:01: 53--00:02:14  Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  The problem is you put that on a T-shirt that's soft that my wife grabbed it and she wears it to bed about once a week. So I got to look at your face in a bone about once a week. 

    00:02:14 --00:02:58 Darren Nicholson: It's actually the evening before pill. It's not the morning-after pill. It's the evening before you put that on and make sure nothing happens in the bedroom. That was actually a graphic. A guy in Kentucky did that graphic. His name is Jonathan Carroll. He's a great graphic artist. He was nominated for an IBMA award this year for his graphic art. But he took me and it was the if you remember, the Seinfeld episode with George Costanza on the couch that pose in his underwear. It was basically kind of a spoof on that version of this. I still have a few of those left, believe it or not. I did not sell all of those. 

    00:02: 58--00:03:47  Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Well, for the folks out there who might not know, which I doubt, I think everybody's going to know. But Darren is one of the foremost musicians in American and bluegrass today, and he has a solo career, and he also has been a member of several bands. Most recently, he left Balsam Range, which is one of the top bluegrass bands in the world right now. I'm assuming that you were looking to pursue new opportunities and new opera things. So what is new with your career in that regard? And I guess you have a new bluegrass booze, right? 

    00:03:47 --00:06:26 Darren Nicholson: Yeah, got a brand new bluegrass record that I finished last year, actually. But the first single just came out on January 29. It's called Arkansas without you. And it's a host of hot young pickers and I'm really excited about the new bluegrass project. And so far the thing, it's got raised reviews. It's been a long time since Balsam Range. I've been in the studio, and my departure from Balsam Range is definitely not an end for me. It's a new beginning. I did 15 years. I was an original member, and I'm very grateful for those 15 years, but definitely got to a place professionally and personally where I wanted to do something different. Balsam Range, a lot of people don't realize, has always been well, not always, but for the last at least ten years has been a part-time band and so with every year, the dates have seemed to be doing less and less. And I think that's by choice. I think that's what they want to do. But they only did 30 dates last year. That was what was on the calendar, around 30 dates. And I did about 250 dates on my own, so I couldn't by the time it was the smoke cleared, I did about 290 performance dates last year. And so it got to it just got to a place in my career where instead of doing a couple of part-time things, the opportunity presented itself for me to play music full-time and focus on my full-time solo career. And to be honest with you, it was a no-brainer. I had to do it for my business, and then I had to do it for my mental health, too. It's hard juggling a schedule and setting a calendar because people would try to book me for the fall of next year. And I was constantly in limbo with their schedule and what they may or may not do. It was a difference in direction of my career. And it's nothing personal, it's nothing against them. They're going to continue doing what they do, and I wish them well. But I've got a singular focus. I'm a lot happier and it's a lot less stressful trying to juggle a bunch of things, so I'm in a much better place. 

    00:06: 26--00:07:07  Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  I remember last time we talked, I listened to quite a bit of your solo stuff, right?  There were some of the American, almost country music things that I really liked a lot. And you had a little bit of sort of bluesy parts to it and some real almost southern rock rifts and things like that. I thought, wow, you should be out there doing a lot on your own, which of course you were, but I think you keep rising higher, just mean yourself, right?

     00:07:10 --00:09:58 Darren Nicholson:  That's it.  Well, that seems to be knock-on-wood, the direction things are going. And part of it is if you're always comfortable, that means you're not growing. And so I don't want to get into a place with my music where I'm doing the same sets all the time, or I'm just doing the same thing. I wanted to get outside the box, and get outside of my comfort zone. I'm writing songs. So the record you're talking about is called the man on a Mission. And that album, I had another guy produce it, Jeff Collins. And I had a whole cast of musicians that I don't normally use, and it forced me in a different direction. And that's what I wanted.  I wanted something new and organic to get me out of my comfort zone and push my own creativity and my own growth, to push my boundaries a little bit. And it was a great experience. And so with this new bluegrass record, I did the same thing, but in a different direction. I've produced several records on my own, and so I know what that sounds like. So I got a young guy, a guy I play a lot of music with named Colby Laney. He's from Marion, North Carolina, and he's probably the best acoustic guitar player on the planet. Or if he's not, he's one of the leading three. He's incredible. But I had him coproduce it with me and he brought this new energy and new life to my bluegrass recordings, and that's what I wanted. I picked all musicians I'm only 39, but all musicians who were younger than me and who were all more progressive players.  I did. And it just put me I'm still doing what I do. I play like I play, I sing like I sing. But with this other cast, with different musicians, it's going to have a different sound, and I want to keep doing that. There are musicians that I look up to, like Marty Stewart and Darryl Scott who marty Stewart will do a black gospel record, then he'll do a rock record, then he'll do a country record. But it's always good. But it's got a different feel. And in the last record he did, he had Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He had him produce it. And I like the even for seasoned musicians who have a style and an idea of music, it's good to get out of your comfort zone. And so that's what I do. 

    00:9: 59--00:10:47  Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   I agree. One of the things that surprised me in talking to you is that you really have an artistic mind. Right. There are a lot of artists that are really focused on the craft, and you are great at your craft. There's nothing to short you there. But you also get into the whole conceptual, artistic thinking as well, about the concept of what you're doing, the concept of what you're playing, like partnering with the younger players, I think it makes your work have a depth that is unique a lot of times. So I'm pretty excited about what you're doing. How do you think it'll change your live performances? 

    00:10:48 --00:013:37 Darren Nicholson:   It already has. Playing with Colby and just the last few years, it's reinvigorated my interest in music. And so for years and years, I would do shows and I would just show up and play, and I would go home or go do whatever. But during the pandemic, when I had some personal changes and some lifestyle changes, I've almost had this rebirth and this fire reignited in me for music. And so I find myself every day writing songs or getting my instruments out of the case and practicing at home. Plus, I play shows five or six days a week somewhere. I'm doing a lot of traveling, a lot of playing, but I'm really inspired to get better and being with young musicians with different ideas and new ideas to kind of get me out of my thing, I think it's important.  I love that saying, if you do what you've always done, you'll have what you've always had. And so I want to get out of my comfort zone a little bit. I want to grow my business. I want to grow my music. And the biggest thing for me is not about when I say grow my music, I don't necessarily mean I want my name in the Marquee Lights, playing in front of 10,000 people or playing arenas. I want to do more shows, and I don't care if the shows are for less people. I like the intimate listening rooms, and I like smaller crowds. I've been doing a lot of solo and due at shows, and a lot of this came out of the pandemic where I was doing house concerts and these smaller things, and it just clicked with me.  I'm like, man, this is how this music was intended. When I look at your background, what I see is I see people in these mountains, on their porches and in their living rooms playing music. That's how I grew up. And then when we started doing that during the pandemic, there's a connection that happens with the music that does not happen at a big theater show or a big arena. There's a connection that happens when you can almost reach out and touch the artist with the music that's so organic. And I'm like, that is what I want to grow into. I want to be the guy who takes music everywhere.  I want to share the joy and share music and share culture, and I want to be an ambassador for Western North Carolina music and for the culture that I love and make people happy in the process. 

    00:13: 38--00:14:09  Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  That's pretty fantastic. You mentioned songwriting. I saw on your Facebook the other day you had just written a song with Charles Humphrey III, who's also been on this show and is a friend of the gateway that smoked his podcast, and you sang it. It was really nice. So you're doing a lot of songwriting, and you talk about it quite a bit, but did you start playing first or songwriting first, and what inspired your interest in spotting songwriting? 

    00:14:10 --00:014:18   Darren Nicholson:  Well, are you talking about, would I get interested in just performing music first or songwriting? 

    00:14: 18--00:14:58  Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   Well, it's interesting the question is, I think some people in my craft, which is doing painting and things like that, some people become just interested, really drawing well, or really painting a rose and doing it really well, or other people have a purpose that they're doing it for. They want to communicate something, they want to say something and have meaning behind the craft. So what is your approach? 

    00:14:59 --00:017:15   Darren Nicholson:  Well, that is my approach to songwriting is I love songs that tell stories and songs that have a deeper meaning. I don't like songs that paint pictures. Like my grandpa's cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountain hills. We played there when I was a kid, like nostalgia songs and things like that. To me, anybody can write those. But when you start getting into deeper meaning, like talking about love or hope or inspiration or a message in a song or telling a story, basically turning a three and a half minute musical piece, it's basically like a three and a half minute sitcom. I think those kind of songs connect on a deeper level, and that's usually what I'm going for. We don't always do it. Sometimes we write silly songs, sometimes you're not going to change the world with every song. But those are the songs that I like, and that's what I'm trying to do with my songwriting, is write something that's meaningful to somebody. But for the song we wrote the other day, I put a really rough video out on Facebook, and it was not the greatest singing or playing, it was just really rough and raw. And to do that, it takes vulnerability. There are some artists who really hide behind going into the recording studio, you know what I mean? Once Pro Tools and everything's run through, they sound like a million bucks. But you don't ever see them sing live. You don't ever see them. You get on there with just them and their instrument and perform. And I think there's a vulnerability about that. If you can translate it well enough to convey the emotion.  I think people are connected to the wrongness of that on a certain level. And I be dang. I put that video out and I got a call from a national touring act. That's one of the biggest acts in bluegrass. And before the day was out, they're going in next week and recording that song. 

    00:17: 16--00:17:18  Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Oh, my gosh, 

    00:17:18 --00:017:20   Darren Nicholson:  We wrote that song two days ago. 

    00:17: 20--00:17:22  Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  That's fabulous. That's the way to do it. 

    00:17:24 --00:017:38  Darren Nicholson: They said, do you have a work tape of it? And I said, well, we just wrote it like 30 minutes ago, and I had a rough work tape of it on my phone. I sent it, that and the lyrics, and they called me right back and said, we're going to cut it next week. 

    00:17: 38--00:18:38 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Wow, fabulous. There you go. My conversations with you. We're planning a performance, and this is my little pitch for the Meadowlark I'm weaving it in here, but the Meadowlark Motel has a speakeasy called the Skylark SpeakEasy. And we've been talking to you about it. We've been doing some great musical acts there and talking to you. You really had the idea of saying, I'll do some set of music, but then I want to have conversations with the audience and then I may even jam with some people that might show up. It seems to be that this sense of community and intimacy is central to what you do and why you left Balsam Range and why you're performing and you said small clubs and things like that.  I think one of the essences of what you're trying to be is a community and having intimacy with your community. 

    00:18:38 --00:020:42  Darren Nicholson:  It's an organic approach, but I think that's how you build long-term fans. And when I was talking about that vulnerability, like in that video, when you connect with people on a personal level, people would see me with Balsam range, and they only saw probably really about 5% of what I can do. If you want to get to know me and my personality and my ability, my talent, you would come to see me at a solo show or one of my other performances. And that's not for everybody. Some people don't like my music or my personality, and that's fine. They don't have to come. But for the people who do and come see me in that capacity, that's the way to build relationships. And I'm not really interested in making fans. I want to make friends and I want to perpetuate the kind of culture that I was brought up in. That very much is a sense of community. The technological world has created a place where people are missing a sense of belonging, and that's why they join these little groups, and that's why there's a division in politics and there's a division in social issues. Because anytime people are so disconnected in a way, it's way that they can feel a part of any kind of group, it's almost like, this is my family online, this is my tribe. And so I want to kind of do that with music. I want to make a place where people can come together with music.  And you don't have to worry about politics, you don't have to worry about social issues, you don't have to worry about enjoying music and just having fun. A night of entertainment. 

    00:20: 42--00:22:20 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   I grew up in the smoking mountains here, and I get it really well. Recently, my family first got the Meadowlark Motel, my grandmother, first of my parents, and they hired maid who was with us for a long time, and us kids would actually work with her and clean and became good friends. She actually sort of babysitters and things like that. And then her sister was much younger than her, came and did some things here. Well, recently her sister showed back up here to come to the restaurant, and she saw pictures on the wall community. She came to talk to me, and her sister had died.  And the fact that we're celebrating the culture that was here and is still here, she started crying, and she started talking and being part of it, and other people communicate, but even with the people that you worked with, there was a sense of community and intimacy and understanding that existed here. And I really appreciate that. You are perpetuating. I can remember the old timers would get together in a basement and have a little party, right, and bring out their instruments and sing, and then people would start clogging and dancing. That sort of is a way of life and a way of being that you felt connected. And I understand what you're talking about. Right. Do you think the way you design this program that you're going to do with Meadowlark is stemming from directly from that culture? I think it does. 

    00:22:21 --00:023:45  Darren Nicholson:   It does. Yeah. And that's what I want people to get to know me especially. There are fans of Balsam Range who are like, why in the world would you leave why would you leave that band when they seem to be doing all these things? And it's like, well, this is a good opportunity. If people have questions about my career, like what I want to do, why I want to play music, why I want to do more shows, or why I want to do the things that I want to do, I can explain it to them, and then they don't have to keep guessing. I don't expect questions about Balsam Range, but they can ask me questions about my childhood, how I got into music, the music business, instruments, whatever.  I think when you have an evening like that with people, it's different than just buying a ticket, sitting in a seat, watching somebody play for an hour, and then going home and be like, hey, that was good. There's a connectivity that I think goes along with the music that is just as important. 

    00:23: 46--00:24:17 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:   Well, we've been having some weekly jams here on Sundays, five to seven people listening, and I'm hoping some of them old-time players we had this last Sunday old time, like 70 something, 75 something people show up and just started clogging, and they're, you know, singing and playing. I hope some of them come and take you up on the offer to jam with them at the end. That would be a major, I think, cultural moment. 

    00:24: 18 --00:024:45  Darren Nicholson:  So that's what it's all about. And I remember, like, players that I looked up to and players that I wanted to play. I remember when people like Steve Sutton or Mark Pruitt or Arvill Freeman were like, hey, man, get your manly. And Ralph Lewis would always take his Manlyn off and hand it to me, and that was a big deal. He's like, get up and play one with the band that meant so much to me, to a young budding musician. And it's like, man, that was a self-esteem builder. That was a motivator. And I also remember the musicians that were kind of like, who made me feel less than, too, you know what I mean? Who made me feel like, hey, you're not good enough to play with me or don't talk to me. And I do not want to perpetuate and I don't want to come across with that kind of attitude because I have zero tolerance for that. And I'm sure I've probably people the wrong way if I've been in a bad mood after a show or something. I've not lived my life perfectly, but I've never intentionally ever wanted to make someone feel bad or not make someone feel welcome. People remember how you make them feel. I love that. I love that about my musical heroes, Steve and Ralph. Those are the kind of things that I don't want to die. These old times. 

    00:25: 46--00:26:18 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: That's right. The reason I'm here, too, is because I don't want that culture to die. I'm trying to do my part also, my little tiny part, to try to perpetuate and progress it. It doesn't have to be these mummified things. It can be a thing that grows right. And I'm glad that you are helping grow that now. I was trying to keep this to about 30 minutes, so we're about at that time, what do you want to tell people? Shout out to people to find out more or look you up or what do you want to tell them? 

    00:26: 18 --00:027:29  Darren Nicholson:  Well, a couple of things going on. I've been working really hard on doing a benefit. It's going to do a lot to help the community. The Steve Sutton Fest is going to happen June 3rd at Silverado in Black Mountain, and proceeds are going to go to Haywood County schools, Buckham county schools, and the IBMA trust fund. That's going to be on June 3 at Silverado with Perpetual Groove being the headliner. But then also I have a brand new single out. It's called Arkansas without you. You can stream it anywhere. Spotify pandora apple Music Arkansas Without You I've got a brand new bluegrass record out with songs that I've written. And if you go to my website dear Nicholson Net, I've got about 120 dates on the books for next year and going to be going all across the country and probably we're going to do over 200 when the smoke clears the road dates, and going to be traveling out further, doing a tour out west. Going to Canada. It's a really exciting time, so I encourage people to come out and see some live music. 

    00:27: 30--00:29:00 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Well, thank you very much for being on the show. I might mention that Darren also plays a lot here in the Smoky, especially in Hayward County. So if you can't find a place in the country, just come here and visit and stay at the Meadowlark Motel he might be here or he'll be some other great place here in town. There are a lot of wonderful music venues and things in Hayward County that are worthwhile and have a lot of authenticity. Right. Haywood County has not become a dramatically corporate tourist county. It's still pretty authentic in terms of the way of life and how people live here and how people enjoy music. So come on down to hear them out, either on the road or here. I'll just shout out if you can find out more about the Meadowlark Motel@ meadowlarkmotel.com and if you go slash homecraft, you'll find out about a restaurant, which is almost it's a mountain heritage food with a twist. My wife is from Trinidad, and we do a lot of Caribbean Trinidad spices and things like tomato gravy or cream corn. We just twisted a little bit. But you still taste the authenticity of these mountains in there. People are just raving about it. And we're getting great reviews online and some newspapers are great. And when you come here, you're going to get some Darren. All right. I hope I'll get a testimonial out of that. 

    00:29:00 --00:029:01  Darren Nicholson: I like your haircut.

    00:29: 02--00:29:57 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  It's the perfect haircut. The Gateway to Smokies podcast exists on Smokiesadventure.com. It has its own Facebook page, but all the episodes, the previous ones had a couple of different series, longer episodes, but these are going to be shorter but more fun episodes. And you can go there and find more about everything in the Smokies because it's also a great site for directories of things like places to stay, lodging all over the Smokies, not just Haywood County, and what to do, and attractions and things like that. So thank you all for listening. This has been the gateway to the Smokies podcast. You can go to Facebook.com, Gatewaytothesmokiespodcast, or you can go to Smokiesadventure.com to find out more about this. And I'll see you all next week. 

    00:29:59 --00:030:00 Hey, thanks for having me. Bye. 

    S3E69 - 30m - Feb 8, 2023
  • Episode 68: Overcoming Songwriters Block with the Nashville Legend Jim Lauderdale

    Joseph Franklyn McElroy got a chance to interview our special guest this week, Jim Lauderdale. Jim won two Grammys, released 34 full-length albums, and took home the Americana Music Association’s coveted Wagonmaster Award. But his forthcoming album Game Changer is convincing evidence that the North Carolina native is only continuing to hone his craft.

    Check out this episode to hear about how he’s been making music, the strategies and techniques that help him stay inspired and focused on his craft, and what advice he’d have for other musicians in their own creative pursuits.


    Also, we’ve got something special for all of you #music lovers, and it’s a bit of a collaboration between Jim Lauderdale and friends. The #Songwriters Camp and Concert on August 12- 13,2022, will feature our own special guest Jim Lauderdale with Charles, Humphrey III, Darren Nicholson, Clay Mills, and Charles Chamberlain, who will be instructing on songwriting techniques and helping out with some live performances. This event is going to be jam-packed full fun, so be sure to check it out!


    #smokymountainsnationalpark #songwriter #northcarolina #maggievalley #podcast



    00:00: 27--00:00: 47 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Howdy. Welcome to the gateway to the Smokies podcast. This podcast is about America's most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In the surrounding towns, this area is filled with ancient natural beauty, deep-storied history, and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

     00:00: 48--00:01: 01 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin McElroy, a man of the World, but also with deep roots in these mountains. My family has lived in the Great Smokies for over 200 years. My business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

    00:01: 02--00:01: 27 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: First a few sponsor messages and some events coming up. I want you to imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, yet modern and vibrant, with a chic Appalachian field. A place for adventure and for relaxation. Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage, trout stream, grill to catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

    00:01: 28--00:01: 39 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds. There is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley, North Carolina. Your Smoky Mountain Adventure Starts with Where you Stay.

    00:01: 40--00:02: 07 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Another sponsor is Smokiesadventure.com. That's smokies plural. Adventure, singular. The Smoky Mountains and surrounding area is a vacation destinations for all seasons. Some of the nation's best hiking trails, waterfalls, outdoor adventures, and family entertainment can be found right here. Start your adventure by using Smokiesadventure.com to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    00:02: 08--00:02: 18 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: The trails, the waterfalls, the caves, cove, the elk, and more. Then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment you and your family can enjoy.

    00:02: 19--00:02: 35 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Find lodging, find places to stay. Find places to eat. Find where you can do outdoor life events like weddings and honeymoons. It's all at Smokiesadventure.com, which is the leading information portal for adventure experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains.

    00:02: 36--00:02: 54 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: So, events coming up at the Meadowlark, August 12 to 13th we're having a Songwriters Camp it's a songwriter’s camp in concert with Grammy-winning artists Jim Lauderdale and Charles Humphrey III, along with award-winning artists such as Darren Nicholson, Clay Mills, and Charles Chamberlain.

    00:02: 54 --00:03: 10 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  It's a two-day event of interactive songwriting instruction for world-class musicians, and a demo tape will be produced for each participant. And there'll be a concert of songs from the Rogue Band on Friday night and a barbecue dinner and also our concert on Saturday night.

    00:03: 10 --00:03: 50 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  This is going to be a unique event like no other, and space will be limited to ensure individual tension is given to all participants. The price is $675 per person, including all the activities and demo tapes and concerts, and barbecue dinner. And then there's special pricing for rooms, and there'll be room packages as well. Call 828-926-1717 for details. And there's also a limited amount of concert tickets available for the general public, and those are available on Friday and Saturday nights, and they're $30 each. And again, you can reserve your spot by calling 828-926-1717.

    00:03: 50 --00:03: 56 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Welcome to the Gateway to the Smokies podcast with my guest Jim Lauderdale. Hey, Jim. How are you doing?

    00:03: 56 --00:03: 57 Jim Lauderdale:  Great, how are you?

    00:03: 57 --00:04: 01 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  I'm doing good. We're huge fans of yours.

    00:04: 01 --00:04: 02 Jim Lauderdale: Thank you.

    00:04: 02 --00:04: 16 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  And all the artists are coming to that songwriter camp. I'm really thrilled that this came up. Was the songwriter camp your idea, Bob's idea? You guys came up with it together or what happened?

    00:04: 16 --00:04: 30 Jim Lauderdale: I think Bob approached Charles Humphrey about it and then he asked me. And so luckily, timing-wise, it worked out

    00:04: 30 --00:04: 36 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: cool. Yeah. I see that you do another couple of other camps, like one out west somewhere, don't you?

     00:04: 36 --00:04: 49 Jim Lauderdale: I did. I did Steve Polt's camp out in Joshua Tree in May. And I just did the Swannanoa gathering and November

    00:04: 49 --00:05: 05 Jim Lauderdale:  I Believe it is. I'll be at Jorma Calconin's Fur Piece Ranch. Cool. Yeah. But I enjoy it a lot. I really do. Yeah.

    00:05: 05 --00:05: 19 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Cool. I have a friend of mine I think is going to make it who's been doing music for a number of years but really wants to learn from some real professionals. I got some people that are fairly excited. It's an exciting thing, I think, for people to get to work with some great artists like yourself.

     00:05: 19 --00:05: 39 Jim Lauderdale: It's exciting for me to see people it means a lot to people that are writing songs, and I think they're just as valid as somebody that's been doing it for a long time.

    00:05: 19 --00:05: 39 Jim Lauderdale: And so, it's great to see that enthusiasm and the ideas and to see where these songs can go, too well.

    00:05: 39 --00:05: 49 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: it's nice to bring it to Western North Carolina. You grew up with Westville, right?

    00:05: 49 --00:06: 19 Jim Lauderdale: I lived around the Piedmont area and then in South Carolina for a few years not too far from Greenville in due west. And I've been coming to Flat Rock every summer of my life since I was born and have continued to come here a lot.

     00:06: 19 --00:06: 36 Jim Lauderdale: And then other times in North Carolina. Winston Salem and Chap Hill for school. So, yeah, North Carolina is my home. Yeah.

    00:06: 36 --00:06: 43 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Well, I'm glad that you're bringing the art of songwriting here. So, when did you get involved in writing songs? Did you start pretty young?

    00:06: 43 --00:07: 03 Jim Lauderdale: I guess I was going through my last year of high school and the idea came to me when I was visiting Troutman, North Carolina, where I lived my first five years.

    00:07: 03 --00:07: 34 Jim Lauderdale: And so, this melody and a title came to me in a few lines here and there. It was kind of an old, tiny, like, string band type thing. I'd been doing bluegrass banjo for a few years, but that type of melody hit me first, and then I had some melodies I gave to one of my classmates when I was a freshman at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

    00:07: 34 --00:07: 55 Jim Lauderdale: And he wrote some lyrics. And from there then I started writing on my own and doing a few demos produced by a guitar-playing friend of mine named Zan McCloud, who I knew in Chapel Hill.

    00:07: 55 --00:08: 33 Jim Lauderdale: I had a duo when I was in high school with a mentor named Rick Bowley who started a music store called Oxpo Music. And I would travel around with him to festivals and help him sell stuff, and we played as much as we could. And then I went off to college, and these songs were coming to me. So Zan took me to a place kind of out in the country there, outside of Chapel Hill fella named Steve Grandback, who later moved to Charlotte and opened up a studio.

    00:08: 34 --00:09: 08 Jim Lauderdale: And I thought, just doing three songs and six songs, I thought, well, hey, a record deal is going to come any day. I'll be touring all over the place. I'll have to quit school, but this is what I want to do. I was naive about that process. Like everybody, it took a while, but that's where my passion for songwriting started, really.

     00:09: 08 --00:09: 21 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: I've always wondered. I've been a visual artist, and I've done a few things as a visual artist. I learned that there are different kinds of visionaries.

    00:09:21 --00:09: 42 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: There's, like, people that are haptic and there are people that are not haptic and non- haptic. Non-Haptic are people get the vision of the painting in their head, and then they just go create the vision, whereas a haptic artist gets the idea and sort of the sense of a painting, but then they have to work it with their hands.

    00:09:42 --00:09: 50 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Haptic, they got to do it. Is that similar to songwriting? Do some people get, like, just the whole thing in their head and just put it on paper and other people have to work it?

     00:09:50 --00:10: 25 Jim Lauderdale: That's right. It's different, really, for everybody. For me, a melody usually comes first, sometimes along with the title, but sometimes just a melody. I know some people who write down whole songs on paper and don't have a melody, or else then a melody comes to them or kind of simultaneously. So, it happens a lot of different ways.

    00:010:25 --00:10: 36 Joseph Franklyn McElroy That's interesting. So, in a songwriter camp, how would you help the different types of creators with the different ways of doing their creating of songs? How do you help them?

    00:10:38 --00:12: 33 Jim Lauderdale: I kind of feel like because usually these camps, there's so much to kind of cover in a short amount of time. I like to do things kind of spontaneously. I don't really have much of a format I follow. And it's kind of like that with me. With writing songs, if I'm co-writing or writing alone, it just kind of is spontaneous. And so, I kind of have to evaluate those writers in front of me at that time and ask them what they need, what do they need to learn, or to help them. And it's funny. My friend Steve Polts was saying at the start of this camp we did a few months ago, it's like, I can't teach you how to write songs, but I can help facilitate them, we'll kind of go through certain very briefly personal experiences of like well, this happened to me one time and that's how I got out of this block or something like that to help them. But I really make it about them. Usually, people have things that question of places where they need to work through.

    00:12:33 --00:012: 43 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Now, does every songwriter really need to practice the discipline or can they come and go from it? How does the discipline work in the songwriting craft?

    00:12:43 --00:014: 03 Jim Lauderdale: I think it happens in all different ways too. Some people are super disciplined and I try to be putting and everything I've got into it, but I don't have necessarily set times. Like I don't have a schedule where I go okay, I'm going to get up at eight, have a cup of coffee, right, for 2 hours. Some playwrights and novelists and people like that. It's like I get up at five, I write for 3 hours, that's it. And some people I've also written really late at night with co-writers. We will have tried to write at nine and then we kind of plugging along and then as I'm about to leave or something, somebody will say something and an idea comes out. And then you stay till two or three in the morning. If you're on a role, it's good if you can go ahead and capture that magic.

    00:14:03 --00:014: 15 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Now, when you are just going about your life and living, do thoughts for a song come to you all the time and you write them down and put them into snippets? Do you save those?

    00:14:03 --00:015: 25 Jim Lauderdale: My song ideas do come to me quite often in conversation or hearing something or just the thought will come into my head. So, I record them on my phone, on an app, on a voice memo app and refer to them later. I go back to them sometimes if I'm then though just playing also something comes out and then you've got your guitar there. But a lot of times I'll just hum the melody. I'm kind of old school. Instead of doing everything on my phone or computer as far as writing out lyrics, I write them down with a pen on if I have a notebook with me or just a scrap of paper. Sometimes I've lost a movie about that. Was there really somebody lost it.

    00:15:25 --00:016: 15 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Some creative piece and they spent the whole movie trying to find it? Yeah, it was a silly movie, I'm sure. But it's true. When you're in the visual arts is the same thing. You wake up in the middle of night and think you have solved the mystery of the perfect painting. You write down the thing and then you lose that piece of paper and you're searching for it forever. the creative process is really interesting. If you do voice memos, how do you remember what to search for to find the thing that you went?

    00:15:25 --00:017: 23 Jim Lauderdale: I labeled them. I labeled them like if it's a bluegrass song, I say BG. If it's a country song, I say c. If it's for donna the buffalo, I say donna. Songs from the road band SFRB. So different thing. If it's a soul thing, I'll say royal or soul. I do have a bunch of unfinished things. I've recorded a few albums at royal studios in Memphis, which was a great sole studio. If I have a studio booked in advance and I'm trying to write for that outright, like, for instance, blackbird for blackbird studio for those sessions. So, I'm not very organized, but at least I can reference those. Then when I'm flipping through the phone, trying to find something to have ready,

    00:17:25 --00:18: 00 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: I mean the human database is the most complex and sometimes also the most infuriating product. We own mine, trying to remember what it was you had thought of. Yeah.

    So, given that you're going to be working with some people in a collaborative manner here at the Meadowlark Motel August 12, 13th, but then you also write by yourself, what do you prefer? Do you prefer to write solo or with a partner or with a group?

    00:18:00 --00:18: 40 Jim Lauderdale: When you're writing with somebody else, I feel like you always come up with something that neither one of you could do alone, necessarily. There's some different strength about that collaboration, but I still like to write alone to kind of challenge myself to do it because it's harder for me to write a loan. It's slower and sometimes more tedious, but I enjoyed both.

    00:18:40 --00:20: 07 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Cool. You've written with some really great people, and I know that you have a podcast with another legend, Buddy Miller. Have you written with him? Yes. We've got a radio show on Sirius X outlaw country on channel 60 called the buddy and gym show. We have written it's been a few years. The last time we wrote, we did a record together, gosh, I think it was eight years ago, and we wrote for that record, and before that, we'd written some things for his albums. He'd usually save a song or two and say we'd work backwards. Usually somebody gives me lyrics and I put a melody to them, but he gave me melodies and I put lyrics to them, and then he'd be under a deadline, too, so I put deadlines on myself also. But he would be like, hey, I've got to finish this record. How are those lyrics coming along? You have to deliver in those situations,

    00:20:07 --00:20: 10 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Especially professional and the legend.

    00:20:10 --00:20: 12 Jim Lauderdale: Yeah, absolutely.

    00:20:12 --00:20: 15 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: You have a reputation to meet now.

     00:20:15 --00:20: 17 Jim Lauderdale: Yeah, that's right.

    00:20:19 --00:20: 25 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Is there any other people that you have co-written with that are sort of favorite co-writers?

    00:20:25 --00:21: 32 Jim Lauderdale Yes. The man I've probably written the most songs with is Robert Hunter, who used to write with Jerry Garcia and wrote kind of just so many of the grateful dead songs. And we've probably written about 100 together. And sadly, Robert passed a few years ago, and I've written a lot with John Levanthal, great writer and producer, guitar player, and a lot with OD Blackman and several songs with Harlan Howard, who was one of my songwriting heroes, and also Melbourne Montgomery and Charles Humphrey that will be there at the camp. I really enjoy riding with him a lot.

    00:21:32 --00:21: 36 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: He's a good guy. I've had him on the sales.

    00:20136 --00:22: 38 Jim Lauderdal: He really is. He's a good he really is. He's really a really great writer. And we have a few things. I did a bluegrass record at Echo Mountain a few years ago here, and my concept of it was to have North Carolina bands and North Carolina artists do tracks with me for this record. And so, Charles and I have a couple of cowrites on that. And then I've got a song coming up on a country record that's coming out in August of Charles. And I wrote that original I was thinking it was going to be more acoustic and bluegrass, and then now it's kind of more of a western not western swing, but slight swing thing. Well, I guess you could call it a western swing. Swing to it, right? Yeah. So that's going to be great to work with him at this camp.

    00:22:38 --00:22: 42 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Is the swing a hard thing to get into performing?

    00:22:42 --00:22: 52 Jim Lauderdale: No, it's good. Not think it breaks up the other grooves you might be doing. I really like it a lot.

    00:22:52 --00:23: 16 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Yeah. The reason I asked is my wife is actually a Brazilian percussionist, a swing in that that you have to have or it's just no good. Right. She's done all right with that. It's an advocation, but she got to be on Saturday Night Live and that sort of thing.

     00:23:17 --00:23: 18 Jim Lauderdale: Oh, that's awesome.

    00:23:18 --00:23: 20 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: That's a great hobby.

    00:23:20 --00:23: 25 Jim Lauderdale: Yeah, that's terrific.

    00:23:26 --00:23: 29 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Which do you prefer? Do you prefer writing or do you prefer performing?

    00:23:29 --00:24: 15 Jim Lauderdale: I like them both. They both have their attractions and fulfilling things about them. It's a great feeling to write a song and then it's great in those circumstances when you're on stage and then you get to do those songs and interact with people, interact with the audience. And if you're playing in a band setting, those other musicians. So, I wouldn't be able to choose one from the other.

    00:24:16 --00:24: 18 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Have you done, like, over 30 albums? Is that right?

     00:24:19 --00:24: 22 Jim Lauderdale This will be my 35th coming out in August.

    00:24:22--00:24: 23 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Wow. Yeah. What's the name of that one coming out in August?

    00:24:23 --00:24: 24 Jim Lauderdale Game Changer.

     00:24:24--00:24: 25 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Game Changer. And

    00:24: 32 --00:24: 56 Jim Lauderdale: it's a country record. I consciously I kind of go in different cycles with records, whether it's country, bluegrass, kind of singer-songwriter, soul or blues rock, or whatever. And this is a consciously focused country record.

    00:24:56 --00:24: 58 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: That's fabulous. Of all your records, which one is your favorite?

    00:25:01 --00:25: 14 Jim Lauderdale: I can't decide. I mean, I really don't have a favorite because a lot of times the most current record is the favorite one.

    00:25:14 --00:25: 42 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  It said as the tea surpasses. People would ask the question, what's your favorite painting and they say, the last one. But I think there's a lot of truth to that. Yeah. When you hear a song or you see a song that you've written or listen to it, do you think, oh, I could improve it? There's something I should have done to improve it here?

     00:25:42 --00:26: 10 Jim Lauderdale: Not really, no. I'm always if I hear somebody doing one of my songs, I'm just so elated that somebody else is doing, and I've never heard I've been asked before if I've ever been disappointed in a song offer, and I never have. It's always just real rewarding to hear somebody else's take on it.

    00:26:10 -00:26:14 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  Cool. Well, people come into the songwriter camp. What kind of things can we expect?

    00:26:17--00:26: 55 Jim Lauderdale: I think hopefully they'll walk away from that camp with a different take on their own writing and that they will be able to incorporate some of the tips and methods and things like that and suggestions and that. They'll walk out of there feeling more confident about their writing and their minds will be more open to things and their creativity, hopefully, will expand.

    00:26:55 -00:27:00 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: And will you give them insights on how to pursue a songwriting career and that sort of thing?

    00:27:00 --00:28: 59 Jim Lauderdale: I think first somebody's got to develop their catalog. They've got to have a body of work to and it doesn't have to be hundreds of songs or anything. You could have ten or 15 songs and go out there and try, but it's a process we won't get into because, see, the business part of things changes a lot all the time. But, basically my thing to people, and to myself, too, is that you have got to constantly challenge yourself. If you feel like, hey, this one song am I, this is it. This is going to change everything. It's going to change my life. This is going to open up the doors. That's terrific that you've got that song, but you've got to keep going and create another one and another one and another one. Not to just set that aside and go, well, Madison, but to build on what you're doing. And I feel like it might be naive or old fashioned or something, but I feel that when the songs are there, then those doors open. But it doesn't matter what kind of contacts you have or this or that. The songs have to be there.

     00:28:59 -00:29:02 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Well, there's less than people write a good song, they can sing a good song, right?

     00:29:02 -- 00:30:22 Jim Lauderdale Well, maybe, possibly, but sometimes it's mentioning that one song that somebody has. Some people have had careers, though, off of one song, but I think it's good to kind of be well rounded and have, let's say if you're outperforming, if you're a performing singer-songwriter, you've got to have a whole set of songs that you really feel are stand up to other people, other writers that you really like, and to your other good ones. And of course, that's a process. It doesn't happen all at once. It's like an art show. You've got to have a room full of art. You might have that one painting in the show. Yeah. And hopefully, those paintings in the room will be just as compelling.

    00:30:24 -00:30:31 Joseph Franklyn McElroy Your whole body of work. I know in other writing professions, there's writer's block. There's a writer's block in songwriting as well.

    00:30:32 -- 00:31:17 Jim Lauderdale: Oh, yeah, definitely. Yes. If we only had a series, we could do, Right? It would be a marathon. Yeah. I think that anybody that's riding something, will come across that rider block. That's one of the secrets I will talk about during this songwriter’s workshop of how to break free of that rider's block.

    00:31:18 -- 00:31:19 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Oh, wow.

    00:31:21 -- 00:31:34 Jim Lauderdale I would say right now, but people will have to come to see that one time.

    00:31:34 -- 00:31:43 Joseph Franklyn McElroy:  That's the magic sauce, folks. Now you can learn, especially if you're starting out, you probably have riders block a lot.

    00:31:43 -- 00:32:45 Jim Lauderdale: Yeah, you do. But it takes practice and getting through growing as a writer, and you'll go through different steps and stages and things and just keep

    expanding your abilities as time goes on. The more you do it, that 10,000. What is the expression when you do something for 10,000 hours, then you are good at something like that? Now you won't have to do that long, especially with the techniques people will be learning at this camp. They'll take a shortcut of 10 hours instead of 10,000.

    00:32:45 -- 00:33:06 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: There you, That's a big promise, man. I knew you had that big thing in you. Oh, that's great. And then you guys can have an all- star concert on the finale, right?

    00:33:06 -- 00:32:08 Jim Lauderdale: Yeah.

    00:33:08 -- 00:33:12 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: So, have you prepared to play this?

    00:33:012 -- 00:33:58 Jim Lauderdale: Yeah, we'll jam. I'm sure we'll talk about it before we get up there but on stage. But that's the cool thing about people can pick up. They can look at you while you're playing, or you can just say, Kia, this is like a one, four, five progressions. I'll kick it off. Whatever. It's fun to jam like that with people and hear what comes out.

    00:33:58 -- 00:34:25 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: So, it's going to be a fabulous time. I've got my whole family booked in at our motel, Meadowlark Motel, where it's going to be. That's great to be here because we're excited just to be around it. It's a two-day thing. It's two concerts. I imagine there'd be some jamming as well. Oh, yeah. Wonderful meals. I'm a cookie guy. Breakfast on Saturday morning.

    00:34:25 -- 00:34:28 Jim Lauderdale: Oh, nice. Yeah. Great. I'm a supporter of that. I'm a big breakfast guy.

     00:34:28 -- 00:34:33 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Have your requests? What do you like for breakfast?

    00:34:33 -- 00:34:40 Jim Lauderdale: You know what? Whatever you have I'm sure will be delicious.

    00:34:43 -- 00:34:50 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Well, I can range from chicken fried steak to tomatoes with a smoked trout dip. Whatever slowed to you folk.

    00:34:50-- 00:34:52 Jim Lauderdale: Stop. You making me hungry.

    00:34:54 -- 00:34:56 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: So, what's next for you?

    00:34:56-- 00:35:23 Jim Lauderdale: I am working on my follow-up to the Game Changer record, and that's coming out, and several bluegrass things right now. And I have a fair amount of gigs coming up starting in September until the rest of the year.

    00:35:24 -- 00:35:36 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: Okay. Yeah. Cool. And are there any shoutouts you want to do? Any websites or anything you want to mention for people checking things out?

    00:35:36-- 00:36:02 Jim Lauderdale:  I guess my website is Jimlauderdalemusic.com and then all the social media things, I've got stuff on those. Yeah. So that's kind of got the current things that will be happening on there listed.

    00:36:02 -- 00:36:19 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: I will be sure to follow some of that. That is exciting for us. I want to thank you for being on this podcast and also thank you for doing this campaign.

    00:36:20-- 00:36:56 Jim Lauderdale: Guess I'll say one more thing about the camp. When you're a kid and you went camping and how much you enjoyed it and everything, this camp will make those times when you're a kid look like a Greek tragedy. This camp is going to be even though it's short, we don't have time these days to go to a summer camp for two weeks. We cram all the gusto in two days.

    00:37:02 -- 00:37:35 Joseph Franklyn McElroy: In a day and two- days, it'll be the center of your life for the rest of your existence. That's right. It'll be the sun about which your life repeats. Yes. Well, that's fabulous. We are about to change people's lives and looking forward to it. Well, thank you. This has been the Gateway to the Smokies podcast. You can find us@ facebook.com GatewaytotheSmokies and also smokiesadventure.com and there'll be this episode as well as other episodes on that website that you can find. Thank you much. And that's it.

    00:37:35-- 00:37:36 Jim Lauderdale: Thanks a lot.


    37m - Aug 9, 2022
  • Episode 67: Interview with Zeb “The Legend” Ross and his Dancing Partner and Wife Ashley Ross

    We had the opportunity to sit down with Zeb “The Legend” Ross and his partner, Ashley Ross, of JCreek Cloggers on Gateway to the Smokies Podcast before their amazing performance in Meadowlark Motel.

    Enjoy this fun interview with the stars of JCreekCloggers! We talk about their unique dance style, how they began dancing together, touring around the world, how they became Viral on #Tiktok, and much more.

    #smokymountainsnationalpark #northcarolina #mountaindance #jcreekcloggers #podcast #mountainlife

    14m - Aug 9, 2022
  • Episode 66: Agritourism, Farm to Table with Laura Lauffer


    What does Agritourism mean for farmers, entrepreneurs, and residents in the mountains? Tune in to find out the answer to this question from our guest today, Laura Lauffer as we go on with our conversation with her.


    Joseph will interview our special guest, Laura Lauffer, Project Director of EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems and Appalachian Regional Commission Power Project Center for Environmental Farming Systems sponsored by North Carolina State University – an organization whose objective is to offer financial, technical, and business support to regional farms and food-related businesses, while also being an advocate for agritourism. 

    This conversation will cover the process of creating and implementing a business model that emphasizes community development, as well as the relationship between public policy and economic development in Appalachian communities.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/empowermtnfood/

    Website: https://cefs.ncsu.edu/food-system-initiatives/emfs-empowering-mountain-food-systems/

    EPISODE QUOTE: “ Everybody’s got a yellow squash in July, so maybe planta different kind of beet instead. You have to be smart.” 


    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/07/26 - Agritourism, Farm to Table with Laura Lauffer


    Segment 1

    Lauffer is a native of North Carolina, her father retired when she was in elementary school. She gotta enjoy the tightly knit community of soldiers and their families. Whilst taking part in the Peace Corps she got to visit Zaire, a country in Africa.


    In Zaire she was an extension agent. She would get seeds and extend them to farmers in the area to increase protein consumption as it was lacking in the people’s diet. The Peace Corps also gave her the opportunity to learn the local dialect and also used French. She goes on to share that she earned a minor in Spanish in Montreal. Before starting a farm in Garner in Hohnston County she toured around Europe. She then became a Peace Corps recruiter in Grad school. Her area of expertise is food systems and economic development. She started a program at North Carolina Community College where she taught sustainability. She left the classroom and applied her skills in the field as a program director at NCA&T for regional food systems. Agritourism is tourism that is added to an existing farming operation.


    Using her website people can create appointments to get hooked up with different resources being offered by the program. One of the resources includes Advanced Business Services which helps local businesses that are advanced. The small business centers are partners that community colleges host to offer free business counseling. In agriculture, she is noticing carbon sequestration, which is recognizing farmers as a solution to climate change instead of as a factor of climate change.


    She uses storytelling to give people background and context to farms and agriculture including their purpose. The ideal farm-to-table program is where the farmer and chef are expressing creativity and have a relationship of understanding. An example is Silva Ilda, they change their many every week according to what’s coming in fresh.



    00:00:40.740 –> 00:00:57.240 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy, welcome you to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains National Park in the surrounding towns, this area is filled with H in that.

    00:00:59.460 –> 00:01:03.690 Joseph McElroy: Deep-storied history filters that we explore with the weekly episode.

    00:01:04.500 –> 00:01:11.850 Joseph McElroy: As I said, I’m Joseph Franklin McElroy man in the world, but also deep roots in these mountains by families living the great smokies for over 200 years.

    00:01:12.270 –> 00:01:20.160 Joseph McElroy: My businesses and travel, but my heart is a culture today we’re going to talk about agritourism and farm to table with Laura lot left.

    00:01:20.910 –> 00:01:29.220 Joseph McElroy: The first, you know a few sponsors and things like that you know when you start planning a trip.

    00:01:29.790 –> 00:01:38.310 Joseph McElroy: After you decide where you’re going to go usually the first things you do is, you choose a book your flight you book your place you’re going to stay.

    00:01:38.820 –> 00:01:47.010 Joseph McElroy: As because you need to have a place to start your vacation adventure and then you can get done you get to work on it in Tenerife now I place.

    00:01:47.880 –> 00:01:52.740 Joseph McElroy: and finding a place to stay, I want you to imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past.

    00:01:53.550 –> 00:01:58.920 Joseph McElroy: Modern and vibrant with a Chic Appalachian feel a place for adventure and for relaxation.

    00:01:59.520 –> 00:02:07.410 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you efficient a mountain heritage trout stream grill to catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine wines or craft beers.

    00:02:07.800 –> 00:02:20.100 Joseph McElroy: So imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds, there is no other place like Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

    00:02:20.940 –> 00:02:27.720 Joseph McElroy: Now, one of the things that we can help you with is to help you build your itinerary once you decide that you’re going to stay.

    00:02:28.080 –> 00:02:39.780 Joseph McElroy: and come to the smoky mountains for vacation state the middle art we actually have a site called smokies adventure calm, that you can actually do your research on to find out about.

    00:02:40.950 –> 00:02:46.920 Joseph McElroy: The best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment that you can find here.

    00:02:47.910 –> 00:02:59.940 Joseph McElroy: And you can find a lot about the great smoky mountains National Park, you have the best trails the best waterfalls and what you can do in caves code, you find out about the history of the smokies and how to explore that.

    00:03:00.960 –> 00:03:04.290 Joseph McElroy: That smokies adventure smokies plural adventure com.

    ew-]\00:03:05.490 –> 00:03:16.620 Joseph McElroy: For your research pleasure and then when you get here will be more than happy to sell to set you up with tours or other things to do, and of course, we have a lot of things going on here we have the metal dark smoky mountain.

    00:03:17.730 –> 00:03:20.070 Joseph McElroy: Historical Center here with lots of.

    00:03:21.150 –> 00:03:27.390 Joseph McElroy: Events coming about mountain heritage and music and culture, here in the mountains and I’ll tell you about a couple of

    00:03:28.170 –> 00:03:39.810 Joseph McElroy: Recently there was a viral event on TikTok and Instagram with some cloggers and specifically one color flogger I live, right here and Maggie Valley, the valley Jonathan.

    00:03:41.490 –> 00:03:52.500 Joseph McElroy: And we’re going to actually bring those cloggers here this weekend to the Meadowlark Motel to do performance the J creek cloggers and.

    00:03:53.100 –> 00:04:03.210 Joseph McElroy: And they are going to be here on Friday night on Saturday night and your father, going to be performing at 730 but previous to that you can have a free Barbecue.

    00:04:04.050 –> 00:04:20.730 Joseph McElroy: There is sort of an iconic dance group that has been forming for a number of years, but zip the legend Ross was just picked up on tick tock and Instagram doing some solo buck dancing that was reminiscent of a lot of.

    00:04:21.750 –> 00:04:31.440 Joseph McElroy: Urban dancing going on, and he became sort of a hero and he’s actually got a nickname now in the army online things he says he’s called the legend.

    00:04:32.550 –> 00:04:34.710 Joseph McElroy: Is he doing something called any call it, Chris walked.

    00:04:35.910 –> 00:04:42.750 Joseph McElroy: that’s an urban culture but it’s part of the clogging that he does here so so it’s kind of cool.

    00:04:43.500 –> 00:04:56.850 Joseph McElroy: That that happened I don’t think they’ve had I think they’ve had 100 million views it’s crazy, so you know we invite you to come out and see it live on Saturday night July 30 here at the Meadowlark

    00:04:58.110 –> 00:05:11.160 Joseph McElroy: admission is free for the motel guests and for heritage club members and it’s $20 for people that are just visiting it’s called 8289261717 to find out information reverse to reserve your room.

    00:05:12.390 –> 00:05:22.320 Joseph McElroy: Now, another thing that on August six that we’re doing a smoky mountain heritage Center is putting on starting a Cherokee heritage series and they’re bringing in.

    00:05:23.910 –> 00:05:34.530 Joseph McElroy: What true Appalachian Appalachian treasure baby arch and Davey is a world-famous Cherokee tribal historic and storing and Ward winning craftsman.

    00:05:35.070 –> 00:05:43.410 Joseph McElroy: Traditional Cherokee crafts, especially mass and baskets and he’s a beloved spokesman for the Eastern Cherokee tribe.

    00:05:43.980 –> 00:05:56.520 Joseph McElroy: And this will be on August six starting at six the Barbecue dinner and music and then there will be a whole presentation that you will find very interesting.

    00:05:57.240 –> 00:06:08.160 Joseph McElroy: Michigan is $20 for guest three for hotel guests in here to close my hair does club Members call eight to 89261717 to reserve your seat.

    00:06:08.820 –> 00:06:22.080 Joseph McElroy: One of the events coming up that I’ve been promoting for a while now is a songwriters camp I don’t know if you’ve heard of Jim Lauderdale but he’s a grammy award-winning artist I think 30 hit songs under his belt.

    00:06:23.340 –> 00:06:39.630 Joseph McElroy: That he’s written for various artists or more he wrote a lot of George strait’s songs he wrote king of the broken hearts might be one of the big ones that you know so and he’s leading a crew of grammy award-winning artist here there’s gonna be Charles Humphrey the third.

    00:06:41.370 –> 00:06:57.330 Joseph McElroy: And then there’s gonna Be daring Nicholson of Balsam Range les mills and Charles Chamberlain it’s like a dream team of songwriters and top musicians here at the metal art and it’s a two-day event, where you have a meet and greet and have a.

    00:06:58.590 –> 00:07:08.910 Joseph McElroy: concert by the songs from the road band and Barbecue dinner and all star concept on a Saturday night and then you’re going to have.

    00:07:09.660 –> 00:07:29.640 Joseph McElroy: An all day intensive workshop where you actually walk away with a DEMO tape of one of your songs and it’s gonna be it’s gonna be incredible it’s a great way to meet and learn from some of the top in the business so call eight to 89261717 to reserve your space and to get a ticket.

    00:07:31.440 –> 00:07:42.810 Joseph McElroy: get a space for the workshop and the two concerts are also available to the public, just to come and enjoy the music so again eight to 89261717 to get your spot.

    00:07:44.940 –> 00:07:51.420 Joseph McElroy: So today we’re going to be talking about tourism with lunch.

    00:07:54.810 –> 00:07:55.560 Joseph McElroy: it’s with.

    00:07:56.670 –> 00:08:10.050 Joseph McElroy: Our guest his name is Laura laufer is and she is the project director of empowering mountain food systems at appalachian regional convinced Commission power project Center for environmental party farming systems.

    00:08:11.250 –> 00:08:13.260 Joseph McElroy: You can’t say that a lot of times fast.

    00:08:15.000 –> 00:08:15.750 Laura Lauffer she/her: Natural.

    00:08:15.990 –> 00:08:26.670 Joseph McElroy: sponsored by North Carolina State University an organization, whose objective is to offer financial, technical and business support to regional farms and food related businesses.

    00:08:27.090 –> 00:08:35.820 Joseph McElroy: while also being an advocate for agritourism, she holds degrees from Western Carolina university nc State University speaks for language.

    00:08:36.180 –> 00:08:47.340 Joseph McElroy: And there’s a webinar producer blogger and Community activists she resides in western North Carolina enjoys hiking and spending time with family or friends Hello Laura how are you doing.

    00:08:47.370 –> 00:08:49.710 Laura Lauffer she/her: hey hey guys.

    00:08:49.920 –> 00:08:51.270 Joseph McElroy: I pronounce your last name right.

    00:08:51.570 –> 00:08:52.140 Laura Lauffer she/her: Now offer.

    00:08:52.410 –> 00:08:56.730 Joseph McElroy: offer okay so we’re very thrilled to have you here today.

    00:08:57.990 –> 00:09:02.400 Joseph McElroy: You know, we are, we are getting in into farm to table here it’s of lr.

    00:09:03.480 –> 00:09:11.100 Joseph McElroy: we’ve actually put in a raised garden back in the back here and then yeah I went out to my old family farm wish I owned.

    00:09:12.120 –> 00:09:22.950 Joseph McElroy: A third of it and on my on my land grant visible where my grandfather farm I put in my first field and now i’m a farmer feeling so proud of myself.

    00:09:24.480 –> 00:09:31.140 Joseph McElroy: As I got a lot to learn, but I did, I do have some candy roasters and things like that.

    00:09:31.980 –> 00:09:43.200 Joseph McElroy: Growing there so i’m looking forward to this conversation because i’m sure you can teach me how I could do this much better so, but first I want to get a little bit of your background you’re a native of fayetteville North Carolina right.

    00:09:43.890 –> 00:09:44.850 Laura Lauffer she/her: Yes, I am.

    00:09:45.030 –> 00:09:46.140 Joseph McElroy: yeah and then.

    00:09:47.160 –> 00:09:54.090 Joseph McElroy: You know I whenever I think of that area I automatically think it for broad were you were you an army brat by chance.

    00:09:54.660 –> 00:09:58.170 Laura Lauffer she/her: My dad was in the army, yes that’s how I like to answer that.

    00:09:59.160 –> 00:10:01.530 Laura Lauffer she/her: I did I did grow up more closer to.

    00:10:01.530 –> 00:10:12.390 Laura Lauffer she/her: Fort bragg and my dad was career special forces, and it was a really wonderful wonderful way to grow up, it was a really nice Community there on base.

    00:10:12.660 –> 00:10:15.000 Joseph McElroy: So you got to stay in one place for your whole childhood.

    00:10:15.360 –> 00:10:16.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: I did.

    00:10:16.410 –> 00:10:17.400 Laura Lauffer she/her: My dad died.

    00:10:17.430 –> 00:10:24.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah my dad I was a kind of a late comer as far as the in the order of children, so my dad retired.

    00:10:25.620 –> 00:10:35.070 Laura Lauffer she/her: When I was still in elementary school, but we stayed there because of the tight Community bond with all the soldiers families so well.

    00:10:35.340 –> 00:10:46.650 Joseph McElroy: yeah I was just recently out there, my son my 13 year old son is happens to be a power lifter and there was a there was actually a major power lifting event out there, so.

    00:10:47.880 –> 00:10:54.000 Joseph McElroy: You know I I it’s interesting mixed bag place or some really beautiful places in some places that.

    00:10:55.590 –> 00:10:55.950 Joseph McElroy: But.

    00:10:57.030 –> 00:11:00.960 Joseph McElroy: All of North Carolina is it beautiful so.

    00:11:01.440 –> 00:11:04.080 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah I used to consider myself a beach girl.

    00:11:04.500 –> 00:11:04.800 Laura Lauffer she/her: And then.

    00:11:05.280 –> 00:11:16.350 Laura Lauffer she/her: To the mountains and I was coming back from the beach a couple years ago and I, and I was so happy to come to the mountains, so I just decided, I was in North Carolina girl.

    00:11:16.740 –> 00:11:18.330 Joseph McElroy: There you go you got everything here.

    00:11:18.360 –> 00:11:18.630 yeah.

    00:11:19.890 –> 00:11:25.980 Joseph McElroy: We have a rain forest, we have snow ski mountains and we have a white this white sand beaches.

    00:11:26.790 –> 00:11:36.270 Joseph McElroy: You can’t really beat that yeah so how did you end up going to Western Carolina university from high school and fayetteville.

    00:11:37.590 –> 00:11:40.860 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, it was a circuitous route as you.

    00:11:41.910 –> 00:11:44.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: can imagine, and there was a boy involved in.

    00:11:44.490 –> 00:11:44.760 So.

    00:11:47.070 –> 00:11:47.760 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah.

    00:11:47.850 –> 00:12:04.560 Laura Lauffer she/her: But I was very glad I ended up here, and so this was a sweet homecoming for me since I graduated there in 1988 and another boy I met and I took off to the Peace Corps from from cali so.

    00:12:05.970 –> 00:12:15.540 Laura Lauffer she/her: So 30 years later i’m back and really, really appreciating it more you know in my advanced age, the beauty.

    00:12:15.960 –> 00:12:28.770 Laura Lauffer she/her: Of the region, you know, back then, I you know we were hiking and kind of go into paradise falls and stuff like that, but this time i’m really, really enjoying the beauty of the of the region.

    00:12:29.340 –> 00:12:31.530 Joseph McElroy: Peace Corps where’d you go in the Peace Corps.

    00:12:32.010 –> 00:12:33.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: went desire.

    00:12:33.420 –> 00:12:33.990 Joseph McElroy: wow.

    00:12:34.140 –> 00:12:43.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: it’s this country in the middle of Africa it’s a probably the one of the most difficult posts, you can have honestly and.

    00:12:44.460 –> 00:12:50.970 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was an amazing experience and many volunteers don’t have that experience anymore being.

    00:12:50.970 –> 00:12:52.140 Laura Lauffer she/her: So rural.

    00:12:52.920 –> 00:12:58.050 Joseph McElroy: Well, I gotta I want to hear a little bit more about the experience but we got to take a break right now and then.

    00:12:59.640 –> 00:13:01.950 Joseph McElroy: And then and talk a little bit more about that.

    00:13:02.040 –> 00:13:04.380 Joseph McElroy: and other than, of course, Western North Carolina.

    00:13:04.920 –> 00:13:05.520 Great.

    00:15:21.300 –> 00:15:36.300 Joseph McElroy: Howdy! this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcast my guest is Laura Lauffer so Laura you are the peace corps and you were in Africa and what you were doing, and they have anything related to agriculture, what.

    00:15:37.080 –> 00:15:38.430 Laura Lauffer she/her: It did and.

    00:15:38.940 –> 00:15:53.520, Laura Lauffer, she/her: We were extension agents what most people know what extension agents do here is extend the research from the land grant university to farmers and enzyme air, which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    00:15:54.630 –> 00:15:59.760 Laura Lauffer she/her: There was a Research Station but there were no agents, and so my husband and I.

    00:16:01.290 –> 00:16:08.040 Laura Lauffer s: would get seeds and extend them to farmers in the region, mostly corn and soybeans.

    00:16:08.550 –> 00:16:22.110 Laura Lauffer she/her: To try to increase the protein content of diets because malnutrition, was an issue there, so it was a lovely amazing experience, who lived in a mud hut with no plumbing and no electricity and only got around on bikes.

    00:16:22.560 –> 00:16:27.690 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh, it was It made me appreciate all that we have.

    00:16:28.470 –> 00:16:38.670 Joseph McElroy: Well, that sounds like a fantastic experience I see that you spoke four languages, you know romantic languages and then this one called Chiluba

    00:16:39.210 –> 00:16:56.250, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Chiluba, yeah I was in a gas station in Raleigh once and the guy behind the counter was speaking to Buddha and I started speaking to him is like a so yeah it’s a that’s The great thing about peace corps is they, they teach you the local dialect.

    00:16:56.700 –> 00:16:57.390 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow.

    00:16:58.110 –> 00:17:04.440, Laura Lauffer, she/her: yeah so it was really great I think it’d be hard for me to carry on a conversation, and most of those languages.

    00:17:05.820 –> 00:17:16.530 Laura Lauffer she/her: I grew up spending a lot of time in Montreal and got a minor in Spanish, and then spoke French and spoke Chiluba are so it’s a mix match in there.

    00:17:16.770 –> 00:17:19.290 Joseph McElroy: wow how long did you stay inside here?

    00:17:19.920 –> 00:17:20.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: Three years.

    00:17:22.410 –> 00:17:23.520 Joseph McElroy: becomes almost all right.

    00:17:24.150 –> 00:17:44.370, Laura Lauffer, she/her: yeah it was we stayed on we extended a little at the end and worked in the itinerary rain forest with john interests heart and they were doing research with the band booty tribe, which is also known as the pygmies way deep in the rain forest and.

    00:17:45.660 –> 00:17:53.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was an amazing experience, but we were ready to go and we hitchhiked across the continent it’s something you can’t do really anymore.

    00:17:54.780 –> 00:17:58.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was a true vagabond experience for some young people.

    00:17:59.460 –> 00:18:01.770 Joseph McElroy: And then you came back to the United States after that.

    00:18:02.370 –> 00:18:14.280, Laura Lauffer, she/her: We did we thought we would travel a lot more, but the Gulf War was going on in our family, you know, is ready for us to come back, but we toured around Europe for a little bit and then came back.

    00:18:14.640 –> 00:18:15.810 Joseph McElroy: And we’re to settle settle.

    00:18:17.400 –> 00:18:29.850, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Actually, we stayed in wake county for a while, and then we moved out into the country and the head started our first little farm in garner and Johnston county.

    00:18:30.090 –> 00:18:30.510 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow.

    00:18:30.810 –> 00:18:45.000, Laura Lauffer, she/her: And, and I worked in Durham I’ve worked for Africa, new service until I went to Grad school and became a peace corps recruiter in Grad school at NC state, and that was really wonderful experience.

    00:18:45.300 –> 00:18:53.280 Joseph McElroy: And that’s where you got even further into understanding at the Grad school you got into the agriculture-related studies.

    00:18:53.940 –> 00:19:04.410 Laura Lauffer she/her: no, mostly sustainability so I’m not an ag-technician food systems person and Community development and economic development.

    00:19:05.340 –> 00:19:18.540 Laura Lauffer she/her: So I’m not the I do have you know a little bit of knowledge, you know enough to get by on animal husbandry and crop production, but my area of emphasis is food systems and economic development.

    00:19:18.690 –> 00:19:27.870 Joseph McElroy: wow you know what are the, what are the only three pine-rated logic facility, the Western Asheville by the state of North Carolina in terms of sustainable yeah.

    00:19:28.110 –> 00:19:42.690 Laura Lauffer she/her: Fantastic yeah I taught sustainability for a while I started a program at Central Carolina Community College, where the few sustainability degrees in the state, and that was a wonderful experience.

    00:19:43.020 –> 00:19:48.180 Joseph McElroy: And then you worked as a program coordinator of local farms of food within see at antique

    00:19:48.960 –> 00:19:57.690 Laura Lauffer she/her: I did that’s when I got I left teaching because I really was kind of tired of talking about sustainability so much in the classroom every day and I was.

    00:19:58.560 –> 00:20:14.310 Laura Lauffer she/her: missing the application in the field, and so I took a leap of faith and left teaching and was brought on for this regional food systems work at NCAA empty and their extension Program.

    00:20:14.760 –> 00:20:21.840 Joseph McElroy: cool and what is the regional food system work, what is it you do there?

    00:20:21.930 –> 00:20:28.980 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, so one of the things that we like to focus on is helping farmers with their supply chain.

    00:20:29.910 –> 00:20:38.550, Laura Lauffer, she/her: If they want to diversify their source of funding, do they want to diversify markets this happened a lot during covid where.

    00:20:38.940 –> 00:20:56.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know the one-on-one marketing say at farmer’s markets when a way, so we help folks establish their web presence, maybe, establish a pickup and so, for that they needed coolers, and so we had a program our funder came to us during cove it and said.

    00:20:58.050 –> 00:21:13.680 Laura Lauffer she/her: What, what do you need to do you know, because everything this of course it was not our plan to have a pandemic in this project, and so I went to the farmers, and I was like what what do y’all need most and it was cold storage so because they were like.

    00:21:14.190 –> 00:21:15.810 Laura Lauffer she/her: had to hold on to things a little bit.

    00:21:15.810 –> 00:21:30.960 Laura Lauffer she/her: Longer and have a different distribution method so um so supply chain is very important, you know, maintaining that quality and diversifying income so that’s kind of a snapshot that’s one of the things we do.

    00:21:31.710 –> 00:21:42.030 Joseph McElroy: So the new so you ended up then coming to Western North Carolina and leading leading be coming the project director of this up God awful lot.

    00:21:45.360 –> 00:21:48.600 Laura Lauffer she/her: it’s empowering that with IT systems that says it all.

    00:21:50.040 –> 00:21:55.860 Joseph McElroy: Of that is an applicant Appalachian Regional Commission our project Center for environmental party system.

    00:21:56.430 –> 00:22:01.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah you always have to mention your funders you know they like that and it’s important.

    00:22:01.530 –> 00:22:01.920 Laura Lauffer she/her: So yeah.

    00:22:02.520 –> 00:22:09.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: We are funded by the appalachian regional Commission it’s a over a million dollar grant over four years.

    00:22:09.810 –> 00:22:28.440 Laura Lauffer she/her: To do this work, and we also very importantly, got funding from the cherokee preservation foundation to work with cherokee farmers and cherokee food systems and my office is actually in the Qualla boundary of the eastern band of Cherokee so we’ve had the great pleasure to work with.

    00:22:29.760 –> 00:22:38.310 Laura Lauffer she/her: tribal government and and are our allies there to help Cherokee farmers and cherokee businesses grow.

    00:22:38.790 –> 00:22:43.980 Joseph McElroy: So you work do you do you work with pharmacy work with other businesses like restaurants groceries.

    00:22:45.120 –> 00:22:45.450 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:22:46.650 –> 00:22:48.540 Laura Lauffer she/her: um so like during covid

    00:22:49.830 –> 00:22:58.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: Some restaurants transition to be the grocery stores, so I hope folks know about Guadalupe CAFE and downtown Silva

    00:22:58.770 –> 00:22:59.820 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s a great CAFE.

    00:22:59.820 –> 00:23:00.300 yeah.

    00:23:01.440 –> 00:23:04.590 Joseph McElroy: I look at like the multiple salsa salsa.

    00:23:04.830 –> 00:23:08.460 Joseph McElroy: yeah good you can bring a great day yeah.

    00:23:08.730 –> 00:23:16.110 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah yeah yeah Jen is wonderful and she’s always been super committed to local food systems and so.

    00:23:17.100 –> 00:23:21.570 Laura Lauffer she/her: And she was only doing take out but folks will come get their takeout they can get coffee.

    00:23:22.080 –> 00:23:41.520 Laura Lauffer she/her: butter cheese bacon and so, for that she needs more cold storage, and so we help with that, and then we also help with Yonder, which is a fabulous market up in Franklin, and so they during covid they transition from a from a restaurant to a.

    00:23:43.020 –> 00:23:48.870 Laura Lauffer she/her: Community supported agriculture, where they were selling bags of food and and a little grocery store.

    00:23:49.320 –> 00:24:06.030 Laura Lauffer she/her: So yeah absolutely so it’s you know it’s all along we’d like to work all along the supply chain were even work with Western Carolina university, we had an event there a few weeks ago, talking to their catering directors about buying local for events there.

    00:24:06.390 –> 00:24:10.500 Joseph McElroy: Well, so a little, so our little planet, the building a.

    00:24:12.090 –> 00:24:22.680 Joseph McElroy: Small essentially a small farm to help support our plans to make this restaurant would be something we could actually work a little bit with you on.

    00:24:23.190 –> 00:24:31.170, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Absolutely, I mean you’re in Haywood county this project is only goes from Haywood to Cherokee county.

    00:24:32.310 –> 00:24:39.600 Laura Lauffer she/her: there’s often not a lot of attention out here in this little piece of heaven, you know there, there is a lot of mountains west of Asheville.

    00:24:39.870 –> 00:24:40.200 Right.

    00:24:41.280 –> 00:24:45.510 Laura Lauffer she/her: And yeah yeah we love, we have some great partners in Haywood county.

    00:24:45.960 –> 00:24:46.710 Joseph McElroy: cool yeah.

    00:24:47.880 –> 00:24:49.890 Joseph McElroy: Totally yeah totally.

    00:24:51.660 –> 00:24:56.430 Joseph McElroy: Totally enamored by you know the concept of agritourism.

    00:24:57.750 –> 00:25:00.930 Joseph McElroy: And you how do you guys promote agritourism

    00:25:02.040 –> 00:25:17.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well agritourism what’s really essential is that agritourism is tourism that is added on to an existing farming operation so it’s not this case where.

    00:25:18.480 –> 00:25:35.520 Laura Lauffer she/her: Laura goes and buys a piece of land and puts up a beautiful barn and it’s a wedding venue that is not agritourism so agritourism, is a working farm or you know farm production business where they’re adding agritourism.

    00:25:36.330 –> 00:25:46.740, Laura Lauffer, she/her: To increase knowledge and, hopefully, of course, in increase revenue, and you know people are very interested to learn, you know where their food comes from.

    00:25:47.400 –> 00:26:08.670 Laura Lauffer she/her: And, and you know children love to go walk along or shear a sheep Jehovah raw farm and Haywood county has a fantastic agritourism operation, where you can stay in their cabin and she and use the wool from a shared sheep and make your own rug oh.

    00:26:09.480 –> 00:26:10.410 Laura Lauffer she/her: that’s cool yeah.

    00:26:10.470 –> 00:26:12.750 Laura Lauffer she/her: So look up Jehovah raw form they are.

    00:26:13.440 –> 00:26:15.060 Joseph McElroy: All yeah you know.

    00:26:16.410 –> 00:26:17.670 Joseph McElroy: I was i’m a beekeeper.

    00:26:17.790 –> 00:26:27.300 Joseph McElroy: Without fantastic I actually learned it I did beekeeping a little bit when I was a kid here in the mountains back she learned to do be pretty good at it in the south bronx in New York City.

    00:26:27.570 –> 00:26:37.800 Joseph McElroy: Oh, my goodness, I would put bee hives and in Community arts and we were near the at the botanical gardens.

    00:26:38.190 –> 00:26:38.790 Joseph McElroy: I know.

    00:26:38.880 –> 00:26:43.530 Joseph McElroy: I got I got all sorts of interesting flavors, but do you work with beekeepers is that.

    00:26:43.980 –> 00:26:58.200, Laura Lauffer, she/her: yeah absolutely one of our first grants, we made was to Ferguson farms in haywood county and they are 100 year farm, there is a historical farm and Haywood county and.

    00:26:59.100 –> 00:27:11.880 Laura Lauffer she/her: They started beekeeping, excuse me in 2019, I believe, when we first started and their operation, they are now getting ready to add blanton to their farm.

    00:27:11.910 –> 00:27:25.440 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah so you can go in and have a beautiful tent on the river and you know hang out in your tub and then go and get on a four-wheeler and go visit the horses and learn about beekeeping.

    00:27:26.640 –> 00:27:28.680 Laura Lauffer she/her: learn about you know beef production.

    00:27:29.100 –> 00:27:40.020 Joseph McElroy: I did a lot of education about beekeeping to kids in the bronx in the Community garden so i’m looking to start doing that, here too, because I enjoyed it.

    00:27:40.410 –> 00:27:48.060 Joseph McElroy: And I have you know I have, I have four year old twins now how am I have a 30-year-old son that four-year-old twins and.

    00:27:48.600 –> 00:27:54.390 Joseph McElroy: I think I look forward to being able to show them about these things so but I think, making it a part of a program I might even.

    00:27:54.960 –> 00:28:07.260 Joseph McElroy: You know, I think that I can do, because I figured out how to do it, the Community garden how to have a number of beehives here at the Meadowlark, because you can create beef like you know you create barriers that regulate wearing the bees fly.

    00:28:07.620 –> 00:28:09.840 Joseph McElroy: Right at the height and everything else, so you can get.

    00:28:09.840 –> 00:28:12.210 Joseph McElroy: them to fly above people for the most part.

    00:28:13.440 –> 00:28:20.340 Joseph McElroy: And so that you can have been very densely populated areas, and a lot of you know, and so people didn’t know that but I got we got to take another break.

    00:28:20.400 –> 00:28:23.940 Joseph McElroy: Okay, and then we’ll come back and talk more about what you’re doing okay.

    00:28:24.330 –> 00:28:25.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: Okay, thanks.

    00:30:30.750 –> 00:30:39.090 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts that my guest Laura Lauffer so Laura you know I.

    00:30:40.140 –> 00:30:56.880 Joseph McElroy: assume I’m a neophyte business person, and you know and it’s trying to get into agritourism, and some of the agriculture, how does, how does, how does somebody approached your organization and find out about assistance and special programs and things like that.

    00:30:58.110 –> 00:31:01.980 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, just Google empowering mountain food systems and.

    00:31:03.150 –> 00:31:12.030 Laura Lauffer she/her: You will come up in our homepage will come up and on the right, there’s a little purple button that says apply here, and that will take you.

    00:31:12.510 –> 00:31:30.510 Laura Lauffer she/her: straight into our portal and then you have an appointment with me and I talked to folks about what they’re up to and I hook them up with the different resources that they have we have a really cool program right now it’s called Advanced business services that are helping.

    00:31:31.800 –> 00:31:36.660, Laura Lauffer, she/her: Local businesses who are kind of advanced, so we just helped.

    00:31:37.830 –> 00:31:44.940 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh valley view farms she’s a verbal culture operation, do you know what permaculture is.

    00:31:44.970 –> 00:31:46.140 Joseph McElroy: No, I have no idea.

    00:31:46.350 –> 00:31:48.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: permaculture is worm farming.

    00:31:48.600 –> 00:31:51.270 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow for me, but yeah.

    00:31:51.480 –> 00:32:04.980 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah and she has an amazing worm farming operation, and so we assisted her with her new logo and her sign she has classes at her farm she’s actually teaching a class Mary Ann Smith.

    00:32:06.240 –> 00:32:09.480 Laura Lauffer she/her: August 2 and clay county.

    00:32:10.200 –> 00:32:11.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: So she’s at the haywood.

    00:32:12.000 –> 00:32:21.300 Laura Lauffer she/her: county historic farmers market every Saturday selling worm castings which is worm poop and it’s just some of the most rich.

    00:32:23.010 –> 00:32:38.100 Laura Lauffer she/her: fertilizer you can use you really need to only use a very little so anyhow so that’s a an example of a client we just helped and we’re helping bear waters brewing there and Maggie.

    00:32:39.060 –> 00:32:48.750 Laura Lauffer she/her: They want to expand purchasing local products and so will be helping them with some refrigeration so that they can refrigerate more local products.

    00:32:48.840 –> 00:32:54.630 Joseph McElroy: Oh fabulous now do you offer do you offer education classes things training things like that.

    00:32:55.290 –> 00:33:03.390 Laura Lauffer she/her: that’s mostly left to extension and one of our key partners in this project is the small business centers.

    00:33:04.230 –> 00:33:18.450 Laura Lauffer she/her: Every Community college in the state hosts a small business Center offering free business counseling and so, because this is an economic development project we really focus on that business side of of agriculture.

    00:33:19.290 –> 00:33:30.360 Laura Lauffer she/her: And we partner with with each small business Center so there and haywood county we partner with haywood Community college and Ashley swagger to have classes there.

    00:33:31.380 –> 00:33:37.470 Laura Lauffer she/her: But extension, and you know you’re so fortunate here we’ve got mills river Research Station.

    00:33:38.220 –> 00:33:54.990 Laura Lauffer she/her: nearby and the mountain horticulture Research Station is on raccoon road there and haywood county and just they you know, keep keep in touch with them and their calendar and your local extension office so that’s that they do that technical training piece.

    00:33:55.470 –> 00:34:00.720 Joseph McElroy: yeah that’s that’s cutting this nice i’ve been i’ve been noticing that there are some things out here we go cuz.

    00:34:01.980 –> 00:34:11.910 Joseph McElroy: I know pretty much what to do with beekeeping, but in terms of actually you know what the neck how to evolve a farm is now is not something i’ve ever done before.

    00:34:13.260 –> 00:34:13.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah.

    00:34:13.710 –> 00:34:24.420 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, you gotta you gotta come up with a marketing plan, like any good business, you know, come up with your dear cost benefit analysis and figure out if you’re making money or losing money and.

    00:34:26.250 –> 00:34:28.260 Laura Lauffer she/her: And kind of go from there.

    00:34:28.530 –> 00:34:35.970 Joseph McElroy: Well, I think my my challenge is, I mean i’ve been doing a lot of marketing, so my challenge, though, is actually, how do you grow the best stuff.

    00:34:37.290 –> 00:34:38.190 Joseph McElroy: Right yeah.

    00:34:38.280 –> 00:34:39.840 Laura Lauffer she/her: Well, you start with good soil.

    00:34:39.930 –> 00:34:42.600 Joseph McElroy: Good soil and the worm sounds like a good addition.

    00:34:42.630 –> 00:34:44.070 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah yeah.

    00:34:44.280 –> 00:34:50.130 Joseph McElroy: yeah i’ve been using I think mushroom based stuff or or beef of based stuff right.

    00:34:50.520 –> 00:34:57.510 Laura Lauffer she/her: Nice nice yeah we’re we’re blessed with fantastic wild mushroom foraging in this region.

    00:34:58.320 –> 00:35:04.650 Joseph McElroy: So you’ve mentioned a few agriculture agritourism business examples around the area.

    00:35:05.760 –> 00:35:10.710 Joseph McElroy: I think there’s also another one, you probably know about darnell farms over swaying county.

    00:35:10.800 –> 00:35:21.090 Laura Lauffer she/her: Right yeah yeah the Dardanelles are fantastic partners in our in our work and I always highlight them when I do teach a marketing class because.

    00:35:21.480 –> 00:35:33.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know I encourage anybody to go to the darnell farm is Facebook page because they do live video all the time and and one of the best ones I saw was on.

    00:35:34.440 –> 00:35:42.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: They went out in the field picked a tomato sliced it put it between two pieces of wonder bread with semantics and.

    00:35:42.330 –> 00:35:44.640 Joseph McElroy: Probably good old southern Mayo and.

    00:35:45.150 –> 00:35:47.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: It was just running down his.

    00:35:47.700 –> 00:35:48.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: hand and he.

    00:35:49.350 –> 00:35:50.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: And he was loving it.

    00:35:51.060 –> 00:35:54.960 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know just folks just lined up for miles to count on your sandwich.

    00:35:55.230 –> 00:35:59.280 Joseph McElroy: I eat a tomato sandwich about every every other week I love it to me.

    00:36:01.080 –> 00:36:09.210 Joseph McElroy: So I put mine on yeah wheat bread, I put spinach on the right, you know i’m a little bit more elaborate still but the basis of it is still tomato mail on.

    00:36:10.350 –> 00:36:10.620 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:36:11.700 –> 00:36:24.840 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah they’re fantastic Community members, they support a lot of food pantries they’re great place to work, and it really is a fun event venue with live music or river.

    00:36:25.950 –> 00:36:31.500 Laura Lauffer she/her: Picking pumpkins and strawberries and hayride so that that is a lot of fun and.

    00:36:33.420 –> 00:36:36.810 Joseph McElroy: So uh so any other places that you think.

    00:36:37.140 –> 00:36:38.790 Laura Lauffer she/her: highlight that are really great yes.

    00:36:38.910 –> 00:36:40.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: Yes, there’s a new one.

    00:36:41.040 –> 00:37:00.420 Laura Lauffer she/her: And I just found out today i’m a with from appalachian sustainable LIFE project, which is a sister organization they’re having a farm tour this year that will have a few stops and haywood county and they’re going to go to smoky mountain manga least talk about a mouthful.

    00:37:01.740 –> 00:37:09.150 Laura Lauffer she/her: So the manga least a pig is the cutest pig it’s a pig with with tight tight curly hair.

    00:37:09.540 –> 00:37:09.780 Joseph McElroy: But it.

    00:37:09.840 –> 00:37:15.030 Laura Lauffer she/her: Has like the highest fat content, the large chefs love it.

    00:37:15.120 –> 00:37:27.930 Laura Lauffer she/her: love it love it so but during cove it, you know things changed for them and they lived on a beautiful piece of land with the river and people wanted to Camp so like well let’s try camping.

    00:37:28.410 –> 00:37:29.310 Laura Lauffer she/her: And so they.

    00:37:29.850 –> 00:37:38.820 Laura Lauffer she/her: I believe their platform is hip camp hai PC emp is kind of like an airbnb for farmers who have land.

    00:37:39.090 –> 00:37:39.450 Laura Lauffer she/her: So you.

    00:37:39.510 –> 00:37:51.900 Laura Lauffer she/her: roll up in your camper you roll up with your tent and you have this beautiful experience on a farm So yes, smoky mountain manga Lisa and you can buy some amazing pork chops while you’re there.

    00:37:52.320 –> 00:38:10.380 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s that’s pretty cool yeah i’m looking at putting some yeah some cabins are clapping out and I earned us now, because now, I have the whole facility to do all the management and all that so yeah It makes sense, where do you see the future of tourism in the next few years.

    00:38:11.670 –> 00:38:22.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: I think i’m ECO tourism for sure i’m talking about sustainability and one of the really exciting things that’s happening.

    00:38:22.680 –> 00:38:28.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: In agriculture is carbon sequestration is you know, recognizing farmers.

    00:38:28.860 –> 00:38:40.800 Laura Lauffer she/her: As a solution to climate change, and not a problem for climate change, and so you know going and seeing you know what are these sustainability measures, you can take with your cattle.

    00:38:41.490 –> 00:38:47.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: and your pastures, how can we, you know, can you know use practices that.

    00:38:48.390 –> 00:39:00.210 Laura Lauffer she/her: create a better habitat for birds and pollinators things like that so i’m hopeful that consumers will will want to do that and take your children to see you know you and.

    00:39:00.780 –> 00:39:10.080 Laura Lauffer she/her: I took some nutrition students to interview some farmers and they had no idea that I think that potatoes grew into ground.

    00:39:10.350 –> 00:39:19.500 Laura Lauffer she/her: Or that you know I know the first time I saw how Brussels sprouts sprouts grew I was like oh wow that’s kind of cool that they grow on a stock.

    00:39:19.770 –> 00:39:32.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah um yeah it’s fun and you know we have these beautiful rivers and all of this, recreation, so what I would like to see is folks combine you know come out.

    00:39:33.360 –> 00:39:44.700 Laura Lauffer she/her: enjoy the River enjoy the mountains and leave maybe leave some of your resources behind leave some of your money behind with a local farm that conserves that beauty that you love to see.

    00:39:45.210 –> 00:40:01.110 Joseph McElroy: Right, I think it’s a great idea for children, you know that used to be the children were a big mainstay of tourism here and haywood county but because he had the ghost town in the sky, but you know now research shows that hey the predominance demographic now comes out as over 45 right.

    00:40:01.410 –> 00:40:02.820 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah the motorcycle people.

    00:40:03.000 –> 00:40:12.510 Joseph McElroy: The motorcycle people and you got the pet friendly crowd you’ve got the hikers and you got but, in general, there there there it’s an older demographic now so but.

    00:40:13.230 –> 00:40:23.430 Joseph McElroy: Since coven we’re starting to see families come out and I think having things like agritourism, where they learn a lot of stuff go going from penny.

    00:40:23.850 –> 00:40:37.890 Joseph McElroy: petting sheep to you know, seeing how things grow to you know camping I think those are all great visions for do for really vital revitalizing tourism across the board.

    00:40:38.490 –> 00:40:40.110 Joseph McElroy: I also I also saw that you.

    00:40:40.320 –> 00:40:48.450 Joseph McElroy: You encourage diversity i’ve been doing a lot of work involving women in pursuing the field So how do you do that, and what do you do for them.

    00:40:49.410 –> 00:40:59.250 Laura Lauffer she/her: I really don’t have to do anything for them, they are leaders in the field, and they are dynamic savvy business people.

    00:41:00.990 –> 00:41:16.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: So they don’t really require any extra attention any extra programming I just you know I work to serve them the way I serve anybody else I did write an article for smoky mountain news a couple years ago about.

    00:41:17.310 –> 00:41:29.160 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know the dynamism of women in agriculture in the region and katie from katie’s orchard Patricia Taylor told a story about being with a few women that went to the apple meetings.

    00:41:30.030 –> 00:41:38.490 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know, years ago, and that the male apple farmers are kind of like looking at her about speaking up and she’s like i’m here to learn.

    00:41:39.270 –> 00:41:50.640 Laura Lauffer she/her: And and she’s an amazing amazing farmer, I absolutely recommend you go by katie’s orchard in canton and you can pick apples and pears and blackberries and blueberries and.

    00:41:51.180 –> 00:42:08.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: Get jam and honey and so that’s another another great asset at katie and so she she’s a leader, she counsels other farmers and yeah women, women are natural leaders, and so they don’t need me for much.

    00:42:09.120 –> 00:42:19.350 Joseph McElroy: But sometimes they have unique challenges I mean maybe not as much as they used to, but like my grandmother when she moved here back in the 40s 50s he became like the first one is broker.

    00:42:20.130 –> 00:42:29.880 Joseph McElroy: State of North Carolina but they would let her open her own bank account to her husband came in and open it yeah is there any unique challenges that women face down the an agritourism.

    00:42:30.570 –> 00:42:40.650 Joseph McElroy: No oh good all right cool all right, well, we have to take another break and then we’ll come back we’ll finish up with you know some some things you want to make people aware of.

    00:42:41.070 –> 00:42:42.420 Laura Lauffer she/her: Okay excellent Thank you.

    00:44:43.980 –> 00:44:54.780 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with a gateway to the smokies podcast my guest is Laura Laufer so Laura, you know my business that’s funded my.

    00:44:55.560 –> 00:45:07.050 Joseph McElroy: This move them into the back end of my childhood home and this motel and things originated in marketing and you know, a big part of what we do is content storytelling.

    00:45:07.590 –> 00:45:14.010 Joseph McElroy: And and and we’ve built the Meadowlark you know we tripled revenue tripled things through storytelling essentially through.

    00:45:14.430 –> 00:45:27.420 Joseph McElroy: The mountain heritage is the common theme throughout what we do so, I noticed that you emphasize storytelling in your agritourism businesses as a way to build it what, what do you, what do you tell them.

    00:45:28.470 –> 00:45:40.440 Laura Lauffer she/her: Absolutely, I mean that’s what you know you clinch folks with you know this goat is named Beatrice after my grandma because my grandma was hard-headed and this goat.

    00:45:40.740 –> 00:45:52.950 Laura Lauffer she/her: is hard-headed and that’s why we call her Beatrice well how is she hard-headed well she’s hard headed to because she figured out how to get out of the fence, and you know, and you just go on and tell that story about.

    00:45:53.850 –> 00:46:04.350 Laura Lauffer she/her: About unique things about your farm and, like you, you know you’re talking about your grandmother, you know, especially if it’s a heritage farm let folks know you know how long.

    00:46:04.710 –> 00:46:14.460 Laura Lauffer she/her: Has this been here, this is why we’re here, this is why we do that, and you know it can be as simple as the story of where your food comes from you know, like.

    00:46:14.880 –> 00:46:32.970 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh, you enjoy bread, do you know that bread comes from wheat, and this is where we grow wheat in western North Carolina and wheat can also be used for this, and so so contextualizing agriculture so folks understand what it means to their everyday life.

    00:46:33.990 –> 00:46:39.120 Joseph McElroy: that’s cool that’s cool they know I that’s yeah that’s what we tell people.

    00:46:40.320 –> 00:46:47.970 Joseph McElroy: When they’re wanting to do things in social media like tick tock and stuff like that and Instagram it’s all about telling a narrative right.

    00:46:48.750 –> 00:46:58.680 Joseph McElroy: about telling the story yeah and so that’s you know that’s the way to help people a lot I think in terms of get their story out there.

    00:46:59.790 –> 00:47:09.600 Laura Lauffer she/her: We say on when folks do social media on Facebook, that it should be the content should be 80% storytelling and 20% selling.

    00:47:09.900 –> 00:47:13.710 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know, you know it’s like oh here’s pictures of.

    00:47:14.340 –> 00:47:30.150 Laura Lauffer she/her: You know, we want the best picture of your child eating a strawberry from our strawberry patch you get thousands of pictures of kids with strawberry all over their face and people love it and then you say Oh, by the way, you know still pick in until dark until August it.

    00:47:30.480 –> 00:47:38.130 Joseph McElroy: You know cool so um, how do you define the ideal farm to table Program.

    00:47:38.700 –> 00:47:41.160 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh that’s a good one um.

    00:47:42.450 –> 00:47:52.650 Laura Lauffer she/her: When the chef works with the farmer, before anything goes into the ground, and so you know say chef is reading.

    00:47:53.790 –> 00:48:04.470 Laura Lauffer she/her: So fancy culinary you know fine dining magazine, and he sees this beautiful ready CIO and he’s like I want that you know, on my plate, it looks beautiful.

    00:48:04.800 –> 00:48:16.710 Laura Lauffer she/her: So he and his the farmer that he works with they sit down with maybe the Johnny seed catalog and and they’re talking about it and they’re like okay well i’ll try it i’ll plant simply, you will see how that goes.

    00:48:17.190 –> 00:48:27.060 Laura Lauffer she/her: And it is a relationship like that it’s it’s truly creativity on both ends and you know the chef has to have some.

    00:48:28.050 –> 00:48:41.850 Laura Lauffer she/her: expectations and understanding of the challenges of disease water, you know things that happen that some things can go wrong, but it’s truly truly a relationship, you know the chef is visiting the farm.

    00:48:43.080 –> 00:49:02.670 Laura Lauffer she/her: The farmers going in to have a great meal at the restaurant, so that is absolutely the ideal where the the chef’s menu like here in Silva El de is a fantastic example they changed their menu every couple of weeks to what’s what’s what’s fresh and what’s coming in the door.

    00:49:03.570 –> 00:49:11.160 Joseph McElroy: that’s I mean yeah the when you’re doing the farming you’d have to you have to you have to deal with the dynamics of what’s available.

    00:49:11.700 –> 00:49:15.390 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah well everybody’s got yellow squash in my.

    00:49:16.740 –> 00:49:24.270 Laura Lauffer she/her: Maybe plant, you know, a different kind of beat instead so you have to be smart like that.

    00:49:24.690 –> 00:49:28.230 Joseph McElroy: Right or come up with unique recipes for yellow squash.

    00:49:29.070 –> 00:49:30.510 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah.

    00:49:30.720 –> 00:49:32.160 Laura Lauffer she/her: I think they’re out there somewhere.

    00:49:32.640 –> 00:49:37.110 Joseph McElroy: Well i’m i’m loving yellow squash soup cream soup.

    00:49:38.880 –> 00:49:39.390 Joseph McElroy: it’s good.

    00:49:41.010 –> 00:49:42.000 Joseph McElroy: So, but.

    00:49:47.160 –> 00:49:47.460 Joseph McElroy: You.

    00:49:48.720 –> 00:49:49.050 Joseph McElroy: You.

    00:49:50.970 –> 00:49:55.710 Joseph McElroy: You sorry I lost my place in my my questions here so.

    00:49:57.240 –> 00:50:02.760 Joseph McElroy: So you have a website right what’s the website again you just say Google is easiest way.

    00:50:03.120 –> 00:50:06.570 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah empowering mountain foods.org I believe.

    00:50:06.840 –> 00:50:16.620 Laura Lauffer she/her: Okay i’m done and there’s two other websites I wanted folks to be aware of that, I hope we can put on the Facebook page one is the visit nc farms APP.

    00:50:17.190 –> 00:50:26.400 Laura Lauffer she/her: So this is an APP sponsored by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and in haywood county it’s sponsored by cooperative extension.

    00:50:27.090 –> 00:50:37.230 Laura Lauffer she/her: And bunkum county it’s sponsored by soil and water and in Jackson county it’s funded by the tourism development authority and so.

    00:50:37.620 –> 00:50:47.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: You download this APP and wherever you’re driving in North Carolina you can you know type in you know alpaca farm or strawberries, and it will come up.

    00:50:48.090 –> 00:51:02.730 Laura Lauffer she/her: With the map hours what’s available, so the visit nc farms APP and then the other one i’m super excited about, especially for your out of town folks is vacation or supported agriculture and.

    00:51:04.260 –> 00:51:08.880 Laura Lauffer she/her: I put that link in the chat so I don’t quite remember that I hope i’m not messing this up.

    00:51:09.390 –> 00:51:20.400 Laura Lauffer she/her: So P one provisions visit and see smokies and so hopefully we can put that in the in the stream and what’s so exciting about this is before you get to town.

    00:51:20.910 –> 00:51:32.670 Laura Lauffer she/her: and say you’re staying in a cabin and you would like a bag of fresh freshly picked produce from a farm right down the road and.

    00:51:33.450 –> 00:51:45.780 Laura Lauffer she/her: And haywood county it’s mark mcdonough at mighty know mark and Danielle at mighty known and Christine Christine braswell of outlaw acres so these two farmers are supplying.

    00:51:46.890 –> 00:51:58.200 Laura Lauffer she/her: Visitors with a beautiful bag of produce eggs and flowers and it’s there for them to pick up at bear waters brewery in bosu wine shop in waynesville when they get to town.

    00:51:58.740 –> 00:52:01.980 Joseph McElroy: So those are the waters with the cannon or the one advantage.

    00:52:02.280 –> 00:52:03.150 Laura Lauffer she/her: The one in Maggie.

    00:52:03.480 –> 00:52:04.530 Joseph McElroy: Really yeah.

    00:52:04.860 –> 00:52:13.500 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah so yeah we met with Kevin he’s really excited to support us he’s a big supporter of of local farmers.

    00:52:14.010 –> 00:52:17.520 Joseph McElroy: piggy backs have to have that list so they’d have this produce while they’re here.

    00:52:17.760 –> 00:52:19.080 Joseph McElroy: yeah what to say.

    00:52:20.160 –> 00:52:20.430 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah.

    00:52:21.000 –> 00:52:24.630 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know we have Kevin tier two middle of we should talk to bear waters and.

    00:52:24.840 –> 00:52:37.770 Laura Lauffer she/her: Absolutely yeah you will send you the link and when some for all your folks who are coming in August, you can go ahead and send them the link and say hey do you want to pick up a bag of produce here you go.

    00:52:38.340 –> 00:52:39.420 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s a great yeah.

    00:52:39.510 –> 00:52:46.800 Laura Lauffer she/her: It is it’s a it’s happening it’s been happening at nc state sponsored program it’s been happening on the coast, for five years.

    00:52:47.250 –> 00:52:48.300 Joseph McElroy: and pay for it right.

    00:52:48.720 –> 00:52:49.230 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

    00:52:49.500 –> 00:52:52.170 Laura Lauffer she/her: Oh yeah I believe it’s $45 a bag.

    00:52:53.310 –> 00:53:10.170 Laura Lauffer she/her: And you get your own you know kick insulated pooler carrier and haywood county and Jackson county are pioneers in western North Carolina it’s been happening on the coast, for five years, so we were really appreciative.

    00:53:10.560 –> 00:53:16.740 Joseph McElroy: Well it’s great I mean anybody out there, doing airbnb should seriously seriously think about this, you can wait.

    00:53:17.490 –> 00:53:18.810 Joseph McElroy: For your clients right.

    00:53:18.840 –> 00:53:21.000 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah I can I can hook them up.

    00:53:21.300 –> 00:53:21.690 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:53:22.020 –> 00:53:29.040 Laura Lauffer she/her: We just met with some airbnb owners last week and they’re very, very excited about this.

    00:53:29.310 –> 00:53:34.380 Joseph McElroy: Well, oh yeah I mean I like the idea I like the idea is, we could put in our cabin.

    00:53:34.710 –> 00:53:38.340 Joseph McElroy: yeah we actually go pick it up for them and have it there when they arrived.

    00:53:38.400 –> 00:53:40.290 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah that’d be great right down the road.

    00:53:40.500 –> 00:53:46.530 Joseph McElroy: You know, right down the road from us so cool so everybody out there Miller moto soon gonna have produce available in the rooms, where you go.

    00:53:49.290 –> 00:53:52.980 Joseph McElroy: cool any other any other thing you want to shout out before I close up.

    00:53:53.910 –> 00:54:06.270 Laura Lauffer she/her: Just you know go to your local farmers market check them out um when you go and eat out at a restaurant ask them do you have any local products on your menu.

    00:54:07.170 –> 00:54:25.920 Laura Lauffer she/her: This really is up to, we as consumers to drive the markets to these farms, I mean we we drive around the smokies we see these beautiful venues, and some of them are venues that are beautiful because farmers are being conservation minded and keeping land and production.

    00:54:26.250 –> 00:54:28.560 Laura Lauffer she/her: So, so I say eat your view.

    00:54:29.160 –> 00:54:32.190 Joseph McElroy: yeah cool well Thank you so much for being on my show.

    00:54:32.250 –> 00:54:37.560 Joseph McElroy: it’s planning, I want to talk further I will go to your website do the application to come talk to you.

    00:54:37.830 –> 00:54:42.330 Laura Lauffer she/her: yeah we have a little bit of funding left we’re really excited about it.

    00:54:42.330 –> 00:54:43.080 Joseph McElroy: So oh.

    00:54:43.950 –> 00:54:55.140 Joseph McElroy: yeah Thank you so this is the gateway the smoke these podcasts were streamed live on facebook@facebook.com slash gateway to the smoke these podcasts every Friday every.

    00:54:55.920 –> 00:55:04.350 Joseph McElroy: Every Tuesday at six to seven it’s also in the talk radio dot nyc network, which is a network of live podcasts every day.

    00:55:04.920 –> 00:55:17.670 Joseph McElroy: ranging from help for small business to sell help to pet help to any number of subjects and it’s very dynamic, because every podcast is live, so I recommend you take a look at what are the offerings they have and it’s.

    00:55:18.300 –> 00:55:22.020 Joseph McElroy: it’s it’s a good network, you can also find all the old.

    00:55:22.740 –> 00:55:32.370 Joseph McElroy: episodes for this organized long transcripts on the smokies adventure COM site you go there and there’s a link at the top, for the gateway to the smoke these podcasts and.

    00:55:32.910 –> 00:55:44.820 Joseph McElroy: I look forward to you coming and listening to us again next week I think we’re about to take a month off so it’d be rerun for a month and a half until September but I’ll be back in September with new shows and new.

    00:55:45.300 –> 00:55:50.850 Joseph McElroy: New people to talk to as well, some old friends and old subjects to go over again.

    00:55:51.870 –> 00:55:54.630 Joseph McElroy: So until next time, thank you for listening.

    50m - Jul 26, 2022
  • Episode 65: Folkmoot USA—Many Cultures, One Community – A Visit with Evan Hatch


    Learn about folk culture and heritage with Evan Hatch, Executive Director of Folkmoot USA. Listen to this episode, as he dedicated this to all folks who carry forward their heritage through music, dance, and song!


    What's the Folkmoot USA all about? 

    Discover all about the Folkmoot USA with Evan Hatch on our podcast! Tune in as Joseph interviews Mr. Hatch, an expert folklorist with almost two decades of experience as a Grammy Award-winning record producer, event production coordinator, vernacular artist, documentary filmmaker, and recorder of oral history, as well as holding high-level management experience with some of the most prestigious cultural organizations in the Southeast. 

    Hatch is currently the Executive Director of one of the oldest and most popular educational centers and festivals in the Southeast—Folkmoot – with headquarters in Waynesville, N.C. He holds degrees from both UNC and Ole Miss and resides in Waynesville. 

    He's going to tell us all about the Folkmoot USA, including what it is and how you can get involved! He will also share what makes this festival so unique, as well as how he got involved in this industry and how he got started. 

    Don't miss this episode! 

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/evanhatch22/ 

    Website: https://www.folkmoot.org/

    EPISODE QUOTE: “If you want to get to know your future ancestors I would definitely talk about going to my website, Narrate Project, which is a business I;’m still running and still love to do.”


    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.



    Originally from North Carolina, 1980 to 2000. His father was in the military so they traveled a lot as a family and in his retirement, they settled in North Carolina. He returned to school in 1996 to find his career interest. He recalls his teachers as brilliant and experts with interesting backgrounds. High/ popular culture has caused the folk culture to be looked down upon.


    He won a Grammy for Best Album Notes in 2008 and goes into detail behind the inspiration of his work for that award. Bill Monroe was inspired by black artists and he praises musicians who are not racists and truly care about music and collaborations. He gets hired to do extensive interviews with families’ loved ones, so they can hold onto their legacy through his work. Ethan gives a shout-out to Folkstream.net, which has the best documentaries of folks from the 1950s. The festival that he had the most fun organizing is The National Folk Festival in Nashville.


    Folkmoot has been around for 38 years as a festival and the organization has been around for 50 years. The meaning of Folkmoot is “meeting of people '' and the creator, Dr. Border was inspired by the European folk festivals. The Folkmoot Friendship Center is taking part in renting out a historic school’s classrooms which date back to 1935 and was founded by WPA. People can use it as galleries and workspace. Soar Academy also provides outdoor school.


    Since the Folkmoot Summer Fest will be smaller they are enabled to invest in Fal and Spring programming. Hatch has been able to turn something many views as a hobby into a career.



    00:00:37.020 –> 00:00:39.900 Joseph McElroy: howdy welcome to the gateway to the smokies.

    00:00:39.900 –> 00:00:48.630 Joseph McElroy: podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains National Park in the surrounding towns.

    00:00:49.350 –> 00:00:57.780 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:00:58.530 –> 00:01:12.720 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains my family is living the great smokies for over 200 years my businesses and travel, but my heart is in culture today we’re going to talk about.

    00:01:13.890 –> 00:01:23.550 Joseph McElroy: Folkmoot USA and beaten with the Executive Director Evan Hatch reversed a few sponsor messages and some events coming up.

    00:01:25.380 –> 00:01:32.700 Joseph McElroy: I want you to imagine a place evocative of the motor court of the past, yet modern and vibrant with a chic Appalachian feel.

    00:01:33.450 –> 00:01:44.910 Joseph McElroy: a place for adventure and for relaxation imagine a place where you can have fish and mountain heritage trout stream grill the catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

    00:01:45.420 –> 00:01:57.690 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place of old-time music and world cultural sounds, there is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel Maggie Valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventure starts with where you stay.

    00:01:58.920 –> 00:02:09.690 Joseph McElroy: Another sponsor is smokies adventure.com that smokies plural of interesting either the smoky mountains and surrounding area is a vacation destination for all sees.

    00:02:10.290 –> 00:02:17.760 Joseph McElroy: Some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and fans of family entertainment can be found, right here.

    00:02:18.300 –> 00:02:25.410 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure calm to explore all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountain National Park.

    00:02:25.920 –> 00:02:37.050 Joseph McElroy: The trails the waterfalls the cage coven the elk and more then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment you’re retired family can enjoy.

    00:02:37.410 –> 00:02:44.940 Joseph McElroy: Fine lodging find places to stay find places to eat find where you can do outdoor life events like weddings and honeymoons.

    00:02:45.600 –> 00:02:53.220 Joseph McElroy: it’s all at the smokies adventure calm, which is the leading information portal for adventure experiences of the great smoky mountains.

    00:02:53.910 –> 00:03:17.310 Joseph McElroy: So events coming up at the Meadowlark on this coming Saturday, July 23 at 6pm we’re having smoky Blue Rain it’s a trio of Len Graham Fillmore name is Jackson their brand of Americana music is infectious blend folk light rock blues jazz touch of traditional country.

    00:03:18.360 –> 00:03:30.990 Joseph McElroy: They met through a mutual friend and that and that first group know realize that they had something special so come on over to the metal or motel and there’s also a Barbecue and and and another find.

    00:03:32.640 –> 00:03:41.490 Joseph McElroy: Things to enjoy starting at 6 pm and the mission is free for hotel guests and imperatives club members and it’s just $10 for everybody else.

    00:03:42.060 –> 00:03:56.610 Joseph McElroy: So rsvp is required for the Barbecue dinner so call eight to 89261717 for tickets and come enjoy some food and bbq now some of you might know that there was recently a.

    00:03:57.750 –> 00:04:01.320 Joseph McElroy: A viral event on tick tock or.

    00:04:02.700 –> 00:04:20.520 Joseph McElroy: cloggers from Western North Carolina especially specifically down on Jonathan creek here in a wood county went viral and got seen by like 100 million people’s names ED and he’s part of the J creek cloggers and so they’re coming to the metal Arc motel on July 30 at 7:30 pm.

    00:04:21.960 –> 00:04:22.680 Joseph McElroy: We have.

    00:04:23.790 –> 00:04:31.200 Joseph McElroy: two great mountain heritage events put on by the metal Arc smoky mountain heritage Center and also include an evening at dinner and dancing.

    00:04:32.460 –> 00:04:50.640 Joseph McElroy: begins with the bbq had six and then the performance of the jquery cloggers at 730 and that’s that includes music, they will perform a bunch of examples of traditional mountain dancing as well as teaching the audience several fun dance steps there’s going to be.

    00:04:52.200 –> 00:05:00.420 Joseph McElroy: interactive performance or everybody will get to dance and then there’ll also be a short talk by Kim Ross who was on the show here a few weeks ago.

    00:05:00.810 –> 00:05:17.130 Joseph McElroy: On the history, and traditions of mountain dancy so Dr you grab your partner and come on by admission is free for hotel guests and parents come Members as 20 bucks for people that are not a standard hotel just call eight to 89261717 to reserve your spot.

    00:05:18.180 –> 00:05:31.200 Joseph McElroy: And then, a big event we got coming up August 12 or 13th is a songwriters can, and this is a, this is a serious one, this is a Grammy award-winning songwriters you got Jim Lauderdale who’s written.

    00:05:31.680 –> 00:05:42.240 Joseph McElroy: hits many of George strait’s it he wrote that song king of the broken hearts and then you got Charles Humphrey The third is another grammy award winner, along with the.

    00:05:42.900 –> 00:05:49.860 Joseph McElroy: Award-winning artists, such as their Nicholson clay mills and Charles chambers.

    00:05:50.460 –> 00:05:58.860 Joseph McElroy: And you know Darren Nicholson one of the main musicians and balsam range as big around these parts so it’s going to be a fantastic event.

    00:05:59.220 –> 00:06:08.910 Joseph McElroy: it’s going to be a two-day event of interactive songwriting instruction so there’ll be both candles but they’re also be working individually with all the arts.

    00:06:09.840 –> 00:06:21.210 Joseph McElroy: world-class musicians and they’ll get a DEMO tape producer one of your songs they’re also a concert on a Friday night by the songs from the road band.

    00:06:22.620 –> 00:06:34.290 Joseph McElroy: Which is Charles Humphreys band, and then a Barbecue dinner and all-star concert with all those artists, on Saturday night, this is a unique event like no other and space will be limited, ensure that everybody gets attention.

    00:06:35.370 –> 00:06:52.860 Joseph McElroy: So the songwriter campus 678 $75 a person includes all the activities and DEMO tape and everything else, and you also can get yourself a room at the middle like motel if you’re coming from out of town and it also includes dinner and breakfast and things like that.

    00:06:54.210 –> 00:07:06.810 Joseph McElroy: If there’s also a limited number of tickets available for just coming to the concerts either on Friday or Saturday night so call eight to 89261717 to get your ticket and reserve your space.

    00:07:08.730 –> 00:07:21.360 Joseph McElroy: Somebody knows a lot about events Now is our guest tonight his name is David hatch he’s an expert folklorist with almost two gay two decades of experience as a grammy award-winning.

    00:07:21.720 –> 00:07:28.950 Joseph McElroy: record producer event production coordinator vernacular artists documentary filmmaker and recorder of oral history.

    00:07:29.370 –> 00:07:37.170 Joseph McElroy: As well as holy high-level management experience with some of the most prestigious cultural organizations in the southeast.

    00:07:38.070 –> 00:07:47.790 Joseph McElroy: hatches Evan hatches is currently the executive director, of one of the oldest and most popular educational centers and festivals in the southeast folks.

    00:07:48.300 –> 00:08:05.040 Joseph McElroy: With headquarters, right here in haven county in Waynesville North Carolina he holds degrees from both unc and old mess resides and waiting for, where he enjoys cooking camping photography, and reading and is limited spare time I don’t know how he has a spare time how you doing.

    00:08:06.360 –> 00:08:09.510 Evan: I’m good Joseph thanks for having me here thanks for making me sound like.

    00:08:10.590 –> 00:08:15.480 Joseph McElroy: A listen when you do accomplishments it doesn’t take much does that make you sound good because you are.

    00:08:17.460 –> 00:08:20.850 Joseph McElroy: So you said you’re only been here for three and a half weeks and welcome a wood county.

    00:08:21.090 –> 00:08:23.490 Evan: Right three and a half months but it.

    00:08:24.000 –> 00:08:25.410 Evan: might mean a half yeah.

    00:08:27.180 –> 00:08:28.200 Joseph McElroy: it’s all right well.

    00:08:28.860 –> 00:08:38.250 Joseph McElroy: Well I’m so excited that you gotta know this new job both books as I used to do some great things, but first I want to talk a little bit about your background.

    00:08:38.610 –> 00:08:42.180 Joseph McElroy: sure how you’ve worked, both in North Carolina and Tennessee Where are you originally from.

    00:08:43.050 –> 00:08:45.750 Evan: I’m actually from North Carolina I grew up in North Carolina.

    00:08:46.830 –> 00:08:55.230 Evan: Graham North Carolina’s my hometown and I was raised there from let’s say 1980 and.

    00:08:55.710 –> 00:09:10.290 Evan: to 2000 you know, and so I was born in California actually moved around my dad was in the military for a little while and then he retired and we settled down in a small town North Carolina Graham write down and try.

    00:09:11.220 –> 00:09:18.360 Joseph McElroy: it’s right yeah I spent a number of years in the Durham wait for Jerry Raleigh Durham area.

    00:09:19.920 –> 00:09:22.950 Joseph McElroy: Though you know a middle stage is also a lovely place.

    00:09:24.240 –> 00:09:27.510 Evan: 20 minutes from there, but yes, I spent a lot of time there myself yeah.

    00:09:27.720 –> 00:09:28.980 Joseph McElroy: yeah no i’ve.

    00:09:29.460 –> 00:09:29.910 Evan: grown it.

    00:09:31.860 –> 00:09:36.360 Joseph McElroy: How did your love for folklore cultural history music begin and.

    00:09:38.280 –> 00:09:43.710 Evan: Good question man, and you know, sometimes I’ve asked myself that over and over and over again, you know I would say.

    00:09:45.210 –> 00:09:53.640 Evan: um I went I started college a little bit too early and I had too good of a time in my first couple of years.

    00:09:54.660 –> 00:10:03.090 Evan: After I decided to kind of get serious went back to school and in 1996 and I started taking classes.

    00:10:04.380 –> 00:10:16.200 Evan: In what my parents said just try stuff find out what you like see what you enjoy and I started taking classes and folklore and American studies and I found.

    00:10:16.680 –> 00:10:26.430 Evan: I really enjoyed these classes, because my teachers were brilliant they were so smart and they were so entertaining and they had just like.

    00:10:26.850 –> 00:10:36.270 Evan: They got to study things that I just thought were super cool and one teacher who was an expert on coney island in the 19 you know, in the heyday and.

    00:10:39.270 –> 00:10:49.860 Evan: wow yeah another Professor Robert Cantwell wrote a book called ethno mesas and also we’re about a bluegrass break day, so these books, although.

    00:10:50.400 –> 00:11:10.320 Evan: Very academic and above my head, it was just cool to be able to study you know stuff that I thought that you know that the common every day the things that surround us all the time and the history of the folk you know I find that to be really, really fascinating I am.

    00:11:11.520 –> 00:11:15.990 Evan: You know it’s hard to look at it’s not really a correct way of looking at it, but if you look at.

    00:11:17.280 –> 00:11:20.700 Evan: Culture saying you want to look at it through the lenses of.

    00:11:21.780 –> 00:11:31.140 Evan: Music you got you to know your high culture, which is very you know very respected and academic and if you look at music, you can say that’s simple.

    00:11:32.310 –> 00:11:48.330 Evan: If you’re looking at pop music, you could say well that’s lady gaga or and then you can start looking at folk music and it’s you know it’s traditional fiddles that’s what you know people have been playing for years and years for fun and.

    00:11:49.380 –> 00:11:59.490 Evan: And for living and for you know and just to be bearers of culture and I just find that stuff absolutely fascinated often seem that people respected high culture.

    00:12:00.810 –> 00:12:02.190 Evan: And that.

    00:12:03.300 –> 00:12:11.400 Evan: There is some sort of inherent coolness and outsiders do not have to look at folk culture and I.

    00:12:12.300 –> 00:12:12.930 Joseph McElroy: Would you say.

    00:12:13.050 –> 00:12:15.060 Joseph McElroy: What do you say hi culture is actually.

    00:12:16.110 –> 00:12:23.220 Joseph McElroy: it’s it’s more of a just fashion choices necessarily as a quality choice, I mean I think a lot of folk.

    00:12:24.840 –> 00:12:39.870 Joseph McElroy: folk what we consider folk entertainment is actually quite high quality but it’s you know the fashion, is you know Jen driven by you know decisions and not necessarily even in the nature of the music and.

    00:12:40.920 –> 00:12:42.810 Joseph McElroy: arts things like that right.

    00:12:42.840 –> 00:12:53.190 Evan: The total Joseph that stuff combines right you think Aaron Copeland the great American composer he was writing about American folk subjects you think of Ricard Wagner little ride of the valkyries.

    00:12:54.390 –> 00:13:00.930 Evan: he’s a silly wrote a symphony but he wrote it about a German folk tale, so all this stuff online forms one.

    00:13:02.070 –> 00:13:06.090 Joseph McElroy: All right, well, we got we were hitting our first break already so um.

    00:13:06.570 –> 00:13:07.620 Evan: yeah yeah.

    00:13:07.710 –> 00:13:10.590 Joseph McElroy: yeah I I talked to us but.

    00:13:12.420 –> 00:13:17.310 Joseph McElroy: So we will come back we’ll talk more about your background and get away with stuff you’re doing today to.

    00:13:18.000 –> 00:13:18.630 Evan: That sounds great.

    00:13:19.680 –> 00:13:20.190 Evan: Thanks Joseph

    00:15:36.450 –> 00:15:52.260 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guest Evan Hutch so Evan so you ended up graduating from Carolina and then a paid your masters at Ole miss.

    00:15:52.350 –> 00:15:53.370 Joseph McElroy: And then you had.

    00:15:53.880 –> 00:16:05.790 Joseph McElroy: have had a successful two-decade career that’s actually spanned a lot of variety of interesting fields and hopefully, we’ll get into a little bit of that, but the one that jumped out to me, you know, being an artist.

    00:16:06.900 –> 00:16:20.700 Joseph McElroy: And performer myself, is that you, you were involved with spring fed records and you want to Grammy Award for producing an album so tell me about the spring federal records and how you became involved and what was the Grammy awards.

    00:16:22.140 –> 00:16:40.920 Evan: moved to Tennessee in 2002 we started a record label over at the art Center Camden county the idea was to highlight some of the hillbilly music, that was the pro country that led to the beginnings of bluegrass music and old-time music so.

    00:16:42.030 –> 00:16:48.690 Evan: We took a lot of historical recordings that were in archive stuff that hadn’t been heard, except by you know.

    00:16:49.230 –> 00:16:58.800 Evan: Musicologists are people who recorded them and years and worked closely with the families to reissue those records and clean them up on audio.

    00:16:59.100 –> 00:17:08.190 Evan: offered really strong liner notes, so that people could kind of understand their history of the recordings, the first thing we did was uncle Dave making at home, he was the.

    00:17:08.850 –> 00:17:16.620 Evan: King of the hillbillies he was the first superstar of the grand Ole opry and one of the greatest entertainers ever country music.

    00:17:17.820 –> 00:17:22.470 Evan: We also did a really strong Corey with salmon Kirkwall key who are.

    00:17:23.610 –> 00:17:33.840 Evan: Co conspirators are co creators with uncle Dave making and one of the first brother do those on the grand Ole opry and all those guys I understood showmanship you know kind of that still goes through.

    00:17:34.650 –> 00:17:43.800 Evan: That still go through country music today that kind of joking, and the costume where and and and you know people really engage with the audience as entertainers.

    00:17:44.310 –> 00:17:44.880 Joseph McElroy: You also.

    00:17:45.990 –> 00:17:48.480 Joseph McElroy: Get the legendary blues man john heard on there wasn’t.

    00:17:48.660 –> 00:17:53.400 Evan: We didn’t that’s correct, yes, and that was actually a recording that was made in 63.

    00:17:54.300 –> 00:17:55.830 Evan: long after john hurt.

    00:17:56.130 –> 00:18:03.930 Evan: finished his recording career and this crazy dude from Bob Hoskins excuse me, Tom Hoskins.

    00:18:04.410 –> 00:18:16.110 Evan: drove all the way down from Washington DC and he was going to go pay his respect john hurts grave site and when he found up wound up in Avalon Mississippi he found Mr hurts still very much alive.

    00:18:17.520 –> 00:18:17.970 Evan: and

    00:18:18.300 –> 00:18:21.870 Evan: hit record, and that is, those recordings from 63.

    00:18:21.990 –> 00:18:28.680 Evan: From that john, hurt says wow you have a chance to a second career went back and started playing folk festivals.

    00:18:29.220 –> 00:18:30.060 Joseph McElroy: that’s fabulous.

    00:18:31.290 –> 00:18:33.630 Evan: was pretty lucky to do that work with a family.

    00:18:34.200 –> 00:18:37.830 Joseph McElroy: And you have other iconic what you had other iconic black artists on there right.

    00:18:38.280 –> 00:18:47.940 Evan: yeah so the one that we won the Grammy for is called john work three recordings that culture john work with third was a classically trained composer.

    00:18:49.020 –> 00:18:59.280 Evan: But at the same time it’s 1930s and 1940s, he worked at Fisk University, he also really appreciated folk music the brilliant thing about john work is that.

    00:19:00.060 –> 00:19:10.440 Evan: He was a like a trust classically trained composer so he can hear music and then write it down a notation so it didn’t have to be recorded, but he could write it down.

    00:19:10.890 –> 00:19:19.050 Evan: So he did all these studies of a folk music can eat record and frazier and Patterson is a black string band country string band and nashville.

    00:19:19.500 –> 00:19:30.450 Evan: He recorded blues music in Georgia and sacred heart sing in northern Alabama just stuff that people, no one ever heard about he then came to be known, he was picked up.

    00:19:31.620 –> 00:19:47.010 Evan: befriended by Alan lomax who some of your viewers are probably know the right folklorist and together they recorded the Co houma county study in Mississippi and the Center of that study was a gentleman named mckinley Morgan field.

    00:19:48.090 –> 00:19:49.920 Evan: Who was later, known as muddy waters.

    00:19:50.490 –> 00:19:52.830 Evan: wow yeah somebody.

    00:19:55.410 –> 00:19:55.830 Joseph McElroy: Was.

    00:19:55.860 –> 00:19:59.910 Evan: very flattered to be recorded by these gentlemen, he said, well these guys want to hear me.

    00:20:00.690 –> 00:20:16.080 Evan: Maybe i’ll grow up Chicago and become muddy waters and that’s what he did so that was a 1942 record was made some of the end all those recordings were john works, and so we reissued those cleaned up the sound recordings and.

    00:20:17.160 –> 00:20:24.450 Evan: get some really extensive liner notes Bruce number of that wrote those that’s what we won that grammy for best liner notes best.

    00:20:24.450 –> 00:20:26.340 Joseph McElroy: album what were you did you win the grammy.

    00:20:27.150 –> 00:20:29.550 Evan: oh eight I guess you could say.

    00:20:30.240 –> 00:20:42.990 Joseph McElroy: All right, so uh I don’t know I don’t have all your career milestones in chronological order, but you had you were an assistant director of an organization called black and global roots, can you tell me about that.

    00:20:44.850 –> 00:20:54.060 Evan: Yes, I worked with Dr CC conway CC is she’s a professor at appalachian state and is one of the leading experts on.

    00:20:55.110 –> 00:21:05.430 Evan: The banjo and black culture and so she actually is one of the first people to trace those roots of the the banjo as it came from Africa and started to influence American music.

    00:21:06.390 –> 00:21:12.180 Evan: Actually, she is, I think, probably the most in most senior we’re putting together the Carolina chocolate drops so she.

    00:21:13.440 –> 00:21:14.940 Evan: hosted them at the.

    00:21:16.080 –> 00:21:25.920 Evan: Black banjo gathering and appalachian state a few years ago and kind of put them all together and they went off to become the Carolina chocolate drops.

    00:21:26.580 –> 00:21:39.420 Evan: So what she wanted to do a data conway wants to do is to give venues and give audiences to underrepresented folk performers so so she would.

    00:21:39.900 –> 00:21:50.700 Evan: We be playing concerts and being able to pay, working artists to give them an audience they wouldn’t usually here and that range from blues to cajun zydeco to.

    00:21:51.870 –> 00:21:56.550 Evan: Country music but mostly from underrepresented artists yeah and that was.

    00:21:57.030 –> 00:22:06.900 Joseph McElroy: It wasn’t the introduction of the banjo really brought up the custom element to say a scratch iris ballad during and really created bluegrass.

    00:22:07.950 –> 00:22:15.240 Evan: I would say, so I mean I know the bill Monroe created bluegrass is definitely learned a lot that he learned from black musicians for sure.

    00:22:16.530 –> 00:22:31.020 Evan: And I think that’s the coolest thing about musicians right is that they are kind of the first anti racist they don’t care what color you are they don’t care where you’re from as long as you can play music you speak a common language and that gets passed a lot of stuff you know.

    00:22:31.740 –> 00:22:42.840 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah so I was looking at a new, I was looking at your linkedin profile and you’ve been until you know you ever had a company called Mary what is nary.

    00:22:43.800 –> 00:22:44.280 well.

    00:22:45.420 –> 00:22:50.760 Evan: That was a probably ill conceived business that I started during during the coven.

    00:22:52.890 –> 00:22:55.740 Joseph McElroy: What better time to create a business that feel.

    00:22:56.280 –> 00:22:56.850 Evan: Like everybody.

    00:22:58.260 –> 00:22:58.650 Evan: Every.

    00:22:58.980 –> 00:23:04.230 Evan: Every feeble minded person I know started the business now i’m just kidding it’s been a really great.

    00:23:04.770 –> 00:23:06.090 Joseph McElroy: run my business went to die.

    00:23:08.430 –> 00:23:19.080 Evan: Well yeah so we had lots of time and essentially it’s all history business so families or people hire me to do extensive interviews with their loved.

    00:23:19.110 –> 00:23:28.470 Evan: ones, so that those interviews wow there are well researched and you know and deeply conducted then.

    00:23:29.010 –> 00:23:38.730 Evan: By doing that interview and recording that and essentially gives the legacy to the family, so that they can hold on to those recordings somebody.

    00:23:39.150 –> 00:23:50.220 Evan: yeah loved one before they pass away and the idea came, you know there’s everybody always has a story about I wish i’d listened to my grandmother I wish I had saved.

    00:23:50.880 –> 00:24:00.390 Evan: Her last storytelling or I wish i’d say that last phone message, and if you don’t it’s too late and it happens to everybody so try not to wait.

    00:24:01.710 –> 00:24:14.580 Joseph McElroy: Now I I felt that you know I I recorded I did video tapes my grandmother and her brother, you know just a year so before she died because I i’ve always felt that need yeah.

    00:24:15.060 –> 00:24:22.530 Evan: Yes, it did it i’m glad this everybody’s got a story to tell everybody’s got knowledge to pass on.

    00:24:23.340 –> 00:24:33.180 Joseph McElroy: Now I don’t know this term Bob you know plot who works with me, you know put together some information, he said, this is called vernacular art Is that correct.

    00:24:34.290 –> 00:24:41.580 Evan: um yeah I think that’s a really good way of looking at it, I think that term to me, you know, because the vernacular as a as a as a way of speaking.

    00:24:42.120 –> 00:24:57.390 Evan: And that’s what this artwork does is it a you know it puts it in a Community puts it in a place, but it also it’s how it’s how it’s a common language that people share and that’s communicated so yeah I think vernacular what’s fair and good way this fabulous.

    00:24:58.500 –> 00:25:10.710 Joseph McElroy: Now shift yeah The more I look at your your your your history of us just a lot of things, I mean you are also been an event festival director and coordinator.

    00:25:11.910 –> 00:25:17.190 Joseph McElroy: Right and then you create a document documentary film on southern music what was that.

    00:25:18.240 –> 00:25:24.420 Evan: um well, let me say I did a couple of we did do a couple of documentaries.

    00:25:25.500 –> 00:25:28.230 Evan: And just I think your viewers my liking if I could plug.

    00:25:29.790 –> 00:25:34.830 Evan: Great website called folk streams.net.

    00:25:35.130 –> 00:25:35.580 Joseph McElroy: Oh it’s.

    00:25:36.690 –> 00:25:53.730 Evan: The best collection of folk documentaries made from the 1950s forward and they’re all available for free just for streaming on that website, you will find the coolest vernacular art forms on there anything from music to basket tree to.

    00:25:54.780 –> 00:26:01.050 Evan: You know pottery to dance, you know so all that stuff guys covered very well.

    00:26:02.790 –> 00:26:14.850 Evan: a couple of music documentaries that we made were they were again those three issues, so one my favorite I guess was Raul mash and that was a.

    00:26:16.290 –> 00:26:31.410 Evan: Sol Sol Korean and blame Dunlap had produced in the 1970s, a portrait essentially a video portrait of hamper mech be who is Tennessee’s popcorn Sutton.

    00:26:32.040 –> 00:26:42.810 Evan: Essentially, he was like the greatest moonshot are the most famous moon shatter in Tennessee history, not to mention a fine balance Center he was a great.

    00:26:43.290 –> 00:26:58.080 Evan: roaring baritone acapella ballad singer and that movie raw mash which is available and folks streams, is basically a 30 minute portrait of hamper but also how to make moonshine from start to finish.

    00:26:58.650 –> 00:26:59.160 wow.

    00:27:01.350 –> 00:27:11.430 Joseph McElroy: That sounds good, thank you for the reference for that i’m gonna go i’m gonna go to that site start doubting my my new passion for vernacular art.

    00:27:13.230 –> 00:27:14.610 Evan: Do you like it.

    00:27:15.330 –> 00:27:26.730 Joseph McElroy: yeah and you’ve done a lot of festivals, he did the local fast and hillsborough and some others, what is the most notable or fun festival that you helped to originator develop.

    00:27:27.330 –> 00:27:36.750 Evan: Tom and it was it was a total failure, but it was the best festival I ever did it was a national boat festival in Nashville Tennessee and.

    00:27:38.070 –> 00:27:45.180 Evan: We didn’t have like people we did it on Labor day weekend, not a great idea or nationals of free music town so.

    00:27:45.660 –> 00:27:50.310 Evan: Not everybody came out to it, because you can see, you know you can see, free music everywhere in nashville but.

    00:27:50.970 –> 00:28:10.740 Evan: content was amazing and we did the history of the music business, so we had tour buses, we had flatt and scruggs tour bus that people could tour, we had a modern tour bus we had hair cutters and hat show France costume makers like man well was out there, it was an amazing show.

    00:28:11.040 –> 00:28:11.580 Evan: wow.

    00:28:12.060 –> 00:28:24.120 Joseph McElroy: really well i’m i’m i’m impressed and, but I want to do now is take a break and then we’ll come back and talk about your new position and what you’re doing with the folks who ne ne we can.

    00:28:24.900 –> 00:28:25.980 Evan: Thanks Joseph sounds good.

    00:30:32.220 –> 00:30:39.240 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guest Evan Hatch, So Evan,

    00:30:39.780 –> 00:30:44.760 Joseph McElroy: I’ve been we’ve been talking about your career and some of the things we didn’t get into but they’re incredible is that you’re.

    00:30:45.120 –> 00:30:52.740 Joseph McElroy: A director of programming in a forest folk art Center in Tennessee and then you were the director of programming for procedures organizations like the North Carolina.

    00:30:53.130 –> 00:31:09.150 Joseph McElroy: folklife life Institute, but what’s exciting to me and those of us around the game with his focus is that you’re now taking on a new role as the Executive Director of folk I’m sure you’re excited about that.

    00:31:11.100 –> 00:31:17.430 Joseph McElroy: And, and for the sake of our audience may not know about it, can you tell us what Folkmoot is?

    00:31:18.510 –> 00:31:19.890 Evan: yeah you know.

    00:31:21.030 –> 00:31:30.450 Evan: I feel challenged by this task because there are so many people in this in this county and Haywood county you know so much more than I ever will about it.

    00:31:30.870 –> 00:31:35.880 Evan: And because I’ve taken this job three months ago it’s become my job to talk about it.

    00:31:36.570 –> 00:31:47.580 Evan: My understanding of folkmoot is that it is a festival that has been around for 38 years and the Organization has been around close to 50 gentlemen named.

    00:31:48.270 –> 00:32:02.730 Evan: Dr. Borders, who was a surgeon here and Haywood county was a great lover of folk music and took some trips to Europe and experienced some folk festivals at the old English folk festivals.

    00:32:03.510 –> 00:32:07.200 Evan: which were also named folkmoot over there and then I felt moved.

    00:32:07.710 –> 00:32:22.980 Evan: As an old English term for a meeting of the phone so essentially it means folk meet that’s what people come together they exchange ideas they exchange culture and dance and music probably some beer to I wouldn’t be surprised.

    00:32:25.980 –> 00:32:34.230 Evan: So after seeing that he realized Dr border realizes that it’s not that dissimilar from what’s going on here and.

    00:32:34.620 –> 00:32:42.510 Evan: You know, in the great smoky mountains, there are people who play music who get together we share this dance through you know.

    00:32:43.320 –> 00:32:55.500 Evan: folk code culture, they get together they sing on front Porches they practice religion together they dance together and he thought that this was.

    00:32:55.950 –> 00:33:05.760 Evan: The parallels between English culture European culture and other folk cultures around the world was just all the same, and so it was a great opportunity to get all these folks together.

    00:33:06.660 –> 00:33:21.240 Evan: To you know to do this to bring the world to Main Street in Waynesville so 1984 was the first festival he had six-seven groups, I think, from around the world, Europe.

    00:33:21.900 –> 00:33:36.930 Evan: Asia, Africa, and South America, who came here and stayed with local audience day with local audience members and got together and dance for one another, they all realize.

    00:33:37.980 –> 00:33:43.800 Evan: stuff’s all on the phone we all experienced this it’s not that different it doesn’t matter what color your skin is it doesn’t matter.

    00:33:44.970 –> 00:33:50.550 Evan: What language do you speak there are things that cross all, yeah and that’s the coolest thing about folk culture than.

    00:33:51.180 –> 00:34:08.790 Joseph McElroy: I was you know I got to see that the one I think I think in the first year back then yeah I love food for many years yeah I just I was just graduated from Duke and coming back and got the experience it before I head to head off to my career.

    00:34:09.960 –> 00:34:12.870 Evan: More than I do that’s what were the two.

    00:34:13.230 –> 00:34:24.480 Joseph McElroy: I grew up with it yeah so I mean now I mean I think back then, it was just in Haywood County right is, I think I think it was at the stamping grounds right the first few.

    00:34:26.280 –> 00:34:28.770 Evan: yeah you stamping ground was historic.

    00:34:28.800 –> 00:34:31.170 Joseph McElroy: For performances it.

    00:34:31.470 –> 00:34:39.690 Joseph McElroy: started out the software now, which is about you know about three quarters, I mean less than half a mile away from the metal Arc where I’m sitting right now.

    00:34:40.170 –> 00:34:42.810 Joseph McElroy: So it was easy for me to walk up there and go to.

    00:34:45.600 –> 00:34:52.290 Joseph McElroy: But now, what is it it’s in cities, all over the smoky reasons and as far east as hickory is that still the truth, the case.

    00:34:52.950 –> 00:34:57.540 Evan: A little bit changed, as you may know, Koba changed everything and.

    00:34:58.890 –> 00:35:07.590 Evan: So the festivals, in the past, the idea was to bring dancers from around the world to bring them to Waynesville as a central point.

    00:35:07.860 –> 00:35:23.430 Evan: And then to take that culture, cultural Gatorade and spread it out, you know hickory you know even down in the South Carolina but all you know counties all around North Carolina and Tennessee and those things so.

    00:35:24.660 –> 00:35:36.120 Evan: it’s gotten hard to bring in international groups, especially since covid and so the festival over the years, became smaller just by necessity.

    00:35:36.570 –> 00:35:46.140 Evan: So this year we’re focusing strictly on Haywood county and a lot in Maggie that so half of the festival is going to be down here in.

    00:35:46.590 –> 00:36:00.450 Evan: In Waynesville downtown and also the food friendship Center and hazelwood and then the other two performances are going to be at the magic valley festival ground which is probably another half a mile away from the song.

    00:36:01.590 –> 00:36:03.510 Evan: Beautiful as we just out there today.

    00:36:04.380 –> 00:36:12.120 Joseph McElroy: But actually very close to each other we’re only half a mile from the festival grounds so we’re all in with you guys on that yeah.

    00:36:13.380 –> 00:36:17.430 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah you got to staging ground here, if you want to take advantage of it.

    00:36:19.170 –> 00:36:23.250 Joseph McElroy: yeah worry, we got a nice little pavilion for small three cursor shows.

    00:36:24.360 –> 00:36:25.320 Evan: To get an idea.

    00:36:25.680 –> 00:36:31.200 Joseph McElroy: yeah right yeah no I mean that I’m always a big believer in creating tastes before you create something.

    00:36:31.800 –> 00:36:42.030 Joseph McElroy: Do the big one, because it gets people all involved in stuff like that, but yeah This must be a logistical nightmare, because you bring in all these people from all over the world, and you have to house them.

    00:36:43.350 –> 00:36:44.760 Joseph McElroy: How do you manage all that.

    00:36:45.510 –> 00:36:56.940 Evan: So, again this year wasn’t too hard, well, it is it, no it’s a logistical nightmare that’s fair, I think I have it easier than a lot of the festivals, in the past, and the fact that.

    00:36:57.390 –> 00:37:04.830 Evan: We don’t have a lot of international groups, this year, so we haven’t had to get folks to help with visas or anything like that we have.

    00:37:05.250 –> 00:37:14.670 Evan: International groups from within the US so we’ve got an Irish group coming from Chicago we’ve got a bit and swelling group coming from Miami we have.

    00:37:16.200 –> 00:37:30.270 Evan: A Ukrainian group promo and they’re going to be driving down from Wisconsin all authentic you know of their country, but people who are just living here in the US now practicing it.

    00:37:32.070 –> 00:37:38.340 Evan: We also are going to be running a big old hotel that weekend, we have a lot of people staying with us at the folkmoot friendship Center.

    00:37:38.400 –> 00:37:44.190 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s right you guys got a big old building there right, so you can set up some campground sort of thing in there right.

    00:37:45.030 –> 00:37:55.230 Evan: we’ve actually got some books, probably a little better than army style last got a great big cafeteria here we’re going to be feeding everybody trying to use local produce.

    00:37:56.250 –> 00:38:02.070 Evan: local food makes sure that everybody gets good, healthy meals before they go out and dance and perform so.

    00:38:04.080 –> 00:38:06.690 Evan: yeah everybody stay in here it’s going to be a hootenanny.

    00:38:07.350 –> 00:38:12.930 Joseph McElroy: When you go international good I put in a plug for wife she has a travel agency, they do all that stuff.

    00:38:14.610 –> 00:38:16.110 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah big time.

    00:38:16.890 –> 00:38:17.610 Evan: right there.

    00:38:17.640 –> 00:38:26.670 Joseph McElroy: that’s great services that just do that all that’s All they do is manage that the story I tell is that when we first got together, we wanted to go to.

    00:38:28.110 –> 00:38:40.500 Joseph McElroy: All of a sudden, we decided like at the beginning of the week, they wanted to go down to cartoon to mardi gras well essentially mardi gras it’s called a carnival and that.

    00:38:41.280 –> 00:38:42.360 Joseph McElroy: Right, where she’s from.

    00:38:42.390 –> 00:38:43.140 Evan: 20 years ago.

    00:38:43.410 –> 00:38:53.910 Joseph McElroy: yeah and turns out my passport is expired, but she arranged everything and within three days I get everything I was.

    00:38:54.990 –> 00:39:02.640 Joseph McElroy: Within you know from the moment of the decision to be another plane going down there were three days so but anyway.

    00:39:03.810 –> 00:39:04.620 Joseph McElroy: things can be done.

    00:39:06.300 –> 00:39:15.330 Joseph McElroy: But let’s talk about we’re talking about yeah I’m interested in funding your nonprofit, but this has to be costly and where’s your funding coming from.

    00:39:16.950 –> 00:39:25.770 Evan: Well it’s got you know the Organization has changed over time and one of the things that I am very proud of.

    00:39:27.750 –> 00:39:35.220 Evan: And I’ve grown up in this we don’t see too many nonprofits that are entrepreneurial or as entrepreneurial as we are.

    00:39:35.730 –> 00:39:45.210 Evan: So that’s how I learned a long time ago that nonprofits need to generate income to survive their business, just like any other business.

    00:39:45.840 –> 00:39:57.810 Evan: So some things that we’re doing here at the folk move friendship Center, which is a 40,000 square foot historic school digging in 1935 built by the WPA Thank you, Roosevelt.

    00:39:59.490 –> 00:40:19.470 Evan: We have a large selection of school rooms former classrooms that are being rented out by some very talented artists, so we have really great rates, where people can come in rent the space use it as a gallery but also use it as a.

    00:40:20.640 –> 00:40:36.780 Evan: As a workspace or workshop, if you will, so we’ve got weaver’s painters, we have glass artists costumes and and jewelers who rent space here and that helps to bring in income for us to.

    00:40:36.840 –> 00:40:45.420 Joseph McElroy: keep this building, but don’t you ever been when i’ve got a tour of that place of a couple years ago and they were going to put it, a huge coffee shop there was somebody who do that, that that happened.

    00:40:46.080 –> 00:40:47.040 Joseph McElroy: Or to Coca Cola.

    00:40:47.220 –> 00:40:48.330 Joseph McElroy: Coca Cola and.

    00:40:48.330 –> 00:40:49.950 Evan: no idea what happened sounds like a good.

    00:40:49.950 –> 00:40:51.270 Joseph McElroy: idea Oh, they were gonna.

    00:40:51.300 –> 00:40:55.920 Joseph McElroy: They had planted has there been some remember, they were put into this like big coffee.

    00:40:57.060 –> 00:41:04.380 Joseph McElroy: shop and look it was gonna be really interesting there’s a there’s some place there that’s a big open space, probably the previous cafeteria.

    00:41:05.640 –> 00:41:07.080 Joseph McElroy: Absolutely yeah so.

    00:41:08.700 –> 00:41:09.120 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:41:09.450 –> 00:41:13.440 Evan: Well, another cool thing about is one of our renters is the soar Academy.

    00:41:13.800 –> 00:41:28.140 Evan: Which is experiential outdoor education group similar to say an outward bound, but actually that school is based here at folkman friendship Center so half of our building is a school nine months out of the year.

    00:41:28.920 –> 00:41:43.230 Evan: For kids who are you know the benefit from outside of classroom educational so they’re all out in the woods learning survival and you know learning how to cook for themselves and learning how to you know.

    00:41:43.830 –> 00:41:57.360 Evan: To go to Costa Rica and speak Spanish and experiential education is where it’s at you know really great program that they’re here to and they use our cafeteria so that’s, the problem is that that’s why we don’t have a coffee shop is they use that.

    00:41:58.470 –> 00:41:59.100 Joseph McElroy: I see.

    00:41:59.730 –> 00:42:00.030 Evan: That there.

    00:42:01.980 –> 00:42:17.280 Joseph McElroy: You got a lot of wonderful stuff going on, and you know, one of the things that I do is i’ve become something of an expert memorable tourism experiences and that’s how i’ve you know def triple the size of the the meadowlark motel and what we’re doing yeah focusing on.

    00:42:17.550 –> 00:42:26.670 Joseph McElroy: Just how do you how do you stimulate flash flashbulb memories that people keep coming back and it creates brand loyalty and revisit intention.

    00:42:27.270 –> 00:42:36.690 Joseph McElroy: there’s a whole part of that academic studies about cultural and heritage, tourism, which I think you should be aware of, because there is.

    00:42:37.080 –> 00:42:46.680 Joseph McElroy: A way to really trigger that to bring people back again and again again and i’m gonna send that to you because I think what you’re doing it’s it’s actually perfect.

    00:42:48.810 –> 00:42:49.140 Joseph McElroy: So.

    00:42:49.590 –> 00:42:50.310 Evan: The partnership.

    00:42:50.910 –> 00:42:55.170 Joseph McElroy: yeah well hey i’m always looking for the angle, you know what I mean.

    00:42:59.010 –> 00:43:08.130 Joseph McElroy: So we got to take another break and then we’ll come back finish up with you know things that you might want to talk about things that you’ve learned about Western North Carolina while you’ve been here.

    00:43:08.670 –> 00:43:11.610 Evan: it’s cool man, thank you, Joseph sounds good yeah.

    00:43:14.280 –> 00:43:14.880 www.TalkRadio.nyc: hey everybody.

    00:43:14.910 –> 00:43:25.500 www.TalkRadio.nyc: Its cami D, the nonprofit sector can actually coming at you from my attic each week here on talk radio dot nyc I host the program will advocate for nonprofits in Caucus.

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    00:45:12.270 –> 00:45:20.370 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies my guest Evan hat so Evan.

    00:45:22.260 –> 00:45:27.930 Joseph McElroy: Talking about you just getting your feet underneath here three months three and a half months into your new position.

    00:45:28.440 –> 00:45:39.600 Joseph McElroy: but can you become the great progress and prognosticator tell me what’s going to happen, the rest of this year in 2023 and beyond, if you’ve been able to form a vision of the future of the phone booth.

    00:45:40.950 –> 00:45:47.130 Evan: A that’s a great question, you know as far as vision.

    00:45:47.820 –> 00:46:03.090 Evan: I have to defer to the board of directors on that they set the vision for the organization and they’ve done a great thing, and that is to make this Center the folk new friendships Center an inclusive organization for the arts and cultural exchange it’s simple.

    00:46:04.380 –> 00:46:12.900 Evan: that’s simple well simple but it’s not easy one, so several ways that we’re going to be doing on by making this photo booth.

    00:46:13.500 –> 00:46:27.180 Evan: Summer fest smaller festival then that’s going to enable us to do some different kinds of programming in the fall and spring, so we can do other short smaller festivals, with different things could be beer could be food, it could be.

    00:46:28.890 –> 00:46:37.950 Evan: It could be strictly dance, it could be, you know a number of things any ideas i’m happy to hear about in addition we’ve got the.

    00:46:39.000 –> 00:46:46.770 Evan: We have monthly concerts through folk mood live, and those are here at the Queen auditorium 235 seat.

    00:46:47.100 –> 00:47:02.010 Evan: theater right here at folk move friendship Center actually we’ve been working with a friend of yours, Mr Bob plot, but the other mountain memories, which are themed shows where storytellers and musicians come together explore.

    00:47:02.820 –> 00:47:16.560 Evan: You know tributes to pass musicians, or you know themes such as you know, it could be civil war history of food or anything but really great idea that came from Bob plot, and my plane, really, really strong stuff.

    00:47:18.060 –> 00:47:25.200 Evan: I know that August is going to be really busy i’ve got an incredible Ethiopian string band coming in September 3.

    00:47:26.250 –> 00:47:36.270 Evan: That are not to be fooled with her name is quote unquote we have country music songwriters nights and we on August 23.

    00:47:37.470 –> 00:47:46.410 Evan: Forgive me, I may not have that date right, but all those all those things are going to be lined up we’re going to be doing some great holiday performances it’s basically stay busy.

    00:47:48.660 –> 00:48:01.950 Evan: keep the lights on and keep the money coming in and then write grants for special projects that you know we really want to see happen it’s just staying busy it’s like that duck you know it doesn’t look busy on the top but underneath his pattern.

    00:48:02.370 –> 00:48:12.090 Joseph McElroy: I mean you got me you got a beautiful facility, and I mean you got a great history, and you know I know that there’s been some cutbacks and.

    00:48:12.750 –> 00:48:18.210 Joseph McElroy: You know, in certain political organizations here and in the in the area, but.

    00:48:18.990 –> 00:48:37.020 Joseph McElroy: i’m 100% behind building to helping you guys build that up because it’s a great cultural resource that people should get the opportunity to take advantage of it yeah and i’m 100% behind you, I think it’s a fabulous same.

    00:48:38.160 –> 00:48:39.270 Evan: thing going to man.

    00:48:40.020 –> 00:48:41.310 Joseph McElroy: hey listen.

    00:48:41.460 –> 00:48:42.390 yeah metal.

    00:48:43.590 –> 00:48:58.890 Joseph McElroy: The Middle Arc is yeah it’s it’s about you know celebrating the mountain heritage and creating memories for people yeah and yeah and starting adventures and but you know i’m an artist, as well as a businessman.

    00:49:00.420 –> 00:49:02.610 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah I actually you know this, if you.

    00:49:02.610 –> 00:49:13.470 Joseph McElroy: Can if you come to the speakeasy you’ll see a lot of my artwork on the walls my early artwork from when I was a student there’s a lot of you know, because it’s a speakeasy there’s a lot of news.

    00:49:14.940 –> 00:49:16.440 Joseph McElroy: But yeah but.

    00:49:18.840 –> 00:49:32.550 Joseph McElroy: I was as a painter but you know where I got this unknown I created I created on I created online performance art, where you physically and interact with computer and and doing it and i’m actually in some museums, for that.

    00:49:33.180 –> 00:49:33.390 Evan: Oh.

    00:49:34.350 –> 00:49:50.700 Joseph McElroy: that’s fantastic oh yeah yeah so but yeah back in the audience late 90s and audio doing that it was great I got a lot of attention, but it didn’t make a bit of money, because nobody knew how to buy a digital PR for this thing, so I ended up becoming a businessman.

    00:49:51.900 –> 00:49:58.320 Joseph McElroy: I still do a lot of interesting art stuff like that, but it’s now an APP is an avocation not a vocation.

    00:50:00.060 –> 00:50:00.960 vocation was.

    00:50:02.580 –> 00:50:03.060 Joseph McElroy: that’s.

    00:50:03.390 –> 00:50:12.960 Evan: that’s what I thought folklore was to essentially I try to make a living out of what other people consider a hobby so it may not be the smartest thing in the world, but I think.

    00:50:12.990 –> 00:50:14.610 Evan: A link what content.

    00:50:15.810 –> 00:50:23.160 Joseph McElroy: Well, I think I think you know, I think that cultural institutions and hospitality has share thing where.

    00:50:23.610 –> 00:50:28.200 Joseph McElroy: You can actually express your creativity right and the things that you’re interested in.

    00:50:28.770 –> 00:50:38.640 Joseph McElroy: yeah so I’m expressing my creativity, through hospitality, you know, in terms of how you design the rooms, how you design you know, the thing the amenities, and things you’re giving people so.

    00:50:39.240 –> 00:50:49.050 Joseph McElroy: You know so you’ve been here Bo and Haywood county now for about three months, and besides folk mood what’s your favorite?

    00:50:50.010 –> 00:50:57.930 Joseph McElroy: Somebody coming visit here what you, what do you recommend them go do or go eat or something that you think is a good tip for somebody new coming here.

    00:50:59.310 –> 00:51:16.770 Evan: Man I’m shameless self-promotion I love pumpkin beers great Mexican food I first had in Asheville amazing stuff the magic galley I’ve been there, I can’t stop myself I keep going back and eating their fresh seafood.

    00:51:17.040 –> 00:51:26.130 Evan: seafood place yeah really great, and of course the Haywood county smokehouse hey we smoke glasses remarkably good place as well.

    00:51:28.620 –> 00:51:34.380 Evan: You know I would say sit on a porch somewhere and watch the sunset it’s probably the best thing you can do in this county.

    00:51:35.580 –> 00:51:40.620 Evan: You know and or get up really early and have some coffee and watch the sunrise get either one.

    00:51:41.790 –> 00:51:42.150 Evan: and

    00:51:42.210 –> 00:51:42.540 Evan: that’s.

    00:51:42.570 –> 00:51:50.850 Evan: Probably my favorite thing to do, since I’ve been here just sit down and take a breath.

    00:51:53.130 –> 00:51:58.410 Joseph McElroy: The relaxation, the people sit back and just enjoy the natural beauty here people love that.

    00:51:58.950 –> 00:52:10.410 Joseph McElroy: I mean a lot of it, you know we have a lot of front Porches here right because we’re classically and motel so that’s a lot of people just come just to sit out and have a party on the stoop.

    00:52:12.450 –> 00:52:13.830 Joseph McElroy: yeah we’re just looking at it out and.

    00:52:14.580 –> 00:52:15.990 Joseph McElroy: talk with friends and.

    00:52:16.290 –> 00:52:22.320 Joseph McElroy: sit in a rocking chair and enjoy the country limited try this you know.

    00:52:24.240 –> 00:52:29.160 Evan: Gathering spot the stoop or the porch that’s anyway and share.

    00:52:30.150 –> 00:52:38.010 Joseph McElroy: That well you know what you know growing up that was it the how the cupboard porch out front with rocking chairs sometimes people would couch the couch out there.

    00:52:39.210 –> 00:52:53.040 Joseph McElroy: And then enjoying life so is there some shout out some things you have to recognize our ways you want people to look you up or look at what you’re doing or what what what’re the things that people can find out more information.

    00:52:54.150 –> 00:53:04.770 Evan: Well, if you want to get to know your future ancestors I would definitely talk about going to my website and narrate project, which is a business I’m still running and still love to do.

    00:53:05.820 –> 00:53:22.770 Evan: Just this week, I interviewed a former provost at the University of North Carolina who has lived an absolutely fascinating life and just got able to talk to people and learn about them, I tell you there’s wisdom all around folks it’s around everybody and.

    00:53:24.000 –> 00:53:25.470 Evan: it’s a great way to get to know your people.

    00:53:27.180 –> 00:53:31.710 Evan: shout out we love orchard coffee downtown.

    00:53:33.000 –> 00:53:38.760 Evan: run by one of our board members Cabo tice good folks down there, I wanted to say hello.

    00:53:39.960 –> 00:53:43.470 Evan: All the people I’ve met you know in this area.

    00:53:44.760 –> 00:53:56.160 Evan: I guess you know Bob plot being one of them, the gentleman and a scholar and really good, as you know, good gentleman work with I guess my biggest shout out would be to the staff.

    00:53:56.700 –> 00:54:13.110 Evan: Here at folk mood USA beth Harvey Mike McClain Jody Nichols Vivian pompous and Brett Pinkston all of who are just incredible people to work with.

    00:54:13.530 –> 00:54:13.950 Joseph McElroy: And so what’s.

    00:54:14.760 –> 00:54:16.470 Joseph McElroy: what’s the website, by the way.

    00:54:17.070 –> 00:54:18.150 Evan: folks move.org.

    00:54:18.660 –> 00:54:20.040 Evan: Okay sounds good.

    00:54:21.030 –> 00:54:22.050 Joseph McElroy: Facebook page too.

    00:54:22.860 –> 00:54:37.590 Evan: yeah there’s Facebook I’m not a social media person I’m sorry yeah there’s definitely you can search Facebook and hit folk maybe the USA all that stuff on social media is fantastic and that’s all because of beth Harvey and the work that she does.

    00:54:38.790 –> 00:54:51.390 Evan: You know, it helps to be surrounded by people who are smart engaged engaging and dedicated yeah really helpful.

    00:54:51.750 –> 00:54:57.150 Joseph McElroy: Well, I wanna, thank you for being on the show today it’s been a real pleasure, we should definitely have more conversations after this.

    00:54:59.040 –> 00:55:08.580 Joseph McElroy: Okay cool hey this podcast is on fate is on the talk radio dot nyc network, which is a live network of podcasts.

    00:55:08.910 –> 00:55:09.540 Evan: I recommend you.

    00:55:09.930 –> 00:55:16.710 Joseph McElroy: Take a look at everybody take a look at it and find some there’s small business there are all sorts of things.

    00:55:17.370 –> 00:55:29.790 Joseph McElroy: it’s also streamed live on facebook@facebook.com slash gateway to the smokies podcast right and it’s the all the episodes are on.

    00:55:30.480 –> 00:55:42.060 Joseph McElroy: smokies adventure calm you’ll find a link at the top of the gateway to smoke this podcast and you will also see the transcripts and other related information there on each of the different episodes.

    00:55:43.170 –> 00:55:48.180 Joseph McElroy: I actually run another podcast on this network called wise content creates wealth, which is about a.

    00:55:48.990 –> 00:56:03.570 Joseph McElroy: Marketing and things like that if you’re if you like, that that’s on Fridays from noon until one, but this podcast is every Tuesday from six to seven, and I look forward to seeing you next week and everybody bye bye.

    00:56:04.860 –> 00:56:05.640 Evan: bye Thank you.

    50m - Jul 19, 2022
  • Episode 64: The NC Folklife Institute with Director Sarah Bryan

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/07/12 - The NC Folklife Institute with Director Sarah Bryan

    Guest: SARAH BRYAN

    WHAT WILL THE AUDIENCE LEARN? Tune in as you'll learn about how folklife preservation is manifested in building community and cultural engagement through the rich culture of North Carolina.

    EPISODE SUMMARY: In today’s episode, Joseph is joined by our special guest Sarah Bryan, who is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute, an organization that for more than four decades has been dedicated to the preservation, appreciation, and understanding of folklife heritage and culture in North Carolina. Sarah will share with us the importance of preserving cultural heritage, the amazing work that NC Folklife does in the community, and what it's like to be a writer and a musician.




    EPISODE QUOTE: “ That makes it all the more essential for organizations like both of ours to create these opportunities whenever we can to help young people find out about traditions in their communities.” 


    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.



    Bryan spent most of her childhood in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She can trace back her lineage all the way back to colonial times in both Carolinas. She fondly describes her mother as a busy historical fiction writer.


    She got a lucky break with the NC Folklife Institute shortly after her graduation form grad school. Her first job was in the Arts Directory. Bryan was also a fiddler player starting in her teens. She got the opportunity to play on stage with Chris Brashear. Bryan goes into detail about her bumpy and exciting experience performing with him in front of a live audience.


    Bryan was one of the co-authors for African American Music Trails of Eastern North Carolina. It was about the history and tradition of black music in the 80s in North Carolina. She is currently co-authoring a book about historical Southern traditional pottery. Despite being a vegetarian she interviewed Mr.Stami and Mr.Monk from Greensboro and Lexington about barbecue pits at their restaurants. Bryan’s favorite festival is Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention.


    She aims to educate younger members of the community to find out about traditions through elder artists and storytellers. One of the programs providing that support is the Junior Appalachian Musicians. The Blue Ridge Heritage Trail is a project Bryan hopes to revisit to give artists the ability to promote themselves.



    00:00:37.980 –> 00:00:45.720 Joseph McElroy: Welcome to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park.

    00:00:46.170 –> 00:00:58.980 Joseph McElroy: The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the surrounding towns there’s areas filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:00:59.520 –> 00:01:10.830 Joseph McElroy: I’m Joseph Franklyn McElroy man of the world, but also deep roots in these mountains my family is living the great smoky for over 200 years my business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

    00:01:11.610 –> 00:01:18.420 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re going to talk about the North Carolina folklife it’s to with director Sarah Brian but, first a few messages.

    00:01:19.710 –> 00:01:29.640 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place evocative of the motor court of the past a modern environment with a Chic Appalachian feels, a place for adventure and for relaxation.

    00:01:30.210 –> 00:01:39.090 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream grill the catch in a fire accompanied by a fine wine or craft beers.

    00:01:39.570 –> 00:01:52.500 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sound, there is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel Maggie Valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

    00:01:54.210 –> 00:02:06.720 Joseph McElroy: The smoky mountains and surrounding area is a vacation destination for all sees some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment to be found, right here.

    00:02:07.500 –> 00:02:18.240 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure calm smokies plural adventure calm to explore all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountains natural part.

    00:02:18.750 –> 00:02:25.110 Joseph McElroy: You know, get trail maps and find out about waterfalls and kids coven elk, and much more.

    00:02:25.590 –> 00:02:35.220 Joseph McElroy: And then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment, you and your entire family can enjoy and all of the smoky mountain and surrounding areas.

    00:02:35.790 –> 00:02:43.110 Joseph McElroy: The goal of smokies adventures become the leading information portal for adventures and experiences and the great smoky mountain.

    00:02:45.000 –> 00:02:46.350 Joseph McElroy: There are some events coming up.

    00:02:47.850 –> 00:03:02.190 Joseph McElroy: Well, first one, I will talk to you about his music and it’s called smoking BLU Ray and it’s on July 23 third at 6 pm it’s a blue smoky blue rain is a trio of led by.

    00:03:04.890 –> 00:03:19.230 Joseph McElroy: With the three music great musicians land Graham Fillmore and Amos Jackson, their brand of American amuses music is an infectious blend of folk light rock blues jazz that touch traditional country.

    00:03:20.130 –> 00:03:24.930 Joseph McElroy: They met through a mutual friend and from the very force nope realize that they had something special.

    00:03:25.980 –> 00:03:36.210 Joseph McElroy: So we’re going to have that event on on a Saturday night on July 23 at the pavilion on the back porch pavilion is the back end and the back.

    00:03:37.020 –> 00:03:48.120 Joseph McElroy: recreation area, the metal art motel we have a sort of a wonderful performance venue and we’re also going to free Barbecue and.

    00:03:48.870 –> 00:04:01.770 Joseph McElroy: And and and there’ll be music after the show to up until whatever the night provides so admission is free for hotel guests and heritage club members and it’s $10 for all others.

    00:04:03.090 –> 00:04:13.680 Joseph McElroy: As you need to do an rsvp so call eight to 8926171 second one seven to get your tickets again eight to 89261717.

    00:04:14.790 –> 00:04:35.340 Joseph McElroy: Now some of you have heard about tick tock and and and and Instagram especially tick tock and a local guy here named Zeb who’s part of the Jay Jay creek cloggers is gone viral with hundreds of millions of views, for his clogging style.

    00:04:37.230 –> 00:04:50.730 Joseph McElroy: And so the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in the Meadowlark Motel proudly announced a heritage event that features an evening of dinner and then dancing from the legendary J Creek Cloggers.

    00:04:51.390 –> 00:05:01.740 Joseph McElroy: featuring Zeb Ross on Saturday night July 30 and started again the Night starts with a delicious Barbecue dinner at six and then column.

    00:05:02.160 –> 00:05:15.390 Joseph McElroy: cook culminates with a rollicking performance by the jquery clockers at 7:30 pm they will perform multiple examples of traditional mountain dancing as well as teach the audience several fun dance steps.

    00:05:16.380 –> 00:05:25.890 Joseph McElroy: group leader Kim Rasa was here a week or so go on on our podcast and will also give a short talk on the history and traditions, of a mountain man.

    00:05:26.490 –> 00:05:33.720 Joseph McElroy: grab your partner and come and join us for a memorable fun-filled classic mountain heritage evening of dining and dancing.

    00:05:34.230 –> 00:05:41.100 Joseph McElroy: admission is free for hotel guests and heritage members and $20 per person for folks not staying in a hotel.

    00:05:41.550 –> 00:05:58.320 Joseph McElroy: Could you know, give us a call at 828-926-1717 to reserve your room or just to get a ticket to the dinner and dance this week’s classic old old mountain type dancehall stuff and you can have a great time and then it’ll be put up on tick tock maybe we’ll go viral good.

    00:06:00.060 –> 00:06:05.340 Joseph McElroy: Now the big news is on August 12 through the 13th there’s going to be a songwriters camp.

    00:06:05.760 –> 00:06:20.580 Joseph McElroy: That features Grammy award-winning artist Jim Lauderdale and Charles hunter the third law with Ward winning artists, they are Nicholson clay mills and Charles Chamberlain it’s a two-day event of interactive songwriting instruction.

    00:06:21.810 –> 00:06:32.820 Joseph McElroy: With world-class and you’ll get a DEMO tape produced for your participation for your what you write what you perform and then also be a concert.

    00:06:33.330 –> 00:06:49.620 Joseph McElroy: By the song from the road band on Friday night and then again a Barbecue dinner and an all star concept with all those artists, on Saturday night, this is an event like you’ll never get your life to Jim lauderdale we wrote, most of the hits first artists like Jim George strait and.

    00:06:50.640 –> 00:07:00.540 Joseph McElroy: Charles Humphrey is a grammy award-winning himself and has done some major songs it’s just it’s going to be incredible you can learn a lot, the price is 675.

    00:07:00.960 –> 00:07:10.470 Joseph McElroy: per person includes all the activities that DEMO tape and the concerts and the dinners and everything else, and under special rooms available for you you’re not from the area.

    00:07:10.830 –> 00:07:29.220 Joseph McElroy: And you can call 8289261717 to get the details to get yourself a room get yourself a ticket and come on and there’s just also for people just want to come to concerts there are concert tickets available as well again call eight to 89261717.

    00:07:31.260 –> 00:07:36.870 Joseph McElroy: So today we’re going to talk about the new North Carolina Folklife Institute and the Director of that is Sarah Bryan.

    00:07:38.550 –> 00:07:39.120 Joseph McElroy: And it’s.

    00:07:40.410 –> 00:07:50.550 Joseph McElroy: The folklife institute’s organization that for more than four decades has been dedicated to the preservation of appreciation and understanding of folklife heritage and culture in North Carolina.

    00:07:51.300 –> 00:08:05.100 Joseph McElroy: Sarah is an accomplished writer author and musician she was also the editor to notable old-time music publications and enjoys collecting old 78 rpm lps and supporting animal welfare.

    00:08:05.790 –> 00:08:18.390 Joseph McElroy: she’s a tar heel basketball and New York mets baseball fan she lives in Durham North Carolina with her family and then it has a pack of dogs and cats to support her efforts hello, Sarah how you doing.

    00:08:18.510 –> 00:08:20.370 Sarah Bryan: hey I’m doing good, how are you.

    00:08:20.760 –> 00:08:31.410 Joseph McElroy: Fine I’m doing good hey listen I’m not going to hold it against you, that you’re a tar heel born and bred but yeah since I went to do, but you do live in Durham so you gotta live in enemy territory right.

    00:08:31.500 –> 00:08:35.550 Sarah Bryan: I live about three blocks from campus so I have to represent extra hard for the.

    00:08:35.550 –> 00:08:36.450 Sarah Bryan: target was the air.

    00:08:36.570 –> 00:08:38.730 Joseph McElroy: All right, which is the West campus.

    00:08:38.820 –> 00:08:42.150 Joseph McElroy: escape and so you’re like near downtown right.

    00:08:42.240 –> 00:08:44.400 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah quite close yeah it all sounds.

    00:08:44.790 –> 00:08:47.970 Joseph McElroy: cool there has become a little bit of a foodie town right, just like national.

    00:08:48.240 –> 00:08:55.770 Sarah Bryan: It really is It reminds me a lot of Asheville yeah and just a huge number of people moving here every year.

    00:08:56.220 –> 00:08:56.850 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

    00:08:57.420 –> 00:08:58.110 Sarah Bryan: Look asheville.

    00:08:58.410 –> 00:09:05.160 Joseph McElroy: After Duke I lived in Durham for about seven years and I enjoyed it very much you know it’s a cool little town.

    00:09:06.240 –> 00:09:06.930 Joseph McElroy: you’re busy north.

    00:09:06.960 –> 00:09:10.470 Joseph McElroy: Carolina you want to go across the whole state, you know I say Wilmington.

    00:09:12.000 –> 00:09:16.650 Joseph McElroy: Durham and then national and then, of course, Maggie valley for the small town experience.

    00:09:17.730 –> 00:09:18.150 Sarah Bryan: sure.

    00:09:18.570 –> 00:09:25.440 Joseph McElroy: Alright cool we’re especially excited to talk to you about you, your role in the North Carolina folklife Institute.

    00:09:25.860 –> 00:09:39.600 Joseph McElroy: As you, as we have we share many of the same core beliefs and with the Heritage Center and at the motel first let’s learn a little bit more about you, you and you have an interesting background and amazing resume.

    00:09:41.160 –> 00:09:47.340 Joseph McElroy: So you were born in myrtle beach South Carolina has How was it like being born in a beach town.

    00:09:48.690 –> 00:09:52.860 Sarah Bryan: Yes, but most of my childhood myrtle beach and.

    00:09:54.000 –> 00:09:56.850 Sarah Bryan: You know when you’re born into play, or I was, I was actually.

    00:09:58.170 –> 00:10:11.490 Sarah Bryan: We moved there when I was two weeks old, but my father’s family going back many generations is from that little part of South Carolina and myrtle beach in particular, and I think when you grow up in a place like that you kind of don’t know how weird it is.

    00:10:11.910 –> 00:10:20.550 Sarah Bryan: yeah I know, I have a friend who is a childhood friend, we were talking years after we both left myrtle beach about.

    00:10:21.420 –> 00:10:31.680 Sarah Bryan: What it’s like to be from somewhere like that, and she pointed out that it gives you kind of an altered sense of reality if you grow up like down the street from Ripley’s, believe it or not.

    00:10:34.320 –> 00:10:36.750 Sarah Bryan: giant fiberglass octopus statues.

    00:10:37.650 –> 00:10:46.830 Joseph McElroy: Oh, you know growing up in a little tourist and I sort of get an idea of what she did you know, and you know from Duke we always went to myrtle beach after yeah for the spring break it was like.

    00:10:47.310 –> 00:10:55.800 Joseph McElroy: You know how how how bad can replace be when yeah you can take a back road and find all you can eat seafood place in the middle of nowhere.

    00:10:58.380 –> 00:11:01.110 Joseph McElroy: And you paid a paid as you went in because they.

    00:11:02.190 –> 00:11:04.260 Joseph McElroy: expect you to just stay there till your fault.

    00:11:06.090 –> 00:11:12.870 Joseph McElroy: But you also spend some time and grew up the Carolinas in Virginia beach Virginia what were those.

    00:11:13.560 –> 00:11:31.200 Sarah Bryan: yeah well I’m most of my family going back you know since early colonial times have been in the Carolinas both Carolinas and um when I was about nine we moved up to northern Virginia, which is where my mother grew up and.

    00:11:32.340 –> 00:11:35.370 Sarah Bryan: I missed the Carolinas badly when I lived there.

    00:11:35.520 –> 00:11:46.770 Sarah Bryan: Especially in the springtime but because you know just that little bit of geographical distance makes all the dust all the difference in a climate when the flowers come out and when it gets warm.

    00:11:47.640 –> 00:11:54.360 Sarah Bryan: It was a great place to spend my teens and my college years, so I feel fortunate to have been up there.

    00:11:55.080 –> 00:12:04.770 Joseph McElroy: With your parents surely must have influenced your love of history writing your mom is a distinguished author publisher story or own right, what can you say about that.

    00:12:05.970 –> 00:12:19.140 Sarah Bryan: yeah my mom is a wonderful writer her name is Christina freeman Brian and she is she has had an interesting career just 72 now and lives with me and my husband here in Durham and.

    00:12:20.310 –> 00:12:22.680 Sarah Bryan: yeah she went to Carolina and.

    00:12:23.700 –> 00:12:39.600 Sarah Bryan: studied originally to be a medievalist medieval Latin is her specialty from college and but has done all sorts of things over the years, she ran a school for several years and myrtle beach.

    00:12:40.830 –> 00:12:44.160 Sarah Bryan: Montessori school that I went to as a small child and.

    00:12:45.300 –> 00:12:46.440 Sarah Bryan: has written.

    00:12:47.610 –> 00:13:02.250 Sarah Bryan: A lot of really wonderful historical fiction about the civil war era about Jamestown colony about the Lincoln assassination plot and.

    00:13:02.730 –> 00:13:10.650 Sarah Bryan: She she’s an amazing researcher fun to just incredible depth of information right, so these great books and.

    00:13:11.070 –> 00:13:22.260 Sarah Bryan: Then just move right to the next project she’s so excited about the next thing to learn about so she has the stack of manuscripts, so I hope someday she’ll be shopping to publishers because the world needs to see them.

    00:13:23.040 –> 00:13:28.710 Joseph McElroy: that’s great, but we got to take a break down but we’ll come back talk a little more about your personal history and then get into your job.

    00:15:45.570 –> 00:15:52.200 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast and my guests Sarah Bryan.

    00:15:53.910 –> 00:16:00.870 Joseph McElroy: So, so you know I like to have my craft beers on this show Now I will tell you.

    00:16:02.400 –> 00:16:11.400 Joseph McElroy: about the one I’m doing now, but, first, it was mentioned, I was at the wicked weed brewery nationally that day and they got a really great IPA call freak in page or advise you to go there.

    00:16:11.820 –> 00:16:15.600 Joseph McElroy: But I just discovered when we have at the Meadowlark it is not at local beer, but.

    00:16:16.080 –> 00:16:31.110 Joseph McElroy: yeah I don’t necessarily just dismiss that you know, even though this area is 50 breweries there are people that make good beer elsewhere and I’m liking, this one it’s a double IPA called never better by Coronado brewing company in California.

    00:16:33.330 –> 00:16:41.370 Joseph McElroy: But anyway, hey Sarah glad to have you back you know we were talking about your mom with your dad was a professional of American literature.

    00:16:42.000 –> 00:16:50.610 Joseph McElroy: But it was also I thought this is interesting we’re now doing a miniature golf course designer including, including Mr the elaborate on the grand strand right.

    00:16:51.360 –> 00:17:00.360 Sarah Bryan: that’s true yeah yeah my father dance Brian was his name, he went by the nickname party, which is a long story.

    00:17:02.100 –> 00:17:04.560 Sarah Bryan: Was the origin part of her in the Bible.

    00:17:06.540 –> 00:17:21.000 Sarah Bryan: yeah he was from myrtle beach grew up there, and his father and grandfather had been involved in developing the area early on, and particularly in building, so the golf courses, they are the big golf courses and.

    00:17:22.500 –> 00:17:34.380 Sarah Bryan: Starting around the 1950s I’d say late 50s early 60s, he started working on his own miniature golf courses with his father.

    00:17:36.360 –> 00:17:49.890 Sarah Bryan: put him in charge of an old golf driving range they had there, and he had the idea to make it sort of a jungle environment miniature golf course and that’s where that.

    00:17:50.970 –> 00:18:10.680 Sarah Bryan: The head deal was born with him and he and partners through the years developed the jungle golf style of miniature golf courses, so if you’ve been to myrtle beach, you know what they look like it’s the big mountain of dirt a middle of the lot with tropical plants waterfalls.

    00:18:13.230 –> 00:18:19.830 Sarah Bryan: jungle animals, which includes somehow savannah animals I don’t know why, and so that that.

    00:18:21.000 –> 00:18:21.870 Sarah Bryan: That has.

    00:18:23.070 –> 00:18:27.630 Sarah Bryan: Over the course of his life that really took off from the late 50s to Stephen.

    00:18:29.640 –> 00:18:31.710 Joseph McElroy: He did a couple of value values didn’t.

    00:18:33.060 –> 00:18:37.740 Sarah Bryan: You know I am not sure I think he did this before my time he did one in Boone.

    00:18:38.190 –> 00:18:41.250 Sarah Bryan: yeah and in the 70s early 80s there’s one.

    00:18:41.310 –> 00:18:46.920 Joseph McElroy: that’s there’s one that has been around for a long time and I don’t think that’s a jungle-type golf, but there is one.

    00:18:47.940 –> 00:18:50.760 Joseph McElroy: That is more of a general type thing and so.

    00:18:51.090 –> 00:18:59.640 Joseph McElroy: He probably looks actually I when I first saw it back 20 years ago, or something like that I said wow that looks more like a myrtle beach.

    00:19:02.490 –> 00:19:05.400 Joseph McElroy: thing so but it’s become part of the fabric here, you know.

    00:19:06.120 –> 00:19:06.510 So.

    00:19:08.040 –> 00:19:17.280 Joseph McElroy: And you’re actually come from a diverse home you grew up and speak Spanish your family’s confused compete Cuban dispense right.

    00:19:18.360 –> 00:19:21.240 Sarah Bryan: my mom is half Cuban.

    00:19:21.630 –> 00:19:27.420 Joseph McElroy: yeah, and I assume you have a real admiration for cultural diversity.

    00:19:29.970 –> 00:19:47.340 Joseph McElroy: That we love for exploring you know for folklife and in Florida, for you know, being a writer and musician in and you got your what your BA degree in American studies from George Washington university an ma degree in folklore unc I won’t hold that against.

    00:19:49.980 –> 00:19:51.090 Sarah Bryan: call the truth for that.

    00:19:51.630 –> 00:20:04.530 Joseph McElroy: yeah but in 2005 you actually you join the North Carolina folklife institute so is that sort of the first big career move for you read what’s up before that.

    00:20:05.070 –> 00:20:11.340 Sarah Bryan: That was an incredibly lucky break for me, I was not long out of Grad school and.

    00:20:12.300 –> 00:20:28.920 Sarah Bryan: North Carolina folklife Institute, which at the time was directed by Beverley Patterson who’s a wonderful folklorist in Chapel hill she in the folklife institute we’re working with the Blue Ridge national heritage area on developing their traditional artists directory.

    00:20:29.430 –> 00:20:40.560 Sarah Bryan: And she brought on to newly hatched folklorist which were me and Mark Free to you probably know, from when you use a prominent musician and arts leader in the area.

    00:20:41.100 –> 00:20:53.070 Sarah Bryan: But we were both you know in and just out of school at the time, this was long ago and yeah my first job was on the artists directory and so basically.

    00:20:53.670 –> 00:21:04.470 Sarah Bryan: The folklife institute turned us loose mark was in the northern counties and I was from like Madison and bunk and counties to the State Law and and.

    00:21:05.580 –> 00:21:17.130 Sarah Bryan: And, and the cherokee quality boundary area and it was a wonderful job I mean we just explored, each of us separately explored the counties in our.

    00:21:18.090 –> 00:21:25.860 Sarah Bryan: assigned region go around ask people who the traditional artists are in some cases, they were.

    00:21:26.400 –> 00:21:37.110 Sarah Bryan: You know, prominent people with you know well known careers and their and their art form and in other cases, that would be you know, an elderly person who’d retired from a career and something not at all.

    00:21:37.890 –> 00:21:46.890 Sarah Bryan: art or music related but you know kept up their art form just on their own at home because I love doing it, nobody you know.

    00:21:48.540 –> 00:21:54.840 Sarah Bryan: haven’t had much publicity before but we got the right profiles of all of these folks and it was incredibly fun.

    00:21:55.530 –> 00:22:05.760 Joseph McElroy: Well, you, you must have loved it, because by 2017, which is a fairly short period of time he became executive director of that that that really esteemed organization.

    00:22:07.020 –> 00:22:12.570 Joseph McElroy: So I guess that was a That was a lot of hard work right.

    00:22:13.980 –> 00:22:15.120 Sarah Bryan: Hard work that really fun.

    00:22:17.070 –> 00:22:19.860 Sarah Bryan: The all the projects were involved in, or just.

    00:22:21.060 –> 00:22:23.130 Sarah Bryan: Oh it’s such a pleasure to work on.

    00:22:24.180 –> 00:22:38.790 Joseph McElroy: Well, but you also here’s The interesting thing you know, and you know found out that you, you became an old time fiddle player during that time, too, so you had to have time to practice right, but you were doing a lot of good work so.

    00:22:40.500 –> 00:22:43.260 Joseph McElroy: Have you played with any great Western North Carolina fiddler’s.

    00:22:43.830 –> 00:22:48.930 Sarah Bryan: Well let’s see I actually started playing old-time fiddle when I was in my teens.

    00:22:49.020 –> 00:22:49.470 Joseph McElroy: I really.

    00:22:49.980 –> 00:22:51.960 Sarah Bryan: yeah and actually I’ve been.

    00:22:52.080 –> 00:23:10.620 Sarah Bryan: In northern Virginia and yeah but have have continued playing all along yeah moving to North Carolina has I came back down here for Grad school in 2001 of the great things about that was proximity to so many wonderful musicians.

    00:23:10.800 –> 00:23:11.430 Joseph McElroy: Well that’s great.

    00:23:11.460 –> 00:23:16.470 Joseph McElroy: yeah so did you get to play with any or did you get did you have any mentoring from some of them.

    00:23:16.830 –> 00:23:22.950 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah there it’s it’s hard to narrow down there’s so many amazing fiddler’s in the year I was.

    00:23:23.970 –> 00:23:26.400 Sarah Bryan: If I had to pick one fiddler to.

    00:23:28.740 –> 00:23:41.850 Sarah Bryan: To mention, in particular, who have a friend who have been lucky enough to play with at times, but not nearly enough not nearly as much said, like is Paul Brown, who lives in Winston Salem.

    00:23:42.990 –> 00:23:47.700 Sarah Bryan: He is wonderful fiddler banjo player singer.

    00:23:49.470 –> 00:23:55.830 Sarah Bryan: Has the style that I wish I could play and very sort of sweet and rambunctious at the same time.

    00:23:56.970 –> 00:23:58.050 Sarah Bryan: And he also.

    00:23:59.580 –> 00:24:07.500 Sarah Bryan: he’s he’s been this great conduit between generations, because when he first moved to the Mount airy area.

    00:24:08.910 –> 00:24:17.280 Sarah Bryan: He got to know Tommy jerel or honesty’s Fred copper Malta, you know the sort of Pantheon of great musicians in that area.

    00:24:18.330 –> 00:24:20.550 Sarah Bryan: And he’s really served as a.

    00:24:21.840 –> 00:24:37.680 Sarah Bryan: champion of them over the years, so now, I mean for a lot of us who were not able to know those people through Paul we’ve gotten to know not just what great musicians, they were, but what interesting and knowledgeable people they were.

    00:24:39.780 –> 00:24:51.480 Joseph McElroy: Well that’s yeah that’s you know that’s a life-enriching experience to work with people that have such tremendous depth and they’re trying to actually pass it on to you too, and so.

    00:24:51.960 –> 00:25:02.190 Joseph McElroy: yeah I think that is probably very, very profound for you, you know I also know that you were on garrison keillor’s prairie home companion that goes out.

    00:25:03.720 –> 00:25:23.610 Sarah Bryan: that that was a an exciting experience, not in all the right ways, so I have severe stage fright and which complicated that experience, because it was in front of a you know alive theater audience prairie home companion was going to be in Durham and.

    00:25:24.690 –> 00:25:32.220 Sarah Bryan: And the show invited you know, several old-time musicians in the area to be part of it, and of course I couldn’t turn that down.

    00:25:34.050 –> 00:25:39.720 Sarah Bryan: But once I once I got there the stage right kicked in and.

    00:25:41.280 –> 00:25:49.710 Sarah Bryan: They before the show they we were backstage and Chris for sheer who’s the band fiddler was the band fiddler those days.

    00:25:51.330 –> 00:25:53.850 Sarah Bryan: For the show was showing me and the other.

    00:25:54.990 –> 00:25:59.490 Sarah Bryan: guests fiddler’s this tune that we were going to play when you know when our segment came on.

    00:26:00.510 –> 00:26:10.020 Sarah Bryan: And because I was starting to think about what it was gonna be like a few minutes when there is these hundreds of people looking at me and billions of people listening.

    00:26:10.740 –> 00:26:24.240 Sarah Bryan: my mind went blank and I couldn’t learn the two, and he was showing us it was as soon as he played it, it was gone so that was that was the first tune what we’re going to play that evening and.

    00:26:25.350 –> 00:26:35.490 Sarah Bryan: Because, as soon as they started I realized I didn’t remember what you just showed us, I was like i’m you know sort of holding the bow a little bit above the strings of pretending to play.

    00:26:37.980 –> 00:26:41.340 Sarah Bryan: outside of Andy Griffith when barney’s in the choir.

    00:26:41.340 –> 00:26:41.760 To.

    00:26:43.110 –> 00:26:57.000 Sarah Bryan: sing it was like that, but that, so the sound the sound engineer was you know kept he was listening and it kept thinking that my microphone is not working, so he came out at one point, and was like tinkering with it and.

    00:26:57.990 –> 00:27:03.000 Sarah Bryan: While he was standing there he realized that I wasn’t playing and you sort of like wink to give me a thumbs up and.

    00:27:03.660 –> 00:27:18.990 Sarah Bryan: went off stage, but then the next tune that we were to play was soldiers joy, which is my favorite all time fiddle tune, and the one that, like all fiddler’s pretty much know so I really wanted to play on that one but at that, point my microphone was off.

    00:27:20.790 –> 00:27:22.350 Sarah Bryan: pretending to play before.

    00:27:24.090 –> 00:27:33.720 Sarah Bryan: But the crisper shear and the other fiddler Kenny Jackson who’s a really great North Carolina fiddler um you know they didn’t need a third fiddler between them so.

    00:27:36.060 –> 00:27:39.000 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s so you you play, but you did.

    00:27:45.030 –> 00:27:46.740 Joseph McElroy: Okay well that’s a good story.

    00:27:48.630 –> 00:27:50.190 Joseph McElroy: At least you got asked to be on there.

    00:27:53.220 –> 00:27:58.860 Joseph McElroy: So you’ve also become a writer, a great writer, and you have two books out right and.

    00:27:59.550 –> 00:28:07.920 Joseph McElroy: So when we come we got to take a break down, but once you tell us about the two books and then we’re going to talk about some of the you know the stuff in the mountains in western North Carolina that you know that.

    00:28:08.220 –> 00:28:08.550 Great.

    00:30:15.150 –> 00:30:24.420 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcast and my guest Sarah Bryan who’s the Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute.

    00:30:24.870 –> 00:30:32.670 Joseph McElroy: So so Sarah you’re a writer you’ve got a couple of books out one coming out soon, what were the What are those titles and what they’re about.

    00:30:33.330 –> 00:30:38.160 Sarah Bryan: Thanks um there, there are two titles of co-written.

    00:30:39.300 –> 00:30:49.680 Sarah Bryan: I was one of the three co-authors, along with Beverly Patterson and Michelle Lanier, who is now the Director of historic sites for North Carolina.

    00:30:50.160 –> 00:30:59.250 Sarah Bryan: I’m a book called African American music trails of Eastern North Carolina and that came out of a North Carolina Arts Council project of the same name.

    00:31:00.570 –> 00:31:07.080 Sarah Bryan: about the historic and living black music traditions in Eastern North Carolina counties.

    00:31:08.700 –> 00:31:16.560 Sarah Bryan: And you know just the incredible impact musicians from there have had it hasn’t always been more widely recognized.

    00:31:17.040 –> 00:31:17.580 Sarah Bryan: That was.

    00:31:18.690 –> 00:31:24.000 Sarah Bryan: 2014 2015 my husband Peter Hoenig and I.

    00:31:25.500 –> 00:31:31.410 Sarah Bryan: co-wrote and co-compiled a collection for us to digital.

    00:31:32.490 –> 00:31:53.880 Sarah Bryan: Just a great label out of Atlanta, it was a TC set up the CDS were 78 from Peters collection of mostly old-time mountain music and blues and the book was antique anonymous photos of southern early southern life from my own collections.

    00:31:54.390 –> 00:31:55.980 Sarah Bryan: cool that that was.

    00:31:57.870 –> 00:32:02.670 Sarah Bryan: 2015 and that’s out of print but it’s still I believe the music is still downloadable.

    00:32:02.940 –> 00:32:03.330 Joseph McElroy: It was.

    00:32:04.740 –> 00:32:09.420 Sarah Bryan: It was called leap, can we light name for him a.

    00:32:11.130 –> 00:32:15.630 Sarah Bryan: Pre-war southern music and photographs I believe was the subtitle.

    00:32:16.050 –> 00:32:17.490 Joseph McElroy: cool and then you’re writing one now.

    00:32:18.240 –> 00:32:32.520 Sarah Bryan: Yes, yeah I’m co-writing with potter and historian from Randolph county and help you, we are working on a history of southern traditional pottery which is.

    00:32:33.870 –> 00:32:41.190 Sarah Bryan: A huge story and we’re you know, having fun figuring out how to fit that all into one book.

    00:32:42.690 –> 00:32:45.060 Joseph McElroy: yeah pottery trails all over the north.

    00:32:45.060 –> 00:32:45.540 Carolina.

    00:32:47.310 –> 00:32:47.970 Sarah Bryan: Especially.

    00:32:49.620 –> 00:32:59.520 Joseph McElroy: Well cool well, you also writing and the and the editor for the old time arrow, which is an about old music is also an old-time dancing.

    00:33:00.720 –> 00:33:17.490 Sarah Bryan: It is yeah yeah the old time, Harold the musician and field recorder Alice Gerard founded in 1987 when she was living in Gala and yeah it’s about traditional old-time music, particularly in Appalachia but also.

    00:33:18.570 –> 00:33:24.570 Sarah Bryan: Other parts of the self, and you know wider traditions elsewhere that are relatable to music.

    00:33:25.380 –> 00:33:29.880 Joseph McElroy: Other parts are there any memorable stories you wrote about the smoky mountains areas.

    00:33:30.690 –> 00:33:34.200 Sarah Bryan: Oh gosh well not that I’ve written myself, but I would.

    00:33:35.580 –> 00:33:46.320 Sarah Bryan: There have been some great articles about Western North Carolina effect our current issue has a cover story about beach mountain musicians from.

    00:33:47.220 –> 00:34:00.840 Sarah Bryan: From the Whataburger every county line area and the old fiddler the universe to hicks is the cover girl she’s a great musical matriarch from beach mountain.

    00:34:01.560 –> 00:34:03.750 Joseph McElroy: cool Any with Haywood County?

    00:34:05.010 –> 00:34:06.360 Sarah Bryan: yeah let me.

    00:34:08.580 –> 00:34:20.040 Sarah Bryan: we’ve definitely covered Haywood county stories, there was we had an article sometime back about the Soco gap clockers was that the name of the.

    00:34:20.520 –> 00:34:22.320 Joseph McElroy: Joe Sam Queen

    00:34:23.460 –> 00:34:23.700 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:34:23.820 –> 00:34:24.690 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah and.

    00:34:24.780 –> 00:34:26.940 Sarah Bryan: They danced at the White House and Roosevelt.

    00:34:27.780 –> 00:34:30.210 Joseph McElroy: yeah we have him on the show a few weeks ago yeah.

    00:34:31.080 –> 00:34:32.640 Sarah Bryan: yeah that’s a great tradition that’s.

    00:34:32.730 –> 00:34:34.470 Sarah Bryan: been going on for generations.

    00:34:35.490 –> 00:34:48.030 Joseph McElroy: cool so I love that you know that you work with this Folklife institute, I mean it’s there’s a lot of the value and objectives, promoting the preservation appreciation of understanding.

    00:34:48.600 –> 00:34:56.880 Joseph McElroy: The folklife heritage and culture in North Carolina yeah we’re spoken we’re focused on the smoky mountains area but it’s the same sort of passion.

    00:34:58.440 –> 00:35:09.150 Joseph McElroy: I saw that you had one interesting program documenting the early bbq pitch, so I gotta go find this because I’m getting into I’ve been a big fire based.

    00:35:10.170 –> 00:35:19.830 Joseph McElroy: cook for a while and I’ve been getting more and more of that tell me about that what would you find out that that’s fascinating about Barbecue pits early on.

    00:35:20.280 –> 00:35:21.360 Sarah Bryan: That was a project.

    00:35:22.440 –> 00:35:29.490 Sarah Bryan: Oh gosh probably eight or 10 years ago that the previous director Joy Salinger’s launched and.

    00:35:31.080 –> 00:35:35.400 Sarah Bryan: The part that I was able to play was going to interview to

    00:35:36.990 –> 00:35:49.500 Sarah Bryan: founding fathers of the western Barbecue tradition, Mr. Damien Mr mountain Conan Greensboro and one and Lexington and I didn’t tell either of them that I’m a vegetarian.

    00:35:51.120 –> 00:35:53.070 Sarah Bryan: It was lovely being in their restaurants it

    00:35:53.070 –> 00:35:54.120 Sarah Bryan: smelled great.

    00:35:55.680 –> 00:36:00.360 Sarah Bryan: Barbecue home for my family and yeah just lovely.

    00:36:00.480 –> 00:36:03.690 Joseph McElroy: You could do some wonderful things with vegetables and smoke, you know.

    00:36:04.320 –> 00:36:08.970 Joseph McElroy: yeah there’s a recipe that comes out of the middle of the state that I love of US it’s.

    00:36:10.170 –> 00:36:23.550 Joseph McElroy: This African American chef I forget her name right now I’ll post it at some point that as smoke beats and then she makes cornbread beats so you think it’s it’s fabulous oh yeah and burnt sugar.

    00:36:23.700 –> 00:36:24.750 Sarah Bryan: Smoke oh wow.

    00:36:26.130 –> 00:36:36.990 Joseph McElroy: Oh it’s incredible yeah so there’s a lot of vegetables that are really enhanced by the grill experience yeah people know you know about doing just about some things but there’s a lot more that you could do.

    00:36:38.220 –> 00:36:42.660 Joseph McElroy: Any programs cooking programs on mountain cooking or Cherokee cuisine

    00:36:43.590 –> 00:36:47.730 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah absolutely that’s where you’re really.

    00:36:48.930 –> 00:36:52.620 Sarah Bryan: Love being involved in programs about Appalachian.

    00:36:53.670 –> 00:36:54.810 Sarah Bryan: Food in particular.

    00:36:55.830 –> 00:37:07.110 Sarah Bryan: Yeah we’ve had some classes, through a program called in these mountains, which is sponsored by South Arts in Atlanta, and have had to have several food-related courses.

    00:37:08.400 –> 00:37:16.680 Sarah Bryan: right before the pandemic began, we were working with Nathan Bush, who is a Cherokee herbalist and

    00:37:18.480 –> 00:37:29.010 Sarah Bryan: artist and language specialist and his mother, Mrs. Anita Bush is also a really renowned herbalist and so he was given a great class.

    00:37:29.910 –> 00:37:41.070 Sarah Bryan: Going into the woods and the area, and you know, showing which plants are edible which you got to stay away from which have different you know medicinal properties and.

    00:37:42.000 –> 00:37:51.150 Sarah Bryan: More recently, and in fact, going on now we’re sponsoring an online class called mountain battles and it’s taught by William Ritter

    00:37:51.570 –> 00:37:52.140 Joseph McElroy: Oh William,

    00:37:52.890 –> 00:37:53.490 Sarah Bryan: know there again.

    00:37:53.910 –> 00:37:55.020 Joseph McElroy: we’re able to show you.

    00:37:55.080 –> 00:37:56.250 Sarah Bryan: Oh good good.

    00:37:56.370 –> 00:38:10.110 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah yeah William from Mitchell county and he is teaching it’s a great class we’ve only had two so far as and it’s going to go into you know the summer and early fall and we are still taking.

    00:38:10.890 –> 00:38:27.870 Sarah Bryan: Taking students can still register anyone 13 and up and it’s a free class just about you know heritage Appalachian crops cooking baking stories having to do with food songs having to do with food.

    00:38:29.370 –> 00:38:38.970 Joseph McElroy: We know here to here we’ve built our first guard here, right at the motel, we also put a field in at a farm and what we have.

    00:38:39.930 –> 00:38:47.850 Joseph McElroy: we’re starting to really get into you know like I don’t know if you’ve heard of candy roasters we got a whole bunch of candy restaurant or probably even better, believe it or not.

    00:38:49.080 –> 00:39:05.100 Joseph McElroy: And we’re planning on doing a lot of those big breads and things like that, for those who don’t know, can you rosters are like the pumpkin or squash family they’re giant but oh long you know and they only really grow well the bounce but they’re really sweet really fantastic.

    00:39:06.390 –> 00:39:19.410 Joseph McElroy: So I love that you’re doing this kind of stuff and yeah we’re gonna we’re going to actually open a restaurant focus on merited mountain heritage food with a lot of traditional things and.

    00:39:19.680 –> 00:39:21.600 Joseph McElroy: And we just I don’t know if you know Illa hatter.

    00:39:21.930 –> 00:39:22.950 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah.

    00:39:23.040 –> 00:39:24.000 Joseph McElroy: He was just here.

    00:39:25.050 –> 00:39:29.100 Joseph McElroy: the day before yesterday, she did a program here and we had over 30 people show up.

    00:39:29.430 –> 00:39:40.680 Joseph McElroy: right here and learn how to forage and use it to make meals, a day so it’s something that people are very interested in and it’s great to look up that program you guys are doing.

    00:39:40.890 –> 00:39:42.660 Sarah Bryan: Definitely yeah join us, please.

    00:39:42.840 –> 00:39:54.480 Joseph McElroy: yeah another big thing that you’re involved with this festival productions right documenting and talking about what’s going on, do you have any favorite festivals in the western part of the state.

    00:39:55.230 –> 00:40:04.530 Sarah Bryan: Oh gosh yeah that’s what it’d be hard to narrow down my favorite old-time festival in the world is Mount airy fiddler’s Convention and.

    00:40:05.580 –> 00:40:17.610 Sarah Bryan: yeah I haven’t gone for the last couple of years because of just pandemic strangeness but yeah I’ve been coming to that since I was about 20 and just fabulous.

    00:40:19.320 –> 00:40:26.280 Sarah Bryan: festival it’s one of these events, where the old-time musicians from all over the world really come together and.

    00:40:26.670 –> 00:40:35.760 Sarah Bryan: meet the people who grew up in the traditions and you know are carrying it on from home and vice versa it’s just it’s wonderful.

    00:40:36.540 –> 00:40:56.700 Sarah Bryan: Another one I love and I’m not certain if it’s still happening in the fading voices festival and takes place in snowbird the Cherokee Community near Robin school and it’s Cherokee Gospel music and wonderful.

    00:40:57.720 –> 00:41:06.720 Sarah Bryan: Quartets mostly from the eastern band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina and Tennessee and also from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.

    00:41:09.570 –> 00:41:19.020 Sarah Bryan: Court that’s will come from air to this festival and just incredibly beautiful music in this really, really beautiful little mountain cove and snowbird.

    00:41:19.800 –> 00:41:21.300 Sarah Bryan: wow that’s still going on.

    00:41:22.320 –> 00:41:27.000 Joseph McElroy: look it up, you know, one of the most successful I thought you know the hospitality

    00:41:28.140 –> 00:41:46.830 Joseph McElroy: thing I actually saw in Barbados, was a Gospel Gospel brunch on Sunday, and it was huge, it was a big fantastic success people, it was all you know really sort of old time you know Gospel music this surprising place to have it is hugely successful.

    00:41:47.310 –> 00:41:49.050 Joseph McElroy: For the idea of doing that here.

    00:41:50.460 –> 00:41:57.360 Joseph McElroy: But you know he didn’t you didn’t the folklife it’s two to one point put on the first statewide folk fest folk festival.

    00:41:57.930 –> 00:42:11.880 Sarah Bryan: That was our origin actually founded in 1974 to help the actually as an arm at that time of the folklife program with the North Carolina Arts Council and they were putting on.

    00:42:12.330 –> 00:42:23.250 Sarah Bryan: A statewide folklife festival here in Durham and it was sort of the lead up to the bicentennial so you know, there was a renewed interest in American traditions of all kinds.

    00:42:23.760 –> 00:42:26.460 Sarah Bryan: And that festival and 74.

    00:42:27.780 –> 00:42:41.220 Sarah Bryan: It just it’s incredible looking back at who all was there as a Tammi Terrell Elizabeth cotton Willard Watson just yeah just some of the most wonderful let’s kill on artists.

    00:42:41.880 –> 00:42:45.210 Joseph McElroy: Have you been involved with the phone booth two senators festival here at Haywood county.

    00:42:45.780 –> 00:42:49.260 Sarah Bryan: We haven’t, but I would like to do great work.

    00:42:49.770 –> 00:42:52.650 Joseph McElroy: Alright cool I’ll get that Bob did it he does pretty well.

    00:42:53.820 –> 00:43:00.810 Joseph McElroy: Well hey listen, we got to take a break and then we’ll come back and talk continue talking about yeah folk folklife here in the mountains.

    00:45:02.610 –> 00:45:12.180 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and I guess Sarah Brian so Sarah you know, one of the reasons I.

    00:45:13.260 –> 00:45:20.520 Joseph McElroy: You know started doing the mountain heritage stuff here and got involved with this, because I really believe in the importance of community education.

    00:45:21.120 –> 00:45:36.600 Joseph McElroy: And you know and getting you to know things right, where the Community can be involved with it and even online, you know inner interactions, what do you think about the importance of that and also the importance of oral history documentation that comes out of communities.

    00:45:38.280 –> 00:45:47.490 Sarah Bryan: I think I think it’s an essential part of all of our lives and yeah Community arts and oral history and.

    00:45:48.510 –> 00:45:54.600 Sarah Bryan: far too few people nowadays experienced that, and you know, in a full way um.

    00:45:55.980 –> 00:46:03.180 Sarah Bryan: I’m not one of those people who thinks that you know the old days were better across the board, but, but I do think that the.

    00:46:05.130 –> 00:46:08.190 Joseph McElroy: closeness there’s a lot of you there’s a lot of beauty in it there’s.

    00:46:08.190 –> 00:46:09.120 Sarah Bryan: Absolutely.

    00:46:09.360 –> 00:46:09.870 Joseph McElroy: There was also.

    00:46:10.320 –> 00:46:16.290 Joseph McElroy: A hardship and ugliness in there, but you’re trying to preserve the beauty and letting the nastiness go away.

    00:46:16.620 –> 00:46:29.310 Sarah Bryan: Exactly exactly, and I think that that closeness of community is something that a lot of ways, many of us have lost and also more so over the last two and a half years with the pandemic.

    00:46:30.510 –> 00:46:43.320 Sarah Bryan: But then that makes it all the more essential for organizations like both of ours to create these opportunities whenever we can to help.

    00:46:44.070 –> 00:47:00.210 Sarah Bryan: Especially young people find out about traditions in their communities get to know elder artists or you know story storytellers people who know the Community history and yeah the more opportunities there are, the better.

    00:47:02.130 –> 00:47:06.780 Sarah Bryan: That makes me think in particular about the jam programs the junior Appalachian musicians.

    00:47:07.140 –> 00:47:07.710 Joseph McElroy: that’s a great.

    00:47:08.310 –> 00:47:15.270 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah I mean that’s sort of a stellar example of creating new.

    00:47:16.560 –> 00:47:17.760 Sarah Bryan: Learning environments.

    00:47:19.230 –> 00:47:36.090 Sarah Bryan: Where you know, a young person 100 years ago may have been able to go to the next door neighbor or her next door neighbor and learn the banjo and that those links don’t exist as a strong layer as frequently now so creating these.

    00:47:37.500 –> 00:47:47.190 Sarah Bryan: classes, essentially for young people to learn has been an amazing contribution to old-time and bluegrass music because now there’s this whole.

    00:47:47.880 –> 00:47:59.370 Sarah Bryan: generation of young just incredibly good musicians, who are graduates of the jam program and you know counties throughout the Appalachian South and.

    00:48:00.510 –> 00:48:02.010 Sarah Bryan: You know, thank goodness for.

    00:48:02.250 –> 00:48:12.720 Joseph McElroy: For what you’ve actually cultivated network so that they can interact and learn from each other and prevent also promote artists and created a handbook for artists to promote them so sorry about that.

    00:48:13.770 –> 00:48:16.560 Sarah Bryan: that’s, this is a good chance for me to.

    00:48:17.580 –> 00:48:24.450 Sarah Bryan: Tell listeners, please watch this space, because the artist’s handbook is actually being revised, as we speak.

    00:48:26.790 –> 00:48:30.900 Sarah Bryan: The North Carolina Arts Council and Evan had to folk mode.

    00:48:32.310 –> 00:48:36.150 Sarah Bryan: Evan when he was with the North Carolina folklife so it was actually the.

    00:48:37.710 –> 00:48:58.800 Sarah Bryan: First person who started this project and yeah it’s an online handbook in PDF format of ideas resources for traditional artists to get the word out about what they do, essentially to help them make a living if that’s what they want to do with their art form.

    00:49:00.390 –> 00:49:07.710 Sarah Bryan: find opportunities to learn and to and to teach and pass it on so that’s being revised, and you know things change so quickly.

    00:49:08.550 –> 00:49:20.220 Sarah Bryan: Especially in terms of technology that you know it needs to revision pretty quickly so that’s what we’re working on now, and hopefully it’ll be back up in a new form in a few months.

    00:49:21.420 –> 00:49:30.720 Joseph McElroy: You know that’s you know I guess the work of things like the blue Ridge heritage trail is all part of that work to give artists the ability to promote themselves.

    00:49:30.810 –> 00:49:37.020 Joseph McElroy: Absolutely, and in the state is that the statewide directory of artists as well, or is that a different.

    00:49:38.820 –> 00:49:42.330 Sarah Bryan: that’s a different a different project and.

    00:49:43.410 –> 00:49:57.960 Sarah Bryan: One that I that also like for us to return to and revitalize it’s it got started in with artists from Warren Vance and Halifax counties and sell to North Carolina and.

    00:49:58.770 –> 00:50:09.270 Sarah Bryan: yeah directory was very much like the blue Ridge national Heritage Area’s traditional arts directory, you know modeled after that aimed for us a statewide.

    00:50:12.510 –> 00:50:13.020 Joseph McElroy: And you know.

    00:50:14.430 –> 00:50:14.790 Joseph McElroy: You know.

    00:50:17.100 –> 00:50:25.830 Joseph McElroy: yeah I love that the other there’s a sensitivity to promote the diversity of what was what built, these are communities it wasn’t just.

    00:50:26.160 –> 00:50:37.830 Joseph McElroy: Scotch Irish settlers and you’ve mentioned some charity works how about the Africa Fo Appalachians and fluids in the western part of the state and you were those documenting those are.

    00:50:38.880 –> 00:50:39.660 Joseph McElroy: Those anywhere.

    00:50:40.500 –> 00:50:41.700 Sarah Bryan: yeah yeah I think.

    00:50:43.320 –> 00:50:55.830 Sarah Bryan: I mean, of course, black Appalachian communities have always known that they were there themselves, but you know, those of us from other backgrounds, have not, you know, known as much as we should have about them and.

    00:50:57.630 –> 00:51:03.540 Sarah Bryan: there’s one person whose research, especially excuse me I’m gonna have to pause for a second and call.

    00:51:05.490 –> 00:51:22.410 Sarah Bryan: The person who’s done some really wonderful work in Southwestern North Carolina is Miller Woodford she’s the founder of an organization called one doesn’t do care and she’s written a wonderful book which I happen to have here if I can hold the screen.

    00:51:23.550 –> 00:51:35.610 Sarah Bryan: it’s called when all god’s children get together a celebration of the lives of music African American people in far Western North Carolina, yeah and it talks about communities, particularly in.

    00:51:37.050 –> 00:51:39.840 Sarah Bryan: Making Cherokee clay counties.

    00:51:41.070 –> 00:51:53.220 Sarah Bryan: And Franklin area especially is very old African American communities that have wonderful rich histories and traditions and she’s helping you know, bring a spotlight to that.

    00:51:54.780 –> 00:51:56.160 Joseph McElroy: wow well.

    00:51:58.620 –> 00:52:10.680 Joseph McElroy: This is all important work there are so many other things that you do you know when we’re getting to the end here, you know I like to ask my guests, what are your some of your favorite places in western North Carolina Where would you recommend people go.

    00:52:12.030 –> 00:52:14.010 Sarah Bryan: Oh wow oh.

    00:52:18.480 –> 00:52:19.620 Sarah Bryan: gosh I mean.

    00:52:20.670 –> 00:52:22.020 Sarah Bryan: it’s so hard to.

    00:52:23.190 –> 00:52:23.640 Joseph McElroy: focus.

    00:52:24.900 –> 00:52:27.240 Sarah Bryan: On a weekend I love haywood county um.

    00:52:27.570 –> 00:52:41.430 Sarah Bryan: Let me see Oh, there is a it right north of you are right, right up the road from you, one of my favorite views in all of North Carolina is on the road between Maggie Valley.

    00:52:41.790 –> 00:52:49.950 Sarah Bryan: And Cherokee if you’re driving towards Cherokee look out to the right there’s this incredible beautiful view of soco gap.

    00:52:51.240 –> 00:52:53.490 Joseph McElroy: is called the most photographed view and.

    00:52:54.420 –> 00:52:56.790 Sarah Bryan: that’s the one that’s got the little viewing tower and.

    00:52:57.990 –> 00:52:59.040 Sarah Bryan: It deserves that.

    00:53:01.170 –> 00:53:03.480 Joseph McElroy: i’ve been there since before I was born.

    00:53:06.900 –> 00:53:21.540 Joseph McElroy: Well it’s been a pleasure, having you on the show we have to call it quits davin what’s, what do you what would you like people to go to find out more information or looked up your books or read something really important things for them to find out more about you.

    00:53:21.990 –> 00:53:30.360 Sarah Bryan: Well, I would love for them to visit our website for the folklife Institute, which is nc folk Lol K dot O rg and see folk.org.

    00:53:30.990 –> 00:53:44.130 Sarah Bryan: And also, if they’re interested in old time music old time music, in particular, old time harold.org they find a lot about appalachian and particular of Western North Carolina music.

    00:53:45.060 –> 00:53:50.250 Joseph McElroy: cool What about you, you get books, you get some things wherever they find out about that do you have a Facebook page or anything like.

    00:53:50.580 –> 00:53:52.470 Sarah Bryan: yeah you can find me on Facebook for sure.

    00:53:53.070 –> 00:53:54.300 Joseph McElroy: Alright fabulous.

    00:53:55.410 –> 00:54:00.870 Joseph McElroy: Well, thank you again, we might have to have another show, because you got a lot to talk about fabulous.

    00:54:01.560 –> 00:54:02.430 Sarah Bryan: fun, thank you.

    00:54:03.210 –> 00:54:21.120 Joseph McElroy: So this, this is the gateway to the smokies podcast you can watch this podcast live on facebook@facebook.com slash gateway to the smoke these podcasts we also have all the episodes recorded and with transcripts on smokies adventure calm.

    00:54:22.260 –> 00:54:30.060 Joseph McElroy: there’s a link at the top, to bring you to all the different episodes that you can review we’re also on the talk radio dot nyc network.

    00:54:30.390 –> 00:54:38.190 Joseph McElroy: Where they also stream the the audio live as well as on their Facebook stream and I advise you to take a look at all of the.

    00:54:38.760 –> 00:54:46.410 Joseph McElroy: podcasts on this network because it’s a network of live podcast which I think is very interesting you get a lot of.

    00:54:46.980 –> 00:54:53.310 Joseph McElroy: The spontaneity and and extensive I think vibrancy by listening to things that are live.

    00:54:54.300 –> 00:55:03.840 Joseph McElroy: And they range from small business to self help to travel to stuff about New York City and and and other other parts of the world.

    00:55:04.620 –> 00:55:10.710 Joseph McElroy: So go there, if you get a chance, I also have another podcast for wise content creates wealth on that.

    00:55:11.400 –> 00:55:20.970 Joseph McElroy: On that network it’s about marketing and Ai So if you get a chance to take a look at that and i’ll see you next week again for another fine podcast.

    00:55:21.270 –> 00:55:29.790 Joseph McElroy: Always on Tuesdays from six to seven the gateway to the smoke these podcasts and appreciate you all for listening today and i’ll see you then.

    50m - Jul 12, 2022
  • Episode 63: Kim Ross of the J Creek Cloggers

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/06/28 - Kim Ross of the J Creek Cloggers


    This week's episode explores the world of Appalachian dance, and why it is so important to keep the culture alive.

    The Gateway to the Smokies Podcast is proud to introduce our special guest today, Kim Ross. Kim has roots firmly entrenched in the Southern Appalachians. A native of Snowflake Virginia, not far from the historic Carter Family Fold and the birthplace of country music on the Tennessee- Virginia border, Kim grew up loving old-time music, Appalachian culture, and especially traditional mountain dancing. Today she resides with her family in Waynesville, N.C., and perpetuates her family legacy by managing and dancing with the iconic J Creek Cloggers. 

    Kim Ross will discuss the rich history and culture of the Southern Appalachian region while sharing the stories of their ancestors and their passion for mountain dance music.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063452415685

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.



    Kim Ross grew up in Snowflake, Virginia. When she hit her teenage years she started to visit Carter's Fold. She remembers seeing people from Ireland, etc. to be a part of this historical event. The Carter family is preserving a lot of history such as Johnny Cash’s rocking chair.


    Her father was a tenant farmer, meaning that his family didn’t own the land. He would flat-foot dance to make money for his family growing up. Ross recalls that she also caught on to flat footing as a child with no lessons. Zeb and Levi Ross were her kids and she taught them traditional dance to preserve culture. Ross started the J Creek Cloggers, the J is short for Jonathan Creek. The people she works with include teenagers who genuinely care about learning. The audience is taught traditional steps, butt dancing, and flat footing. These steps stretch out into cultures such as the Cherokee, Scottish, and Irish.


    A popular video of her son Seb on tiktok. Jason Jordan approached them whilst they were dancing to record Seb. As a consequence, their Instagram blew up and Ross got to explore other social media platforms. They have had the opportunities to shoot music videos with up-and-coming artists and appeared in commercials. Hillbilly Crypt dancing became a coined term for Seb’s dancing. Ross praises his unique look with a mullet and smile being a part of his viral success. Ross encouraged him to find his unique dance moves to keep up with the freestyle tradition.


    She connects her dancing with her pottery as both deal with movement. She also got her kids to do pottery at Good Earth in Hazelwood. For photographs, she loves to go to Devil’s Courthouse and any of the local places such as Jonathan Creek.



    00:00:37.080 –> 00:00:37.740 Joseph McElroy: howdy.

    00:00:38.130 –> 00:00:47.340 Joseph McElroy: This is Joseph Franklyn McElroy Welcome to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park.

    00:00:47.670 –> 00:00:54.300 Joseph McElroy: The great smoky mountain national park and the surrounding towns, this area is filled with ancient natural beauty.

    00:00:54.660 –> 00:00:59.850 Joseph McElroy: A deep-storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:01:00.240 –> 00:01:12.210 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin McElroy, a man of the world, but also deep roots in these mountains my family’s lived in the great smoky mountains, for over 200 years my business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

    00:01:12.720 –> 00:01:21.030 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re going to talk with Kim Ross about the J creek cloggers viral sensation the first a few messages and some events.

    00:01:21.630 –> 00:01:31.980 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past and modern and vibrant with a chic Appalachian feel a place of adventure and relaxation.

    00:01:32.670 –> 00:01:42.030 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in the mountain heritage stream grill the catch on fire enjoy it with fine wines and craft beers.

    00:01:42.510 –> 00:01:57.900 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with that old-time music and world cultural sound, there is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley, North Carolina your smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

    00:01:59.400 –> 00:02:12.030 Joseph McElroy: and other sponsors smokies adventure.com that’s smokies plural adventure si.com the smoky mountains and surrounding areas of vacation destination for all these.

    00:02:12.630 –> 00:02:20.280 Joseph McElroy: Some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment can be found, right here.

    00:02:21.030 –> 00:02:31.410 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure complex for all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountains National Park, the trails the waterfall cave cove and.

    00:02:31.800 –> 00:02:43.260 Joseph McElroy: An elk and more the checkout all the awesome things you can do here like that family attractions family entertainment great restaurants it’s become a foodie heaven and.

    00:02:44.040 –> 00:03:02.250 Joseph McElroy: That your entire family can enjoy, and if you have outdoor life events you want to do like an outdoor wedding or an interesting honeymoon a romantic getaway check out smokies adventure.com they’re leading information portal portal for having fun of them smoky mountains.

    00:03:03.270 –> 00:03:04.290 Joseph McElroy: So events coming up.

    00:03:05.910 –> 00:03:15.720 Joseph McElroy: In two weeks on Julya 9 we have wildcrafting and mother nature’s natural garden program with legendary I look at.

    00:03:16.860 –> 00:03:32.730 Joseph McElroy: It starts at 10 am on July 9 and the fee and the features, the island who’s a legendary white wild fasting expert renowned author filmmaker instructor include quick tour guide for the great smoky mountain National Park field school.

    00:03:34.170 –> 00:03:42.360 Joseph McElroy: She is an expert on edible plants, but this know herbs or anything pertaining to wildcraft orgy an Appalachian.

    00:03:43.440 –> 00:03:51.120 Joseph McElroy: Plants and trees and the flowers, she has been featured on TV print radio and all sorts of things.

    00:03:52.770 –> 00:03:59.970 Joseph McElroy: And she is an iconic female that will soon be featured of the smokies will soon be featuring one of our themed rooms.

    00:04:01.140 –> 00:04:05.520 Joseph McElroy: She is will be presenting their beloved program called mother nature’s natural garden.

    00:04:05.940 –> 00:04:19.980 Joseph McElroy: Which is about forging and natural herbs and things that are in these mountains and then she’s gonna lead a short tour of on the grounds of the metal or motel and there are surrounding areas to forage for.

    00:04:20.760 –> 00:04:34.350 Joseph McElroy: A nature’s bounty and to make something of that, and you can learn how to find great things in your own backyard, then the event culminates with the bbq supper and music by Michael real tree and his friends on Saturday.

    00:04:35.160 –> 00:04:43.260 Joseph McElroy: Efficient dimension is just 20 bucks for a person for for those who are not guests, but guests and inheritance club Members are free.

    00:04:43.620 –> 00:05:06.720 Joseph McElroy: So that’s July 9 that starting at 10am be sure to call eight to 89261717 to get your space now on July 30 this is relevant to this program you guys got to come, but we’re going to have the J creek cloggers the viral sensation here dancing from 7:30pm to 9pm at the pavilion.

    00:05:08.280 –> 00:05:14.850 Joseph McElroy: And it’s it’s a it’s a great town heritage event and will also include the Barbecue dinner.

    00:05:15.960 –> 00:05:25.200 Joseph McElroy: and on Saturday night, starting at if you come early at six and then the dancing and musical started 730.

    00:05:25.830 –> 00:05:31.740 Joseph McElroy: It will they will provide the J street Congress will perform multiple examples of traditional mountain dancing.

    00:05:32.220 –> 00:05:42.690 Joseph McElroy: As well as teaching the audience several fun dance steps we group leader Kim Ross is will be now will also give a short talk on the history and tradition to mountain dancing.

    00:05:43.140 –> 00:05:49.320 Joseph McElroy: grab your partner and come and join us for a memorable fun filled up with dining and dancing.

    00:05:49.800 –> 00:06:06.390 Joseph McElroy: The mission is free for hotel guests, as it always is, and heritage club members and $20 per person for people that just want to come and have a night out of the night out and do some mountain heritage again call eight to 89261717 to get your spot.

    00:06:07.650 –> 00:06:20.610 Joseph McElroy: And then also reserve a room, if you want to stay overnight, and then August 12 through the 13th we’re having a great songwriters cramp camp here and it’s going to feature some grammy award-winning artists.

    00:06:21.300 –> 00:06:29.160 Joseph McElroy: Jim Lauderdale there was a legendary songwriter who wrote a lot of George strait’s hits and Charles Humphrey the third.

    00:06:29.610 –> 00:06:38.430 Joseph McElroy: who’s another grammy award-winning winner, along with other award-winning artists like Darren Nicholson balsam range playbills and Charles Chamberlain.

    00:06:38.670 –> 00:06:46.230 Joseph McElroy: it’s an event, if you’re interested in writing songs you cannot get a better education than these guys are going to be able to give you.

    00:06:46.680 –> 00:06:55.350 Joseph McElroy: it’s a two-day event of interactive story writing instruction with world-class musicians and they will also help you produce a DEMO tape.

    00:06:55.710 –> 00:07:02.340 Joseph McElroy: and have a takeaway of a DEMO tape and then you have some concert by songs from the spread ban on Friday night.

    00:07:02.760 –> 00:07:07.980 Joseph McElroy: And then, and then a Saturday night there will be a Barbecue dinner and an all-star concept of all these guys.

    00:07:08.910 –> 00:07:20.970 Joseph McElroy: Making it a unique event like no other and space is very limited, so the price is 7675 per person for the education and DEMO tape and the fun.

    00:07:21.840 –> 00:07:32.310 Joseph McElroy: And there are also tickets available for just the concerts call eight to 89261717 to get your space reserve a room or just reserve the.

    00:07:32.670 –> 00:07:38.820 Joseph McElroy: position of the camp and come and really experienced something that you’re not going to find many times in your life.

    00:07:39.600 –> 00:07:51.450 Joseph McElroy: So today we were talking about the jquery cloggers well, we have the founder of the J Creek Cloggers Kim Ross Woody has firmly entrenched the southern Appalachian.

    00:07:52.020 –> 00:08:02.400 Joseph McElroy: a native of snowflake Virginia not far from the historic Carter family fold and the birthplace of country music of the Tennessee-Virginia border.

    00:08:02.670 –> 00:08:09.570 Joseph McElroy: Kim grew up loving old times using Appalachian culture and especially traditional mountain dance.

    00:08:10.110 –> 00:08:24.870 Joseph McElroy: Does he resides with the family in Waynesville North Carolina and perpetuates her family legacy, by managing dancing with the iconic J Creek Cloggers. How are you doing Kim? Thank you yeah yeah oh yeah it’s been an exciting time.

    00:08:26.220 –> 00:08:27.240 Joseph McElroy: it’s been overwhelming.

    00:08:28.890 –> 00:08:38.010 Joseph McElroy: Well we’ll get into the viral sensation but let’s find a little bit about your background I like to find out more about our guests, and you know their history and their love for Appalachian.

    00:08:38.580 –> 00:08:45.510 Joseph McElroy: trail I grew up as you said and stuff like Virginia, which is about two hours from here across the Kingsport Tennessee LAN.

    00:08:45.960 –> 00:08:54.270 Joseph McElroy: Scott county Virginia Southwest Virginia part home to mother, my bell card or she was actually born in Scott county and Nichols build Virginia.

    00:08:54.780 –> 00:09:04.170 Joseph McElroy: And everybody knows them ap and Sarah Carter mother, my bell went on, of course, with the music and the recordings in Bristol.

    00:09:04.620 –> 00:09:15.180 Joseph McElroy: But the historic Carter family fold is in Hilton's Virginia and it started in the 70s, they preserve the old style and bluegrass music and it’s all acoustic.

    00:09:15.840 –> 00:09:26.850 Joseph McElroy: Nothing, you know can be plugged in they want the real deal stringed instruments and you’ll see some of the finest flat foot and but dancing they come from all over the world.

    00:09:27.360 –> 00:09:30.600 Joseph McElroy: Just to come, this one place, which is practically a huge barn.

    00:09:31.350 –> 00:09:38.490 Joseph McElroy: Yes, and it can hold I think about 2000 people every Saturday night, they have a live show with different bands.

    00:09:38.850 –> 00:09:46.680 Joseph McElroy: Either bluegrass were all the time, but if you look up Carter family followed on the Internet you’ll see there so show schedule that’s and stuff like.

    00:09:47.340 –> 00:09:59.880 Joseph McElroy: That and he’ll do in the same town in Georgia snow like was part of that and Nicholas bills part of that counter mother Michael Carter this why what was your temples go for it I’m not sure I think.

    00:10:01.050 –> 00:10:11.760 Joseph McElroy: The houses were at one time, but it says the elevation we go a little more snow the houses, I was told was painted white he and then the purity of the people that like.

    00:10:13.980 –> 00:10:23.070 Joseph McElroy: it’s not yeah I love snowflakes I still go back and visit when I can, and all the roads that you’ve got like bobsled road Jingle bell road, so you know.

    00:10:25.830 –> 00:10:31.860 Joseph McElroy: frosty road some kind of the main sport is a little bit of a tourist destination, or is it just out of the way it.

    00:10:32.760 –> 00:10:41.100 Joseph McElroy: sounds like not as much, but if you go on up into Nichols feel they have a famous restaurant it’s just a little restaurant commentating anybody come from all over.

    00:10:41.490 –> 00:10:54.840 Joseph McElroy: to eat some other home cooked meals so that’s our job easier right right yeah yeah yeah so this Carter folded you go there, often as a child, I did once I hit my teens teenage years I did a lot and.

    00:10:55.350 –> 00:11:03.840 Joseph McElroy: The people there are just found fun people and then to see the others come from Ireland, China, Japan everywhere, just to be a part of.

    00:11:04.380 –> 00:11:08.670 Joseph McElroy: The Carter family history because Johnny cash, of course, Mary Jean Carter.

    00:11:09.270 –> 00:11:22.350 Joseph McElroy: So you have that involvement, he did come to the Carver folds he actually had a house a stadium barfing did you get to see it, I did actually I got to see his last performance, to my knowledge, was at the Carter vote before he passed away and I.

    00:11:23.490 –> 00:11:33.840 Joseph McElroy: know that Johnny cash actually came to us oh wow my grandmother, the first woman broker real estate broker to spend the state of North Carolina.

    00:11:34.320 –> 00:11:42.570 Joseph McElroy: Actually, showed him around and showed improperly, wow right yeah I don’t know why to use it was probably interesting as a ghost town with sphere, and we had a.

    00:11:43.050 –> 00:11:51.150 Joseph McElroy: Number of movie stars come here and started doing stuff and they were doing some lots of entertainment at the time, so that’s probably why was it I don’t know the full story, but I do.

    00:11:52.050 –> 00:11:58.770 Joseph McElroy: tell me that they were very down to earth and john jr I know he when he was younger before he had married.

    00:11:59.490 –> 00:12:07.530 Joseph McElroy: My friend and I actually were on the floor dancing when we were talking and he got out, he was shuffling around you know, having a good time, but they were very down-to-earth people.

    00:12:08.130 –> 00:12:11.370 Joseph McElroy: But I can’t say enough about the Carter folks are trying to preserve.

    00:12:12.300 –> 00:12:22.860 Joseph McElroy: Joe and Jeanette the original ones that had built the quarter fault, have passed away and she admits daughter Rita is running it now oh cool but it’s wonderful because they’re preserving.

    00:12:23.640 –> 00:12:37.440 Joseph McElroy: You know old-time music bluegrass music, the history behind that Johnny cash is rocking chairs up there in the cabin so there’s a lot of history, I have a museum, what about the middle of nowhere yeah out the middle of nowhere practically what I call a cow pasture.

    00:12:38.580 –> 00:12:43.200 Joseph McElroy: Well, this will go take a break now okay all right we’ll come back we’ll talk about your history alright sounds good.

    00:14:59.010 –> 00:15:12.510 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast my guest Kim Ross. so Kim so you started learning to dance pretty young, right? well, I grew up in a family that danced with my dad.

    00:15:13.050 –> 00:15:19.320 Joseph McElroy: was actually a tenant farmer his family was growing up, so they didn’t own the land, but they work the land for people and Nicholas bill.

    00:15:19.740 –> 00:15:22.620 Joseph McElroy: And he was one of the best flat photos I’ve ever seen.

    00:15:23.100 –> 00:15:30.540 Joseph McElroy: They actually would put him up on the box I’ve heard the stories as a child and people would throw nickels and he would make money for his family that way.

    00:15:30.750 –> 00:15:46.890 Joseph McElroy: So I grew up flat footing and just grew up in a family, I never had lessons didn’t know that there were certain names for movements yeah just and then of course going to the Carter fall just was a big influence that was a big yeah identify with that you know that.

    00:15:48.060 –> 00:15:58.680 Joseph McElroy: You know, we had the playhouse here, we had rabid Fairchild is here, yes, so I would yeah I grew up going to the playhouse just learned to do some I think.

    00:15:59.700 –> 00:16:06.450 Joseph McElroy: I told you before I can’t even do the double-tap but I know how to you know shuffle around pretty good.

    00:16:09.840 –> 00:16:11.040 Joseph McElroy: New York City, I can take it.

    00:16:15.780 –> 00:16:25.260 Joseph McElroy: But there are some pretty bad, so there was no, no, but that was good, you know but.

    00:16:26.580 –> 00:16:44.790 Joseph McElroy: You actually moved here today, which is about 30 some years ago, I was just you know was sharing and just wanting to see different places and I’m in the medical field, so I got on at St joseph’s hospital there and Asheville and I went to a street Vance Joseph queen was called.

    00:16:46.620 –> 00:16:56.850 Joseph McElroy: Say wow and I met the boy’s Father there at the street dance a long time ago and state, of course, and had two children and homeschool right.

    00:16:57.210 –> 00:17:08.670 Joseph McElroy: They heavenly fire off and during the homeschool in tongues but didn’t from start to finish, I wanted them to learn, you know about dance and music they actually play the music they had a band too.

    00:17:09.330 –> 00:17:23.760 Joseph McElroy: And about 13 years ago I started my dance team, of course, and it was from my end plus preserved and what I call traditional freestyle dance right to carry it on and teach my kids and educate them, otherwise I think it’s going to be a lost art if we don’t know.

    00:17:24.900 –> 00:17:36.330 Joseph McElroy: yeah well that’s what we’re going to promote it here because I believe it is very much yeah so so 30 some years ago, you came here and gotten started to get an immersive dance culture, yes.

    00:17:37.470 –> 00:17:48.420 Joseph McElroy: And you know what side you know I love Haywood county and bulk edit have live yeah Friday nights when an angel has live screen during the war bogs.

    00:17:48.990 –> 00:17:59.130 Joseph McElroy: an actual have the shindig on the great and then I know we can’t have taken in the park on Friday night yeah yes wide variety so let’s be.

    00:18:00.240 –> 00:18:05.100 Joseph McElroy: dancing in the streets and being made, I think it is and it’s great.

    00:18:05.730 –> 00:18:18.570 Joseph McElroy: yeah especially postcode but now people want to get out and they’re enjoying it and the one thing that my team does is actually teach with the audience out and teach them these routines some of the footwork and I love it yeah love it.

    00:18:19.470 –> 00:18:32.580 Joseph McElroy: So I know that you’re immersed in the history of this now right yeah that’s how you did a podcast on the history of the plugin Haywood county yeah can you give me like the one-minute spiel about.

    00:18:35.550 –> 00:18:38.790 Joseph McElroy: The dance things really started here in Haywood County and the end.

    00:18:39.780 –> 00:18:43.530 Joseph McElroy: and Joe same Queens family was big for that to you know big into that part.

    00:18:43.740 –> 00:18:56.460 Joseph McElroy: And in 1939 FDR was in an office king and Queen of England was on the way to Canada you want it to catch him to talk about Germany he and when he got them there and I think it’s been there only visit your ever.

    00:18:56.940 –> 00:19:09.030 Joseph McElroy: And he brought in the concrete girls all-female string band and soco get bloggers or from a wood county you so they represented up their dance for the King and queen he fed them dots.

    00:19:09.780 –> 00:19:15.540 Joseph McElroy: And they later said it was the picnic that one the war because they did ally with us later with Germany.

    00:19:16.920 –> 00:19:24.540 Joseph McElroy: You know I’ve always said Haywood county is huge, you know the dance team competitions and the team started here and then basketball marlins for with.

    00:19:25.080 –> 00:19:33.480 Joseph McElroy: You know in Asheville with the shindig and the smoky mountain folk festival, and then the team dances competitions and then go into the White House what more could you.

    00:19:34.050 –> 00:19:41.940 Joseph McElroy: know and we’re trying to preserve that because it was freestyle bands, which means that works all unique 80s and 90s, we had a lot of the World Championship yes.

    00:19:44.730 –> 00:19:51.270 Joseph McElroy: Yes, stomping around oh yeah are there on Saturday Saturday nights it used to be six days a week.

    00:19:53.040 –> 00:20:04.140 Joseph McElroy: yeah that was pretty amazing, but now kozel which is 90 now so he’s probably I guess yeah yeah yeah and he still keeps single one and.

    00:20:04.980 –> 00:20:07.770 Joseph McElroy: Inside of that building beautiful place to go Nice.

    00:20:08.640 –> 00:20:21.360 Joseph McElroy: cool yes, so you started the J Creek Cloggers, yep, which is short for Jonathan creek which runs right in the back of the motel all the way down what’s called down the gravel.

    00:20:21.840 –> 00:20:38.130 Joseph McElroy: yeah so in perspective, but people aren’t 40 it’s the exit 20 Maggie Valley exit you can come off and Jonathan creek runs a whole thing and then console into it, but most of us for from that area when I started the team 13 years, so we well you know I grew up.

    00:20:39.150 –> 00:20:46.260 Joseph McElroy: There too yeah pretty proud of that creaking yes yeah it was most of it so.

    00:20:47.340 –> 00:20:59.820 Joseph McElroy: What do you said you want to preserve the culture, but it was there any kind of catalyst that said just do this well I just you know, preserving the culture it’s also a good social means because I was homeschool my children.

    00:21:00.570 –> 00:21:12.480 Joseph McElroy: You know, and to see now that we’ve grown from six to eight people when I started to 35, 40 people and a lot of them are teenagers to upset their electronics aside.

    00:21:15.120 –> 00:21:28.950 Joseph McElroy: and learn the culture, learn the dance and be educated on it and they want to do it so yeah oh yeah yeah I think that dances become popular in our culture, again, it is yeah I’ll sudden now you know.

    00:21:29.820 –> 00:21:37.980 Joseph McElroy: Each routine has a meaning when you do ride some laughs and other things there’s a meaning behind that teach that to the people on the team, but you know I.

    00:21:38.880 –> 00:21:49.410 Joseph McElroy: I thought was interesting looking at yeah I haven’t seen you live, yet, but you’re gonna be here till July it’s already I’ll be there yeah and you can teach my little three and a half-year-olds to call.

    00:21:51.270 –> 00:21:53.940 Joseph McElroy: audience, we want to evolve it yeah.

    00:21:54.420 –> 00:22:01.290 Joseph McElroy: So, but you get the audience directly involved by teaching them to additional steps yes.

    00:22:01.500 –> 00:22:09.120 Joseph McElroy: teaching them about history of each of the styles right we do because there’s been advance and there’s flat foot and the clogging board actually the.

    00:22:09.330 –> 00:22:14.370 Joseph McElroy: Queen of England coin that she was over you’re visiting she said that looks a lot like clogging.

    00:22:14.670 –> 00:22:22.830 Joseph McElroy: So the clogging sort of got coined by her, but I started out flat foot, which I still do it’s an old style of what what is difference between flat.

    00:22:23.520 –> 00:22:27.750 Joseph McElroy: Keep your with flat, but you keep your feet two inches from the floor, no more.

    00:22:27.990 –> 00:22:39.900 Joseph McElroy: Right it’s mostly your lower body that works your legs and very little movement from your upper body, whereas, but thanks to this more exaggerated it’s a lot of movement and you bring your feet, more than two inches off the floor.

    00:22:40.920 –> 00:22:44.100 Joseph McElroy: sort of what lessons, they have does is more what we call advances.

    00:22:44.730 –> 00:22:54.150 Joseph McElroy: flat foot and come out of the Scottish Irish I think yeah I think it’s a mixed even the Cherokee yeah movements, like us, and then you get back in the mountains, you can even tell.

    00:22:54.510 –> 00:23:02.580 Joseph McElroy: People who are from canton by the style of dance versus people from cloud or wines what’s really cool so it’s just my style the town’s every.

    00:23:04.770 –> 00:23:12.750 Joseph McElroy: Word networks created a sort of style here right yeah yeah he was famous for putting the water put on his head thanks to with other phone.

    00:23:16.050 –> 00:23:23.310 Joseph McElroy: did a great job with that yeah wow wow so so you know.

    00:23:26.160 –> 00:23:31.050 Joseph McElroy: You see, you already explained how clogged came about right, I have is that why.

    00:23:31.620 –> 00:23:42.270 Joseph McElroy: because she said that is not why it is with coins that you know as far as the movement was similar to what they did I think in England, but we have our own style but but but Nancy.

    00:23:42.870 –> 00:23:46.740 Joseph McElroy: You know I tell people that we have people on the team that strictly flat foot.

    00:23:47.160 –> 00:23:53.730 Joseph McElroy: We have people that strictly but Vance we have people that combine the two yeah so it’s really nice because we’re freestyle which means we’re not.

    00:23:54.000 –> 00:24:04.110 Joseph McElroy: we’re not in unison with our footwork but we’re in the same seat now there’s other stuff called stop this what is that i’m not sure I think that’s just more word right but do a lot of stop and.

    00:24:05.580 –> 00:24:05.910 Joseph McElroy: Make sure.

    00:24:07.410 –> 00:24:17.220 Joseph McElroy: everybody’s got different names for things I knew clog dancing I knew I knew flatfooted wasn’t as much prevalent when I was growing up target above it but they.

    00:24:18.240 –> 00:24:29.190 Joseph McElroy: do about it and there are so many names that may not somebody says, but whatever and i’m like I didn’t grow up with names I just grew up dancing you know, everybody has coined little movement so.

    00:24:29.700 –> 00:24:39.450 Joseph McElroy: there’s multiple names out there for stuff so you started this 13 years ago, which means you got into the mix right yes and you’ve been I guess then you’ve been.

    00:24:40.230 –> 00:24:43.830 Joseph McElroy: you’ve been performing all over North Carolina the various festivals like phone.

    00:24:44.250 –> 00:24:54.870 Joseph McElroy: Number yeah all over we’ve we’ve been to the library dice frankie Griffin down male married we go into Virginia dance Tennessee South Carolina and that’s before anything went viral.

    00:24:55.440 –> 00:25:00.060 Joseph McElroy: We were you know going around and week we were different color we don’t have to say you.

    00:25:00.600 –> 00:25:12.300 Joseph McElroy: are more traditional kind of outfits and lots of color wow cool yeah So what is it what is your what are your favorite festivals, what are the ones you recommend people go see oh wow there’s some.

    00:25:13.290 –> 00:25:20.220 Joseph McElroy: I know we have one coming up and deals are actually that I love it’s coming up, I think, July 15 and then the Mount airy one that.

    00:25:21.750 –> 00:25:25.770 Joseph McElroy: was a close deals, for I think it’s just the arts and crafts festival, and they have a slayer.

    00:25:26.670 –> 00:25:40.110 Joseph McElroy: And it’s I believe it’s July 15 will be in pigeon forge this coming weekend all right, and we have a big thing coming up July that I’m excited about the first time ever we’re doing it it’s on the side, or they wanted three a meet and greet.

    00:25:41.310 –> 00:25:52.800 Joseph McElroy: stomping grounds cool you get to make the team have pictures my with us and get out and dance with it, what time is that 123 o’clock 123 yeah look come at 10am to go.

    00:25:54.210 –> 00:25:54.870 Joseph McElroy: learn how to.

    00:25:57.390 –> 00:25:59.460 Joseph McElroy: go over there, they come back for bbq.

    00:26:01.290 –> 00:26:02.220 Joseph McElroy: i’ll be ready to eat.

    00:26:03.990 –> 00:26:12.780 Joseph McElroy: that’s a damn and everybody, we got a fabulous day for you, I tell you one of the other festivals that was awesome is Darnell farms, I don’t know if you’re familiar.

    00:26:13.230 –> 00:26:22.800 Joseph McElroy: But Oh, my goodness, I have strawberry festival yeah and will be at the watermelon festival coming up so there’s just too many tonight oh yeah there’s the apple for school but.

    00:26:23.490 –> 00:26:30.000 Joseph McElroy: When we did the riot fest points go, Scott, the smoky mountain festival I think it’s coming back this year, like oh really yes.

    00:26:31.740 –> 00:26:38.670 Joseph McElroy: Yes, fabulous yeah we do have a lot of them yeah you ever want to come to a county where you get festival down.

    00:26:41.700 –> 00:26:49.530 Joseph McElroy: Which is great it’s great so yeah so and as any venues, you have to stop the ground right oh yeah stomping grounds.

    00:26:50.250 –> 00:26:57.360 Joseph McElroy: But any other venues in western North Carolina that you think are just fabulous Well, I do have one into Andrews to Jamie’s picking green.

    00:26:58.200 –> 00:27:12.660 Joseph McElroy: yeah it’s not as well known, I don’t think, but they have awesome music a fiddle player and he saw insider day that’s too, so we don’t get to go out with all difficult stomping ground yeah and wherever the mile high end as I love going there to.

    00:27:16.530 –> 00:27:17.970 Joseph McElroy: play out to be.

    00:27:19.650 –> 00:27:22.380 Joseph McElroy: with you to take another break we’ll come back talk about the.

    00:29:31.140 –> 00:29:37.650 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back to the gateway to the smokies podcast my guest Kim Ross.

    00:29:38.160 –> 00:29:47.400 Joseph McElroy: So you know Kim, you know I’m impressed by you know you don’t do you don’t necessarily do this for a living, but to do for hash yes and you’ve been involved.

    00:29:47.940 –> 00:30:01.050 Joseph McElroy: You know, sharing knowledge sharing a passion for this dance of this music and I think that’s fabulous I think you’re doing a lot to distill that dispel the dumb hillbilly sharing.

    00:30:01.980 –> 00:30:03.780 Joseph McElroy: Maybe what you can play hillbilly Jim right.

    00:30:04.650 –> 00:30:14.850 Joseph McElroy: I believe it’s July 23 it’ll be out of here at the bag valley fairgrounds and will be there, I think it’s six o’clock Vance and I’m really excited yeah This is our first time being disobedient.

    00:30:15.510 –> 00:30:41.550 Joseph McElroy: hillbilly jams, a great event huge stars come to hear people say oh yeah lots of man, will be dancer I think for about an hour, but recently right now that hillbilly myth has been hit dispelled, are you guys became essentially world famous due to to a video of your son said yes.

    00:30:43.320 –> 00:30:50.790 Joseph McElroy: dancing with the J creek Cloggers and went viral tell me about that Okay, so we were at Darnell farms of bras and city and mark.

    00:30:52.080 –> 00:30:57.120 Joseph McElroy: doing our thing just dancing as usual and somebody approached Jason Jordan, I think, was his name.

    00:30:57.600 –> 00:31:12.960 Joseph McElroy: I product to say we didn’t know him is from Georgia visiting he said, can I feel you all and we’re used to being filmed all the time, so I filmed and about a week later, you know I got woke up in the middle of night and said, your sons went viral and I thought Oh, is he sick.

    00:31:15.000 –> 00:31:20.520 Joseph McElroy: Now, and they’re like no check out chick talk I said I don’t know what it is don’t know what instagram me.

    00:31:21.630 –> 00:31:31.320 Joseph McElroy: So I got a tik tok account, I saw it I’m like Oh, my goodness that’s not the music that we were we were banjo and fiddle and they put it to the Hochstetler, yeah you know which was cool.

    00:31:31.890 –> 00:31:42.870 Joseph McElroy: Man, this is really neat and somebody named eggs Tyrone on instagram I finally got an account in April and it’s like i’ve been looking for you guys he put i’m a thug by trick Daddy.

    00:31:45.720 –> 00:31:56.580 Joseph McElroy: You know and i’m like Oh, my goodness, so two months and we’re at 120 7000 followers on instagram and millions upon millions of hits all these videos.

    00:31:56.970 –> 00:32:12.300 Joseph McElroy: And it’s just been it’s been almost overwhelming I had to bring on the sand, because I know nothing about other than Facebook only social media ever well that’s what we grew up with, I mean we were there, the thousand so that’s our demographic yeah.

    00:32:15.210 –> 00:32:15.600 Joseph McElroy: well.

    00:32:16.680 –> 00:32:20.940 Joseph McElroy: I did have to kick 50,000 years but you pay for you, you got 100 million.

    00:32:24.150 –> 00:32:39.570 Joseph McElroy: On me oh yeah and they just keep coming yeah we’ve shot several music videos with epic coming artists smile yeah fan in commercials products are being sent to us mail, you know to draw on and yeah yeah it’s been it’s been really good.

    00:32:40.650 –> 00:32:49.800 Joseph McElroy: and your your son said he’s got it has become an icon and you got a new dictate what is that the legend calling the ledge oh really yes.

    00:32:51.060 –> 00:33:02.910 Joseph McElroy: coin that Charles run from American song Kelly clarkson snoop dogg it on TV came and shot a video with us to his new book good song and he coins their village.

    00:33:03.540 –> 00:33:18.030 Joseph McElroy: where it came from, and everybody on social media just started calling me back so therefore which the legends he does not have instagram everybody keeps asking he’s under the J creek clovers because that’s who he is he’s a machinist trade.

    00:33:20.160 –> 00:33:20.550 Joseph McElroy: know.

    00:33:21.600 –> 00:33:23.520 Joseph McElroy: 1012-hour shifts through the way.

    00:33:24.960 –> 00:33:33.120 Joseph McElroy: yeah he’s loving it and you guys have a you have coined a firm called term called the hillbilly Chris walken what is that.

    00:33:34.440 –> 00:33:41.250 Joseph McElroy: They had mentioned some of them had reached out to like Well he see dance Center he’s Chris walken i’m like i’m sure you know he’s been dancing.

    00:33:41.550 –> 00:33:50.820 Joseph McElroy: But um I guess in different environments that’s what they call it, because he does, do you know funny stuff with his feet, is what I call it, we call it a spaghetti.

    00:33:51.840 –> 00:34:02.160 Joseph McElroy: all over the place, so we call it the hillbilly quick quick walk yeah well, I saw a video of him doing it, he said he called it, he said it looks like a broken ankle it does.

    00:34:02.700 –> 00:34:13.200 Joseph McElroy: That, but then he comes out and does with his feet yeah and it’s just like he’s floating on air, and if you notice his upper body movement doesn’t move if legend that would be the flat foot part of.

    00:34:13.620 –> 00:34:19.500 Joseph McElroy: Phase one more but that’s another step and he said the secret was he’s actually I was totally yeah yeah.

    00:34:23.370 –> 00:34:26.730 Joseph McElroy: Having the wallet and then his smile is just infectious.

    00:34:27.750 –> 00:34:35.250 Joseph McElroy: You know so it’s just all rolled into one and it went and you’ve gotten to perform on stage with superstars like like Caroline killing Charles.

    00:34:36.540 –> 00:34:50.580 Joseph McElroy: And then brandon being came he has a new hit out called blue collar squalor and he did the whole video here in South stopping really yes wow he’s got a new one come out I think don’t take my land coming out Monday next week you.

    00:34:52.020 –> 00:35:03.690 Joseph McElroy: Have you finished still say security router right we have we have we already had bookings before we went viral will not turn those down we’ve had multiple offers that we’re going to fulfill everything we have.

    00:35:04.110 –> 00:35:13.830 Joseph McElroy: we’re all about preserving tradition, will you you booked here after you do that yeah because we’re Maggie Valley yeah yep because we’re in your homes that.

    00:35:14.190 –> 00:35:23.460 Joseph McElroy: We really appreciate, yes, we have that date, open to work really well yeah I think we’ve got an event earlier that day and then of course the so.

    00:35:24.090 –> 00:35:33.180 Joseph McElroy: It went well, but we, you know we’re all when I call blue-collar workers, all of us have real jobs from roofers to the machine is to medical field and.

    00:35:33.870 –> 00:35:43.620 Joseph McElroy: We just do this because we love it we want to preserve I think it’s considered Americana nail what we yeah it’s it’s because you do, because you.

    00:35:54.990 –> 00:35:56.520 Joseph McElroy: want to stir.

    00:35:57.540 –> 00:35:58.140 Joseph McElroy: The sickness.

    00:36:00.360 –> 00:36:11.610 Joseph McElroy: fun to watch these in these I think they’re called means mimi’s I didn’t know that means he’s an all kinds of stuff now yeah it’s hilarious that’s a poor kid I wouldn’t be starting next.

    00:36:12.570 –> 00:36:21.390 Joseph McElroy: week when he does interviews he’s like I was dancing and my mom was failing because I didn’t start until I gave birth to both of my kids but i’m probably when he was six or seven.

    00:36:21.690 –> 00:36:35.850 Joseph McElroy: took an interest, and then, when he was a teenager when I started to really immerse yourself in it and I told him what I knew, but I said, you need to find your own unique style with your footwork that’s what makes us unique and we’re freestyle dancers, and he did.

    00:36:37.260 –> 00:36:41.940 Joseph McElroy: Under the DNA just that you know he came up with his own little thing that he wanted to do when.

    00:36:42.510 –> 00:36:58.260 Joseph McElroy: You see a lot of that during what we call our rise and shine which means our show off a portion of our routine that’s when you get to go out there and do your thing in front yeah we know when I was in New York, you know back in the day it’s different now but back in the day, you know.

    00:36:59.430 –> 00:37:06.360 Joseph McElroy: Men didn’t really get a lot of places the United States didn’t get updates shops right yeah and I grew up buck dance right.

    00:37:07.470 –> 00:37:11.880 Joseph McElroy: People do I would say, you know I from haywood county where men are not afraid to give up.

    00:37:14.880 –> 00:37:20.190 Joseph McElroy: And we have we find that, as we go that people are really first they’re not sure like want to get up.

    00:37:20.730 –> 00:37:27.450 Joseph McElroy: They see other people might just be and they have a blast I don’t want to sit back down well you know they’re they’re just they’re having fun and that’s what it’s all about.

    00:37:27.810 –> 00:37:37.890 Joseph McElroy: And how does a typical show go where you teach people started out he can perform which we on track, we usually do at darnell farms, we have a two hour show, but most of our shows are an hour long.

    00:37:38.490 –> 00:37:46.200 Joseph McElroy: So we go out their performance I speak a little bit and other performance and then we get the audience involved in my husband’s professional square dance color.

    00:37:46.590 –> 00:37:53.160 Joseph McElroy: So he’ll get them out teach them the circle ups and then I do a little educational talk and then we ended with a performance.

    00:37:53.490 –> 00:38:06.030 Joseph McElroy: So they get fully immersed in everything we do and plus I get to meet all of the dancing yeah all of us and we’re just we always called our social circle of friendship, I want everybody to come out there and it could be as kids as young this.

    00:38:07.440 –> 00:38:17.340 Joseph McElroy: One of the children that started with me was two years old, and she said, think 12 or 13 now yeah cuz I got i’ve got a 30 year old son I should get him here dance.

    00:38:18.030 –> 00:38:32.250 Joseph McElroy: But I do have three and a half year old twins right and anya my daughter is already like do ballet she loves the class, but he said he likes to do that just freestyle that’s good yeah goodness a perfect day yeah.

    00:38:32.970 –> 00:38:35.010 Joseph McElroy: Good for they’re not bash for anything.

    00:38:35.190 –> 00:38:41.970 Joseph McElroy: And one thing about the team i’ll say is we come from all walks of life with Italy everything else we leave it at the table and we cut.

    00:38:42.060 –> 00:38:53.190 Joseph McElroy: The fellowship the music and dance, we made it work for 13 years yeah just just having a good time enjoying laugh together well it’s good that you have do you have any videos or or or.

    00:38:53.910 –> 00:39:03.120 Joseph McElroy: recordings or anything that you’re done yourselves yeah we have somebody on the team vicki that actually records much to bark performances and so their own Facebook.

    00:39:03.480 –> 00:39:09.600 Joseph McElroy: jquery Congress instagram jquery cloggers tick tock tick tock are so there’s plenty of videos out there.

    00:39:10.410 –> 00:39:20.100 Joseph McElroy: But people have been taken them and Devon over so a lot of the basic you here is not even what we’re dancing to which it’s been fun they paid us from everything to heavy metal to ballet music.

    00:39:21.960 –> 00:39:23.370 Joseph McElroy: Now, with this viral event.

    00:39:24.810 –> 00:39:36.810 Joseph McElroy: is how have you been handling I mean I was overwhelmed at first, because I was on page one 3000 comments, a day great message and everything else we grew so fast.

    00:39:37.500 –> 00:39:53.880 Joseph McElroy: role in my niece from kingsport Tennessee maddie is getting her degree in media to help with instagram my son’s wife is doing the merchandise part and so you know I have people on the team their help, and so we were handling it now, but it was overwhelming I was ready to flush month.

    00:39:55.980 –> 00:39:56.370 Joseph McElroy: Although that.

    00:39:58.380 –> 00:40:08.070 Joseph McElroy: Is do you have a couple of negative yeah but not bad, no not bad at all, you know it’s being I was amazed, because I wasn’t sure you know.

    00:40:08.700 –> 00:40:19.560 Joseph McElroy: But no it’s been I would say 99% positive you know you’re always gonna have a few that come out, so I something they’re like you know he’s got a big belly well when we start thinking.

    00:40:20.160 –> 00:40:26.160 Joseph McElroy: within two weeks, the last probably 20 pounds once we get back on tour they have nervous like oh he’s looks and white male.

    00:40:35.460 –> 00:40:39.480 Joseph McElroy: hey we can that’s exactly it in a place here that, is there a carb heavy.

    00:40:42.600 –> 00:40:59.880 Joseph McElroy: yeah fine dining plates about this big oh yeah so i’ve been very blessed conceal the big one does videos what does pictures on the dance team they know nicer time so we’ve got the you know perfect mix now how is this newfound fame.

    00:41:01.350 –> 00:41:10.470 Joseph McElroy: But he’s got to be very good son, he is now that people notice, you know they can run up and they want pictures made and he’s had to learn how to balance that.

    00:41:10.680 –> 00:41:21.120 Joseph McElroy: Because you know, some people want to talk for 20 minutes we have performance coming up once it’s done you’re going to have to learn how to be nicely talk to them and they’re telling you better performance and you can come back and talk a little later.

    00:41:21.630 –> 00:41:29.970 Joseph McElroy: But he wasn’t sure how to handle everything its beginning and then he’s just decided i’m just i’m nobody special as well, your special while.

    00:41:31.950 –> 00:41:35.880 Joseph McElroy: So, but he’s doing well on the teams doing a lot of people recognize the team.

    00:41:37.320 –> 00:41:44.340 Joseph McElroy: yeah now i’m just the team incorporated in a separate set does it to know they’re all.

    00:41:45.900 –> 00:41:54.960 Joseph McElroy: they’re all unique yeah everybody’s got their own unique footwork so we have several teenagers, we have excellent dancers, on the team he just happened to be the one I guess the.

    00:41:56.280 –> 00:41:57.180 Joseph McElroy: Music was right.

    00:41:58.710 –> 00:42:07.830 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah so they’ve all week which we have we’re very family oriented and that’s the way we’ve stayed nothing’s really changed with us as a team we’re still.

    00:42:08.220 –> 00:42:19.950 Joseph McElroy: The good people we always worried, you know enjoying laughs, but it has to affect yeah some vision of what your performances are going to be out your contents going to be, we know there.

    00:42:20.850 –> 00:42:25.530 Joseph McElroy: That there’s bigger stuff on the horizon, that I can’t talk about yet so we’re gonna you know we’re going to.

    00:42:26.130 –> 00:42:35.580 Joseph McElroy: Probably buckle down a little bit on exactly what we’re going to be doing and nothing’s going to change with the performances, but maybe just make sure the flow is there, you know.

    00:42:36.120 –> 00:42:49.080 Joseph McElroy: Asking questions that he asked me what do you expect How long are the you know, is it an hour performance, what would you like to see how would you like us to dress you know, sometimes we’re an overall for the meal sometimes bluejeans yeah.

    00:42:50.100 –> 00:42:52.830 Joseph McElroy: yeah and overalls New York City.

    00:42:55.470 –> 00:43:03.180 Joseph McElroy: And the women’s in dresses and criminal yeah yeah oh yeah all right we’re gonna take the last break here and then come back and talk a little bit about.

    00:43:05.070 –> 00:43:06.060 Joseph McElroy: Like that all right.

    00:45:07.440 –> 00:45:15.960 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast my guest Kim Ross.

    00:45:16.560 –> 00:45:29.220 Joseph McElroy: You know you’re a dancer and your transcript medical transcriptions yes, I read that you also had a pottery business for what did I had Ross pottery I was in the grove arcade and Asheville and did a lot.

    00:45:30.210 –> 00:45:42.480 Joseph McElroy: Of videos of all places, and it was called mountain made I think it’s still there, she does local you know to the within I think 100-mile radius or something in North Carolina but yeah I loved it I did.

    00:45:43.590 –> 00:45:53.220 Joseph McElroy: a freeform style and then the wheel and loved it, but when this went viral I have not had time and I sold all my quick weeks ago.

    00:45:54.390 –> 00:45:55.740 Joseph McElroy: So you went all in.

    00:45:58.620 –> 00:46:05.730 Joseph McElroy: And just run in the regular login team, and now the disciplines went viral it’s just you know I’m spending seven hours a day.

    00:46:06.330 –> 00:46:14.070 Joseph McElroy: Since the barrel thing just trying to keep up with the messages, but how did the you know the haptic experience of.

    00:46:14.550 –> 00:46:23.850 Joseph McElroy: Making pottery how did that translate it to answer vice versa, is there were there and I grew up over regards maybe so just from you know.

    00:46:24.510 –> 00:46:29.520 Joseph McElroy: The form, I don’t know because I’m all about movement and pottery is all about.

    00:46:30.060 –> 00:46:37.590 Joseph McElroy: So some of my stuff, especially with the color variations, I had a very colorful person, you can tell them outfits are where when I plug.

    00:46:37.950 –> 00:46:50.190 Joseph McElroy: But my pottery would have it could be yellow-orange purple blues i’ll mix everywhere, but yeah I would say just the movement of the pottery and again homeschooling the boys, I put them into pottery classes we’ve met good Earth.

    00:46:50.490 –> 00:46:59.640 Joseph McElroy: hazelwood I don’t think that studios there anymore yeah Bob was a great teacher i’m left handed so he had a little bit of a harder time teaching me.

    00:47:00.900 –> 00:47:17.160 Joseph McElroy: I don’t think like other people, you know, but I loved doing the pottery and again it was another avenue for the voice, you know, then they had their little band and dancing but yeah I sold everything we know I had to we had corey plot here Bob Smith oh yeah great.

    00:47:18.600 –> 00:47:30.600 Joseph McElroy: And you did a class half-day on pottery and my three year old twins came here and they actually paid attention for an hour and a half Oh, my goodness, can you imagine, can you imagine three or a.

    00:47:31.050 –> 00:47:40.740 Joseph McElroy: Day actually they’re involved paid attention listening even asking questions getting a little pots and stuff like that I thought it is something that seems.

    00:47:41.460 –> 00:48:00.690 Joseph McElroy: Right yeah it is you know and it’s part of the earth always say you know a lot of them get the claim it’s local from bucks county Water plays out there, so but yeah I loved it, but I was ready to La yeah I can’t do everything in place, so, if you look over here it’s all good oh yeah.

    00:48:02.100 –> 00:48:05.430 Joseph McElroy: If you can find some of her binary somewhere it’s now a collector’s edition.

    00:48:06.480 –> 00:48:06.840 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:48:09.030 –> 00:48:19.080 Joseph McElroy: So, so you know we we yeah this is this podcast is also just about get the smokies stuff in general, I like that, yes, talk about other things that they enjoy I know you like.

    00:48:19.590 –> 00:48:26.190 Joseph McElroy: I love it we go what sunburst not a lot and pink beds graveyard fields different places, my husband.

    00:48:26.790 –> 00:48:35.340 Joseph McElroy: Even we even get off and just don’t even follow a trail he he was very young he’s 65 now, but he knows all about up in that area and then.

    00:48:36.300 –> 00:48:48.480 Joseph McElroy: phishing attacks photographer to so I still do some photography just the family, my family and then, when we come out, we like to go to the pan your restaurant over there in class oh really yeah.

    00:48:50.460 –> 00:48:55.830 Joseph McElroy: that’s a long time, oh yeah I really like the plan your you know yeah it’s been around long.

    00:48:57.540 –> 00:48:58.740 Joseph McElroy: Enough peanut butter, milkshake.

    00:49:01.020 –> 00:49:01.800 Joseph McElroy: shake from sonic.

    00:49:03.570 –> 00:49:03.930 Joseph McElroy: Yes.

    00:49:07.380 –> 00:49:14.940 Joseph McElroy: yeah well is there, what if I wanted to take my twins out, you know there’s only three and a half, they can’t walk along well what would be the best family.

    00:49:15.720 –> 00:49:21.990 Joseph McElroy: Like to take your mom well like I said i’m begging the sunburst because there’s a pull off right there is the campground.

    00:49:22.350 –> 00:49:29.970 Joseph McElroy: and pull in right there or to the left or the road and walk right down to the water it’s a while, and then to the right of the campground.

    00:49:30.240 –> 00:49:38.640 Joseph McElroy: it’s an easy walk to this just you know it’s flat, so I would suggest there i’m sure yeah i’m just i’m real familiar with the place and love it by campfire.

    00:49:38.910 –> 00:49:45.510 Joseph McElroy: And being a photographer What would you say is one of the best places to go take photos oh wow like devils courthouse.

    00:49:45.870 –> 00:49:57.900 Joseph McElroy: sunburst again i’ve done and just any of the local places Jonathan Craig any of the waterways soco Scott gorgeous visa here too, so yeah just anywhere, the most photographed view in the stoke.

    00:49:59.070 –> 00:50:03.000 Joseph McElroy: there’s an old there’s old place there’s still the old sign up there, that was yeah.

    00:50:04.170 –> 00:50:09.840 Joseph McElroy: The client actually has a beautiful oh yeah you down through the valley so yeah but.

    00:50:10.830 –> 00:50:22.200 Joseph McElroy: it’s pretty you know it’s there’s so many places here that are just beautiful, you know I love up on pot like way up on the mountain and we have a gorgeous view sometimes we’ll plan to fall back and everybody else was.

    00:50:23.160 –> 00:50:33.930 Joseph McElroy: yeah so we’re getting close what is what’s the future for the jquery floaters ah, I don’t know we’re taking it day by day we’ve had lots of our first from TV shows to.

    00:50:34.110 –> 00:50:41.190 Joseph McElroy: All kinds of stuff and we sit down, either as a team or a family and discuss each thing, some people just want their some people want the whole team.

    00:50:42.510 –> 00:50:43.200 Joseph McElroy: So we’ll say.

    00:50:44.640 –> 00:50:45.300 Joseph McElroy: goodbye for.

    00:50:47.370 –> 00:50:54.390 Joseph McElroy: yeah sometimes I just want him just because I guess the legends they have went viral right.

    00:50:55.140 –> 00:51:04.860 Joseph McElroy: So we just take it day by day, you know yeah we’re just taking our time not rushing in reading thing don’t want to make any mistakes because we’re still a family will stay that way yeah yeah that’s good I mean.

    00:51:05.130 –> 00:51:10.410 Joseph McElroy: I was saying before you nobody’s prepared for viral now I was back into dad one of the first five.

    00:51:10.860 –> 00:51:19.170 Joseph McElroy: videos and you’re never prepared for it and then afterwards, you know you feel like he didn’t leverage right, so you feel guilty.

    00:51:19.620 –> 00:51:31.890 Joseph McElroy: But i’m telling you right now, no matter what happens just enjoying the moment we are we’re here and there’s no way to be prepared for it and there’s no way to figure out how to leverage it the leveraging it’s like it happened by luck, a lot of.

    00:51:32.970 –> 00:51:41.370 Joseph McElroy: Meaning skill like met skill right and whatever you do with it is really just about as long as you’re having fun.

    00:51:42.510 –> 00:51:49.890 Joseph McElroy: Are you can’t put $1 sign on friendship or family i’ve always said that I would rather have my friends and family, the money any day.

    00:51:50.970 –> 00:51:55.920 Joseph McElroy: You know i’ll walk away from some it’s going to cause a problem, but you always have that in your pocket say, well, we were.

    00:51:57.420 –> 00:51:57.930 Joseph McElroy: People that’s.

    00:51:58.980 –> 00:51:59.610 Joseph McElroy: worthwhile.

    00:52:00.630 –> 00:52:11.550 Joseph McElroy: For a while, maybe some of the education and you know, we had never heard of or seen it from other countries are all heard of suburban kids are learning how to plug do the hillbilly coupon.

    00:52:13.980 –> 00:52:19.290 Joseph McElroy: started it’s great So how can people find out more about Okay, they can call me i’ll get.

    00:52:21.000 –> 00:52:36.750 Joseph McElroy: Eight to 87340873 we’re on instagram tick tock Facebook is Jay creek cloggers that’s the letter J and then Casey rw JC see at gmail COM okay there’s a couple of ways, you can.

    00:52:38.910 –> 00:52:46.560 Joseph McElroy: And we’re on Instagram and Facebook all that’s on there too yeah I don’t forget July 30 there near la mota.

    00:52:47.640 –> 00:52:49.530 Joseph McElroy: dancing and teaching a little bit.

    00:52:50.910 –> 00:52:58.530 Joseph McElroy: And I’ll be here, trying to put on a good foot and I’ll get my little twins out there, and he might be my wife old state, we want everybody.

    00:52:59.550 –> 00:53:00.780 Joseph McElroy: We do a lot of fun.

    00:53:02.010 –> 00:53:02.400 Joseph McElroy: Right.

    00:53:04.710 –> 00:53:13.710 Joseph McElroy: Oh, my goodness, social dance music is very fun all right I’m ready for it yeah okay cool moment to thank you so much for being on the show.

    00:53:15.330 –> 00:53:24.990 Joseph McElroy: Congratulations on your thyroxine it always works blah oh yeah yeah and I look forward to your event on the 30th and maybe again in November right?

    00:53:25.380 –> 00:53:28.860 Joseph McElroy: yeah we’ll be back at our school, yes, and this is the.

    00:53:29.370 –> 00:53:41.640 Joseph McElroy: gateway to the smoke these podcasts you can watch live every Friday night every I mean every Tuesday night from six to seven@facebook.com slash gateway to the smokies podcast.

    00:53:42.150 –> 00:53:52.590 Joseph McElroy: We are part of the talk radio dot nyc network, which is a network of live podcasts that range from self-help to travel to small business.

    00:53:52.860 –> 00:54:01.560 Joseph McElroy: To any number of things and I think it’s a worthwhile network to listen to its very grassroots very, very rich content.

    00:54:02.130 –> 00:54:09.510 Joseph McElroy: On the ground, information that the tool finds very interesting whether you’re traveling to the smokies or traveling to New York City.

    00:54:09.930 –> 00:54:22.110 Joseph McElroy: It has some information that I think is this is worthwhile I actually have another podcast on this network called wise content creates well, which is a marketing podcast and that’s on Fridays from.

    00:54:23.070 –> 00:54:30.060 Joseph McElroy: 12 until one thought that’ll probably be transitioning out because near future she’s kept some of the old episodes because.

    00:54:30.360 –> 00:54:43.980 Joseph McElroy: It has a lot of the Ai stuff going on now I’ve interviewed many of the Ai people out there and they can even learn a bit about what’s going to happen content machine intelligence about artificial intelligence, which I think is good for everybody.

    00:54:45.390 –> 00:54:58.710 Joseph McElroy: And it’s been a pleasure talking here today with you guys and I will see you next week with another great show from six to seven on Tuesday night with the gateway to the smokies podcast Thank you very much.

    49m - Jun 28, 2022
  • Episode 62: Songs on Cataloochee Valley by Richard Hurley

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/06/21 - Songs on Cataloochee Valley by Richard Hurley


    In this episode, you'll learn from our guest today some of the great advice for musicians and musicians-to-be and we are glad to have him on the show today! 

    We’re pleased to introduce our special guest today, Richard Hurley, a Canton, N.C. native, and UNC grad who is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, a former radio DJ, and a renowned award-winning songwriter and musician. He is active in community work, serving on various boards and as an emcee for Folkmoot, Shindig on the Green, the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival, and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Festival, while also promoting area musical events along with his own musical projects –Cataloochee, and My Mountains, My Songs. He now resides in Asheville, N.C. 

    In this podcast episode, he will discuss the North Carolina mountain music scene, his involvement in the community, his first (and second) music project as well as upcoming events in the area. 


    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.



    August 1963 WBTL station was when it opened. He worked there during college promoting rock and country to other younger people. He got to do MC gigs in which he picked skills from people around him. Florida Boys and Old Kingsmen were some of the music they played. He admits to being naive when starting off playing, but now has a collection of guitars. He had the opportunity to work with JFK's personal naval aid. In the Navy, he got influenced by the chief of naval operations, and so he wrote a song on guitar and got it recorded. His song was inspired by Zumwalt (chief) and his z-grams, he got to meet up with him as Zumwalt thanked him in person and over letter for the song.


    In 1981 he made a record called The Ballet of Old Fort. He worked with the Crow Brothers, Raymond Fairchild, and Arnold Freeman. He used to casually play it for people and got encouragement to record it. Jimmy Haney and he worked as disc jocks. He was one of the speakers at Fairchild and stated “there’s only one Raymond Fairchild''. They both had a close friendship and also looked up to each other as artists. Eddie Swan worked for Regal Media, he recorded people like Ben Skill, David Wilcox, and Brian Sutton over the span of his 50-year career. He had a homemade washtub bass and he used to carry it to a tomato festival in Canton with his brother to play there.


    His first project is called “My Mountain, My Songs”. He started it with a throwback, Old Fort. He received an award from the North Carolina Society of Historians for the historical value of his album. One of his songs was about the Coal Mountain Bomber Crash. He also sang about the floods of ‘04.


    He’s been taking part in volunteer activities. Shindig on the Green starts this Saturday at the courthouse 7-10 pm. Mark Pruit took part in that event. Bearshare started in 1979, it was a great festival. His website has places to purchase his albums. Towards the end, a child breaks into the podcast recording to blow a raspberry at Hurley.



    00:00:41.040 –> 00:00:48.600 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, Welcome to the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast, this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park.

    00:00:48.960 –> 00:01:01.410 Joseph McElroy: The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and the surrounding towns. This area is filled with ancient natural beauty, a deep-storied history, and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes. 

    00:01:01.890 –> 00:01:12.990 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy, a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains. My family has lived in the Great Smokies for over 200 years. My business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

    00:01:13.650 –> 00:01:24.330 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re talking about Songs and then Cataloochee Valley by Richard hurley but first, let’s talk about our sponsors.

    00:01:25.590 –> 00:01:34.470 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, yet modern and vibrant with a “Chic Appalachian” feel. A place for adventure and for relaxation.

    00:01:35.130 –> 00:01:44.040 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream, grill the catch on fire, and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

    00:01:44.850 –> 00:01:57.420 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds. There is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley, NC – your Smoky Mountain Adventures Start with Where You Stay.

    00:01:58.770 –> 00:02:04.080 Joseph McElroy: and others sponsor smokiesadventure.com that smokies plural adventure singular.

    00:02:04.740 –> 00:02:19.200 Joseph McElroy: The Smoky Mountains and surrounding area is a vacation destination for all seasons. Some of the nation’s best hiking trailswaterfalls, outdoor adventures, and family entertainment can be found right here.

    00:02:19.890 –> 00:02:30.780 Joseph McElroy: Start your adventure by using SmokiesAdventure.com to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: trails, waterfalls, Cades Cove, and more.

    00:02:31.200 –> 00:02:37.680 Joseph McElroy: Then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment you and your entire family can enjoy.

    00:02:38.100 –> 00:02:51.930 Joseph McElroy: And if you look at it, have a life event somewhere like a wedding or a honeymoon and we got you covered there go to smokies adventure.com is one of the leading information portals for adventures and experiences and the Great Smoky Mountains.

    00:02:53.370 –> 00:02:57.390 Joseph McElroy: So welcome you can see we’re sitting in the basement of the Meadowlark Motel

    00:02:58.620 –> 00:03:05.730 Joseph McElroy: At the Speakeasy where we have underground speakeasy and we’re gonna have some upcoming events at the Meadowlark Motel will tell you about.

    00:03:06.120 –> 00:03:19.920 Joseph McElroy: On July 9 we’re having a wildcrafting and mother nature’s natural garden program with the legendary Illa hatter it starts on Saturday, July 9th at 10 am with the program featuring.

    00:03:21.210 –> 00:03:30.570 Joseph McElroy: legendary wildcrafting expert, renowned author, filmmaker, instructor, and tour guide for the GSM National Park’s elite GSM Field School educational programs, Illa Hatter.

    00:03:31.260 –> 00:03:42.090 Joseph McElroy: she’s an is an expert on edible plants, medicinal herbs, and anything pertaining to wildcraft foraging and Appalachian plants, trees, and flowers.

    00:03:42.420 –> 00:03:56.190 Joseph McElroy: She has been featured on a variety of national television shows, videos, and books, and has worked as an advisor for multiple movies and television shows. she is an iconic female a smoky soon-to-be featured in one of our name theme groups.

    00:03:57.900 –> 00:04:13.350 Joseph McElroy: She will be presenting her beloved program Mother Nature’s Natural Garden and leading a short tour of the grounds identifying nature’s bounty that can be found in our own back yards.

    00:04:14.520 –> 00:04:20.640 Joseph McElroy: And then there’ll be a free Barbecue supper and music by  Mike Ogletree and friends Saturday evening.

    00:04:21.210 –> 00:04:26.760 Joseph McElroy: $20 per person per night guests and it’s free for motel disappeared as club members.

    00:04:27.540 –> 00:04:46.140 Joseph McElroy: Now a big event coming For those of you who want to learn how to write songs is August 12 and 13th we’re having SONGWRITERS CAMP AND CONCERT WITH GRAMMY-WINNING ARTISTS JIM LAUDERDALE AND CHARLES HUMPHREYS III, ALONG WITH AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS DARREN NICHOLSON, CLAY MILLS, AND CHARLES CHAMBERLAIN.

    00:04:48.690 –> 00:04:54.420 Joseph McElroy: You won’t get an opportunity like this very often in your life if you’re wanting to really balancing.

    00:04:54.690 –> 00:05:01.140 Joseph McElroy: hanging out with grammy award-winning artists it’s a two-day event of interactive songwriting structures with world-class musicians.

    00:05:01.440 –> 00:05:13.260 Joseph McElroy: a demo tape produced for each participant, a concert by the Songs From the Road Band on Friday Night, and a BBQ dinner and all-star concert on Saturday night.

    00:05:14.010 –> 00:05:24.150 Joseph McElroy: This is a unique event, no other place there’s nothing, nothing else like it, and it will be a space will be limited to make sure that every participant gets into the.

    00:05:25.680 –> 00:05:31.110 Joseph McElroy: Attention the price is 675 dollars per person including all activities and the DEMO tape.

    00:05:31.440 –> 00:05:51.840 Joseph McElroy: The concerts and the dinner and everything else and their special room packages available for those that want to stay overnight at the meadowlark motel so call 8289261717 for details and the reserve your space and the reserve room again 8289261717 to get your place.

    00:05:52.860 –> 00:05:58.260 Joseph McElroy: there are also limited tickets available, just for the concerts and you can get those as well.

    00:05:59.850 –> 00:06:03.420 Joseph McElroy: Today, I have a great guest his name is Richard Hurley.

    00:06:05.010 –> 00:06:08.400 Joseph McElroy: He’s a Canton, N.C. native, and UNC graduate I won’t hold against.

    00:06:11.970 –> 00:06:21.270 Joseph McElroy: Is a vendor to the US day my friend, yeah he’s a former radio DJ and renowned award-winning songwriter and musician.

    00:06:21.840 –> 00:06:34.710 Joseph McElroy: is active in Community work in service and serving on various boards and as an MC for food shindig on the green the mountain dance and folk festival, and the basket l’amour longsword festival.

    00:06:35.130 –> 00:06:47.010 Joseph McElroy: while also promoting area music events, along with his own musical projects will talk which we’ll talk about Cataloochee and my mountains my song he resides in Asheville North Carolina my new home.

    00:06:50.820 –> 00:07:01.740 Joseph McElroy: So let’s jump into something exciting, you are a DJ or w pto, and can we just spend about 17 years they tell us that actually a.

    00:07:02.430 –> 00:07:09.420 Joseph McElroy: station opened in August of 1963 there’s already one station there that started in 1954.

    00:07:09.810 –> 00:07:16.080 Joseph McElroy: And the guy who made fresh they won’t have a country station, because there was no kind of crustacean camp, so the open web GL.

    00:07:16.500 –> 00:07:27.660 Joseph McElroy: August of 63 what I wanted to have a high school kid that could bring in the hospital audience, so I got the gig has to be asked this jockey and that’s back when Lou I for.

    00:07:28.740 –> 00:07:39.630 Joseph McElroy: us back in the dark ages, but I work there you’re in college and before all the service in 1970 so was there off and on and had a great time and.

    00:07:40.410 –> 00:07:48.480 Joseph McElroy: learn a lot and got to play a lot, a lot of old country music at that time, some Gospel music rock music listening music play with it at all, it.

    00:07:49.140 –> 00:08:01.020 Joseph McElroy: was quite a fun time in my early career, yes, and how was it was help you in your career-defining experiences where your performance ability to do a performance there did yeah.

    00:08:01.560 –> 00:08:11.400 Joseph McElroy: It led me into doing some MC gigs which I carried on time I’m an MC stuff so yeah it was helpful in that regard and.

    00:08:12.810 –> 00:08:22.290 Joseph McElroy: You know, having to work there are a lot of people that came through that well you kind of pick up something from everybody you’re exposed to in the music business like that so yeah it was quite helpful, then.

    00:08:22.560 –> 00:08:34.320 Joseph McElroy: Then, when I started doing shows later on the 80s and a lot of these old records I’d played back in the 60s were songs I learned back then, of course, I was influenced by a lot of those artists in the country and.

    00:08:34.680 –> 00:08:43.950 Joseph McElroy: The Kingston Trio, and some of the folks to hit 1958 when the case, the tree okay mouth Tom ui that just changed the world because I love it.

    00:08:44.820 –> 00:08:58.110 Joseph McElroy: It made this country teammate all the char key so so that is kind of what got me started running into that my folks got me Wendy when I was about 12 and I learned to play that and I bought a 10 hour day guitar for buddy mind.

    00:08:58.650 –> 00:09:04.170 Joseph McElroy: And that’s kind of how I got to start making music and you got it you started, playing on the radio.

    00:09:04.680 –> 00:09:12.660 Joseph McElroy: Some early on to write a little bit i’d written a song about the know smothers market there and cam oh I just had his father’s on.

    00:09:13.590 –> 00:09:24.960 Joseph McElroy: The smothers the sun yeah is that resembles they have here on the show granddaddy yeah and so, and that was mathers have a at the grocery store back man.

    00:09:25.470 –> 00:09:35.400 Joseph McElroy: And I wrote a song called Underwood it was like under what don’t you wish we could anyway, we my brother’s nice to play some of the only played at the Cannes first and made a festival.

    00:09:36.900 –> 00:09:45.930 Joseph McElroy: The new old why gone now when I recorded that just to you know they track tape back then, which both your sprinkler so, can you play that song.

    00:09:50.310 –> 00:10:00.420 Joseph McElroy: ready to record the, yeah Those are all good experiences, did you click Gospel to play Gospel on the air Yesterday we had a program called the Gospel care of and it’s like 11 to 12.

    00:10:00.930 –> 00:10:08.850 Joseph McElroy: That I can just come in at nine, it was cold country star time in the guy named Jimmy hey Andy was a big influence on me early on, see behind there’s a local musician he’s.

    00:10:09.210 –> 00:10:20.250 Joseph McElroy: been gone number of years, but he was a he’s an award-winning folk singer in fact team is the national focusing champion, I think it was 1950 or there abouts and a big influence on me, because he used to come to the grammar schools.

    00:10:20.610 –> 00:10:30.780 Joseph McElroy: And play programs us wow i’m going to be that one of these days, so that was kind of started Jimmy used to sign on six gutter 999 to 11 of.

    00:10:31.170 –> 00:10:40.860 Joseph McElroy: Country music and 11 to 12 Gospel man i’d come back to and go to two 330 with the country music and not go the easy listing is 330 to sign off.

    00:10:41.790 –> 00:10:52.890 Joseph McElroy: But it has to the rock the rock show was like 330 to 630 or something likely no experience I asked about the Gospel and I am one of the one of the.

    00:10:53.430 –> 00:11:11.550 Joseph McElroy: You know i’ve traveled a bit and one of the most popular brunches I ever saw was actually in Barbados yeah they had a Gospel brunch right they have run some even have a good old Gospel music right yeah people love that I would say that would probably go well, here too, yeah.

    00:11:13.770 –> 00:11:27.120 Joseph McElroy: Gospel me to certainly been popular in the south, for years and years yeah no he’s play a lot of the old groups that you know the old Florida boys and the old kings cream local group and people like that.

    00:11:28.080 –> 00:11:39.120 Joseph McElroy: Number number of those great and there were some local people are bigger than the Gospel music did quite well Francis play lock and dam was a locally that’s a big hit here and Haywood county back in the 60s there.

    00:11:40.860 –> 00:11:43.500 Joseph McElroy: But what was the what how did you learn to play.

    00:11:44.730 –> 00:11:51.090 Joseph McElroy: I got a Mel Bay 50-cent book shows the three chords C D E, F, and G.

    00:11:51.720 –> 00:12:05.880 Joseph McElroy: And the other progressions and I just kind of picked it up, but I was so naive, but that i’m embarrassed to say this, but i’m going to tell you to know, I was so naive I didn’t have another you know but it’s a play on territory, I didn’t realize you had to change strings.

    00:12:07.740 –> 00:12:19.950 Joseph McElroy: Okay, once you know it doesn’t matter you get a string I didn’t even know that I learned later on, but that’s how long did you almost entirely learn to do today, did you have some mentors are learning almost.

    00:12:22.110 –> 00:12:36.630 Joseph McElroy: All the gifts little G one gifts in the problem of 50s model for about I think I paid $25 for a buddy of mine and I eventually I got an Aston Martin guitar years later, that you know goes collects the guitars.

    00:12:38.400 –> 00:12:54.210 Joseph McElroy: that’s pretty cool so you went off to your high school, then you went off to unc first are going to go the baby first went to usc usc usc yeah I started at usc I tell people is back when the tar heels we’re still playing woman gym.

    00:12:56.250 –> 00:13:04.020 Joseph McElroy: Dean Dome that was before carmichael born with a we’re playing a little again music Cunningham, was a senior housing right right so.

    00:13:04.800 –> 00:13:11.580 Joseph McElroy: that’s how I got started when I would come home from school breaks, I would go back to the station and do vacation relief stuff like that and.

    00:13:12.060 –> 00:13:17.940 Joseph McElroy: I worked at Campo networks, the mail can’t mill one summer season seven which is great experience paper.

    00:13:18.900 –> 00:13:29.040 Joseph McElroy: Paper data that helped me with my career later I got an extreme rarity coming so then after you and see you another baby yeah it was it was during the.com era where I.

    00:13:29.400 –> 00:13:36.330 Joseph McElroy: went out and did had one job interview, and they said come see us when you’re through the starters, nobody would argue you got the service.

    00:13:37.350 –> 00:13:45.900 Joseph McElroy: So I ended up going to the program that required drilling for a year and then I went in on D for two years and then another three year obligation but.

    00:13:46.410 –> 00:13:52.620 Joseph McElroy: I was fortunate, I was on the USS wash, which is an aircraft carrier and we were in the North Atlantic up there.

    00:13:53.370 –> 00:14:06.390 Joseph McElroy: Doing maneuvers and but i’ve had the privilege to work with JFK personal naval eight so that was quite an experience I learned a lot from those guys and that all all those experiences help you later in life, you know I got it.

    00:14:07.500 –> 00:14:20.790 Joseph McElroy: cool and that was that was also the start of some my songwriting is in the navy the navy because i’ve got a memo zoom Lol Chief of naval operations back and he was loosening up the navy, let the skies where.

    00:14:22.380 –> 00:14:28.770 Joseph McElroy: He would come out these see grams, you know for some walls, the grams, and so I wrote a song called the balance is a graph.

    00:14:30.090 –> 00:14:47.970 Joseph McElroy: The Admiral heard about it, he called me to stay room and i’ve already guitar on our platform he wanted to send it to zoom wall record a little fork and say yeah little real real three inch screen record it you send it to zoom wall and month or so later I get this letter for.

    00:14:50.580 –> 00:14:56.760 Joseph McElroy: letter their little list of the guy says, you know, dear petty officer hurley Thank you so much for your song about.

    00:14:58.620 –> 00:15:05.910 Joseph McElroy: And he and I connect about seven years later, when he was out, and I was it came to Asheville to bait nuclear-armed with some retired general.

    00:15:06.360 –> 00:15:13.560 Joseph McElroy: And I walked up to him after the speech I said, George space, I do not remember the side of the road song about you and he said yeah I said on that side.

    00:15:15.570 –> 00:15:25.500 Joseph McElroy: Of the thought, he just met john, okay well cool well, we have to take a break now Sir so then we’ll come back we’ll talk more about your career in business and then in music, thank you.

    00:17:40.830 –> 00:17:47.430 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcasts and my guest Richard Hurley.

    00:17:47.880 –> 00:17:57.960 Joseph McElroy: So Richard after the navy, you had a long career as an HR manager for square D how’s that good company well I just got real lucky because I come home.

    00:17:58.770 –> 00:18:08.460 Joseph McElroy: About three months before i’m supposed to get out of service and put an application and I had a cousin worked over there, and he put in a good word for me, I went into.

    00:18:08.940 –> 00:18:16.560 Joseph McElroy: That time I called personnel supervisory like backwards personnel manager personnel his word I started out the second seat and moved up.

    00:18:17.010 –> 00:18:28.140 Joseph McElroy: For years later I guess the first seat and and but my own volition, I wanted to stay in Nashville yeah so I thought Tom to I might have to move, but it worked out and it’s great company they trade as well.

    00:18:28.590 –> 00:18:37.920 Joseph McElroy: And it was very giving kind of very caring complete and coming to the law united way and give a lot give a lot of bucks to the Community and various organizations out there.

    00:18:38.820 –> 00:18:57.540 Joseph McElroy: So I had a wonderful career cool did you get to play music, while you’re while you’re in that career not not in that role ticket I was out playing places i’ve crossed I did a record not team at one a coma valuable for mountain yeah remember that record a really.

    00:18:59.130 –> 00:19:08.730 Joseph McElroy: good idea as a 45 and dude legendary greatest of all banjo player Raymond Fairchild light on and Raymond I go back way back.

    00:19:09.540 –> 00:19:17.670 Joseph McElroy: The guy got Mr freeman has gone also and then the programmers who are popular good a tour with Raymond he’s played with picking the brain.

    00:19:18.120 –> 00:19:29.040 Joseph McElroy: So i’ve written the song battle for mountain i’ve seen at parties and people see all the record that so as last time and then one day I said i’m not gonna turn around 10 years from now, and say what If so, I.

    00:19:29.730 –> 00:19:46.980 Joseph McElroy: called her brain is that would you got me and he said sure be led to some are also we got together having to be August 12 at one i’ve been coached now when you go to that studio do you’re rehearsing before you go in there because that’s money yeah right.

    00:19:49.980 –> 00:19:54.900 Joseph McElroy: Back stuff order ish will be asked our our weekly break door.

    00:19:55.650 –> 00:20:03.480 Joseph McElroy: And i’m sweating bullets and walk in that studio is following our with now on the studio and they said, like three Max back in those days now.

    00:20:03.870 –> 00:20:14.520 Joseph McElroy: According whole different ballgame instead of like three months and I kicked off on the guitar right and they jumped in this music, it was just fabulous and they just made that song so.

    00:20:15.540 –> 00:20:27.270 Joseph McElroy: It was 45 rpm so we took pto course never wc and w devotees but they all start playing on a call, so I saw him through angles markets, not so.

    00:20:27.870 –> 00:20:35.370 Joseph McElroy: pressed a couple of thousand problems, so I get a few hundred bucks but it kind of summer here when I was a kid yeah I also you know was looking.

    00:20:35.820 –> 00:20:39.240 Joseph McElroy: yeah well I don’t know a while back, I was looking at what rate and fairchild.

    00:20:40.050 –> 00:20:48.030 Joseph McElroy: That record came out with him being on air yeah Yes, he was something else, but he he helped me out with that and it’s all my first albums.

    00:20:48.510 –> 00:20:59.220 Joseph McElroy: Are all the songs on my to our songs i’ve written and the first album my mountains my songs I put that on air as a bonus track all the other tracks are things that we recorded so.

    00:20:59.790 –> 00:21:09.270 Joseph McElroy: cool yeah Bob Plott, you know, is the GM of the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center and he also helps put together.

    00:21:09.570 –> 00:21:17.610 Joseph McElroy: Some of the information of your questions and he mentioned that you mentioned one of them already rent Fairchild and when the other big musical influence was.

    00:21:17.940 –> 00:21:28.020 Joseph McElroy: Jimmy haney yeah I mentioned Jimmy a little bit earlier that we’d work together is discharged and he was like say when I was very school didn’t come around to schools and play.

    00:21:28.500 –> 00:21:36.510 Joseph McElroy: ramin here’s the store matt Ryan, that when Raymond was very before he became Raymond Fairchild famous like he was.

    00:21:37.200 –> 00:21:43.080 Joseph McElroy: He was working around these parts and he had done a wreck he’d done his first record old similar record was and.

    00:21:43.920 –> 00:21:56.910 Joseph McElroy: my brother came home with that record now listen to that man, this is just difference it’s just it was like a snake charmer he just he had he had a way of playing songs that just drew me in.

    00:21:57.360 –> 00:22:08.040 Joseph McElroy: So I got some maintenance management time to evaluate he’d give me copies of his records without playing them on my program and then occasionally he another guy we have breakfast down.

    00:22:08.310 –> 00:22:17.460 Joseph McElroy: Little restaurants can either bottomless pit of on the show and play for 20 minutes or so, so that was how my friendship with Raymond started way back when.

    00:22:18.240 –> 00:22:30.120 Joseph McElroy: But, but he was he was really something else, and then, when he went to the brand debut the grand Ole opry and 78 he invited me to go live in essence up with down lana pick your brother.

    00:22:31.020 –> 00:22:39.030 Joseph McElroy: Already about for went over to the national we got to go backstage and all that one written bill Monroe balls hot dogs that would.

    00:22:40.980 –> 00:22:46.290 Joseph McElroy: Go out there Raymond walked out there and start playing and they had never heard it.

    00:22:47.700 –> 00:22:51.330 Joseph McElroy: encores of standing ovations yeah Raymond Fairchild

    00:22:53.160 –> 00:22:56.190 Joseph McElroy: Or, he was His grace banjo I think grace man.

    00:22:58.350 –> 00:23:05.160 Joseph McElroy: You could do it yeah and then, when he played here in the valley you remember the matter with me about the Opera House yeah like there.

    00:23:05.520 –> 00:23:16.650 Joseph McElroy: For years and was there, so yeah yeah but every time I would go in case, yet they see in his wife sure we had that business for number of years for writing and passed in October Tina thing was.

    00:23:17.070 –> 00:23:26.550 Joseph McElroy: Every time I go in the shadows he’d see me in the audience and so on his old friend is richer heard he used to play my record, so they played he played my record so much that they fired.

    00:23:28.530 –> 00:23:40.800 Joseph McElroy: Their more banjo players just ran and fell out there yeah true, of course, I had to build a service that is a That was a good story, and you can you got you did is you, with the right.

    00:23:41.790 –> 00:23:54.240 Joseph McElroy: Top right, I did I was asked to speak and I much some other people, but I was extremely flattered to be part of the one of the speakers that spoke there yeah it’s up the stomping ground appear Maggie badly.

    00:23:55.440 –> 00:24:02.850 Joseph McElroy: And part of my comments, where I said, you know there’s only one Elvis there’s only one hank liam’s there was only one Raymond fair to.

    00:24:04.140 –> 00:24:12.960 Joseph McElroy: One of my many comments talking about on a great person he was a good family man, he was a loving father and husband and just a great guy.

    00:24:13.560 –> 00:24:26.400 Joseph McElroy: But he had a gift he had to give a few few they have yet so the way he played that manager, I heard that he’s a you know i’ve been from a value of them, and I have seen him a couple times and I think my dad.

    00:24:27.720 –> 00:24:28.770 Joseph McElroy: Daniel and i’m sure.

    00:24:30.660 –> 00:24:36.510 Joseph McElroy: yeah but you know my understanding was he was a great friend, but he was also a little cantankerous.

    00:24:40.170 –> 00:24:47.520 Joseph McElroy: He raised his music good yes very busy i’ll tell you one thing is the Raymond was noted for.

    00:24:51.150 –> 00:24:52.800 Joseph McElroy: Aware of was.

    00:24:53.970 –> 00:25:03.510 Joseph McElroy: You know, some towns that have been leaner audiences than others and goes, you know, whatever reason, traffic or whatever, if there was one person that audience about ticket Raymond well and say that.

    00:25:03.870 –> 00:25:11.730 Joseph McElroy: will be 500 or whatever we’re going to play them a good show he whether he play a whole show for one person, but the only matters i’m sorry cancer, he.

    00:25:12.210 –> 00:25:18.480 Joseph McElroy: said that person management and 500 miles to your show we’re going to plan the show that’s right he’s very caring shorter guy.

    00:25:19.350 –> 00:25:35.280 Joseph McElroy: Very caring yeah he was the one guy, yeah well yeah we know we’re talking about your records that’s real Famous people on those records, but there are other Famous people to work with I’ve got some pretty heavy hitters all my albums.

    00:25:36.780 –> 00:25:56.130 Joseph McElroy: yeah but they they’re people that I work with a guy named at swan yeah and regal music regal media it’s a medical media.net website, but but he’s he’s been in business about 50 years he’s reporting people like Ben scale and he’s reported recorded David Wilcox.

    00:25:57.300 –> 00:26:09.330 Joseph McElroy: Brian sudden the great brown certain he’s recording squire parsons that great deal and land song right dollars per summit be recorded that and he’s worked with a lot of the great spirit.

    00:26:10.590 –> 00:26:14.370 Joseph McElroy: Anyway, yeah I got to work in an ad and Prince mountains together.

    00:26:15.600 –> 00:26:17.760 Joseph McElroy: Well, you got some some great ones.

    00:26:18.930 –> 00:26:27.030 Joseph McElroy: But before we get there, you know what I wanted to do understand you know your your songwriting right and you did some great songs i’ve read that.

    00:26:27.570 –> 00:26:37.110 Joseph McElroy: I was looking at, we listened to one and i’ve seen some of the others and and you’re playing a guitar but you play anything else I don’t really i’m not play I took a few.

    00:26:37.530 –> 00:26:46.110 Joseph McElroy: banjo lessons from mark pruitt the grading where he’s on one of my hours to market and Martin our friends from way back, but I never could quite get into the banjo so I just like.

    00:26:47.430 –> 00:26:52.470 Joseph McElroy: I heard you got the the walk handmade watch the bass bass yeah so.

    00:26:53.610 –> 00:27:04.200 Joseph McElroy: what’s that everybody should probably seen, or at least nothing prompts and you’ll watch the bass bass so most folks have are not familiar he’s turning on tobacco really be go watch.

    00:27:04.860 –> 00:27:14.250 Joseph McElroy: The one i’m not is over 70 years old, oh yeah sequence and during the home that middle of it and you take an old broomstick and just run a quarter size core.

    00:27:14.730 –> 00:27:21.450 Joseph McElroy: And you put it on and you hold the stick down the edge of your pocket, and that gives you a base, and it goes because of the tub and I was.

    00:27:22.440 –> 00:27:38.820 Joseph McElroy: awkward so you could have a vibrant right, so my brother’s not playing at this tomato festival years going can’t so I carried on part of my act and I tell people I said don’t worry I get beaten up your audience the basement and then key is Spanish Oh, because.

    00:27:40.230 –> 00:27:54.990 Joseph McElroy: that’s what that’s that’s a real fun part of my program and I always preface it by saying that don’t worry this tub is is over 70 years old and literally the stick and string have been on there since 1969 oh my gosh it’s been British.

    00:27:57.240 –> 00:27:59.730 Joseph McElroy: Is the shirt but don’t worry it’ll be okay.

    00:28:01.140 –> 00:28:02.430 Joseph McElroy: Yes, that’s the fun part.

    00:28:03.510 –> 00:28:12.360 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know I don’t know if you ever walked out white wines mainstream you know they have all sorts of sculptures on there yeah what i’m one of the sculptures as a duo.

    00:28:12.750 –> 00:28:22.680 Joseph McElroy: musicians are there 10 foot tall oh yeah I want them to watch oh yeah you see there, so people you definitely should make a pilgrimage there.

    00:28:24.180 –> 00:28:31.740 Joseph McElroy: is surprising people don’t realize how long a sound that that will make and that’s why people develop a years ago they didn’t have money to go out and buy things that.

    00:28:32.370 –> 00:28:50.400 Joseph McElroy: improvised just like my good friend, David holds things on my album you know, David term Doc Watson about 14 years and David plays he plays a number of different instruments on his show when we’re doing live shows he played paper bag and plays spoons like bones slugger.

    00:28:51.900 –> 00:28:56.220 Joseph McElroy: ization improvisation music over the years of development me.

    00:28:57.780 –> 00:29:02.190 Joseph McElroy: Well, we have to take another break now, when we come back we’ll talk about some of your out straight.

    00:31:08.700 –> 00:31:18.690 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the Gateway to the smokies podcasts and My guest Richard Hurley, so Richard you’ve got two albums out right?

    00:31:19.440 –> 00:31:29.760 Joseph McElroy: Can you tell me about your first project was what my mountains by sounds so project called my mountains my songs and I can hold it up to the camera and those people watch it there.

    00:31:32.640 –> 00:31:46.470 Joseph McElroy: We started out with the old for the song which I mentioned I’ve written back in the quarterback in 81 I thought well Okay, this is 2013 just a few years later I bought a new cut a record over 30 years or so yeah all right yeah like it’s in.

    00:31:47.520 –> 00:31:50.430 Joseph McElroy: Your cadence or is this musical okay yeah.

    00:31:53.190 –> 00:32:04.590 Joseph McElroy: I have written a bunch of songs over the years and just take them back in the files and whatnot so I’m sad pull them out and see what we can do with them, so I called a that holds a date I’m thinking about doing an album 20.

    00:32:05.760 –> 00:32:12.990 Joseph McElroy: Some recommendations well, you need to call josh to go forth josh go forth his genius musician the literature Madison county.

    00:32:13.620 –> 00:32:19.140 Joseph McElroy: He played all mile they played the lead guitar the rhythm guitar banjo the base the mandolin and fiddle.

    00:32:19.680 –> 00:32:29.940 Joseph McElroy: Allah and woven together oh wow so so that’s how this thing started and we put these 15 songs on here with the old for a song being a bonus track, one of the.

    00:32:30.300 –> 00:32:41.580 Joseph McElroy: One of the ones you look at the reward thing here that North Carolina society of historians actually gave me a reward the reward for the historical significance of the project.

    00:32:42.330 –> 00:32:51.450 Joseph McElroy: And there’s a song on here about the cold mountain bottom and crash oh yeah a lot of people saw the coal mountain movie, in the end, it was written by Charles Fraser.

    00:32:51.840 –> 00:32:57.300 Joseph McElroy: Franklin who has connections back to my hometown Cantonese model from their reason anyway.

    00:32:58.260 –> 00:33:08.640 Joseph McElroy: So the thing, most people don’t realize, is that all Friday the 13th September 46 a beat 25 bomber was coming from Detroit to Tampa.

    00:33:09.180 –> 00:33:25.800 Joseph McElroy: And crashed into the topical mountain Mr bell about 150 feet, they call the Tower at that time in Bristol Tennessee, and so they wanted to go visual So be careful because of kind of nasty and rainy down there the next thing you know lamb youngest general near a core to sergeants to kernels.

    00:33:27.060 –> 00:33:29.250 Joseph McElroy: Imagine what that was like Crusoe big.

    00:33:30.360 –> 00:33:41.310 Joseph McElroy: yeah so a lady named George ron’s cannon is deceased now she wrote a book about it and back about I guess was in 2012 I saw this book in the movies books here and label.

    00:33:41.820 –> 00:33:51.270 Joseph McElroy: And I got to look at so Now I know some of these and I read the book and I remembered hearing about it because, as a kid my late brother point over there and mountain across from where I grew up so that’s that.

    00:33:51.840 –> 00:34:03.990 Joseph McElroy: that’s plane crash okay fine my scoutmaster you talk, Okay, but it never text on the hack up there, so I went up the mountain couldn’t find confining it crashed evidence is all in picked oh.

    00:34:05.130 –> 00:34:10.890 Joseph McElroy: Really, I wrote the song, so I got doors to a guy named.

    00:34:14.460 –> 00:34:22.080 Joseph McElroy: Having everything or guy helped me out down the road Moody help me out with this make sure my atma factor accurate.

    00:34:22.740 –> 00:34:34.290 Joseph McElroy: So, then, we recorded that song and Doris simplest thing to the north county historical society and they basically this whole thing because I got some other historic going on about the slides ago for over a year and i’ve got some other.

    00:34:34.770 –> 00:34:44.460 Joseph McElroy: songs similar and they gave you the historical and okay yeah I want to know why people get that but it’s still a nice it’s nice to get it yes.

    00:34:45.930 –> 00:34:49.980 Joseph McElroy: it’s not a participation prize it actually does work.

    00:34:51.540 –> 00:34:53.370 Joseph McElroy: yeah exactly exactly.

    00:34:54.660 –> 00:34:58.830 Joseph McElroy: So you have you gotta go you gotta know saw you got a real a.

    00:34:59.340 –> 00:35:07.080 Joseph McElroy: Real it’s real work, so you got a good thing, so this one, this one came out 13 and josh these musics is famous for singing swan the engineer, I mean he knows what he’s doing.

    00:35:07.950 –> 00:35:21.060 Joseph McElroy: His fifth year so fast forward to 2021 I came out of this album fleet song Cataloochee, which is you know you know music to my heart to them now you alleys.

    00:35:21.510 –> 00:35:25.650 Joseph McElroy: Post account Lucy Lucy bow they’ve got the elk and everything else so.

    00:35:26.160 –> 00:35:26.760 Joseph McElroy: So tell us.

    00:35:27.000 –> 00:35:35.130 Joseph McElroy: Tell us the story of this one, the backstory is that there’s a guy named Steve what he’s a friend of mine, and he is a descendant of the old woody family, the life back in capital h.

    00:35:35.190 –> 00:35:43.800 Joseph McElroy: er and Steve one time there nationally known each other for years, he said, I said I understand you’re having your big reunion coming up having here like first second weekend in August.

    00:35:44.100 –> 00:35:49.920 Joseph McElroy: Is yeah why don’t you come about gifts, so now let’s do that because I never been reading i’ve been Cataloochee

    00:35:50.310 –> 00:36:02.130 Joseph McElroy: So I went to the reunion and he got monitors church service there and during the shirts or is he going to do some politicians, then introduced me and said somebody might know Richard you know to pay with boy write songs just.

    00:36:02.760 –> 00:36:05.370 Joseph McElroy: said, I think he already song that Kevin did you, what do you all.

    00:36:08.460 –> 00:36:09.360 Joseph McElroy: feel blackmailing.

    00:36:11.250 –> 00:36:12.090 Joseph McElroy: wrote a song about.

    00:36:13.890 –> 00:36:25.710 Joseph McElroy: This research on it and the song and then he asked me to come play it, so I went back and played what that was 19 in August of 19 I played it live at church service oh that’s Nice.

    00:36:26.310 –> 00:36:35.370 Joseph McElroy: I don’t mean this to sound right people got emotional I got it I got emotional I don’t know which one i’m Scott materials.

    00:36:36.900 –> 00:36:46.710 Joseph McElroy: emotional standing there and then I said i’m going to have to record it so we record it and got us some different players on this, some of the phone you got some great people on this.

    00:36:47.280 –> 00:36:53.670 Joseph McElroy: I mean, these are credible yeah TIM CERT and Darren Nicholson, both with balsam range or on their tone increases.

    00:36:54.150 –> 00:37:01.620 Joseph McElroy: percussionist that works these kind of movement else’s grammar need work to Glen Campbell waylon are not waiting merle haggard and.

    00:37:02.010 –> 00:37:12.060 Joseph McElroy: James Taylor some of those guys and then, of course, David holds on Bobby hicks won a grammy with ricky skaggs the same time that mark did and RON said another little boy.

    00:37:12.600 –> 00:37:19.470 Joseph McElroy: So he’s a 10 time grammy award actually bring to get him to help us out thanks to my buddy so we got some.

    00:37:20.010 –> 00:37:31.260 Joseph McElroy: Pretty heavy hitters not a dedicated this album to my old friend Ray M and fairchild there you go but he’s got the cattle he song and it’s got a number of other so there’s one song on there you got the legend of losing weight.

    00:37:32.400 –> 00:37:39.600 Joseph McElroy: This week, there is Buddhism, can you give us a short version of what that is not sure what is a boogeyman.

    00:37:40.110 –> 00:37:44.100 Joseph McElroy: is actually a story that goes back in the legend goes back in the 1800s.

    00:37:44.370 –> 00:37:54.150 Joseph McElroy: And up like Logan which used to be on a champion paper back in the old days you had a little boogeyman cave in there is big picture of the boogeyman which is now in the in the downtown teflon.

    00:37:54.630 –> 00:38:05.010 Joseph McElroy: Remember yeah so patch mathers was the Mayor of can now he was he’s been Mayor of can he called me up so we’re going to the festival about food too much come in and see if I said to.

    00:38:05.430 –> 00:38:17.400 Joseph McElroy: And I said we’ll go around song about it, so we wrote record a song called the legend of the blue, and it’s all about the history of the book eight foot shaggy and eight foot tall and Shay you catch you move from.

    00:38:18.570 –> 00:38:21.480 Joseph McElroy: That it was it was that a big thing in canton.

    00:38:22.710 –> 00:38:36.570 Joseph McElroy: Where there was a bigger because he doesn’t really remember, since he was in 1616 2016 so the legend came up with us from played the song, I wrote the song for that festival it only had that one year didn’t.

    00:38:37.650 –> 00:38:46.920 Joseph McElroy: see that didn’t happen after that, but you know the songs the songs on there and there’s a guy named Dave Johnson place about 20 different instruments it’s quite.

    00:38:47.400 –> 00:39:02.220 Joseph McElroy: Another local board down so that old for somewhere plays a mean plays everything he did all the music God and it came out pretty well and there’s The thing is that when when i’ve given this to folks to original head is a single the kids get into this any kid.

    00:39:04.590 –> 00:39:11.850 Joseph McElroy: I guess it’s the sound of the name boom oh yeah with it, but the story was a he had a penchant for two things he liked to go.

    00:39:12.390 –> 00:39:20.400 Joseph McElroy: He would hide out in the Bush is he was he was he was haven’t counted version of victory right yeah see it out our leads there and he’d see the girls and their.

    00:39:21.240 –> 00:39:30.720 Joseph McElroy: Different pools, and then he said, the thing was he likes to go out and found all these precious stones and he had a cave and he’d go take them to that came storming or liquid jugs to fill them up many chat.

    00:39:31.620 –> 00:39:41.880 Joseph McElroy: Those two things so one day is how man is this young girls she’s in the cooler swim and she sees the Buddha in their eyes walk and they fall in love.

    00:39:42.690 –> 00:39:49.470 Joseph McElroy: They get married and they go back to the mountains, but he still had to go out look for all these precious stones so she would get it out.

    00:39:51.870 –> 00:40:01.650 Joseph McElroy: Get lonely and share the harder for him and he had a holler back to the power till they came together and her name is Andy okay therefore came the word good man.

    00:40:04.440 –> 00:40:07.860 Joseph McElroy: that’s Barclays really knows he’s a hooter.

    00:40:10.050 –> 00:40:19.470 Joseph McElroy: So that’s all in the song the legend wow that’s that’s a little tears a boogeyman yeah drinking booze and talking about losing this guy this.

    00:40:20.850 –> 00:40:23.160 Joseph McElroy: is given given oh i’m going to yeah.

    00:40:24.240 –> 00:40:29.370 Joseph McElroy: What is some of the other favorite songs is the one I think I think about the question.

    00:40:30.030 –> 00:40:45.780 Joseph McElroy: I think about some of the historic stuff is vascular marlins for Dino that name and he was he was the the minstrel the appalachians he was born on the campus plus now Marshall university and he started our mountain dance folk festival in 1928 and actual.

    00:40:47.010 –> 00:40:55.800 Joseph McElroy: Madison county ashbury it’s the longest running folk festival in America well in America have you been on the board of that too right well i’m on the advisory.

    00:40:56.310 –> 00:41:06.510 Joseph McElroy: Playing there, and you see there yeah i’m involved with it for years and years but pete seeger came down to learn about the banjo from Boston the marlins for.

    00:41:07.020 –> 00:41:20.220 Joseph McElroy: pete seeger many of fans who know the music fans know he had that long neck banjo story was he got that from Boston oh so i’ve got a tribute to baskin here on on my album that I want other songs.

    00:41:21.480 –> 00:41:27.300 Joseph McElroy: i’ve got one on this placement about is called god’s special children and it’s about special needs kids oh.

    00:41:28.530 –> 00:41:34.950 Joseph McElroy: I was doing some volunteer work already worth and Center over ashfall which should help special needs kids and.

    00:41:35.250 –> 00:41:40.950 Joseph McElroy: A lady i’ve worked with came in and she said, well, you did so i’m going to volunteer what are you doing here she’s talking pick up my son.

    00:41:41.460 –> 00:41:52.020 Joseph McElroy: And this was years actually both retired and our flashback and remember she has a son named our special needs kid adding them in the next mourners Christmas Eve.

    00:41:52.530 –> 00:42:02.040 Joseph McElroy: And I woke up and I wrote the song called god’s special children, and I remember as a kid my mom used to say, and she lived to be rather than one she used to say.

    00:42:02.850 –> 00:42:10.350 Joseph McElroy: If you’d see you know, a special needs child she’s it will sound Those are just god’s special tool well that just made everything everything.

    00:42:11.340 –> 00:42:20.010 Joseph McElroy: That so we did God special to integrate at our producer was able to pull in a later that same with me on that harmonizing you read it came out pretty well.

    00:42:20.820 –> 00:42:37.440 Joseph McElroy: Actually we’ve got goodness the number of the things I don’t call the leaning sound about what about columns guitars i’ve got one about monocle house burnett he was he was a great storyteller and fox theater okay now tell me Bob and his plot.

    00:42:38.730 –> 00:42:52.680 Joseph McElroy: State dogs, we all know that fox fox fox fox hunting, the thing, but my grandfather was a lousy he loved the Walker have the upper hand the latter house and I guarantee that we’ve known each other yeah.

    00:42:53.730 –> 00:43:04.590 Joseph McElroy: Big talks louder so I had written a song about him back in the 70s and I pulled out my files and revising David told plays washboard on it, and this David Johnson did some music.

    00:43:05.100 –> 00:43:12.870 Joseph McElroy: I said, you know we need some dog barks on this supposed to do is lackey do that and they weren’t you and he put dog barks we’re.

    00:43:14.100 –> 00:43:19.890 Joseph McElroy: Going on the mountain gotta go gotta go home because he’s house burns, and he grew.

    00:43:22.050 –> 00:43:23.430 Joseph McElroy: up so we let the dogs.

    00:43:26.040 –> 00:43:36.690 Joseph McElroy: favorite their local flow but we’re gonna have to take another break here and come back we’ll finish up with some of the other things to do and how you can help people get the CDS right all right.

    00:45:37.980 –> 00:45:45.240 Joseph McElroy: Howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast and my guest Richard Hurley, So, Richard.

    00:45:45.810 –> 00:45:52.560 Joseph McElroy: You were born and raised in Canton but now you live in Asheville your most of your life so yeah why just stick in Asheville for?

    00:45:52.950 –> 00:46:03.210 Joseph McElroy: Well, I just love the mountains, like your intro when you’re talking about your hotel and the great smoky mountains and the fishing stream all those things you talked about it’s made me realize how fortunate I am to

    00:46:04.260 –> 00:46:05.460 Joseph McElroy: stay here in Asheville.

    00:46:06.540 –> 00:46:13.500 Joseph McElroy: Western North Carolina you know a lot of volunteer activities I’m involved with taking all across Western North Carolina but.

    00:46:13.890 –> 00:46:24.060 Joseph McElroy: I thought there was a time to do my career, I was gonna have to leave and move to another location or leasing company and do something else, and I was blessed lucky that I didn’t have them leave.

    00:46:24.450 –> 00:46:31.920 Joseph McElroy: How do you like, how Asheville grown, oh I see it really changed and scrolled a lot, and this is an interesting place that’s.

    00:46:32.460 –> 00:46:37.770 Joseph McElroy: what’s that sort of a music city right? yeah, there’s a lot of you know, the best years on every corner seemed like that.

    00:46:38.520 –> 00:46:47.850 Joseph McElroy: You know, we have a couple of events of advanced downtown like the shindig on the green which I also wrote a song about on the first album we have shindig on the green in front of the courthouse there on Saturday nights.

    00:46:47.970 –> 00:46:59.880 Joseph McElroy: These seven Saturday nights during the summer in fact we’ll start this coming Saturday seven to 10 freebies right people bring a lawn chair or blanket and spread out there and they sit three hours, and we have all these musicians to come in.

    00:47:00.330 –> 00:47:09.750 Joseph McElroy: I’m going from deep in the hollers and some bones wherever square dance teams and all that and a lot of the greats like mark for it and Brian session, you know the hottest guitar player.

    00:47:10.200 –> 00:47:19.770 Joseph McElroy: In Ashville, I things the number one call guy over there and studios he cut his teeth or they’ve known split tons of big names play at home, Shindig on the green stage.

    00:47:20.700 –> 00:47:27.720 Joseph McElroy: But I know you’ve been involved with a lot of those different revenue festivals you’re involved with bells here right.

    00:47:28.740 –> 00:47:40.830 Joseph McElroy: I wrote a song about that I know I saw that I was wondering what happened, the bell share it just finally ran its course really started in 1979, yeah and I don’t remember what year it.

    00:47:41.700 –> 00:47:50.550 Joseph McElroy: folded video is a great festival, I mean how many times, do you walk down the street of Main Street drinking beer and eating a hot dog or whatever, and all this great entertainment oh my gosh.

    00:47:51.150 –> 00:47:58.080 Joseph McElroy: Is it that Doc and nice to have Skaggs and a lot of the big nice fact I mentioned a number of them in my song really yeah.

    00:47:59.010 –> 00:48:12.000 Joseph McElroy: So give people the flavor of what that was it was a special sort of vessel that folks got to get it back and 79 to have a street party with a sound about a phone on the phone or something different than normal kind of fair that got together got shows together and started a bill share.

    00:48:13.710 –> 00:48:21.240 Joseph McElroy: me just a beautiful life yeah the kids you grant end wife, which feed on the street, when the sun goes down music in the air and actually.

    00:48:21.960 –> 00:48:31.080 Joseph McElroy: There you go, of course, well you’ve been involved with a number of what other what other your favorite festivals well, those are pretty much it on ice.

    00:48:31.770 –> 00:48:37.380 Joseph McElroy: least try to go see Doc every time you come around I never played I played on the same show waiting one day out the.

    00:48:37.770 –> 00:48:45.180 Joseph McElroy: monster festival that marciel that’s another big festival the basketball marlins, for it was the only festival, is he would let us his name.

    00:48:46.140 –> 00:48:59.220 Joseph McElroy: And it started, I think, somewhere, back in the 60s and 70s, but it was a Mars hill moving on bringing a lot of evil talent back in Madison county and other Mecca for musicians so that’s a great fast.

    00:49:00.480 –> 00:49:14.160 Joseph McElroy: But I never I never got to play on the stage leap, but I did REP with chat room some backstage few few times on some of these programs but but tell us about the mountain DAS it falls fast again it’s the granddaddy of all focused.

    00:49:15.300 –> 00:49:24.600 Joseph McElroy: that’s the one yeah other venues what Ben is like the cholesterol killer well you know I like to go to some of the things that happened at the.

    00:49:25.080 –> 00:49:31.920 Joseph McElroy: Civic Center and some of the problems that happen there, and like you know, let us go back to see balsam range I’ve introduced those guys sometimes.

    00:49:32.370 –> 00:49:47.850 Joseph McElroy: Of course, my friend at work for those guys to the studio and he worked with the Steve can you arrange boy is not allowed, but anything in these venues that like your met your Maggie valley festival grounds here on some programs there and I played there actually one time.

    00:49:52.860 –> 00:49:53.700 Joseph McElroy: promote myself.

    00:49:57.120 –> 00:50:12.840 Joseph McElroy: I did a fair amount of volunteer work I go to Assisted Living Binion’s places like that and people call me I go to a program they can come to a pool party that’s not my opinion, without being a concert you got pretty much listen to the lyrics yeah right just.

    00:50:14.010 –> 00:50:24.120 Joseph McElroy: Because what so somebody coming to Western North Carolina asheville every county what you put in some things they shouldn’t miss shindig on the green, they should not miss that.

    00:50:24.660 –> 00:50:34.470 Joseph McElroy: that’s every every Saturday night not ever said that we break for the mountain dance folk festival start the 25th this it’s always the first weekend around the fourth of July.

    00:50:35.070 –> 00:50:49.830 Joseph McElroy: 25 of June, this time, and then we have starting second on through the break for the things of the sixth of August basketball we said, our focus was always the first weekend long about sundown.

    00:50:51.180 –> 00:50:55.710 Joseph McElroy: What i’m saying is OK, for you folks were watch mean seven o’clock yeah.

    00:50:57.030 –> 00:51:13.050 Joseph McElroy: So that’s a must see there yeah of course they’ll share was pulling that was that was but there, there are a lot of fans out there that probably need to get around go visit some of them haven’t visited all me I like the orange peel myself yeah.

    00:51:14.250 –> 00:51:23.040 Joseph McElroy: I did my bell share something there when when a buddy mine was chairing the camp chair and bill share asked me to come play it so we did that kind of kick it off.

    00:51:23.850 –> 00:51:35.100 Joseph McElroy: I just saw like 11 I think in New York City winery but he was also at the art of appeal to the Glasgow plays he plays a callings guitar that’s brand new guitar and I played.

    00:51:35.700 –> 00:51:45.990 Joseph McElroy: college to the dishes mark i’ve got a song called the column guitar song oh really are you are you do, do you have a, you said you have a collection guitar.

    00:51:48.210 –> 00:51:50.790 Joseph McElroy: Like like nobody’s saying you can’t have too many guitar.

    00:51:52.950 –> 00:52:02.160 Joseph McElroy: When I wrote this song about the colonies that’s your favorite yeah it’s like the head of me my servers back 34 years I said, good bass print my name and she had severe.

    00:52:02.520 –> 00:52:09.930 Joseph McElroy: will spend it on the new and follow this new and following a hot rod car, no, no thing so good rather have a college, maybe.

    00:52:11.730 –> 00:52:12.420 Joseph McElroy: Not kick off.

    00:52:14.760 –> 00:52:20.010 Joseph McElroy: spent many years, making money and then decided to buy a hotel yeah That was a better.

    00:52:21.750 –> 00:52:36.150 Joseph McElroy: guitar yeah well, it was all the time I bought it because yeah yeah being home homestead and big ideas have been doing things with it now it’s become something else, but I did get to touch Tony Tony robbins guitar when they.

    00:52:37.440 –> 00:52:38.010 Joseph McElroy: got to reach over.

    00:52:39.960 –> 00:52:51.630 Joseph McElroy: Well, how did How do people buy your albums well not my website and I was hoping might go take a look the websites Richard hurley he already why returning music.com.

    00:52:52.050 –> 00:53:00.660 Joseph McElroy: And the various tabs if they work through the tabs their maintenance places to pursue them and also my two videos are on that video about Kevin lynch.

    00:53:01.410 –> 00:53:10.380 Joseph McElroy: saw with all the beautiful pictures pictures make hundreds and i’m pretty sure not together a video there’s a video about shindig on the green locally.

    00:53:11.370 –> 00:53:18.360 Joseph McElroy: leverage books here in waynesville strange for music Scott my album and can you get the picture of a mercantile maddie.

    00:53:19.170 –> 00:53:34.860 Joseph McElroy: actually got the Chamber of Commerce over there, but the average American music.com can lead you in the first place, and you have your Facebook or anything like Facebook, to look you up there yeah alright cool well yeah Thank you very much for.

    00:53:36.570 –> 00:53:49.920 Joseph McElroy: appreciate it, and you know it’s just it’s fun to come up with a song strikes you something happens that makes you want around a song it just feels really good you get it recorded.

    00:53:51.090 –> 00:53:58.440 Joseph McElroy: she’s got a great show here I want you to be here what’s nice about the smokies and the culture and everything, are you better than that.

    00:53:59.640 –> 00:54:00.000 Joseph McElroy: and

    00:54:01.350 –> 00:54:06.390 Joseph McElroy: my daughter just walk well hey there, this is the gateway to the spotify asked why do.

    00:54:06.870 –> 00:54:14.700 Joseph McElroy: You want to be on the show the show here my daughter’s on this show is the gateway to the post focus podcast you can find out more about us at.

    00:54:15.270 –> 00:54:27.150 Joseph McElroy: Facebook COM says gateway to the smokies podcast and we’re on the talk radio dot nyc network, which is a live podcast network with blocks of.

    00:54:27.690 –> 00:54:35.400 Joseph McElroy: Everyday alive podcasts that, ranging from small business to travel to self help to any number of things, but it’s a really good network.

    00:54:35.790 –> 00:54:49.800 Joseph McElroy: If you like listening to podcast I would recommend you take a listen to some of the other shows all of us that work, I actually have another podcast on this network called wise content creators well, but we talked about you know, using modern content marketing practices.

    00:54:52.950 –> 00:55:01.140 Joseph McElroy: To help your business so that’s on Fridays from noon until one, so I appreciate it that’s an interesting you’re just looking at us look us up, but this podcast.

    00:55:01.500 –> 00:55:16.470 Joseph McElroy: Is every Tuesday from six until seven we talked about the smoky mountains and hey we’re county actual and Tennessee even and things to do, and things and doing the culture and the people that are here so take a take a look look up come back again.

    49m - Jun 21, 2022
  • Episode 61: Tar Heel Lightning - Talking NASCAR with Dan Pierce

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/06/14 - Tar Heel Lightning - Talking NASCAR with Dan PierceGuest: DAN PIERCE

    In this episode, you'll learn about moonshine history, how NASCAR emerged from the Prohibition Era and how moonshine runners' lives have an impact on today's world. 

    Joseph is joined by our special guest Dan Pierce, he is a renowned author, columnist, and consultant. He earned degrees from WCU, the University of Alabama, and the University of Tennessee before becoming a history professor at UNC Asheville. Dan is an avid outdoorsman, passionate about NASCAR, moonshine history, Appalachian culture, environmental issues, and race relations. He lives with his family in Black Mountain, N.C. 

    He joins us to talk about Tar Heel Lightning: How Secret Stills and Fast cars Made N.C. the Moonshine Capital of the World, NASCAR, and more.

    Don't miss this out!

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.



    Pierce grew up in West Asheville, and was born in Arkansas but moved at the age of 3. Father moved to pastor the Grace Baptist Church. Joseph discusses how he was born and grew up in Haywood County which is right next to Asheville but relocated to NYC and stayed for 27 years. Eventually, he moved back to Asheville because it’s a great place. Joseph and Pierce discuss the nostalgia of their childhoods in Asheville comparing it to how it is currently. They discuss good changes such as the dining expansion and interesting changes such as seeing more wildlife up close to their homes.


    When asked about his dedication to being a teacher and writer Pierce responds by saying he arrived at wanting to be a teacher in his late teens. He liked kids as he ran a park and majored in education. Ironically he recalls himself as an awful student but had a widowed sixth-grade teacher who influenced him. She took him and another boy over the summer to Europe, and her kindness encouraged him to be an influential teacher as well. After becoming a coach in Nashville he ended up going back to school for a Ph.D. at 40 years old. At 45 he came out with a book, he enjoyed reading early on but couldn't imagine himself becoming a writer. With great mentors, he got grounded with discipline and mastered writing. He enjoyed his thesis as it surrounded him hanging around the Moonshine or a stock race. His second book is Real NASCAR, White Lightning, Red Clay, and Big Bill Frogs. The France Family were/still are the owners of NASCAR. Perce dives into the rough and aggressive origin of NASCAR.


    Moonshine helped NASCAR and now Joseph wants to discuss how the roles were reversible, in that NASCAR helped NC become the Moonshine Capital. When the federal excise tax was put in place in NC after the Civil War, there was always a tradition in NC to make whiskey and so they made it illegal to upkeep the tradition whilst avoiding the tax. This would still be a strong local option during the prohibition. This made it a great market for Moonshine to thrive and it became a “two-way street” when it came to NASCAR. Successful drivers realized they could make more money with Moonshine than by winning races. There was an economic emergency or young people would get started with work with Moonshine. It became a part of the culture where people accepted the fact that it was needed for people’s livelihoods. Both Pierce and Joseph discuss how it’s still a lively product as they both are often gifted Moonshine. Popcorn Sutton was the bad image painted onto Moonshiners, but Pierce describes them as entrepreneurs and smart. He also talks about how there were also African Americans, women, and Native Americans. A.A. was actually a step ahead of white folks with illegal handmade liquor.


    Pierce wrote many books about the Great Smokies National Park. One of the most popular books is, “ From Natural Habitats to Natural Parkings”. Another book was, “Moonshine and the Smokies, Corn from a Jar'' which sold the most. He also did a book on the Community of Hazel Creek in Swain County, which surrounds the long controversy about the road to nowhere. The most recent one was a collaboration with an old friend regarding the art of the Smokies, “Illustrated Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park”. Pierce also discusses his book about ​​NASCAR vs the merits of college football. He was in a debate on the South Carolina Public Radio on a series called Tell About the South. Hardy Jackson from Jacksonville State in Alabama argued for football and Pierce argued for NASCAR. He won a lifetime award, the “Western NC Historical Association Outstate Achievement Award''. Pierce is big on equal rights and racial diversity, he’s leading a Railroad Incarcerated Committee to honor the forced labor of the 1870’s inmates.



    00:00:41.010 –> 00:00:43.320 Joseph McElroy: Welcome to the gateway to the smokies.

    00:00:43.320 –> 00:00:52.260 Joseph McElroy: podcast this podcast is about America’s most business National Park, the great smoky mountains national park, and the surrounding towns.

    00:00:52.710 –> 00:01:01.470 Joseph McElroy: These areas are filled with natural beauty deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:01:01.950 –> 00:01:10.440 Joseph McElroy: I’m Joseph Franklin McElroy man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains My family has lived in the great smokies for over 200 year.

    00:01:11.160 –> 00:01:18.540 Joseph McElroy: My businesses and travel, but my heart is in culture today we’re going to talk about tar heel lightning talking past NASCAR and.

    00:01:19.080 –> 00:01:34.620 Joseph McElroy: and other mountain cultural touchstones with Dan Pierce, but first, our sponsors imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, yet modern and vibrant with a chic Appalachian feel.

    00:01:35.250 –> 00:01:46.650 Joseph McElroy: a place for adventure for relaxation imagine a place where you could fish in a mountain parent is trout stream real the catch on fire, and he accompanied by fine line or craft beer.

    00:01:47.340 –> 00:01:58.710 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place in the old-time music world cultural cell, there is no other place like the middle like motel Maggie valley you’re a smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

    00:02:00.630 –> 00:02:12.780 Joseph McElroy: The smoky mountains and surrounding areas is a vacation destination for all seasons, some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment can be found, right here.

    00:02:13.470 –> 00:02:32.130 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure calm at smokies plural adventure senior.com to explore all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountains National Park trails waterfalls kids Code, the elk, and more and check out all the awesome family attractions.

    00:02:34.050 –> 00:02:49.260 Joseph McElroy: slinky and interesting logical, it was facilities and entertainment, you and your entire family can enjoy the goal the smokies adventure calm is to be your meeting information source for adventures and experiences and the great smoky mountain.

    00:02:50.850 –> 00:02:59.880 Joseph McElroy: Some upcoming events, I want to tell you about on June 18 at 4 pm is part four of the heritage books series with Bob Bob.

    00:03:00.600 –> 00:03:11.790 Joseph McElroy: it’s another informative and entertaining and fun afternoon of history, food, and music as a part of part four of our heritage book series, and its an award-winning author and.

    00:03:12.330 –> 00:03:15.930 Joseph McElroy: meadowlark smoky mountain heritage Center general manager Bob blog.

    00:03:16.620 –> 00:03:31.710 Joseph McElroy: Discussing his fourth book colorful characters the great smoky mountains and then these books, he leaves the library stories of vibrant and intriguing characters, such as the Cherokee chiefs you don’t agus got okay Nice.

    00:03:32.490 –> 00:03:44.610 Joseph McElroy: Oh, can I should have gotten this before I got on the cocoa know stone soda sorry if I really I’m really butchered that they have dragon canoe and their allies such as john will watch, along with their combat.

    00:03:45.240 –> 00:03:57.210 Joseph McElroy: Robert Rogers quitting Kennedy King hailer the Stockbridge Mohicans Francis Marion and others and then there’s modern-day icon such as von plot Charles matt Miller and URL and.

    00:03:57.900 –> 00:04:16.830 Joseph McElroy: there’ll be a book signing and Barbecue dinner, as well as a evening of acoustic music by Michael Guthrie in France it’s the Venice free to motel guests and heritage club Members but there’s an admission charge $10 for are all of the people call eight to 89261717 to reserve your place.

    00:04:17.910 –> 00:04:33.270 Joseph McElroy: On July July night a mountain icon I the Iowa I a hatter is going to have a program called wild crafted and mothers nature natural guard and it starts on July 9 at 10 am and.

    00:04:34.380 –> 00:04:43.050 Joseph McElroy: it’s a program featuring a legendary wildcrafting expert I had her and she was also a renowned author filmmaker instructor and tour guide.

    00:04:43.410 –> 00:04:49.410 Joseph McElroy: For the great smoky mountains National Park elite DSM field school education Program.

    00:04:49.920 –> 00:05:01.350 Joseph McElroy: She is an expert on edible plants medicinal herbs of anything pertaining to wild craft forging and Appalachians plant trees and flowers, she is going to give it a presentation on.

    00:05:01.860 –> 00:05:08.730 Joseph McElroy: On all sorts of stuff related to walk crafting and then she’s actually going to take our the guests, and people are on.

    00:05:09.060 –> 00:05:24.510 Joseph McElroy: an adventure, on the grounds and the surrounding area to actually forge things and learn how to do it right your own backyard so costs eight to 89261717 to reserve your place is free for guests and heritage heard this club members and there’s a $20.

    00:05:25.830 –> 00:05:27.960 Joseph McElroy: price per for admission for everybody else.

    00:05:29.700 –> 00:05:36.750 Joseph McElroy: And then on August six six there’s going to be a chair the launch of cherokee heritage series with Davey art.

    00:05:38.280 –> 00:05:47.490 Joseph McElroy: Davey arts is a world-famous Cherokee tribal historic and award-winning craftsman of traditional Turkey crafts, specifically masks and baskets.

    00:05:47.880 –> 00:06:07.200 Joseph McElroy: And a beloved spokesman for the Eastern Cherokee tribe the event will be followed by a Barbecue dinner and music is $20 per guest and it’s free for hotel guests call eight to 89261717 to reserve your seat now and for all events at the Meadowlark motel so.

    00:06:08.220 –> 00:06:16.110 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re gonna be talking with Dan pierce, who is a renowned author columnist consultant who earned degrees from Western Carolina University.

    00:06:16.500 –> 00:06:22.380 Joseph McElroy: The University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee before becoming a history professor at unc Asheville.

    00:06:22.890 –> 00:06:36.090 Joseph McElroy: Dan is an avid outdoorsman passionate about NASCAR moonshine history Appalachian culture environmental issues and race relations, he lives with his family and black mountain North Carolina hello, Dan how are you doing.

    00:06:36.600 –> 00:06:37.980 Daniel Pierce: i’m good i’m good.

    00:06:38.280 –> 00:06:38.760 yeah.

    00:06:40.110 –> 00:06:43.680 Joseph McElroy: it’s good to be here it’s a little hot right now but we’re getting over it right.

    00:06:44.130 –> 00:06:45.330 Daniel Pierce: Hopefully, hopefully.

    00:06:45.660 –> 00:06:52.860 Joseph McElroy: yeah so so like me euro you’re a native Western or throw you grew up my sash all right.

    00:06:53.220 –> 00:07:04.560 Daniel Pierce: I did you know I hesitate call myself a native because I was born in Arkansas but, as I say, I got here as quickly as I could I was three when I.

    00:07:06.090 –> 00:07:17.100 Daniel Pierce: arrived in West Asheville I’ve always said, the good Lord i’m thankful to the good Lord for calling my dad to come to pastor the Grace Baptist Church in West Asheville, and so I grew up there.

    00:07:17.910 –> 00:07:28.590 Daniel Pierce: kind of an as I put it, a combination of Mayberry and a cotton mill town in will stifle at that time, which is not at all what West Asheville is today.

    00:07:28.680 –> 00:07:30.210 Joseph McElroy: I know it’s changed a little bit.

    00:07:31.230 –> 00:07:32.190 Daniel Pierce: he’s a little lot.

    00:07:33.570 –> 00:07:39.240 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know I just relocated with my family back you know I grew up in a wood county yeah right next to Asheville.

    00:07:39.660 –> 00:07:53.970 Joseph McElroy: My family’s been in that county for over 200 years, so you know I got I was born and raised and all that sort of thing, but that has spent 27 years in New York City where my kids were born and I just reload your head the whole kit and caboodle back to Asheville so.

    00:07:56.280 –> 00:08:09.930 Joseph McElroy: it’s you know it’s a it’s a great place to common yeah, as you can say, as you, as you mentioned this changed a lot, I think, in a positive way, but it was it was I thought it was pretty cool we were growing up what was it like growing up in West asheville.

    00:08:10.530 –> 00:08:21.870 Daniel Pierce: Well, like I said it was kind of a combination of Mayberry and cotton mill town, you know when and course we were very much free-range kids at the time, and you know ride our bikes all ever West asheville and Walt.

    00:08:23.190 –> 00:08:29.790 Daniel Pierce: You know I remember one particular Saturday bye buddy Steve Harris, and I just decided on the spur of the moment we’d walk despite.

    00:08:30.180 –> 00:08:38.550 Daniel Pierce: to the top of the mountain, which is out in the last area, so we walked out Lester highway and we we remind me, you know 1112 years old and and.

    00:08:39.210 –> 00:08:48.870 Daniel Pierce: Well, to the top of the mountain and back nobody knew, you know I mean it’s probably I don’t know 1015 miles when we walk that day, but that was the place, I grew up you.

    00:08:48.870 –> 00:08:49.650 Daniel Pierce: know I mean we.

    00:08:50.070 –> 00:08:51.510 Daniel Pierce: knew everybody and.

    00:08:53.400 –> 00:08:54.570 Daniel Pierce: pretty much and.

    00:08:55.770 –> 00:09:03.510 Daniel Pierce: It was just one of those kinds of neighborhoods so and the other great thing was being in western North Carolina and typically once.

    00:09:04.710 –> 00:09:09.150 Daniel Pierce: You got a little more mobile and wheels, you know we went to the mountains, a lot and.

    00:09:10.770 –> 00:09:16.830 Daniel Pierce: You know, we go the top of mountain play capture the flag and stuff like that a row rocks off the side of the mountain there.

    00:09:19.290 –> 00:09:26.340 Daniel Pierce: and go to swimming holes and all that kind of stuff so it was a great I didn’t know at the time, but it was a great great place to grow.

    00:09:27.060 –> 00:09:35.460 Joseph McElroy: it’s still good you know I I went right in our backyard so far we’re North asheville right and we’re on a real real wonderful street.

    00:09:35.880 –> 00:09:42.840 Joseph McElroy: You know, and our kids bike on the street, just like you, you, you know you remember, they were out there with other kids and.

    00:09:43.140 –> 00:09:56.430 Joseph McElroy: All you have to use your car and all the kids get off the road but it’s not there’s not really that much traffic but what’s interesting is is that in the in the week that we’ve been here we’ve seen had a BlackBerry to deer in our backyard.

    00:09:57.510 –> 00:10:01.350 Joseph McElroy: which I don’t really remember Asheville being that prevalent for big wildlife.

    00:10:01.650 –> 00:10:16.260 Daniel Pierce: yeah there were no turkeys there he never saw a bear unless you’re in the smokies and their head was in a garbage can and you never solved there you know it was it’s it’s really one of the great changes recent well.

    00:10:17.700 –> 00:10:26.250 Daniel Pierce: I prefer to see bears a little less frequently in my yard actually one got up i’ve got my bird feeder strong about.

    00:10:26.940 –> 00:10:42.930 Daniel Pierce: 15 feet up off the ground and one of them figured out how to get up there and kind of twine the wire and got one of the bird feeders to bounce off today, so a lot we we saw i’m trying it the other day and I shot him with a bb gun I don’t know if I can say that.

    00:10:43.200 –> 00:10:43.500 yeah.

    00:10:44.520 –> 00:10:45.420 Daniel Pierce: Is that legal.

    00:10:48.210 –> 00:10:51.090 Daniel Pierce: And scare them off, but he got my bird feeder today and I.

    00:10:51.090 –> 00:10:51.360 can’t.

    00:10:54.270 –> 00:10:59.790 Joseph McElroy: bit bb guns and rocks over the thing back in the day and I think they’re probably still could have their uses.

    00:11:02.700 –> 00:11:10.080 Joseph McElroy: So what do I think it’s interesting you grew up in West Asheville it’s changed a lot like you mentioned What would you think is the biggest change.

    00:11:10.950 –> 00:11:12.600 Daniel Pierce: Well, the real estate prices for.

    00:11:12.600 –> 00:11:13.890 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

    00:11:14.520 –> 00:11:21.090 Daniel Pierce: They were just talking about you know, is it going to be a million-dollar bungalow for sale and West Asheville soon you know it’s.

    00:11:21.960 –> 00:11:37.920 Daniel Pierce: crazy, you know the House, it was very blue-collar when I when I grew up there, and, of course, you had the actual speedway down there having races and or or, as some people put it, you know what went to the fights and a race broke out, you know.

    00:11:40.710 –> 00:11:48.120 Daniel Pierce: Pretty rough place but you know and the and the only dining establishment really was the tasty diner you know and.

    00:11:49.470 –> 00:11:53.670 Daniel Pierce: Where you could go sit at the bar with jack ingram you know, is in the nascar hall of fame so.

    00:11:55.320 –> 00:11:59.820 Joseph McElroy: Great foodie place now man there’s some great restaurants out there, look jargon right.

    00:12:00.240 –> 00:12:04.410 Daniel Pierce: Now those weren’t there you know it’s kind of one of those deals, you know I hear they’re good.

    00:12:04.890 –> 00:12:05.490 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:12:05.940 –> 00:12:07.350 Daniel Pierce: I don’t get the West Eiffel much.

    00:12:09.450 –> 00:12:15.780 Joseph McElroy: jargon is good there’s a there’s a really great coffee place i’m drawing a blank on the name, right now, but then there’s.

    00:12:16.740 –> 00:12:22.590 Joseph McElroy: You know the early girl is opened up West Asheville, which is a really good you have farm to table thing so.

    00:12:23.580 –> 00:12:35.580 Joseph McElroy: it’s it’s become a great place to go and pick up some really good food i’m telling you right now, everybody should go visit there and then they got the artsy sort of seeing going on and performance and things like that.

    00:12:36.240 –> 00:12:38.250 Joseph McElroy: And I read an interview that’s.

    00:12:38.280 –> 00:12:41.190 Daniel Pierce: Not my day was the chili dog at the surfside.

    00:12:41.220 –> 00:12:41.910 Joseph McElroy: yeah right.

    00:12:42.570 –> 00:12:48.150 Joseph McElroy: Or, I remember driving back you know and we’d always stopped West actual at the denny’s after being at the nightclub but.

    00:12:50.340 –> 00:13:06.270 Joseph McElroy: I don’t see to be open anymore so ready very interview that she said something the effect that folks around that actually had no pretense that are they they are who they are take it or leave it I you know, do you feel that’s that’s the way they are now to.

    00:13:06.840 –> 00:13:09.240 Daniel Pierce: A it’s hard to say yeah.

    00:13:09.240 –> 00:13:09.630 Right.

    00:13:11.280 –> 00:13:14.070 Daniel Pierce: it’s a different I don’t have as good a raid on.

    00:13:15.630 –> 00:13:20.190 Daniel Pierce: The recent arrivals as I did the folks I grew up with.

    00:13:21.510 –> 00:13:28.500 Joseph McElroy: was very true but I grew up the same thing, and I think that the people that are local here are, and I think it rubs off, I do think that people.

    00:13:28.890 –> 00:13:42.990 Joseph McElroy: come from different areas get a little bit let it get lost a little bit of the pretense and they become a little bit more authentic I mean not as authentic as yeah what we grew up with but yeah like you know, there was somebody that I read somewhere that.

    00:13:44.010 –> 00:13:55.920 Joseph McElroy: Nobody really has a fancy car asheville you know it’s yeah everybody has you know sort of you know, work practical cars right.

    00:13:56.790 –> 00:14:01.440 Daniel Pierce: Well, mine is minus the truck with us still a possible bumper sticker on it.

    00:14:01.470 –> 00:14:07.320 Joseph McElroy: So I’m still I’m driving my dad’s 1984 GMC truck so.

    00:14:09.900 –> 00:14:12.780 Joseph McElroy: To get this current gas moment i’m not driver that much.

    00:14:12.840 –> 00:14:13.230 yeah.

    00:14:14.430 –> 00:14:20.520 Joseph McElroy: hey listen, we have to take a break and we’ll come back talk a little bit more about your history and then get into some of your books all right.

    00:14:20.850 –> 00:14:21.180 Daniel Pierce: All right.

    00:16:37.200 –> 00:16:50.490 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast my guest Dan Pierce so Dan you grew up in Asheville, then you left it to go get your bachelor’s.

    00:16:51.570 –> 00:17:06.510 Joseph McElroy: vs bachelor of science at Western Carolyn Carolyn diversity and your masters of Alabama and then your PhD at the University of Tennessee and now Lo and behold, you are renowned writer and history, Professor did you always want to be a teacher and writer.

    00:17:08.310 –> 00:17:08.880 Daniel Pierce: well.

    00:17:10.050 –> 00:17:15.840 Daniel Pierce: A teacher, I think, was something I arrived at, you know in my late teens I worked at a.

    00:17:17.610 –> 00:17:30.030 Daniel Pierce: Had a partner program and Asheville and I ran apart for a couple of summers I like kids a lot and so ended up majoring in education, I taught fifth grade for three years and I had.

    00:17:31.740 –> 00:17:39.270 Daniel Pierce: kind of a weird experience educationally I was a horrible student I was kind of a noxious kid but I had a sixth-grade teacher That was really.

    00:17:40.200 –> 00:17:51.180 Daniel Pierce: inspiring she loved history and then a weird thing happened, where she was she was a widow she asked me if i’d like to go to Europe and so.

    00:17:52.230 –> 00:18:00.210 Daniel Pierce: Taking me the next summer after my seventh-grade year to Europe me and another 12-year-old boy, it was.

    00:18:00.750 –> 00:18:01.800 Joseph McElroy: A lot of studying.

    00:18:02.280 –> 00:18:02.760 Joseph McElroy: Oh, my God.

    00:18:02.940 –> 00:18:04.710 Joseph McElroy: yeah it changed your life.

    00:18:05.580 –> 00:18:18.300 Daniel Pierce: yeah really strange and then she ended up being my mom’s best friend so in just a deer name is Steve Bennett and just a wonderful person so she kind of inspired me to teach and then I had a lot of bad examples I think that I learned from.

    00:18:21.420 –> 00:18:27.540 Daniel Pierce: about what not to do, and so I taught fifth-grade love that but was young single went to.

    00:18:28.650 –> 00:18:34.710 Daniel Pierce: pulled up and went to Alabama, which is a great experience for two years and got my masters and.

    00:18:35.790 –> 00:18:40.440 Daniel Pierce: kind of cast my lot with southern history, at that point.

    00:18:41.550 –> 00:18:52.410 Daniel Pierce: Then I got married and moved to Nashville Tennessee and taught high school for eight years and I was coach peers for that time and really enjoy that stage of my life but, but then decided.

    00:18:53.670 –> 00:18:56.670 Daniel Pierce: With the help of my life to go back for a PhD so.

    00:18:57.960 –> 00:19:06.540 Daniel Pierce: I finished my Ph.D. at about the age of 40 and so you know I kind of came this late in life and then.

    00:19:07.890 –> 00:19:08.790 Daniel Pierce: You know the first.

    00:19:10.440 –> 00:19:21.360 Daniel Pierce: The first book, I guess, I was 45 when the first book came out, so I really never imagined, you know I’ve always been an avid reader but I never imagined being a writer and then.

    00:19:23.010 –> 00:19:28.260 Daniel Pierce: I just had some great mentors in graduate school that simplify things for me writing was always.

    00:19:30.000 –> 00:19:43.230 Daniel Pierce: painful for me, and then they simplified things made it much easier and and and and taught me how to sit down and write in and so, then that you know that I don’t know you know seven oh.

    00:19:43.590 –> 00:19:46.500 Joseph McElroy: Would you start writing before you came to unc actual.

    00:19:47.400 –> 00:19:52.740 Daniel Pierce: Well, I could have had to write a dissertation I had to do a master’s thesis and dissertation and such.

    00:19:53.190 –> 00:19:55.260 Joseph McElroy: A good writing the books and so you got to do and CA.

    00:19:55.410 –> 00:20:01.950 Daniel Pierce: yeah well the dissertation became the first book, but I had to do some significant rewriting on it and.

    00:20:03.060 –> 00:20:19.800 Daniel Pierce: And I’ve been very fortunate to be the places where I’ve been where I’ve kind of been able to pick and choose what I wanted to do research on to write about so you know you know, I have a good time with it, so there are some people I know who hated their dissertation topic.

    00:20:19.800 –> 00:20:19.920 Joseph McElroy: and

    00:20:20.910 –> 00:20:26.310 Daniel Pierce: You know they hate their research but they’re kind of stuck because of the requirements of their tenure whatever and.

    00:20:27.120 –> 00:20:36.510 Daniel Pierce: I’ve just been able to do what I want, so I have a good time and I get to do research by you know going hiking in the mountains or going to a stock car race or hanging out with moonshine are.

    00:20:36.510 –> 00:20:37.530 Joseph McElroy: not bad research.

    00:20:37.530 –> 00:20:41.670 Daniel Pierce: Right like that are traveling in the West, recently, you know.

    00:20:41.850 –> 00:20:49.590 Joseph McElroy: how did you get I don’t know if it’s lucky or whatever that actually get to come back to your hometown to be a professor for so long.

    00:20:49.860 –> 00:20:54.600 Daniel Pierce: It was totally accidental I was in graduate school finishing up and.

    00:20:55.950 –> 00:20:58.500 Daniel Pierce: One-year position opened up at marcell.

    00:20:59.730 –> 00:21:07.740 Daniel Pierce: University and did that, for a year and then I was fortunate enough to get a one year deal at unc asheville.

    00:21:08.880 –> 00:21:21.390 Daniel Pierce: And then I was fortunate enough to get a one-year deal at Western Carolina University and then I kind of adjunct it for a while and, finally, I think unc Asheville figured I wasn’t going to go away and they finally hired me on the tenure track.

    00:21:22.590 –> 00:21:24.150 Daniel Pierce: Oh yeah and.

    00:21:24.480 –> 00:21:25.110 Joseph McElroy: She actually.

    00:21:25.140 –> 00:21:31.320 Joseph McElroy: A very interesting place you know we were we moved on right there right, so I paid attention to what you know I actually.

    00:21:31.740 –> 00:21:39.600 Joseph McElroy: You know I’ve been an artist I’ve been in some museums and things but yeah one of my first actually my first formal training in art.

    00:21:40.110 –> 00:21:48.780 Joseph McElroy: was at unc Asheville I mean I’d gone to do and then had a career in technology and I burned out for a little while and just sort of tooled around in my first formal training.

    00:21:49.230 –> 00:21:58.980 Joseph McElroy: of any sort of school was at unc Asheville before I moved on up North and went to other places, but so sort of fun for me to be live in there, you know it’s.

    00:22:00.690 –> 00:22:08.970 Joseph McElroy: it’s a great place that they’re having something very soon that thing is interesting you’re having a world-class conference called the idea festival.

    00:22:09.390 –> 00:22:09.930 Daniel Pierce: yeah.

    00:22:10.050 –> 00:22:10.950 Joseph McElroy: Pretty crazy right.

    00:22:11.190 –> 00:22:11.940 Daniel Pierce: yeah I got.

    00:22:15.660 –> 00:22:16.530 Daniel Pierce: yeah lots of.

    00:22:18.270 –> 00:22:20.610 Daniel Pierce: Speakers john meacham.

    00:22:21.450 –> 00:22:23.430 Joseph McElroy: My major people really.

    00:22:23.880 –> 00:22:29.850 Joseph McElroy: yeah I am in the middle of moving I’m still doing this, I can’t go, but I probably go next year, it looks great.

    00:22:30.300 –> 00:22:47.580 Joseph McElroy: yeah so your books and articles cover a pretty wide range of subjects, all of them interested you already started mentioning them, but in 19 to 2010 you released real NASCAR white lightning red clay and bill big bill France was that your first book.

    00:22:48.300 –> 00:22:58.080 Daniel Pierce: Now that was the second, the first one was 10 years before that actually was my dissertation it was on it’s called the great smokies from natural habitat to the national park and it’s.

    00:22:59.130 –> 00:23:10.800 Daniel Pierce: That was one of the great smoky mountain National Park, so it kind of cast that’s kind of been, I guess, if I have an area, you know for my books are related to the great smoky mountains so.

    00:23:12.030 –> 00:23:15.120 Joseph McElroy: He looks are your series on Nascar to and moonshine so you have.

    00:23:15.450 –> 00:23:15.900 yeah.

    00:23:18.360 –> 00:23:22.230 Daniel Pierce: yeah there’s some overlap there, so I did the NASCAR book and then.

    00:23:23.310 –> 00:23:35.610 Daniel Pierce: A guy with the great smoky mountains, association, and editor there asked me to do a book on moonshine the smokies, and then that turned into a bigger book I’ll moonshine in North Carolina so well.

    00:23:35.970 –> 00:23:39.390 Daniel Pierce: So they all kind of run together in kind of a weird way.

    00:23:40.230 –> 00:23:44.670 Joseph McElroy: Why why, why did you write a book on NASCAR, I will get what was their interest there.

    00:23:45.210 –> 00:23:55.230 Daniel Pierce: Well, the big thing I always you know I grew up and I put it within earshot of the what they call the new Asheville speedway or the or the river, which was kind of a leg.

    00:23:56.700 –> 00:24:00.840 Daniel Pierce: yeah dental Nam boy road and West Asheville and it was a big hang out.

    00:24:02.550 –> 00:24:14.580 Daniel Pierce: I was kind of well easily influenced by my brother my older brother and he was all about kind of living down your West Asheville roots and.

    00:24:14.940 –> 00:24:27.510 Daniel Pierce: and your redneck roots in and hanging out with the North Asheville kids and all that, so I always I never went to a race there, I never thought about we just didn’t do that kind of thing you know Baptist preacher son and.

    00:24:27.900 –> 00:24:31.920 Daniel Pierce: and always kind of make fun of it, but then I had a roommate at Western.

    00:24:32.700 –> 00:24:36.810 Daniel Pierce: Western Carolina who was avid I mean he still is and.

    00:24:38.310 –> 00:24:47.520 Daniel Pierce: And he kept trying to get me to get a races and then finally right, as I was finishing up my PhD work at Tennessee he was living in East Tennessee.

    00:24:48.360 –> 00:24:56.400 Daniel Pierce: He said I got take it so got a couple of tickets to Bristol why don’t you come to go with me, and so I thought well you can’t call yourself a southern historian if you’ve.

    00:24:56.910 –> 00:24:57.600 Joseph McElroy: never been done.

    00:24:58.770 –> 00:25:06.930 Daniel Pierce: You know, and so that was 1994 and I went to my first race was night race at Bristol I don’t have a clue about anything.

    00:25:07.860 –> 00:25:17.760 Daniel Pierce: the first thing he didn’t say anything about how loud, it was and I didn’t have any earplugs or anything I thought I was going to go deaf and so fortunately I had a strap on my sunglasses and I was able to stuff that my ears and.

    00:25:18.360 –> 00:25:31.530 Daniel Pierce: And, but the thing that got me, I think I mean the racing was incredible I mean it was just really exciting, but the thing that got me where the fans that just were unreal I mean just the past.

    00:25:32.190 –> 00:25:34.680 Daniel Pierce: fanatics yeah yeah there was a guy.

    00:25:35.040 –> 00:25:37.050 Joseph McElroy: What explains that popularity yeah.

    00:25:37.110 –> 00:25:41.250 Daniel Pierce: You know I don’t know I don’t see it as intense as it was at that.

    00:25:42.570 –> 00:25:58.980 Daniel Pierce: But it was intense and I’ll never forget, there was a guy sitting in front of us and we were way up near the top and we’re 100 rose up or more, and this guy was sitting if he had a big old cooler he brought he and I don’t know how many beers he driving but.

    00:25:59.130 –> 00:26:13.560 Daniel Pierce: yeah but he would they at bristol’s a half mile track so they’re coming by every 16 1516 seconds this guy would stand up every time Dale Earnhardt’s car came by and she didn’t bark.

    00:26:14.820 –> 00:26:16.290 Joseph McElroy: Ah, so.

    00:26:16.650 –> 00:26:18.840 Joseph McElroy: If it goes a little bit like pro wrestling there they.

    00:26:21.300 –> 00:26:22.140 Joseph McElroy: Had a little bit of a.

    00:26:24.210 –> 00:26:27.450 Joseph McElroy: Of a character that represented yeah.

    00:26:27.510 –> 00:26:40.920 Daniel Pierce: yeah but I mean there was a lot of that kind of it was very almost a moral drama almost, particularly at that time Jeff Gordon was coming on the scene is kind of clean-cut California kid you know and here’s Dale earnhardt this rough.

    00:26:42.150 –> 00:26:51.480 Daniel Pierce: A rough and tumble God worked in a cotton mill you know, and you know Greece under his fingernails kind of guy which is not necessarily true but.

    00:26:52.110 –> 00:26:52.710 Daniel Pierce: But he had.

    00:26:52.740 –> 00:26:57.660 Daniel Pierce: Any image, you know, and so it was great you know I mean it was just intense you know.

    00:26:58.080 –> 00:27:05.940 Joseph McElroy: The first big name in NASCAR was William Henry Getty Big Bill France well what was this what was his position on sports?

    00:27:06.120 –> 00:27:06.900 Daniel Pierce: way he was.

    00:27:07.440 –> 00:27:22.800 Daniel Pierce: The founder basically the order, I mean the France family it’s unique and professional sports and that that nascar is owned by the France family still as a woman, by the France family and so his.

    00:27:26.790 –> 00:27:38.640 Daniel Pierce: His brother or his side, Jim France is pretty much the head of it now, but then his his grandchildren well Brian Francis kind of out of the picture now he ran it for a while a grandchild and.

    00:27:39.990 –> 00:27:50.040 Daniel Pierce: Lisa France Kennedy is has a big hand and so it’s still a family run business and then he kind of ran it with a with an iron fist back in the day and course it was.

    00:27:50.160 –> 00:27:52.650 Joseph McElroy: Back in those days, it was all those guys were like.

    00:27:52.740 –> 00:27:55.680 Daniel Pierce: yeah I mean it was it was a pretty rough crowd you.

    00:27:55.680 –> 00:28:06.510 Daniel Pierce: know the you know there was a lot of those guys, you know got their first high speed driving experience behind about you know, a 39 for coop you know Holland liquor.

    00:28:06.840 –> 00:28:08.820 Daniel Pierce: yeah right somewhere so.

    00:28:08.820 –> 00:28:16.890 Joseph McElroy: trying to get trying to get the front end of one of those coops we got the moonshine room, I was well put it in there yeah so you know.

    00:28:17.460 –> 00:28:30.660 Joseph McElroy: I would take a break soon, but you have you declare at the end of that book I would humbly suggest this time for Nascar to stop modernizing tradition and start embracing his tradition what’s the simple explanation of that statement.

    00:28:31.230 –> 00:28:41.790 Daniel Pierce: Well, you know they are kind of hidden from their moonshine roots they’re doing a little bit more now, but I think they ought to embrace it, you know, I think that they it’s a great story you.

    00:28:41.790 –> 00:28:42.060 know.

    00:28:43.290 –> 00:28:52.020 Daniel Pierce: These guys, who had nothing you know but we’re very creative and entrepreneurial and aggressive you know, maybe.

    00:28:52.320 –> 00:29:03.420 Joseph McElroy: Some of my relatives ran yeah moonshine and now they had souped up cars man and the stories of them racing through the hills, to avoid revenue, or is there a pretty heritage right so.

    00:29:06.210 –> 00:29:12.300 Joseph McElroy: cool we got to take another break when I come back i’ll talk a little bit more about moonshine and your book so matt.

    00:31:22.080 –> 00:31:29.610 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast my guest is Dan Pierce so Dan you know you.

    00:31:30.300 –> 00:31:34.350 Joseph McElroy: You wrote another book you’ve actually written a couple of books about moonshine you wrote another one.

    00:31:34.650 –> 00:31:51.240 Joseph McElroy: That combined NASCAR and moonshine called tar heel lightning how secret stills and fast cars mean North Carolina the moonshine capital, the world, so we talked about how moonshine helped nascar how did nascar fast cars make North Carolina the moonshine capital.

    00:31:52.020 –> 00:32:03.510 Daniel Pierce: Well it’s a long story, but from the very beginning, when you know, making whiskey became la or illegal, that is, if you didn’t pay the federal excise tax, and that was.

    00:32:05.220 –> 00:32:07.950 Daniel Pierce: Well, went into effect in North Carolina right after the civil war.

    00:32:09.060 –> 00:32:24.720 Daniel Pierce: North Carolina from the very beginning, you know, there was a long tradition of making making whiskey in North Carolina I mean going back to the earliest white settlers who brought that skill with them and brought their skills, with them perfectly legal activity.

    00:32:26.340 –> 00:32:28.380 Daniel Pierce: With few exceptions, up until then.

    00:32:29.580 –> 00:32:37.260 Daniel Pierce: And you know they weren’t about to give it up, you know, and so it was too important of economic activity, they couldn’t make any money if they.

    00:32:37.740 –> 00:32:48.330 Daniel Pierce: On it, if they pay the tax, and so they made it illegally and, and so it just became very much ingrained in North Carolina history and culture as hard as the.

    00:32:48.810 –> 00:32:56.730 Daniel Pierce: Federal Government and then went around the turn of the century, you started getting probation and then North Carolina became one of the first states to.

    00:32:58.350 –> 00:33:00.900 Daniel Pierce: To have statewide probation in 1909.

    00:33:01.920 –> 00:33:13.110 Daniel Pierce: And it’s it’s kind of interesting there’s that that that dynamic with prohibition and moonshine that they really go hand in hand and part of the reason North Carolina was.

    00:33:14.010 –> 00:33:24.150 Daniel Pierce: Such moonshine was so important in North Carolina and so big in North Carolina was because probation was so strong and so.

    00:33:24.510 –> 00:33:24.780 Joseph McElroy: You know.

    00:33:24.990 –> 00:33:35.430 Daniel Pierce: After national you know you had national prohibition when that ended you still had local option in North Carolina and so most counties were dry well into the 60s and 70s and.

    00:33:36.000 –> 00:33:47.460 Daniel Pierce: Even still have some dry municipalities and stuff like that around the state but but, again, it was long time before you know, most people could buy.

    00:33:47.910 –> 00:34:01.920 Daniel Pierce: Legal liquor in this state, so there was a great market for moonshine which course fed into nascar, you know as kind of a you know, a two way street, there you know you had people who who became successful drivers who.

    00:34:03.000 –> 00:34:05.580 Daniel Pierce: figured out, they could make more money hauling liquor then they could win.

    00:34:08.250 –> 00:34:14.640 Joseph McElroy: or an economic, it was I mean it had a it was an economic boom for people in the mountains, even though it was also.

    00:34:15.120 –> 00:34:25.200 Joseph McElroy: devastating you know and a lot of social ills from it as well, but now it was like quick money right yeah there was you couldn’t get loans you couldn’t get anything else, but you could make money with moonshine right.

    00:34:25.680 –> 00:34:35.790 Daniel Pierce: yeah for a lot of people, it was kind of an insurance policy, and you know, most people were not career moonshiners you know they weren’t your popcorn sutton’s you know who.

    00:34:36.210 –> 00:34:43.200 Daniel Pierce: Who did it all their life, you know they did it, you know, and they were there was kind of an economic emergency or there or they’re young they’re you know they’re kind of.

    00:34:44.460 –> 00:34:56.790 Daniel Pierce: You know, starting out so a lot of people, you know you know it’s kind of funny you know you talk to people everybody says Oh well, you know I in my family, you know someone so holic or something like that and.

    00:34:57.270 –> 00:35:03.000 Daniel Pierce: And it was just a common thing you know for a lot of people, it was one of the few ways that you could get cash money.

    00:35:03.330 –> 00:35:06.120 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah hard to get cash.

    00:35:06.150 –> 00:35:18.990 Daniel Pierce: Right cash money, and you know if you’re willing to take the risk, and so you know for a lot of people, it was you know almost unexpected depend on the Community you’re in you know is almost an expected thing you know and.

    00:35:20.400 –> 00:35:22.230 Daniel Pierce: And for a lot of people it wasn’t great.

    00:35:22.710 –> 00:35:35.730 Daniel Pierce: You know, particularly in rural areas that when a great disability, you know the preacher might preach against it but, but the preacher understood to that you needed to do what you which could put shoes on your kid’s feet and.

    00:35:38.700 –> 00:35:39.840 Daniel Pierce: and feed them and so.

    00:35:40.980 –> 00:35:43.320 Daniel Pierce: And the preacher also knew that he got.

    00:35:44.340 –> 00:35:47.700 Daniel Pierce: You know that money in the offering plate often came from laker money so.

    00:35:47.820 –> 00:35:58.800 Joseph McElroy: I listened to all the general stores loved it, because who bought word they buy the sugar where they buy that you know the components that fed the economy in general, so you know it was a.

    00:36:00.000 –> 00:36:09.840 Joseph McElroy: And then yeah you hadn’t things different you wrote a book called corn from a jar which we actually carry here at the metal Arc that explored, a lot of these issues didn’t it.

    00:36:10.770 –> 00:36:13.260 Daniel Pierce: yeah like specifically at the smokies but.

    00:36:14.400 –> 00:36:15.630 Daniel Pierce: Again, you know that’s a.

    00:36:17.850 –> 00:36:18.150 You.

    00:36:19.410 –> 00:36:21.330 Joseph McElroy: Know moonshine is good for cough.

    00:36:21.600 –> 00:36:22.290 Daniel Pierce: Well, it is.

    00:36:24.900 –> 00:36:27.660 Daniel Pierce: I got a freezer full of it people keep giving it to him.

    00:36:28.710 –> 00:36:29.250 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

    00:36:29.310 –> 00:36:30.900 Daniel Pierce: we’re still i’m pretty active.

    00:36:31.800 –> 00:36:39.990 Joseph McElroy: Oh man I get people showing up at the motel we have our pavilion we have like a will have a bluegrass festival or something man everybody’s giving me boo chatting yeah.

    00:36:40.650 –> 00:36:41.340 So.

    00:36:42.570 –> 00:36:43.890 Daniel Pierce: I got a freezer full of it.

    00:36:44.370 –> 00:36:44.820 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:36:45.600 –> 00:36:46.980 Daniel Pierce: I do need to go against it but.

    00:36:47.880 –> 00:36:53.640 Joseph McElroy: My dad you know here’s a bunch of he probably still he used to eat popcorn he probably still have some popcorn.

    00:36:53.820 –> 00:36:57.330 Daniel Pierce: yeah well I think everybody has some purportedly.

    00:36:57.630 –> 00:37:01.200 Daniel Pierce: yeah a chat I’ve heard a lot of it, oh yeah I got some popcorn.

    00:37:03.960 –> 00:37:18.900 Joseph McElroy: So what’s up you know, there was a lot of cultural representations of moonshiners and I think a lot of that you know was purposely you know denigrating people making them into bumpkins but what do you think is the side of moonshine that most people have never seen.

    00:37:19.680 –> 00:37:23.250 Daniel Pierce: Well, there guys, there are a lot of signs and that was what the book.

    00:37:26.070 –> 00:37:35.580 Daniel Pierce: Tar heel lighting is really bad it’s kind of a lot complicating I guess the image, because if people’s me to moonshiners kind of popcorn site, and you know.

    00:37:36.570 –> 00:37:46.500 Daniel Pierce: Guy with a beard and overalls and they’ll truck and you know, in the file mouth, and you know and apparently popcorn was no dummy for sure and.

    00:37:48.360 –> 00:37:51.060 Daniel Pierce: But you know one they were.

    00:37:52.260 –> 00:37:58.410 Daniel Pierce: A lot of these people were very smart they were very entrepreneurial they were very skilled.

    00:38:00.360 –> 00:38:15.990 Daniel Pierce: have often talked about junior Johnson that famous car driver and car owner, but he, of course, got his start you know, in the family business, which was moonshine but I’ve often said about junior Johnson I think he’s one of the smartest people he didn’t come across is.

    00:38:17.040 –> 00:38:26.700 Daniel Pierce: Particularly intelligent, but he was one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered often said he probably never read a physics book, but I think you could write one.

    00:38:29.160 –> 00:38:31.590 Daniel Pierce: A lot of these people were really smart The other thing was that.

    00:38:33.540 –> 00:38:50.700 Daniel Pierce: We had the same as the white mountain near and the fact of the matter is in North Carolina in particular and most of the South, it was all over I mean you know there are many coastal swap moonshiners is that we’re mountain moonshiners you know lower in Piedmont, it was all over.

    00:38:51.930 –> 00:39:00.900 Daniel Pierce: And it was an end, and they weren’t all fly there were a lot of native Americans particularly manga lambie down the eastern part of North Carolina.

    00:39:00.930 –> 00:39:03.450 Joseph McElroy: They sort of taught moonshiners about corners as.

    00:39:03.690 –> 00:39:04.530 Daniel Pierce: Well yeah you.

    00:39:05.550 –> 00:39:07.200 Daniel Pierce: Know actually the.

    00:39:08.190 –> 00:39:17.970 Daniel Pierce: The first moonshiners in North Carolina were African American and Native American because in the 1830s the legislature passed a law that said.

    00:39:19.140 –> 00:39:24.210 Daniel Pierce: said free persons of color could not make liquor or sell liquor.

    00:39:25.680 –> 00:39:30.570 Daniel Pierce: And so they were making it illegally before you know before white people were.

    00:39:31.140 –> 00:39:31.620 Joseph McElroy: made were used.

    00:39:31.770 –> 00:39:32.640 Daniel Pierce: to watch a nation.

    00:39:32.670 –> 00:39:36.120 Daniel Pierce: Plus, they were also traditions of slaves too.

    00:39:37.710 –> 00:39:43.290 Daniel Pierce: apply plantation distilleries using slave Labor so like a lot of African Americans knew how to make liquor.

    00:39:43.410 –> 00:39:44.640 Joseph McElroy: I knew very good.

    00:39:45.630 –> 00:39:51.360 Daniel Pierce: yeah, then the other thing I think that that’s that kind of blows people’s minds was the number of women involved.

    00:39:52.440 –> 00:39:55.350 Daniel Pierce: And that’s just a fascinating story, you know.

    00:39:55.350 –> 00:39:57.930 Joseph McElroy: Especially on the brandy, they made from those that.

    00:39:57.990 –> 00:40:01.740 Joseph McElroy: moonshine right at it out yeah for things like.

    00:40:02.520 –> 00:40:17.370 Daniel Pierce: Well, if you had fruit trees, you know back in you know well before refrigeration became common if you had free trees, there was one reason why you did, and that was the to make brandy or apple jack or something.

    00:40:17.370 –> 00:40:19.590 Daniel Pierce: Like alcohol from it.

    00:40:21.570 –> 00:40:32.880 Daniel Pierce: Because you couldn’t you know if you had a big orchard, I mean you couldn’t preserve all that you couldn’t get to market, but you could distill it and you could get that the market and it would really sale to.

    00:40:33.060 –> 00:40:44.790 Joseph McElroy: find the things that you can you know I just discovered, I can make me from hmi here at the motel and once we get our fortified wine and liquor license and I’m going to be making I’m gonna be making our own been.

    00:40:45.870 –> 00:40:47.730 Joseph McElroy: A tradition to figure out what you can.

    00:40:48.990 –> 00:40:50.700 Daniel Pierce: that’s right, you have it handy.

    00:40:51.270 –> 00:40:56.700 Joseph McElroy: But you know I want to get to you know you said you’d wrote four books about the great smoky mountains and.

    00:40:58.350 –> 00:41:06.360 Joseph McElroy: You know, and I think the first one was natural habitat to national parks it seems you’re a passionate environmentalist, can you tell us about this book?

    00:41:07.110 –> 00:41:15.060 Daniel Pierce: yeah well again it’s on the establishment of the park and it’s a yeah it’s a great story, you know it’s a unique story because.

    00:41:16.260 –> 00:41:18.240 Daniel Pierce: smokies and Shenandoah we’re.

    00:41:19.650 –> 00:41:27.720 Daniel Pierce: Creating a unique way at that time and in the 1920s Congress said they would not purchase lands for national parks, all the national parks.

    00:41:28.440 –> 00:41:45.300 Daniel Pierce: Were were in the West, and they were in the federal domain, all you did was say to sign, basically, of which federal agencies managing it so, but the Congress wouldn’t buy land for for national parks and so, but then they said, if the states will buy the land.

    00:41:47.070 –> 00:42:00.240 Daniel Pierce: And we approve this land is appropriate for national park, then, then the states can turn the land over to us and we’ll make it a national park and so that’s what happened, but it was a long slow process because they had to.

    00:42:02.550 –> 00:42:07.230 Daniel Pierce: They had raised the money to buy to buy the land, so they had private donations.

    00:42:09.990 –> 00:42:11.730 Daniel Pierce: They had state bonds and then.

    00:42:13.350 –> 00:42:21.180 Daniel Pierce: Finally, it was john D Rockefeller jr who who know $95 million to make it happen so.

    00:42:22.200 –> 00:42:23.700 Daniel Pierce: it’s a unique thing so.

    00:42:26.520 –> 00:42:26.730 He.

    00:42:28.380 –> 00:42:31.140 Daniel Pierce: So people, the Western North Carolina and East Tennessee.

    00:42:32.190 –> 00:42:35.490 Daniel Pierce: feel a real sense of ownership about the.

    00:42:36.660 –> 00:42:36.990 Daniel Pierce: About.

    00:42:38.460 –> 00:42:40.680 Daniel Pierce: about the park that other places don’t have.

    00:42:41.790 –> 00:42:47.640 Joseph McElroy: cool well you know we’re good, I think we could take it that we could take a break, right now, and you get some more water and.

    00:42:49.770 –> 00:42:54.840 Joseph McElroy: And then we’ll come back we’ll talk more about some of your books and some of the other things that you’ve done in.

    00:42:56.640 –> 00:42:56.970 Daniel Pierce: Hello.

    00:45:00.630 –> 00:45:11.220 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guest Dan peers so, then you wrote several books about the great smoky National Park.

    00:45:12.360 –> 00:45:19.410 Joseph McElroy: That, I mentioned the one that was really popular from natural habitat to national party what are some of the others that people might look up.

    00:45:20.790 –> 00:45:21.510 Daniel Pierce: Well, I did.

    00:45:22.470 –> 00:45:26.760 Daniel Pierce: yeah I did the one on been shot in the smokies corn from a jars part of the book that sold the most.

    00:45:27.090 –> 00:45:28.710 Daniel Pierce: yeah and.

    00:45:29.880 –> 00:45:40.020 Daniel Pierce: And then I did a book on Community of hazel creek and swine county which was displaced and then there was a long, long controversy about the road to nowhere.

    00:45:41.430 –> 00:45:45.420 Daniel Pierce: There in that in that county that was that was resolved, you know, maybe 10 years ago.

    00:45:46.680 –> 00:45:49.170 Daniel Pierce: Finally, after 50 years or so.

    00:45:50.220 –> 00:45:52.620 Daniel Pierce: And that’s just a really interesting community and.

    00:45:54.990 –> 00:46:01.440 Daniel Pierce: And kind of a legendary Community it’s kind of now it’s more kind of a legend is a trout fishing destination, but.

    00:46:01.680 –> 00:46:02.640 Joseph McElroy: yeah good job fish.

    00:46:02.880 –> 00:46:03.960 Daniel Pierce: yeah yeah.

    00:46:05.310 –> 00:46:12.870 Daniel Pierce: And then the, the most recent when I did I can kind of see in the background, there i’ll leave my head over is a poster by.

    00:46:13.920 –> 00:46:25.050 Daniel Pierce: an artist graphic card is by the name of Joe Anderson gentlemen, our friends, when I lived in nashville 30 years ago, and then we lost touch with one another and.

    00:46:27.300 –> 00:46:29.850 Daniel Pierce: He went on to a very successful career.

    00:46:31.050 –> 00:46:41.580 Daniel Pierce: Start his own company and and then he gave up basically its advertising business that just do poster art full time and he has an incredible business.

    00:46:42.330 –> 00:47:00.210 Daniel Pierce: is best selling posters or national park posters and so he did a book in 2016 for the for the hundredth anniversary National Park service on all the national parks and use this poster art in the sun did the text and so.

    00:47:01.320 –> 00:47:06.990 Daniel Pierce: I brought in you and CA to do a program about art and the national parks and.

    00:47:08.010 –> 00:47:27.090 Daniel Pierce: Over dinner, he asked me if I would be interested in doing a book with him and on the smokies, and so I said sure, and so we made about seven seven or eight trips into the smokies had some great adventures sell some really cool places it was it was so much fun to take him and his son.

    00:47:28.710 –> 00:47:32.730 Daniel Pierce: Around to see a lot of these places that had meant so much to me.

    00:47:33.840 –> 00:47:46.740 Daniel Pierce: And I learned a lot in the process, but anyway that turned into a book called the illustrated guide to the great smoky mountain National Park, and which is solving all the bookstores now, this is a great kind of coffee table book, so it was a real.

    00:47:46.740 –> 00:47:47.250 departure.

    00:47:48.630 –> 00:47:58.710 Daniel Pierce: And so that was that was so much fun and we had so much fun doing them trips together and all that you know and again, you know doing quote research in.

    00:48:00.720 –> 00:48:01.440 Daniel Pierce: The park and.

    00:48:02.340 –> 00:48:05.190 Daniel Pierce: Then that morphed into one that just came out.

    00:48:06.240 –> 00:48:15.540 Daniel Pierce: This is an illustrated guide to the to the grand circle of Arizona and utah and so its southern utah.

    00:48:16.650 –> 00:48:17.460 Joseph McElroy: niche itself.

    00:48:17.730 –> 00:48:18.330 yeah.

    00:48:19.620 –> 00:48:23.220 Daniel Pierce: yeah that was just out and, but that was so much fun we.

    00:48:26.040 –> 00:48:28.260 Joseph McElroy: had some fun books, I saw that you Co.

    00:48:28.260 –> 00:48:33.870 Joseph McElroy: wrote a book debating the merits of NASCAR versus college football in the south, so.

    00:48:35.340 –> 00:48:35.820 Joseph McElroy: How did that.

    00:48:37.620 –> 00:48:40.980 Joseph McElroy: come out about what was the conclusion.

    00:48:41.880 –> 00:48:44.250 Daniel Pierce: Well, I won, but.

    00:48:44.910 –> 00:48:48.690 Daniel Pierce: It was actually a debate, you know that was done on the.

    00:48:49.950 –> 00:49:04.380 Daniel Pierce: South Carolina public radio, which was broadcast all over I think a lot, it was it was a series called tell about the south, and it was you know they brought on to scholars to discuss or debate some issue so.

    00:49:05.640 –> 00:49:16.200 Daniel Pierce: So getting the party to Jackson who’s was from Jacksonville state and Alabama did the football side, and I did the NASCAR side and so.

    00:49:17.520 –> 00:49:18.690 Daniel Pierce: I got whipped him but.

    00:49:19.470 –> 00:49:30.240 Joseph McElroy: Alright cool and then you what have you books and I didn’t find out which one you tell me one the Western North Carolina historical association outstayed achievement award which one was the book.

    00:49:30.720 –> 00:49:35.040 Daniel Pierce: Well, that was just that achievement awards is kind of a lifetime achievement.

    00:49:35.070 –> 00:49:36.210 Joseph McElroy: Over the lifetime of cheese and.

    00:49:36.210 –> 00:49:37.530 Daniel Pierce: Whatever book yeah.

    00:49:37.980 –> 00:49:41.010 Joseph McElroy: yeah okay well it’s it’s it’s Nice, I mean.

    00:49:41.250 –> 00:49:41.610 Daniel Pierce: you’ve got.

    00:49:41.700 –> 00:49:45.360 Joseph McElroy: Great titles I think it’s really great, but I also think that.

    00:49:47.460 –> 00:49:52.530 Joseph McElroy: That you are, you are you’re very passionate about eight equal rights and racial diversity.

    00:49:53.940 –> 00:50:11.730 Joseph McElroy: And you know, and you know our associate Bob plot, you know it is a mutual friend wrote about a great book about his son and about the story of wmc are the railroad the mercury branch railroad built almost entirely by conflict Labor contract Labor.

    00:50:14.910 –> 00:50:22.290 Joseph McElroy: And it was a brutally inhumane form of legalized slavery, supported by both political parties for two decades.

    00:50:22.620 –> 00:50:37.050 Joseph McElroy: yeah few people are aware of this and the sacrifice made people to open up w Western North Carolina to the outside world, you are leading a committee dedicated honor to these inmates the railroad incarcerated Committee, can you tell us about that.

    00:50:37.530 –> 00:50:40.200 Daniel Pierce: yeah so I live at ridgecrest which is.

    00:50:41.370 –> 00:50:45.720 Daniel Pierce: One of the most storied section of the railroad.

    00:50:46.770 –> 00:50:51.930 Daniel Pierce: And the big roadblock to building railroad into Western North Carolina was.

    00:50:53.370 –> 00:50:56.040 Daniel Pierce: What was called a sua know upgrade or.

    00:50:57.390 –> 00:51:01.800 Daniel Pierce: Or the mountain division, the railroad so it was so hard to.

    00:51:04.710 –> 00:51:14.700 Daniel Pierce: So it’s about a Three Mile stretch as the crow flies but it’s it’s nine miles a railroad so it twists and turns up the mountain there are seven tunnels in that section.

    00:51:16.020 –> 00:51:20.670 Daniel Pierce: It took three years, using over 3000.

    00:51:22.080 –> 00:51:25.980 Daniel Pierce: incarcerated libraries in the in the north Carolina state penitentiary.

    00:51:27.210 –> 00:51:28.200 Joseph McElroy: Basically, slavery.

    00:51:29.040 –> 00:51:36.090 Daniel Pierce: Yes, and it was it was it was brutal and again they’re using nitroglycerin it’s very dangerous work.

    00:51:37.140 –> 00:51:39.450 Daniel Pierce: Their crap together in horrible conditions.

    00:51:42.630 –> 00:51:43.590 Daniel Pierce: And we know.

    00:51:45.060 –> 00:51:58.350 Daniel Pierce: From the records that at least 139 of these people died in the process and countless other injuries and you know you know, probably permanent injuries as well we just don’t know.

    00:51:58.980 –> 00:52:00.840 Daniel Pierce: yeah but there was no.

    00:52:01.920 –> 00:52:15.720 Daniel Pierce: there’s really no I mean there have been a few books written and some you know there’s a little awareness, but there’s no public recognition there’s a and so a group of us.

    00:52:17.460 –> 00:52:31.950 Daniel Pierce: Actually kind of started on my front porch over breakfast with a friend of mine, whose name is Steve little and he’s a lawyer and the Mayor of Marion North Carolina but a big railroad buff and he’s been fascinated by this section a railroad since he was a kid.

    00:52:33.360 –> 00:52:40.410 Daniel Pierce: And so we put We contacted some folks and put together a committee of people from McDowell county and bumping county.

    00:52:42.240 –> 00:52:42.720 Daniel Pierce: To.

    00:52:43.800 –> 00:52:58.920 Daniel Pierce: build a memorial, and so it, you know it really we you know, put it was kinda like a little rascals you know we didn’t really know what you’re doing you know it’s gonna let let’s put on a show and but we didn’t have a clue as to what we’re doing, and so we just kind of.

    00:52:59.970 –> 00:53:18.600 Daniel Pierce: You know what one of our committee members put together a website and we just started contacting people and got some good publicity and Western North a lot of historical associations partner with us and we were able to put a you know, a donate now button on the thing and.

    00:53:20.100 –> 00:53:23.970 Daniel Pierce: They started coming in and for we knew it was OK, now we.

    00:53:24.390 –> 00:53:29.880 Joseph McElroy: We got the money you know a lot of people here remember the railroads back in the day and my great grandfather.

    00:53:31.170 –> 00:53:37.350 Joseph McElroy: was an engineer for the logging railroads and my man, that was a brutal brutal brutal business.

    00:53:37.470 –> 00:53:43.320 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah and the slaves, the slave Labor prison Labor got the worst of it, so I think it’s a good thing that you’re doing.

    00:53:44.700 –> 00:53:47.820 Joseph McElroy: And I appreciate it, you know we’re getting close to the end here.

    00:53:49.620 –> 00:54:01.200 Joseph McElroy: And I want you to have the opportunity to shout out anything we haven’t mentioned or where people can look up your books or get in contact with you or however you want them to remember from this this this podcast.

    00:54:01.890 –> 00:54:10.860 Daniel Pierce: Well yeah i’m always looking for folks to check out, I would encourage folks to check out Anderson design group.

    00:54:11.460 –> 00:54:26.850 Daniel Pierce: Has a coffee table books and it’s just an incredible site with all you know if you love the smokies and you want to have something on your wall is posters are just incredible and so I would encourage you to do that to patronize the park.

    00:54:28.020 –> 00:54:38.190 Daniel Pierce: gift shops that con lefty and in Bryson city and all over the great smoky mountain National Park I’m on there I’m on their board and so.

    00:54:39.240 –> 00:54:43.560 Daniel Pierce: Just leads, you know come back to the park in a great way and they sell my book, so.

    00:54:44.850 –> 00:54:46.350 Joseph McElroy: Are you on Facebook or anything?

    00:54:46.830 –> 00:54:47.130 Daniel Pierce: But.

    00:54:47.430 –> 00:54:48.690 Joseph McElroy: Are you on Facebook you.

    00:54:49.350 –> 00:54:54.360 Daniel Pierce: know you know I’m not I haven’t done social media as well.

    00:54:55.350 –> 00:55:00.210 Daniel Pierce: Okay I’ve done in the past, but it just kind of eats up your life and so.

    00:55:01.800 –> 00:55:06.210 Daniel Pierce: And so I don’t but, but I would also encourage folks to.

    00:55:09.030 –> 00:55:12.720 Daniel Pierce: check out rail rei l dot.org.

    00:55:13.950 –> 00:55:30.990 Daniel Pierce: Which is our website for the rail project, one of the really cool things just real quickly we’ve done recently is to bring in human remains detection dogs and ground penetrating radar and have located some mass graves.

    00:55:32.010 –> 00:55:43.650 Daniel Pierce: Which is is is sad and tragic but we’re going to be able to, we are looking for funds to be able to mark those places and you know.

    00:55:44.730 –> 00:55:51.480 Daniel Pierce: do what we can and you know we can’t bring those people back, but it’s it’s important to work I think so.

    00:55:51.630 –> 00:55:58.380 Joseph McElroy: Thank you so much for being on the show you know I enjoy the books that you read you're written and.

    00:55:58.860 –> 00:56:08.670 Joseph McElroy: I’ve read a little bit of the corner of the JAR and bring some others of yours, and I look forward to seeing what you do in the future, and now we should keep in touch, so thank you for being on the show.

    00:56:09.030 –> 00:56:10.350 Daniel Pierce: But enjoyed it thoroughly.

    00:56:11.580 –> 00:56:22.380 Joseph McElroy: This is the gateway to the smokies podcast you can find out more about us@facebook.com says gateway to the smokies podcast as well as on the talkradio.nyc network.

    00:56:22.830 –> 00:56:32.730 Joseph McElroy: or they have lots of live podcasts that are worthwhile going to look at and watch for, ranging from small business's self-help to travel.

    00:56:33.180 –> 00:56:38.910 Joseph McElroy: Like we’re having here, I also have another podcast called wise content creates well, which is about marketing and Ai.

    00:56:39.330 –> 00:56:43.830 Joseph McElroy: and helping businesses, you know achieve better results with their content marketing.

    00:56:44.430 –> 00:56:57.510 Joseph McElroy: And that’s on Fridays from noon to one and don’t forget to check out the metal or motel call it to call eight to 89261717 for a reservation for any events or just come and visit us I’d love to see you.

    00:56:58.470 –> 00:57:07.410 Joseph McElroy: So see you next week for this podcast K with smokies from six until seven on Tuesday night and until then have a good week.

    51m - Jun 14, 2022
  • Episode 60: Masterful Stories in the Smokies with Author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/06/07 - Masterful Stories in the Smokies with Author Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

    In this episode, you'll learn what it takes to become a successful author while you discover the upbringing in the Cherokee culture. 

    On this episode of the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast, we have a very special guest, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, a renowned author, writer, and educator. She is the author of Even as We Breathe, one of the best books of 2020 by National Public Radio. She is a graduate of Yale University and William and Mary and an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Tribe. Annette resides with her family in Qualla, N.C., and is an avid mountain biker, and a staunch advocate for equal rights, education, and Cherokee history. 

    She's joining us to talk about her journey of writing her award-winning debut novel, Even as We Breathe, and her latest book. She will also discuss the Cherokee education system, the importance of language preservation, and how we can influence change in our communities. 

    Don't miss this out! 

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

    Show Notes

    Segment 1

    Joseph kicks off today's episode mentioning the sponsors, The Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley and smokiesadventure.com. Joseph announces that this is his first podcast as a resident again in North Carolina! Some upcoming events include June 11 with a pottery seminar with Cory Plott, a master craftsman, who will teach you how to create your own handmade pottery. On June 18th, there will be part 4 of the heritage book series with Bob Plott, free for guests and members. Check out more events at meadowlarkmotel.com. He also introduces his guest, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. She is the author of Even as We Breathe, one of the best books of 2020 by National Public Radio. Annette was born and raised in the Smokies and a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Tribe for her whole life. Her grandfather also has history with the tribe as well; his name was Osley Saunooke. She talks about how fascinating he was. Did you know that Osley was a wrestling world champion?! She also speaks about working in the family business and how her parents influenced her in learning and entrepreneurship.

    Segment 2

    Annette talks about getting her bachelor's degree from Yale University. She also got her Masters's degree at William and Mary. She talks about why chose to come back to the Smokies. Annette mentions her family and the connections she has in North Carolina and wants to continue to raise her family there. Annette also was a director if the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. She was also a teacher for 12 years. She also talks about her writing. Annette mentions having amazing teachers growing up which influenced her to be creative. She mentions a quote someone from Yale said to her and her mother when they visited the first time. The quote was “the best thing to do with a world-class education is to share it.” Her goals as a teacher are to create empathy and resilience through writing and the process. Some topics she mentions within this are making mistakes and the work that is part of this like the process of editing and writing. She discusses some ways she would teach her students. Annette talks about a manuscript that never officially got published called Going to Water. It's about a fictional story of her grandfather. She never got to know who he actually was as he passed away at an early age. So the character in the story was as close to what she knew of him, full of adventure.

    Segment 3

    Annette talks about her book Even as We Breathe, which came out in 2020. She says that she had read an article about the role that the Grove Park Inn played in World War II and Ashville’s role as well. This history wasn't familiar to many historians and people like herself who have lived in Ashville for a long time. She gave herself a writing prompt and spent a long time writing on the simplest object that she could think of. In her method of writing, Annette spent time in a very tiny room in the Jackson County Library in Sylva, North Carolina. She talks about the story of what she wrote. She is very inspired by where she loves and the interactions as shown in her novel. It takes place in 1942 and is a coming-of-age kind of story. Until she was working on the marketing packet, she didn't realize that she wrote historical fiction. Other topics include issues of identity, racism, and Cherokee culture. She tells a funny story about teaching her students. She also talks about her decision to retire from teaching.

    Segment 4

    Annette says that she is working on a new book, a novel that's contemporary with a female protagonist. It's set in Cherokee, which is close to home. She also does nonfiction writing for regional magazines and edits for the Appalachian Future Series through the University Press of Kentucky. She also talks about teaching workshops in different locations. Annette also talks about mountain biking. She says that she likes to be in the middle of the woods, biking fast, and being isolated for a moment from everything. She even lost 65 pounds by mountain biking. Annette and Joseph also discuss favorite trails in North Carolina. For people going to visit Cherokee Reservation, Annette mentions visiting Sassy Sunflower, a sandwich shop. If you want a country buffet, you have to go to Granny’s kitchen and get a pie. You can learn more about Annette at asaunookeclapsaddle.com. You can also search for her name on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to connect!



    00:00:34.560 –> 00:00:46.140 Joseph McElroy: howdy welcome to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the great smoky mountain National Park in the surrounding towns.

    00:00:46.530 –> 00:00:55.020 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:00:55.350 –> 00:01:06.870 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains My family has lived in the great smokies for over 200 years my business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

    00:01:07.410 –> 00:01:14.190 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re going to talk about masterful stories of the smokies but first let’s talk about our sponsors.

    00:01:15.150 –> 00:01:26.400 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place evocative of a motor court of the past, a modern environment with a Chic Appalachian feels. A place for adventure and for relaxation.

    00:01:26.910 –> 00:01:35.370 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream grill the catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine wine and craft beers.

    00:01:35.910 –> 00:01:49.020 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place of old-time music and world cultural sounds, there is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley North Carolina. Your smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

    00:01:50.310 –> 00:01:58.860 Joseph McElroy: and other sponsors smokiesadventure.com at smokies plural adventure singular dot com smoky mountains and surrounding areas.

    00:01:59.250 –> 00:02:09.240 Joseph McElroy: It is a vacation destination for all seasons, some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment can be found, right here.

    00:02:09.870 –> 00:02:21.300 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure.com to explore all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountains National Park, the trails the waterfalls, caves Code, the elk, and more.

    00:02:21.750 –> 00:02:34.890 Joseph McElroy: check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment and lodging you and your entire family can enjoy and also find places to do life events like weddings and honeymoons and romantic weekends.

    00:02:35.400 –> 00:02:42.570 Joseph McElroy: The goal of smokies adventures is to become the leading information portal for adventures and experiences and the great smoky mountains.

    00:02:43.980 –> 00:02:56.130 Joseph McElroy: got some events coming up, by the way, this is my first podcast now as a resident again of North Carolina my family and I just moved to Asheville North Carolina so work at the gateway the smokies.

    00:02:57.660 –> 00:03:03.750 Joseph McElroy: and looking forward to exploring the smokies even further now being both in Buncombe County and Haywood County

    00:03:05.430 –> 00:03:12.150 Joseph McElroy: So that’s events coming up is this coming weekend June 11 there’s gonna be a Pottery Seminar with Cory Plott.

    00:03:12.720 –> 00:03:18.240 Joseph McElroy: he’s a master potter and he’s the Owner and Operator Plott Ware Pottery of Clyde North Carolina.

    00:03:18.840 –> 00:03:29.100 Joseph McElroy: And he brings his mobile studio to our resort to teach participants and to make that to make their own piece of handcrafted pottery you’ll walk away with a piece of pottery.

    00:03:29.670 –> 00:03:40.530 Joseph McElroy: He will also be selling some of his award-winning elegant and durable utilitarian decor at the event, this weekend I just saw some wonderful wine to canvas you made that we’re just fabulous.

    00:03:41.700 –> 00:03:53.640 Joseph McElroy: But you will get hands-on experience with a master craftsman and then you’ll make your own pottery class limited to 20 participants and it’s 65 for each non-guest and 20 for the.

    00:03:54.510 –> 00:04:08.040 Joseph McElroy: 25 for motel guests and heritage club members and then over the afterward will be a free Barbecue dinner and music with Michael Ogletree book your slot now call 82 89261717.

    00:04:09.030 –> 00:04:26.730 Joseph McElroy: On June 18 the following weekend there’s going to be a part four of the heritage book series of Bob Plott and it’s free for guests and members and so please join us for yet another informative entertaining and fun afternoon of his history, food, and music.

    00:04:28.200 –> 00:04:35.220 Joseph McElroy: With award-winning Author and Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center General Manager Bob Plott, discusses his fourth book.

    00:04:35.550 –> 00:04:47.790 Joseph McElroy: Colorful Characters of the Great Smoky Mountains  weaves the lively stories of vibrant and intriguing characters such as the Cherokee chiefs Yonaguska,

    00:04:48.450 –> 00:05:00.150 Joseph McElroy: Oconostota, Dragging Canoe and their allies such as John Watts, along with their combatants—Robert Rogers, Quintin Kennedy, King Haigler, the Stockbridge Mohicans, Francis Marion, and others,

    00:05:00.540 –> 00:05:06.720 Joseph McElroy: as well as modern-day mountain icons such as Von Plott, Charles Miller, and Earl Lanning.

    00:05:07.200 –> 00:05:14.640 Joseph McElroy: It will be followed by a book signing and a delicious Barbecue dinner as well, and a company with acoustic music right Mike Ogletree and friends.

    00:05:14.970 –> 00:05:23.250 Joseph McElroy: The event is free to motel guests and Heritage Club members—there is an admission charge of ten dollars per person for all that are not staying there.

    00:05:25.320 –> 00:05:30.180 Joseph McElroy: And then August 6th is the Launch of the Cherokee Heritage Series with Davy Arch.

    00:05:31.170 –> 00:05:36.900 Joseph McElroy: Please join us in spending an intimate and enchanting afternoon with a tree true Appalachian treasure, Davy Arch.

    00:05:37.710 –> 00:05:44.910 Joseph McElroy: Davy is a world-class Cherokee tribal is storing and award-winning craftsman of traditional Cherokee crafts.

    00:05:45.330 –> 00:05:52.380 Joseph McElroy: specifically masks and baskets and he’s a beloved spokesman for the Eastern band of the Cherokee tribe.

    00:05:52.860 –> 00:06:04.410 Joseph McElroy: The event will be followed by the Barbecue dinner and music with Michael Ogletree and Friends. Admission is $20 per person, for all these events call eight to 89261717 to reserve your seat now.

    00:06:05.640 –> 00:06:13.740 Joseph McElroy: Today we have a great guest, who knows a lot about Cherokee culture and stories in these mountains her name is Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle

    00:06:14.250 –> 00:06:25.140 Joseph McElroy: She is a renowned author writer and educator and is a graduate of Yale University and William and Mary as well as an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Tribe.

    00:06:25.830 –> 00:06:37.710 Joseph McElroy: Her award-winning debut novel Even as we breathe, was the first novel published by a member of the eastern band of the Cherokee tribe, and his name or the best books of 2020 by the.

    00:06:38.370 –> 00:06:54.300 Joseph McElroy: NPR and that resides with their family in Qualla North Carolina, which is in in the Cherokee reservation and as an avid mountain bikers well as a staunch advocate for equal rights education Cherokee history hello, and how are you doing.

    00:06:54.900 –> 00:06:57.540 Annette Clapsaddle: I’m good I’m great to be here with you.

    00:06:58.110 –> 00:07:05.610 Joseph McElroy: Well, thank you for it’s quite an honor to have you join us today you have a you have an interesting history and an impressive resume.

    00:07:06.000 –> 00:07:15.750 Joseph McElroy: And all of a sudden, you get all sorts of awards for your writing so that’s pretty spectacular, but I wanted to start first with your background, you were born and raised in the smokies, right?

    00:07:16.440 –> 00:07:21.660 Annette Clapsaddle: that’s right I lived here all my life, except for undergraduate and graduate school.

    00:07:22.140 –> 00:07:27.870 Joseph McElroy: cool and you’ve been a member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee tribe for that your whole life too right.

    00:07:28.230 –> 00:07:29.220 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah born in to it.

    00:07:30.120 –> 00:07:36.990 Joseph McElroy: Born into it, you have some history that your grandfather Osley Saunooke was chief of the tribe, right?

    00:07:37.680 –> 00:07:49.710 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah it seems Osley Burke Saunooke and he was an Eastern Chief in the 50s and into the early 60s.

    00:07:51.990 –> 00:07:54.360 Annette Clapsaddle: fan, where he was not a cheap teacher.

    00:07:54.810 –> 00:08:08.130 Joseph McElroy: cool well, And he was quite an interesting character in his own right, an esteemed tribal chief, a former Marine, who started a thriving tourist business in 1956 that as I understand it, is still operational today. What was that business?

    00:08:09.720 –> 00:08:10.080 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah.

    00:08:12.180 –> 00:08:19.590 Annette Clapsaddle: Trading first, and so the land where that is and it’s also contiguous with kind of family land.

    00:08:20.670 –> 00:08:21.060 Annette Clapsaddle: That.

    00:08:22.170 –> 00:08:33.660 Annette Clapsaddle: That is home to cynics village so there are several shops there that kind of threw out of Chiefs in trading paste including to nicks millen shop that my dad built.

    00:08:34.890 –> 00:08:38.850 Joseph McElroy: cool well, it sounds like you to write about a book about him, you got any plans for that.

    00:08:41.340 –> 00:08:44.070 Annette Clapsaddle: I think we’re going to talk later about my first novel and.

    00:08:48.210 –> 00:08:57.990 Joseph McElroy:  Bob Plott, as I mentioned earlier, our Meadowlark Heritage Center Director says his relatives knew him well and hunted with him often and spoke glowingly of him.

    00:08:59.400 –> 00:09:00.810 Joseph McElroy: Did you know him as a child and.

    00:09:02.880 –> 00:09:05.370 Joseph McElroy: How did he influence you and your growth.

    00:09:06.210 –> 00:09:22.080 Annette Clapsaddle: Unfortunately I didn’t he died fairly young from complications to diabetes, so he passed away in 1965 at the age of 59 I was born in 81 so even my dad was fairly young.

    00:09:23.160 –> 00:09:39.930 Annette Clapsaddle: When my grandfather passed away but, honestly, was, in addition to being a to turn chief and a businessman, he was the heavyweight wrestling champion of the world, at one time, so he traveled the wrestling circuit.

    00:09:41.370 –> 00:09:43.740 Annette Clapsaddle: So he is incredibly fascinated.

    00:09:44.730 –> 00:09:46.590 Joseph McElroy: With the name from okay I.

    00:09:47.850 –> 00:09:56.820 Annette Clapsaddle: heard and like I’m sure Bob would say that everybody has a story about him whether it’s true or not, what.

    00:09:58.110 –> 00:10:02.940 Joseph McElroy: When they’re a bear museum there that had stuff for him as well, he.

    00:10:03.240 –> 00:10:03.900 At one paragraph.

    00:10:05.220 –> 00:10:08.970 Annette Clapsaddle: And yes, and that’s it same area yeah.

    00:10:09.780 –> 00:10:12.630 Joseph McElroy: He wrestled so he wrestled a bear I mean I’m sure it was for sure.

    00:10:17.130 –> 00:10:24.990 Joseph McElroy: You know in this in this in this neighborhood North Asheville where we moved in we get lots of bears I’ve already had two black bears in my backyard.

    00:10:26.850 –> 00:10:28.140 Annette Clapsaddle: wrestling and I don’t.

    00:10:30.210 –> 00:10:31.830 Joseph McElroy: i’m not planning on it, but.

    00:10:33.090 –> 00:10:36.360 Joseph McElroy: I will, I will say loud noises to them.

    00:10:39.660 –> 00:10:42.180 Joseph McElroy: So you’re your mother.

    00:10:43.590 –> 00:10:47.550 Joseph McElroy: your mother, who is this daughter was a teacher, which you are as well right.

    00:10:48.030 –> 00:10:54.390 Annette Clapsaddle: Well, so yes and no so my mother is not his daughter my dad was his son.

    00:10:54.510 –> 00:11:00.930 Annette Clapsaddle: Oh, I said Okay, but my mom was a teacher for several years.

    00:11:03.120 –> 00:11:14.010 Annette Clapsaddle: And my dad was building his business and getting started and then my mom went to help full time with the family business and snakes village.

    00:11:15.030 –> 00:11:24.300 Annette Clapsaddle: But she taught reading, and this was before I was born and didn’t really have click in with me that you know you can.

    00:11:24.690 –> 00:11:35.760 Annette Clapsaddle: You can be a teacher not be in a classroom, and so I think that she did in a lot of ways to influence me, even though I didn’t grow up knowing her as a classroom teacher cool.

    00:11:37.590 –> 00:11:40.380 Joseph McElroy: So you guys, did you work in the family businesses as well.

    00:11:41.010 –> 00:11:41.640 Annette Clapsaddle: Oh yes.

    00:11:43.830 –> 00:11:43.980 Annette Clapsaddle: I think.

    00:11:44.910 –> 00:11:47.700 Joseph McElroy: wanted to work in this I worked in this Meadowlark motel businesses.

    00:11:49.200 –> 00:11:49.830 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah.

    00:11:50.250 –> 00:11:53.430 Annette Clapsaddle: As long as we can see over the counter we were hired.

    00:11:53.940 –> 00:11:56.280 Joseph McElroy: Right I got paid the.

    00:11:56.280 –> 00:11:58.080 Joseph McElroy: diamond room to clean rooms.

    00:12:02.220 –> 00:12:04.110 Annette Clapsaddle: got paid a bag of popcorn.

    00:12:09.300 –> 00:12:12.150 Joseph McElroy: Did that inspire you with his entrepreneurial activities.

    00:12:12.750 –> 00:12:16.110 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah you know I’m always inspired by my dad and.

    00:12:16.710 –> 00:12:23.490 Annette Clapsaddle: And yeah, I think, to be an entrepreneur is you know you have to be willing to take risks, so I don’t feel like I’ve been.

    00:12:24.120 –> 00:12:33.090 Annette Clapsaddle: there yet, but I can take some of the same risks that he’s taken throughout his life, it really turned out to be worth it, and but there’s a creativity to it.

    00:12:34.080 –> 00:12:48.300 Annette Clapsaddle: That I have appreciated and I think I have picked up a little bit at least have that from him and I’m laughing myself because my dad was above me and lives in the House of the Hill and.

    00:12:49.740 –> 00:13:05.940 Annette Clapsaddle: And we my son and I were just helping him move a major piece of equipment in a really peculiar precarious way and that kind of and I, you know there’s something that small business owners that want to do it themselves for the cheapest route possible.

    00:13:07.530 –> 00:13:21.150 Joseph McElroy: I had that imbued with me, but you know until I got into my 50s I did all my moves myself, you know that includes all the heavy furniture, but I can remember, sometimes having a pickup truck with things so pile though so high.

    00:13:22.200 –> 00:13:24.840 Joseph McElroy: I think, and this is a New York City, no less, and things.

    00:13:25.470 –> 00:13:30.000 Joseph McElroy: You know, getting ready to fall off, but you know that was just the way you did things right.

    00:13:32.160 –> 00:13:41.970 Joseph McElroy: That that was the life of the entrepreneur and the children of the entrepreneur, well, we have to go back and go and take a break, now that seems very quick, but we.

    00:13:42.660 –> 00:13:48.750 Joseph McElroy: we’re having a good conversation here, so when we come back we’ll start talking about a little bit more about your background and then get into your books.

    00:13:49.590 –> 00:13:50.190 Annette Clapsaddle: sounds great.

    00:16:06.270 –> 00:16:23.970 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guests Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle today is a today’s a craft brewery from Western North Carolina is boozer but it’s the king of the mountain double IPA and I can recommend that highly.

    00:16:25.620 –> 00:16:26.190 Annette Clapsaddle: victory.

    00:16:27.120 –> 00:16:28.140 Annette Clapsaddle: Right yeah.

    00:16:28.500 –> 00:16:39.210 Joseph McElroy: So that you have this great you had this great family and tribal support system and you became an honor student and then off you go to Yale University to get your bachelor’s degree—right?

    00:16:40.410 –> 00:16:45.960 Joseph McElroy: Were you one of the first students from the Smokies to get an Ivy League education?

    00:16:46.530 –> 00:16:52.290 Annette Clapsaddle: And there were a few before me did had Ivy league education and.

    00:16:53.550 –> 00:17:08.310 Annette Clapsaddle: I know that there was a gentleman who had graduated from Dartmouth and there’s a Tribal Member, and then a couple that I think we had gotten graduate degrees, maybe one undergraduate from Harvard I believe.

    00:17:09.060 –> 00:17:17.700 Annette Clapsaddle: don’t hold me to it, but I believe that was the first Eastern band undergraduate at Yale, but I’m so happy to say that.

    00:17:19.020 –> 00:17:30.060 Annette Clapsaddle: Several has followed and after me, some and that just sent off one of my seniors and this year should be going to Yale in the fall.

    00:17:30.570 –> 00:17:45.120 Joseph McElroy: fabulous that’s great no that’s always good you know dispel that hillbilly stereotyping I I got to do a little bit of that myself I got to leave here and go to go to what the school system here in Haywood county got to go to Duke.

    00:17:46.260 –> 00:17:47.310 Joseph McElroy: yeah so.

    00:17:47.760 –> 00:17:53.190 Joseph McElroy: But you know it can be done in this in this remote wilderness, so to speak.

    00:17:55.290 –> 00:17:58.560 Joseph McElroy: And then you went to you got your master’s degree at William and Mary.

    00:17:59.100 –> 00:17:59.790 Joseph McElroy: And you.

    00:17:59.850 –> 00:18:06.720 Joseph McElroy: and could probably have gotten a great job in any major city in the world, but yet you chose to come back home to the Smokies—why?

    00:18:07.350 –> 00:18:25.410 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah you know I did think for a short time about you know public policy in DC or something like that, but and I always tell people that you know so many people work their whole lives, so they can retire to this area, why don’t I just start from the beginning.

    00:18:26.610 –> 00:18:33.990 Annette Clapsaddle: there’s no point wasting time it is beautiful and certainly many family connections here.

    00:18:35.340 –> 00:18:47.280 Annette Clapsaddle: My husband is also from this area as well he’s from swine county so I just had so many routes here and I didn’t you know I’ve traveled my whole life I don’t feel like I.

    00:18:49.020 –> 00:18:51.060 Annette Clapsaddle: was afraid to live anywhere else.

    00:18:52.170 –> 00:18:56.550 Annette Clapsaddle: But it’s just such a beautiful place to be I like this face of it.

    00:18:58.110 –> 00:19:01.980 Annette Clapsaddle: And you know I want to raise my kids here.

    00:19:02.730 –> 00:19:07.050 Joseph McElroy: yeah well you got you did your

    00:19:08.040 –> 00:19:17.250 Joseph McElroy: Working and business and things and public policy or the Executive Director of the Cherokee preservation Foundation and the co-editor of the journal.

    00:19:17.670 –> 00:19:24.840 Joseph McElroy: Of Cherokee studies, but then you took your master’s and your Ivy league degree and you became a teacher was the teacher for 11 years in high school.

    00:19:26.370 –> 00:19:26.760 Joseph McElroy: wasn’t.

    00:19:28.140 –> 00:19:30.540 Joseph McElroy: That was an interesting choice what made that choice have.

    00:19:31.800 –> 00:19:45.240 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah so well I just completed my 12th year there was a little bit of a break, there were loud, while I was at the foundation, but I’ve known since I was little that I wanted to be a teacher I’m not exactly sure why.

    00:19:47.430 –> 00:20:01.230 Annette Clapsaddle: But we had a garden out in front of our house and they’re the really big rocks different places in the garden, and so I made one of the biggest rocks was a teacher’s desk and then they were student desk rocks.

    00:20:02.640 –> 00:20:09.300 Annette Clapsaddle: So my brother he’s three years older than me went off to school to you know kindergarten and.

    00:20:09.870 –> 00:20:24.570 Annette Clapsaddle: How is playing school in our garden there’s been something about teaching since I was little and that’s interested me but I’ve also been so blessed with incredible incredible teachers throughout my life.

    00:20:25.650 –> 00:20:31.770 Annette Clapsaddle: You know, public I was a public school student kindergarten through high school.

    00:20:31.980 –> 00:20:33.330 Annette Clapsaddle: Meeting yes.

    00:20:34.560 –> 00:20:47.370 Annette Clapsaddle: And just had phenomenal teachers and I wanted to be like the English teachers, I had who always encouraged my creativity and writing.

    00:20:47.850 –> 00:20:54.480 Joseph McElroy: I saw a quote where you in a magazine, where you said, the best thing to do with a world-class education is to share it.

    00:20:55.050 –> 00:20:55.980 Annette Clapsaddle: Yes, so.

    00:20:56.280 –> 00:20:59.640 Annette Clapsaddle: The Director of the teacher prep program at Yale.

    00:21:00.810 –> 00:21:04.710 Annette Clapsaddle: is responsible for that quote because I stepped down to the campus.

    00:21:05.730 –> 00:21:11.340 Annette Clapsaddle: At Yale new haven Connecticut and my mom is with me revisiting and.

    00:21:12.630 –> 00:21:30.090 Annette Clapsaddle: We were introduced to the director of the teacher prep program and my mom who is very practical looked at him and says why would she go to Yale to become a teacher and he said that’s, the best thing you can do with a world-class education.

    00:21:31.770 –> 00:21:33.510 Annette Clapsaddle: Today and my mom was, like all right good.

    00:21:34.800 –> 00:21:46.830 Joseph McElroy: yo there you go wow so, but now you also started writing, and in fact, in 2012 years sort of had a little success at it when did you first start writing?

    00:21:47.760 –> 00:22:05.970 Annette Clapsaddle: I read in my whole life, and you know I as I again I had these great teachers, so I still have these books that we made an elementary school out of you know cardboard and lined paper that we would take together and.

    00:22:07.080 –> 00:22:11.040 Annette Clapsaddle: I think my first writing contest was.

    00:22:13.230 –> 00:22:15.780 Annette Clapsaddle: It was either late middle school early.

    00:22:18.060 –> 00:22:20.490 Annette Clapsaddle: High School i’m actually i’m looking at.

    00:22:21.690 –> 00:22:34.860 Annette Clapsaddle: Night so my dad got me this very present I’m looking at a framed check and this is the first time I got paid for it my writing and because it was the first time I want a writing contest it happened big poetry which not my thing.

    00:22:35.910 –> 00:22:38.550 Annette Clapsaddle: But the date on the check is 1995.

    00:22:39.780 –> 00:22:47.910 Annette Clapsaddle: Freshman year I guess of high school is, I guess, if you know if you’re entering contests you’re getting a little serious about it.

    00:22:48.930 –> 00:22:52.050 Joseph McElroy: let’s go see you are, you are actually very serious early on.

    00:22:52.530 –> 00:23:00.330 Joseph McElroy: yeah that’s pretty cool and then you continue it, I mean a lot of people have the romance of being a writer, but don’t follow through.

    00:23:00.840 –> 00:23:09.300 Joseph McElroy: it’s nice Now I understand you know you’re you know you’ve been writing on the side because you’re a teacher but you’ve been using your experiences.

    00:23:09.960 –> 00:23:19.980 Joseph McElroy: Such as manuscripts as submissions finding agent rejects and notice, etc, with your so you’ve been sharing those experiences with your students why Why are you doing that?

    00:23:20.370 –> 00:23:24.120 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah well rejections a great teacher and I had plenty of it.

    00:23:27.090 –> 00:23:27.810 Annette Clapsaddle: You know, I think.

    00:23:29.010 –> 00:23:41.040 Annette Clapsaddle: my goal as a teacher is to one create empathy through literature, but also a sense of resilience in the writing process so.

    00:23:42.900 –> 00:23:57.780 Annette Clapsaddle: you know I tried to balance, as she lives her, I was teaching and writing and then I realized how much I was learning as a student of literature, through my own process as a writer, so I.

    00:23:59.700 –> 00:24:13.950 Annette Clapsaddle: Would talk to students about what does a query letter look like and what’s important to share, about a story, you know that I’m trying to pitch or whatnot and about the mistakes, I would make.

    00:24:15.060 –> 00:24:23.880 Annette Clapsaddle: And, and how to overcome them and they love that you know their teachers, making mistakes like this.

    00:24:25.530 –> 00:24:26.610 Annette Clapsaddle: But also.

    00:24:29.010 –> 00:24:38.580 Annette Clapsaddle: As you know, there are really like two cohorts of students that went through the process of the novel and it was so exciting to

    00:24:39.210 –> 00:24:54.630 Annette Clapsaddle: And yeah I told them I would get an email from an agent, this is early on, and then I query you know I would say okay guys, I have an email in my inbox I haven’t read it, yet here we go and I would read it to you know.

    00:24:55.980 –> 00:24:56.940 Annette Clapsaddle: They want to know.

    00:24:59.580 –> 00:25:17.370 Annette Clapsaddle: The classic got to witness the publication process that means, and that was a very special time and then they went through the editing process with me and with you know, not everything, but to say Okay, do you see this, this is just one page of edits.

    00:25:18.510 –> 00:25:29.520 Annette Clapsaddle: Do it for them to understand it that’s part of it and then, then, of course, this last class and they think they want to go on book tour with me.

    00:25:33.180 –> 00:25:37.770 Annette Clapsaddle: Right yeah publicity endemic because that’s what they’ve gotten.

    00:25:37.830 –> 00:25:49.320 Annette Clapsaddle: to witness and they’ve been a part of some of my like zoom calls and whatnot and especially with the University of it’s a good experience for them.

    00:25:50.160 –> 00:25:59.790 Joseph McElroy: it’s nice to make your life part of the education process, I understand that your kids now have your know ambitions to be world-class or whatever they do right.

    00:26:00.300 –> 00:26:05.370 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah then it’s possible that they know somebody it becomes normalized for them and.

    00:26:07.200 –> 00:26:11.400 Joseph McElroy: normalizes normalizing education normalizing success, I mean.

    00:26:11.820 –> 00:26:18.390 Joseph McElroy: That you know I talked about where people follow the patterns of success right when they see patterns that are successful.

    00:26:18.660 –> 00:26:31.560 Joseph McElroy: They will naturally start replicating those right and it’s important for children to see those I think it’s a wonderful thing to show them that process, you know firsthand well I can’t my tip my hat to you that’s great.

    00:26:33.540 –> 00:26:40.200 Joseph McElroy: So I mentioned before, I think, in 2012 your first manuscript won an award that was never published, can you tell us what that was and.

    00:26:41.220 –> 00:26:43.140 Joseph McElroy: Why I didn’t publish and that sort of thing.

    00:26:43.470 –> 00:26:54.960 Annette Clapsaddle: So the title of that was going to water, and it was a finalist for him bellwether for is essentially engaged fiction and then one a couple of other awards but.

    00:26:56.160 –> 00:27:07.770 Annette Clapsaddle: It is the fictionalized story of my grandfather asked listening, but I changed names and whatnot to protect the innocent and the reasons.

    00:27:08.100 –> 00:27:22.470 Annette Clapsaddle: And you know, besides the fact he did the fascinating character, as I mentioned earlier, I never really felt like I’d know the full truth of who he was until I decided to make up, who I thought he would be.

    00:27:24.120 –> 00:27:36.270 Annette Clapsaddle: How he might react to the situation, so I use a lot of the facts from his life and but you know it is still fiction I don’t want to make my aunts and uncles mad at me, sir.

    00:27:38.550 –> 00:27:56.400 Annette Clapsaddle: But you know it got close to publication a few times and I just I was trying to find an agent who understood that voice of where I come from that initial man Cherokees very different than other tribes and never really could quite connect with the right agent.

    00:27:56.490 –> 00:27:59.100 Annette Clapsaddle: So it’s challenge for now.

    00:27:59.850 –> 00:28:19.110 Joseph McElroy: I think I think it’d make a wonderful movie or play or something like that, so now his life was yeah it’s got all those adventure wrestling business chief, and you know that’d be cool alright, so we have to take another break and we’ll get into your book alright.

    00:28:19.590 –> 00:28:20.370 Annette Clapsaddle: Alright sounds great.

    00:30:26.700 –> 00:30:34.140 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the smokies podcast my guest Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle.

    00:30:35.400 –> 00:30:41.880 Joseph McElroy: So in that you’ve also written from any national publications, such as the Atlanta and literature hub and.

    00:30:42.270 –> 00:30:49.020 Joseph McElroy: what’s your real breakthrough was their debut novel even as we breathe, which came out in the middle of covid in 2020.

    00:30:49.500 –> 00:31:02.370 Joseph McElroy: And NPR put it on us best bet best books list and then later won the Thomas Wolfe literary award so congratulations that’s great so what inspired you to run right this wonderful now?

    00:31:03.210 –> 00:31:15.570 Annette Clapsaddle: So I’m a few things kind of came together again and the most significant was that I had read an article in Nashville SIS and times.

    00:31:16.530 –> 00:31:23.970 Annette Clapsaddle: about the role the growth park plays in World War Two, the summer of 19 and actually.

    00:31:24.390 –> 00:31:35.820 Annette Clapsaddle: It was that article is really that actual role and during World War Two and there was a small paragraph about the growth parks role and during that time and so.

    00:31:36.600 –> 00:31:50.460 Annette Clapsaddle: You know, it said that the growth part held access and diplomats and foreign nationals are prisoners of war, the summer of 1942 and, as you mentioned earlier I’ve lived here my entire life and I had never heard that his.

    00:31:50.760 –> 00:31:51.810 Joseph McElroy: motive either yeah.

    00:31:52.710 –> 00:31:54.060 Annette Clapsaddle: And a lot of the people.

    00:31:55.410 –> 00:31:56.160 Annette Clapsaddle: Who.

    00:31:56.400 –> 00:31:56.850 Annette Clapsaddle: You know.

    00:31:57.390 –> 00:32:06.120 Annette Clapsaddle: A lot of local the stories that are that’s where my husband is a former history teacher they were also not familiar.

    00:32:06.480 –> 00:32:12.150 Annette Clapsaddle: With that history so that’s enough of a mystery, and for me to dig into a little bit more.

    00:32:12.720 –> 00:32:22.650 Annette Clapsaddle: And so I’d also given myself a writing prompt and this is after like the first novel I couldn’t get published and I just was going to start something new.

    00:32:23.040 –> 00:32:31.380 Annette Clapsaddle: And so I’ve given myself a writing prompt right as long as I possibly could and on the simplest object, I could think of.

    00:32:31.800 –> 00:32:48.030 Annette Clapsaddle: me some reason, I chose a bone a clean bone and I worked for a very long time in a very tiny room in the Jackson county library in Sylva North Carolina, and out of that piece and really thinking about.

    00:32:49.800 –> 00:33:02.160 Annette Clapsaddle: You know what we leave behind and and and how we are judged on earth and how those things are often counter counter-intuitive right and.

    00:33:02.940 –> 00:33:21.030 Annette Clapsaddle: I decided that I wanted to see what would happen if I took a member of a sovereign nation so county sequoia is the protagonist who lives, who leaves Cherokee to go work at the grove park in and forgets the don’t know the growth part is.

    00:33:22.230 –> 00:33:33.510 Annette Clapsaddle: A very high-class resort so President stays there girl said, you know, instead of counting guys to work there is a very different.

    00:33:33.960 –> 00:33:48.510 Annette Clapsaddle: and social environment but it’s also during wartime so this question of citizenship and belonging in place all becomes really relevant so and it was a really a setting driven novel.

    00:33:49.020 –> 00:33:55.950 Annette Clapsaddle: which seems odd to me to write you know and but it made a lot of sense and to really kind of turn up the heat.

    00:33:57.120 –> 00:33:57.480 Annette Clapsaddle: Like.

    00:33:57.810 –> 00:34:00.420 Joseph McElroy: That doesn’t strike me as odd about you, I mean you.

    00:34:00.480 –> 00:34:01.080 Joseph McElroy: You love.

    00:34:01.170 –> 00:34:07.650 Joseph McElroy: The settings of the mountains, you came back to live in it, you know I think settings is actually something that is is important to you.

    00:34:08.250 –> 00:34:12.810 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah absolutely and daily inspired.

    00:34:13.830 –> 00:34:33.030 Annette Clapsaddle: By where I live, and the people of this place and in our interactions with this place, so I you know I just I think prior to that I always thought well novels are you like plot-driven or the character-driven but this setting really kind of exploded into the narrative.

    00:34:34.050 –> 00:34:51.180 Joseph McElroy: So it takes place in 1942 and it’s interesting you deal with you know, a love story coming age story now I’ve you know I’ve just started the novel you know I just moved to Asheville but you know we move new near to the growth park in.

    00:34:53.190 –> 00:35:03.840 Joseph McElroy: And yeah Bob Bob was telling me about you and I got the book and I’ve started writing, but I had a lot of time to finish it, so I don’t know all of it but Bob it says it’s a masterpiece or a.

    00:35:06.840 –> 00:35:16.020 Joseph McElroy: History Western North Carolina and I believe he’s very good at that sort of thing but it’s interesting already that I’m seeing you’re also dealing with issues of citizenship.

    00:35:16.380 –> 00:35:30.450 Joseph McElroy: Identity and racism, all the concepts that we’re debating and dealing with today, was that purposeful or came about just from the characters and setting.

    00:35:31.440 –> 00:35:42.720 Annette Clapsaddle: In some ways, it was purposeful, and even from the earliest writing exercise thinking about the phone and he reminded me of when I worked in.

    00:35:43.800 –> 00:35:54.840 Annette Clapsaddle: Our chief’s office at one time after graduate school as a writer, I was lucky enough to have the office right next door to a political figure.

    00:35:56.760 –> 00:35:57.960 Annette Clapsaddle: Because I could hear through the wall.

    00:36:01.530 –> 00:36:11.520 Annette Clapsaddle: Remember, one day, and he had open another local politician, the nontribal politician come in and they were discussing this.

    00:36:12.240 –> 00:36:25.500 Annette Clapsaddle: Expansion of airport runway that would unearth Cherokee burial sites and I remember, they were obviously at odds about what was about what.

    00:36:26.160 –> 00:36:37.560 Annette Clapsaddle: this would happen and the chief explained to him that it is the same as going up to the graveyard and digging up that man’s grandmother.

    00:36:37.860 –> 00:36:53.820 Annette Clapsaddle: And I’d never heard it explained so simply, is that right that we are oftentimes people think, and as native American bones as artifacts as opposed to you know the human remains that we consider.

    00:36:55.020 –> 00:37:16.500 Annette Clapsaddle: Members, so I think you know early on, I was thinking about the political and racial and Aafia implications of this story, but just that and I didn’t really consider that I was writing historical fiction until I was working on the marketing packet for my publisher.

    00:37:19.020 –> 00:37:20.100 Annette Clapsaddle: Oh, this is his story.

    00:37:22.950 –> 00:37:35.040 Annette Clapsaddle: But it does feel so relevant to me so many of the issues, unfortunately, are still relevant today and I wanted to use them as a lens to look at those issues that are in the news today.

    00:37:36.000 –> 00:37:44.790 Joseph McElroy: wow when you also wrote, both from the male and female perspective, and I think that that takes a little bit of talent, how did you nail that.

    00:37:45.630 –> 00:37:53.820 Annette Clapsaddle: Well yeah I often get asked about your writing from a young male perspective, and then I remind people that I taught high school for a dozen years.

    00:37:55.800 –> 00:37:59.370 Annette Clapsaddle: diet and have an older brother and I grew up with.

    00:37:59.880 –> 00:38:07.710 Annette Clapsaddle: You know male cousins I have two boys that I’m raising you to know I’m really I’ve been inundated.

    00:38:08.760 –> 00:38:09.570 Annette Clapsaddle: With a male.

    00:38:09.960 –> 00:38:17.190 Annette Clapsaddle: voice in perspective but, and you know also want to be respectful that I’m doing it accurately so.

    00:38:18.000 –> 00:38:25.410 Joseph McElroy: I think it’s I think that your interaction with your students, has been a tremendous benefit for you in terms of writing and then I’ve seen some of the.

    00:38:26.190 –> 00:38:34.590 Joseph McElroy: Reference things I love the story of your student who’s on a zoom call with some new Yorkers and references prep his preference pronoun is yours.

    00:38:37.170 –> 00:38:37.890 Annette Clapsaddle: story.

    00:38:39.600 –> 00:38:42.630 Annette Clapsaddle: We were very rural hospital.

    00:38:43.980 –> 00:38:53.850 Annette Clapsaddle: Family in the mountains and were paired with Fieldston in New York City, which some of your listeners may be familiar with a private school.

    00:38:55.560 –> 00:39:11.490 Annette Clapsaddle: And you know the New York kids were like automated that they gave their pronouns and in our students, this was a few years ago to were taken aback when that question came up on this thing called.

    00:39:14.130 –> 00:39:16.620 Annette Clapsaddle: This kid he just said, my pronouns y’all.

    00:39:19.980 –> 00:39:20.670 Joseph McElroy: hey good.

    00:39:22.530 –> 00:39:22.980 Joseph McElroy: Good.

    00:39:27.270 –> 00:39:29.520 Joseph McElroy: Well that’s great, so I think that’s.

    00:39:31.140 –> 00:39:35.460 Joseph McElroy: I think that says a lot about she was a great writer and as a teacher that your students are.

    00:39:37.590 –> 00:39:54.480 Joseph McElroy: letters are you know that are really involved and really able to you’ve really educated them to deal with the society, and you know and they’ve been helped you bring that into your writing so congratulations I think that’s that is the definition of success, I think.

    00:39:56.010 –> 00:40:10.200 Joseph McElroy: So life is going great for you and you’ve been a great teacher for over a decade living your dream in the smokies with your husband who’s also a teacher and your sons and your debut is a huge success.

    00:40:11.940 –> 00:40:17.010 Joseph McElroy: This year you’ve sort of turned things upside down, did you decide to retire from teaching.

    00:40:18.810 –> 00:40:20.730 Joseph McElroy: Writing and family and other projects.

    00:40:21.150 –> 00:40:24.030 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah my husband says, I can’t use the word retire.

    00:40:25.530 –> 00:40:26.070 Joseph McElroy: Okay.

    00:40:26.370 –> 00:40:28.920 Annette Clapsaddle: not officially retired and no.

    00:40:31.110 –> 00:40:45.090 Annette Clapsaddle: It was a tough decision, I really do love teaching I love my students, and but I, you know the book came out in 2020 and since then it’s been a full sprint just with and.

    00:40:45.900 –> 00:40:56.310 Annette Clapsaddle: publicity for the book and then it’s led to other opportunity writing opportunities public speaking teaching workshops and you know I don’t want.

    00:40:56.820 –> 00:41:10.260 Annette Clapsaddle: You know I guess it came down to a decision, and then I would have to choose one or the other, I cannot keep up the pace of full-time teaching and pursuing writing you know you get the next novel out.

    00:41:11.730 –> 00:41:24.030 Annette Clapsaddle: as well, and you know if you are in education or you know anyone in education, you know that the last few years have been incredibly difficult and there.

    00:41:24.540 –> 00:41:34.770 Annette Clapsaddle: For me, there was not an end in sight to that to that difficulty of being a public school teacher it’s just kind of getting harder and harder.

    00:41:35.310 –> 00:41:47.340 Annette Clapsaddle: And and and you know I don’t like to be pessimistic about it because I want to encourage people and but I can’t do it in it yeah just couldn’t do it anymore if I wanted to continue writing.

    00:41:48.510 –> 00:41:55.500 Annette Clapsaddle: You know, it is about time but it’s also just about like brain space and energy and excuse me to put.

    00:41:56.880 –> 00:42:00.810 Joseph McElroy: it’s a real shame that you have to be at the forefront of cultural wars.

    00:42:01.440 –> 00:42:05.550 Joseph McElroy: Right in school that’s just not fair to the public, teachers, yes.

    00:42:07.680 –> 00:42:14.100 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah and it’s really a misplaced fear that somehow you’re you know you’re destroying our children is.

    00:42:14.100 –> 00:42:15.570 Annette Clapsaddle: ridiculous yeah.

    00:42:19.020 –> 00:42:19.800 Annette Clapsaddle: I couldn’t do it.

    00:42:21.450 –> 00:42:27.330 Joseph McElroy: I mean the bane of my existence and people can throw darts at me and want it, but I hate homeschooling.

    00:42:27.840 –> 00:42:41.940 Joseph McElroy: I met too many people that are like not even high school graduates are homeschooling their kids I’m saying homeschooling to be what you know it’s like yeah yeah you’re going to do more damage than me, you know train teacher with that sorry I’m.

    00:42:42.270 –> 00:42:43.200 Annette Clapsaddle: i’m being a little political.

    00:42:43.440 –> 00:42:45.180 Joseph McElroy: don’t generally do about this issue.

    00:42:45.570 –> 00:43:02.940 Joseph McElroy: yeah since I got three and a half-year-old twins that got to go through you know life your schooling I’m I am yeah I understand where you’re coming from and I appreciate the work that you did, and I can also understand you know, taking the opportunity to retire from that.

    00:43:07.470 –> 00:43:12.570 Joseph McElroy: So we’re gonna take a break now and come back and find out what you’re doing next and talk a little bit about mountain bike.

    00:45:15.780 –> 00:45:29.940 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies these podcasts and my guest Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, so Annette, what’s next for you as a writer you’re working on a new book right Is it based on.

    00:45:30.960 –> 00:45:37.170 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah absolutely and I’ve been working on one for a little while now, but again I had to put it aside.

    00:45:38.100 –> 00:45:53.160 Annette Clapsaddle: For the full-time job but um yeah this next novel is contemporary was a female protagonist set in Cherokee so it’s pretty close to home, I got to make sure I stay far enough back from it.

    00:45:54.570 –> 00:45:55.050 Annette Clapsaddle: But.

    00:45:57.030 –> 00:46:00.150 Annette Clapsaddle: I am fairly early in the process, but it’s.

    00:46:01.470 –> 00:46:20.700 Annette Clapsaddle: kind of being it’s inspired by some of our traditional stories it’s not a retelling of those stories, but I have mine those for the values that they instill in our culture and I’m kind of overlaying it on a contemporary and political landscape and cheer up that way.

    00:46:22.320 –> 00:46:23.730 Annette Clapsaddle: So that’s what I’m working on.

    00:46:24.480 –> 00:46:26.400 Joseph McElroy: Your First Non historical fiction.

    00:46:28.500 –> 00:46:29.460 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah exactly.

    00:46:31.980 –> 00:46:34.080 Annette Clapsaddle: The time he ruined may be historical.

    00:46:37.230 –> 00:46:40.590 Joseph McElroy: These will suck to the years of the crisis.

    00:46:42.900 –> 00:46:45.960 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah because in here and now back to rethink.

    00:46:47.010 –> 00:46:49.470 Annette Clapsaddle: Whether you know how could this plays into this.

    00:46:50.070 –> 00:46:51.990 Joseph McElroy: Is covid character yeah.

    00:46:52.260 –> 00:46:54.510 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah so I have to do a lot of.

    00:46:55.920 –> 00:47:02.700 Annette Clapsaddle: nonfiction writing for regional magazines and things like that and I’m a.

    00:47:03.810 –> 00:47:18.840 Annette Clapsaddle: An editor for the Appalachian future series and through the university press of Kentucky so stay pretty busy with different writing projects, but the main one that forces me that focus on the new novel.

    00:47:20.190 –> 00:47:24.630 Joseph McElroy: that’s great and are you doing, are you doing how are things like workshops and.

    00:47:25.110 –> 00:47:26.100 Annette Clapsaddle: Yes, yes.

    00:47:26.430 –> 00:47:33.390 Annette Clapsaddle: cool yeah I think it’s nice to be able to continue to teach and even though I’ll be out of.

    00:47:34.770 –> 00:47:44.850 Annette Clapsaddle: A public high school right so teaching workshops actually leave Friday and for.

    00:47:46.050 –> 00:47:47.370 Annette Clapsaddle: LMU for.

    00:47:48.720 –> 00:48:01.590 Annette Clapsaddle: For the festival there I’ll be teaching workshops and then I’ll be teaching a full week at John C Campbell folks school in Brasstown and North Carolina starting Sunday so.

    00:48:01.980 –> 00:48:09.570 Joseph McElroy: That Bob’s been trying to put together a literary conference here, I hope you participate in that that’d be you’d be a wonderful part of it yeah.

    00:48:11.010 –> 00:48:17.010 Joseph McElroy: That should be good so so I want to talk about you are my mountain biking.

    00:48:19.050 –> 00:48:23.040 Joseph McElroy: enthusiastic yeah, what do you like most about that sport.

    00:48:24.420 –> 00:48:34.800 Annette Clapsaddle: um well I like being in the middle of the woods and feeling very isolated from everything but also going super fast.

    00:48:39.720 –> 00:48:53.610 Annette Clapsaddle: superfast downhill and it’s I think it’s because it is contradictory to how I normally am you know planner and I’m fairly cautious and.

    00:48:55.050 –> 00:48:58.410 Annette Clapsaddle: This is this forces me out of that comfort zone.

    00:48:59.790 –> 00:49:03.780 Annette Clapsaddle: And I mean I could talk for days about all the things I love about it, I just started.

    00:49:04.740 –> 00:49:21.510 Annette Clapsaddle: writing about five years ago and, and you know, first and foremost, for even for my health I’m a former athlete I used to play basketball, but my knees can’t take that anymore I lost about 60 pounds when I started mountain biking.

    00:49:24.990 –> 00:49:25.530 Joseph McElroy: I have a.

    00:49:25.560 –> 00:49:29.700 Joseph McElroy: three-and-a-half-year-old son named Henry that’s challenging you to a race right now.

    00:49:30.210 –> 00:49:32.070 Annette Clapsaddle: oh three.

    00:49:33.510 –> 00:49:37.800 Annette Clapsaddle: My student this semester, it was on my bike and he was running.

    00:49:39.660 –> 00:49:41.850 Annette Clapsaddle: He thought he could beat me that didn’t happen.

    00:49:46.770 –> 00:49:48.360 Joseph McElroy: He loves to go fast.

    00:49:49.980 –> 00:49:52.950 Joseph McElroy: So, what are your favorite local or regional trails.

    00:49:53.520 –> 00:50:01.260 Annette Clapsaddle: And what I consider my home trail is fire mountain trail system and Cherokee and it’s really kind of.

    00:50:01.950 –> 00:50:20.820 Annette Clapsaddle: When that trail system, open and I started learning more about mountain biking in general, so it’s just a few minutes from my house I get there, myself and I are Sali and near Bryson city and the Fontana area I do a lot of writing out there.

    00:50:23.460 –> 00:50:37.320 Annette Clapsaddle: And oh gosh there’s Dupont and regard, and you know we’re really lucky to have so many trails around here and yeah and you know my favorite ones, or maybe not the ones that are more.

    00:50:39.750 –> 00:50:46.200 Joseph McElroy: that’s why, but if you try out some of the new ones up like the new pipe parking chest up the mountain and they would challenge you just.

    00:50:46.230 –> 00:50:53.040 Annette Clapsaddle: Barely I mean so all of these there yeah there are lots of new places it seems like in the last year and a half.

    00:50:53.430 –> 00:50:59.040 Annette Clapsaddle: And so, all these places are kind of on my list I’m excited to have a little more flexibility in my schedule.

    00:50:59.340 –> 00:51:13.590 Annette Clapsaddle: And he had to make some of those day trips and hopefully out with some of my riding buddies may be to go check them out there’s a and a group of predominantly ladies that I ride with we like to check out new trails.

    00:51:14.580 –> 00:51:16.890 Joseph McElroy: cool do you have your son’s right as well?

    00:51:17.550 –> 00:51:19.350 Annette Clapsaddle: They do, and they.

    00:51:20.550 –> 00:51:28.110 Annette Clapsaddle: know the ride, and you know for a while, then they’ll get interested in something else, but they both had bikes so.

    00:51:29.130 –> 00:51:34.890 Annette Clapsaddle: They don’t always go on trails with me and that they’re all over our property.

    00:51:36.630 –> 00:51:39.720 Annette Clapsaddle: at nine and 13 Charlie and Ross

    00:51:40.170 –> 00:51:42.210 Joseph McElroy: All right, almost teenage.

    00:51:46.050 –> 00:52:03.120 Joseph McElroy: There you go so what’s good, and you, is there any is there, you know, one of the things I’d like to ask is a recommendation for a place to eat for people listening to the show for coming to your part of the country out in the cloud qualified and boundary the Cherokee reservation.

    00:52:03.870 –> 00:52:05.670 Annette Clapsaddle: All right, and.

    00:52:07.110 –> 00:52:08.730 Annette Clapsaddle: I feel like I’m sitting on the spot here.

    00:52:08.940 –> 00:52:10.050 I know I know.

    00:52:12.690 –> 00:52:17.190 Annette Clapsaddle: I don’t know what this one just popped into my head and we’re not talking like gourmet food, but.

    00:52:18.870 –> 00:52:19.170 Joseph McElroy: I think.

    00:52:19.230 –> 00:52:33.390 Annette Clapsaddle: The people that joy that’s all yes that’s a sunflower is like a sandwich shop not like a sandwich shop, it is isn’t it shop and near the entrance to the great smoky mountain National Park in the snake village area sassy sunflowers a very.

    00:52:34.950 –> 00:52:40.680 Annette Clapsaddle: Great sandwich place and then I have to say, if you want, like the quintessential.

    00:52:42.450 –> 00:52:52.470 Annette Clapsaddle: Country Buffet, that has been around since the beginning of time, you have to go to grandma’s kitchen and get pie for dessert you got to get high.

    00:52:52.980 –> 00:52:54.960 Joseph McElroy: Five you got to get a pie yeah.

    00:52:56.400 –> 00:53:04.680 Joseph McElroy: cool fabulous well this now, we gotta shout outs, you want to mention how people get in contact with you find out more about your book that sort of stuff.

    00:53:05.190 –> 00:53:12.060 Annette Clapsaddle: So I have a website it’s a new asaunookeclapsaddle.com and luckily I have one of.

    00:53:13.200 –> 00:53:25.260 Annette Clapsaddle: The most unusual names, so you can pretty easily find me on Google search but I’ll be updating that website and the coming weeks, speaking of students.

    00:53:25.560 –> 00:53:31.950 Annette Clapsaddle: And that’s that website was developed by a former student of mine, so I gotta get to updating it with.

    00:53:32.730 –> 00:53:50.760 Annette Clapsaddle: Events going on I’ll be busy all summer with festivals and workshops and things like that and also I’m on Facebook and on Instagram and I just use my name I don’t do anything special so Twitter also so just it’s Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle easy to find.

    00:53:51.390 –> 00:54:04.440 Joseph McElroy: cool well Thank you so much for being on the show today it’s been a wonderful conversation I’m gonna look forward to finishing your book, especially sits in it’s in the North Asheville area where I just moved to find out a little bit about the history of that area.

    00:54:05.700 –> 00:54:12.720 Joseph McElroy: yeah glad to be too, and hopefully we will continue having conversations, and now have you have your Conference at the Meadowlark

    00:54:13.530 –> 00:54:14.040 yeah.

    00:54:15.360 –> 00:54:17.610 Annette Clapsaddle: Maybe like doing you love to do that cool.

    00:54:18.090 –> 00:54:33.180 Joseph McElroy: So this podcast is the gateway to the smokies it’s live-streamed on facebook.com/gatewaytothesmokiespodcasts as well as on talkradio.NYC, which is a network of live podcasts.

    00:54:34.800 –> 00:54:43.590 Joseph McElroy: And I recommend you take a chance to look at that network there are a lot of great podcasts to listen to live, which I find to be a very dynamic format.

    00:54:44.430 –> 00:55:00.900 Joseph McElroy: And I think interesting if you want to be involved in conversations that seem real and they range from small business self-help to pet care to any number of things and it’s I think it’s a wonderful network to become aware of and join in.

    00:55:02.130 –> 00:55:08.160 Joseph McElroy: I also have another podcast and it’s never called wise content creates wealth, I have a marketing company that specializes in.

    00:55:08.820 –> 00:55:28.110 Joseph McElroy: content and memorable tourism experiences for travel and I talked about that quite a bit on wise content create wealth so and that’s on Fridays from noon until one, and this podcast gateway to the smokies every week Tuesdays from six to seven on this network.

    00:55:29.130 –> 00:55:39.690 Joseph McElroy: And I hope you will join me again next week for another great guest, and another great conversation, thank you very much it’s been nice having you here.

    00:55:40.680 –> 00:55:44.460 Annette Clapsaddle: yeah, thank you for having me really enjoy it you’re welcome.

    50m - Jun 7, 2022
  • Episode 59: Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/05/17 - Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats

    GUEST: Louisa Branscomb

    In this episode, you'll learn about the changing environment of songwriting retreats, what motivates someone to bring their talent for writing music to share in an artistic retreat-like environment and the importance of having a mentor guiding your creative efforts.

    Joseph is joined by our special guest Louisa Branscomb, an Award-Winning Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Teacher, Psychologist, Author, and Pioneer Trailblazer in Bluegrass music. She is a Grammy-winning songwriter behind such iconic songs as "Steel Rails," made famous by Allison Krause. Louisa was one of the first females to ever front their own bluegrass band, while also writing original material and playing the banjo.

    Louisa has spent the past 33 years combining her talents and passions to lead songwriting events at her artist retreat—first at Woodsong Farm, in north Georgia, and today at Lyric Mountain Songwriter Retreat near Asheville, N.C. Still active as a performer and writer, she has mentored over 1,000 songwriters during the course of her storied career, including several multiple generational students.

    Don't miss this episode!

    Website: https://louisabranscomb.com/

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.




    Joseph mentions his sponsor, the Meadowlark Motel and smokiesadventure.com. Some upcoming events include Slingshots in the Smokies from May 31st to June 4th. There's also the Plottfest Reunion Weekend from June 3rd to the 5th. He also introduces his guest, Louisa Branscomb, an Award-Winning Songwriter, Musician, Bandleader, Teacher, Psychologist, Author, and Pioneer Trailblazer in Bluegrass music. Lousia started writing melodies at the age of four. She says that we hear melodies all around us and especially as a child, we have the freedom to be tuned in. Louisa says that one of the key ingredients of songwriting is putting yourself in someone else's shoes. She also mentions Davy Crockett is one of her favorite songs she would sing as a kid.


    At age 11, Louisa won first place at the Alabama Student Music Composition Contest and performed with the Birmingham Symphony in front of a large crowd of about 2,000 people. Louisa says that when you compose, it connects you to other people. Music brings people together. Louisa also talks about going to Randolph College because she loved the Appalachians. After graduating, she ended up in North Carolina. Louisa says that she learned to play bluegrass music during college with a good friend who was a banjo player and fell in love with it. They even created a small band together. She went to N.C to play bluegrass along with the band and had written hundreds of songs by then. Her first chart hit was in Japan and the song was called “Blue Ridge Memories.” Louisa also talks about her reason for pursuing education and psychology. She always had a fascination with people and the human spirit. She also had been on the road for 10 years and felt like she needed a break from it. But she says that being a woman on the road in the 70s was incredible and inspiring. When asked about how she did both play bluegrass and study psychology and education, she says that her heart has always had two directions and an interest in how we transform our lives as well as how we use our creativity. She also mentions being inspired by her father.


    Louisa talks about starting the Woodsong Farm Songwriters Retreat in North Georgia in 1987. She admits that many things that she has done in her life are because she is simply drawn to them or moved by some kind of passion about it. Her creativity comes out in nature like being on her farm. Those moments when we have that connection with what makes us most human, that's usually the best place to write from. She wanted to share the farm as a place that nurtured people as writers. Louisa says that songwriters who have been to her retreat on this farm have described it as safe and inspiring with nature all around whenever they would pass by and make their way in. There was an implicit trust that the farm gave and it let them give up their guard and let down their normal defenses that we all have sometimes to protect ourselves from the world. It allowed them to connect with each other and songs. Some of the things that Louisa hopes made her a good teacher as a songwriter instructor are the same ingredients that made her interested in connecting with people through sharing and understanding people's journeys as a psychologist. They also discuss the incredible impact of going to retreats not only for creativity but for life in general. Louisa hasn’t done a retreat again since the pandemic began, but she also speaks about trying to find herself within these times as well. She’ll return to doing the retreats in the Asheville area at Lyric Mountain starting in July. Lousia also sings a beautiful song for us. The process with this song was her asking how can you do justice in a song to everything going on right now? She describes it as images of it all and describes some of the unfortunate events in the world today which has also reminded her about the power of music to transform and heal. The song she sings is called “Gold in the Dark.” You can find out more about Louisa at louisabranscomb.com. You can also search for her on Facebook and her email is branscombmusic@gmail.com



    00:00:29.880 –> 00:00:41.880 Joseph McElroy: howdy welcome to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about america’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the surrounding towns.

    00:00:42.360 –> 00:00:50.880 Joseph McElroy: these areas are filled with ancient natural beauty, a deep-storied history, and rich mountain cultures that we explore with the weekly episodes.

    00:00:51.630 –> 00:01:02.640 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy, a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains. My family has lived in the Great Smokies for over 200 years. My business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

    00:01:03.270 –> 00:01:08.880 Joseph McElroy: Today we are going to talk about Lyric Mountain and Woodsong Songwriting Retreats but first a little bit of.

    00:01:12.750 –> 00:01:24.330 Joseph McElroy: Over overhead we got to talk about, first of all, this is my last podcast in New York City I don’t know you know I’ve been doing it between New York and North Carolina but now.

    00:01:24.990 –> 00:01:36.750 Joseph McElroy: we’re me and my family we’re all moving down to Western North Carolina and, hopefully, I can maybe have some of the podcasts out in my backyard, which is just a forest so we’ll see.

    00:01:37.680 –> 00:01:49.650 Joseph McElroy: But I will talk to you to tell you a little bit about some sponsors First, we want you to imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, yet modern and vibrant with a “Chic Appalachian” feel.

    00:01:50.280 –> 00:02:01.740 Joseph McElroy: A place for adventure and for relaxation. Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream, grill the catch on a fire, and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

    00:02:02.370 –> 00:02:14.760 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds. There is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley, NC – your Smoky Mountain Adventures Start with Where You Stay.

    00:02:15.630 –> 00:02:21.570 Joseph McElroy: Another sponsor is smokiesadventure.com that’s smokies plural adventure singular calm.

    00:02:21.960 –> 00:02:35.160 Joseph McElroy: The Smoky Mountains and surrounding area is a vacation destination for all seasons. Some of the nation’s best hiking trails, waterfalls, outdoor adventures, and family entertainment can be found right here.

    00:02:35.760 –> 00:02:43.110 Joseph McElroy: Start your adventure by using SmokiesAdventure.com to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

    00:02:43.740 –> 00:02:51.660 Joseph McElroy: trails, waterfalls, Cades Cove, and more. Then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment you and your entire family can enjoy.

    00:02:52.020 –> 00:03:07.440 Joseph McElroy: And then, if you have outdoor life events like weddings honeymoons romantic adventures, you can find more information about great places to have that the goal that smokies adventures, be the leading information portal for adventures and experiences in the great smoky mountain.

    00:03:08.610 –> 00:03:09.900 Joseph McElroy: there are some events coming up.

    00:03:10.950 –> 00:03:20.010 Joseph McElroy: In Maggie Valley, there’s a Maggie Valley festival grounds that hosts world-class entertainment events such as arts, crafts, car shows, and music concerts.

    00:03:20.550 –> 00:03:31.230 Joseph McElroy: And so on May 31 to June 4 heaven slingshots into smokies, which is a slingshot or type of motorcycle I think they’re known for the three being three wheelers and.

    00:03:31.740 –> 00:03:38.820 Joseph McElroy: A dangerous thing shots in the smokies is, which is known as the super bowl slingshots events will be taking place in Maggie Valley.

    00:03:40.470 –> 00:03:51.840 Joseph McElroy: And there’ll be some new editions this year, and there will be some music and shows and food and all sorts of stuff so check it out.

    00:03:52.800 –> 00:04:04.890 Joseph McElroy: May 31st through June 4 and at the Meadowlark June 3rd to the 5th we’re having the PlottFest Reunion weekend the Plott dog

    00:04:06.120 –> 00:04:27.090 Joseph McElroy: Is the State dog of the North Carolina and the family that brought the dog, to the United States is the Plott family who resided for the most part in Haywood County, and Bob Plott, who is the General Manager of the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center and he is leading a.

    00:04:29.160 –> 00:04:37.440 Joseph McElroy: event to bring hot hand aficionados and fans together to celebrate the Plott hound where they’ll have.

    00:04:38.790 –> 00:04:50.040 Joseph McElroy: The officially sanctioned UKC bed show other compact competitions are very special warfare is raffled there’ll be Roundtable discussions with.

    00:04:50.490 –> 00:05:02.460 Joseph McElroy: The Plott breed icons over history programs will be a free Barbecue dinner and there’ll be a traditional country music concert featuring Will Ritter and Tim McWilliams, on Saturday night.

    00:05:03.060 –> 00:05:10.230 Joseph McElroy: This is, this is a huge event last year, everybody loved it, it takes you back in time to hound dogs on the farm.

    00:05:11.490 –> 00:05:16.470 Joseph McElroy: And you get to learn a lot about things and get some memorable story because everybody there’s a storyteller.

    00:05:17.580 –> 00:05:22.530 Joseph McElroy: Also to Meadowlark and August 12 and 13th, we’re having a Songwriters Camp.

    00:05:23.550 –> 00:05:34.590 Joseph McElroy: it’s a songwriters camp in concert with Grammy-winning artist Jim Lauderdale and Charles Humphrey III along with Award-winning artists, such as Darren Nicholson, Clay Mills, and Charles Chamberlain.

    00:05:35.130 –> 00:05:39.660 Joseph McElroy: it’s a two-day event of interactive songwriting structure of world-class musicians.

    00:05:40.110 –> 00:05:47.070 Joseph McElroy: And a DEMO tape will produce will be produced for each participant and there’ll be a concert of songs from the road band on Friday night.

    00:05:47.490 –> 00:05:57.480 Joseph McElroy: And a Barbecue dinner, and also our concert on Saturday night there’s going to be a unique event like no other in space will be limited to ensure individual attention is given to all participants.

    00:05:57.960 –> 00:06:08.670 Joseph McElroy: The price of $670 per person includes all the activities and DEMO dates and concerts and Barbecue dinner and then their special pricing for rooms.

    00:06:09.000 –> 00:06:20.130 Joseph McElroy: And there’ll be room packages as well call 8289261717 for details and there’s also a limited amount of concert tickets available for the general public and

    00:06:20.670 –> 00:06:28.680 Joseph McElroy: Those are available on both Friday and Saturday night then they’re $30 each and again, you can reserve your spot by calling 82896 1717.

    00:06:29.970 –> 00:06:37.860 Joseph McElroy: So somebody who knows about songwriting probably should be teaching that songwriting player to care for having a row.

    00:06:39.600 –> 00:06:49.680 Joseph McElroy: She is Louisa Branscomb, Alabama native Louisa Branscomb, is a Grammy-award-winning songwriter, musician, bandleader, teacher, psychologist, author,

    00:06:49.980 –> 00:06:57.330 Joseph McElroy: and a pioneer trailblazer in the bluegrass music and clinical psychology fields.

    00:06:57.870 –> 00:07:11.670 Joseph McElroy: She has spent the past 33 years combining her talents and passions to lead songwriting events at her artist’s retreat—first at Woodsong Farm, in north Georgia, and today at Lyric Mountain Songwriter Retreat near Asheville, North Carolina.

    00:07:12.270 –> 00:07:19.200 Joseph McElroy: She has mentored over 1000 songwriters during her storied career. Hello, Louisa.

    00:07:19.770 –> 00:07:22.230 Louisa Branscomb: Good evening nice to see you here.

    00:07:22.320 –> 00:07:35.760 Joseph McElroy: Yes, good, hey I read somewhere that you started writing melodies at the age of four now I have, I have a daughter about to turn four making up songs is that for 10 well?

    00:07:37.500 –> 00:07:51.300 Louisa Branscomb: I think you know we hear melodies all around us, we just don’t call the melodies whether it’s the refrigerator or the birds or and I think you know in kids have the freedom to be tuned in their thinking and melodies from age four yeah I think it’s great.

    00:07:52.020 –> 00:07:58.440 Joseph McElroy: it’s great, what do you remember your first saw me from or maybe soon after where you can post something.

    00:07:58.920 –> 00:08:03.600 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, I do remember it or what it was about because it’s not very profound.

    00:08:04.080 –> 00:08:05.940 Joseph McElroy: that’s all right What was it?

    00:08:06.570 –> 00:08:21.270 Louisa Branscomb: It was called the Is she the fishy and the funny thing is, I actually have learned some lessons about songwriting from this song and the song goes is she the fishy couldn’t be much thinner so we had her for our dinner.

    00:08:23.910 –> 00:08:30.150 Louisa Branscomb: Now what you don’t want to do is try to pick a word that rhymes just because it rhymes like thinner and dinner

    00:08:31.080 –> 00:08:39.630 Louisa Branscomb: But the truth of the matter is, I think one of the key ingredients of songwriting is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

    00:08:40.230 –> 00:08:54.030 Louisa Branscomb: In this case, fish and feel compassion and think about what it is like from their point of view so that’s empathy is what that is, and I think whether we’re writing about a tree or a fish, of course, they don’t have shoes.

    00:08:55.350 –> 00:09:03.420 Louisa Branscomb: be able to n dwell on a person whose life is different from yours and then write about them.

    00:09:04.440 –> 00:09:12.570 Louisa Branscomb: I think teaching our kids to have the freedom to be tuned in and feel compassion for things around them is just a wonderful thing.

    00:09:13.110 –> 00:09:28.500 Louisa Branscomb: So that’s what I learned as an adult from is she the fishy it was at a birthday party and the poor fish was caught on a hook and, by the way, that that’s probably a metaphor to caught on the hook because of the first thing that happened a song as a hook.

    00:09:30.990 –> 00:09:38.700 Joseph McElroy: Well that’s good that you remember it, you know I remember my first painting, you know I do a little bit of art and yeah I was, I was yeah.

    00:09:39.300 –> 00:09:57.240 Joseph McElroy: You don’t want to get yeah and there’s one school of painting trying to evoke emotion right and yeah, and so I probably would have been probably sensors I myself in that school, but my first one was a little bit over the top, it was a flower with the tear on it.

    00:10:01.260 –> 00:10:08.610 Louisa Branscomb: it’s over the top, compared to what we seem to value these days in the culture, but it’s really what’s needed, I think, is.

    00:10:09.390 –> 00:10:19.830 Louisa Branscomb: You know, and that you know we look back on these stories and they seem kind of embarrassing, but really they have the ingredients for life, the ingredients for arts, job in the world, which is to bring us back.

    00:10:20.220 –> 00:10:30.750 Louisa Branscomb: To the flower in the tier which reminds me of you know my favorite song was a Davy Crockett because I mean I thought the idea of a frontier was just awesome and only I thought it was fun tier.

    00:10:31.080 –> 00:10:31.410 So.

    00:10:32.550 –> 00:10:38.610 Louisa Branscomb: my grandmother saw me playing on the rug and I said I was singing Davy Crockett I just definitely wanted to be a pioneer and.

    00:10:39.240 –> 00:10:50.400 Louisa Branscomb: I but I called her in from the kitchen and said what’s a frontier, and she said well like on this rug everything past the edge of the rug that’s the frontier, and I said grandmother it’s fontier, and she said.

    00:10:53.130 –> 00:10:57.450 Louisa Branscomb: Oh, I thought you always have fun and but they’re still tears and I’m.

    00:10:59.310 –> 00:10:59.760 Joseph McElroy: Good that.

    00:11:02.100 –> 00:11:02.820 Joseph McElroy: you’re you.

    00:11:03.000 –> 00:11:04.740 Joseph McElroy: You are getting deep early was to.

    00:11:06.720 –> 00:11:26.220 Louisa Branscomb: figure it all out, you know I had had an interest in trying to understand, I think the unknown and, and so I don’t know if I was really cut out to be a pioneer or not, but it was my favorite song and you look back on these things and we find you know we were probably right.

    00:11:28.440 –> 00:11:36.360 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know it’s funny that you say that you know my two children, I have two and a half year old, but you know actually three now what am I talking about.

    00:11:37.590 –> 00:11:45.750 Joseph McElroy: That we named them, you know short interesting names, but there were sort of classic names and we and we started I started seeing a little tune to theirs.

    00:11:46.050 –> 00:11:51.600 Joseph McElroy: To their names early on, I still do, to this day, they do it for both of them because I both want to have them.

    00:11:51.990 –> 00:12:06.240 Joseph McElroy: You know, to try to figure out what that what it means, and a sense of adventure and flies and it’s to the tune of davy crockett now go Henry Henry Wyatt king of the wild frontier yeah on the Rose Queen of the wild frontier.

    00:12:08.370 –> 00:12:10.140 Louisa Branscomb: I’m sure that’ll sink at some level.

    00:12:10.200 –> 00:12:12.660 Joseph McElroy: At some point, that sometimes they’ll figure out.

    00:12:13.350 –> 00:12:18.510 Louisa Branscomb: it’s going to be Joseph, hope you’ll like the unknown territory that they decide to jump into.

    00:12:19.170 –> 00:12:21.420 Joseph McElroy: They are already doing it, let me tell you.

    00:12:25.290 –> 00:12:41.040 Joseph McElroy: Well, listen, we have to take a break already it’s been interesting quite so far, and let’s get back into getting into clinical psychology and other things that you’re doing and talk about your course your music all right talk to you soon.

    00:14:56.910 –> 00:15:10.740 Joseph McElroy: Howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcasts and my guest Louisa Branscomb so Louisa you were born out in the Adirondacks and then you got raised, mostly in Alabama.

    00:15:12.120 –> 00:15:24.030 Joseph McElroy: And you were a prodigy at age 11 you won first place at the Alabama student music composition contest and perform with Birmingham simply before an audience of 2000 what was that, like for a young girl.

    00:15:24.750 –> 00:15:26.880 Louisa Branscomb: Well, I sort of froze and.

    00:15:27.900 –> 00:15:36.810 Louisa Branscomb: White about 65 and the conductor was trying to get me to play louder and I just got quieter and quieter and, at the end, he finished with a big flourish.

    00:15:37.740 –> 00:15:46.380 Louisa Branscomb: And I don’t I don’t remember the rest of the day, but actually as I look back, I will you know he started looking back at some point in life, and you realize.

    00:15:46.890 –> 00:15:57.150 Louisa Branscomb: There are lessons in the memories that we keep for some reason, I think that that blessing and that was the idea that I might create something that had worth.

    00:15:58.470 –> 00:16:09.150 Louisa Branscomb: 11 and it was a tall order for me, I was very shy, but I learned about this thing that when you compose it connects you to other people and.

    00:16:09.540 –> 00:16:22.380 Louisa Branscomb: Then they’re all these musicians playing my song and and at some level, I think I must have learned about how music brings people together and that’s been a theme of what i’ve wanted to do in my life, all my life really.

    00:16:22.650 –> 00:16:24.120 Joseph McElroy: No, was it classical music.

    00:16:24.420 –> 00:16:36.780 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, it would was well, I mean it had a melody I mean i’m very melodic I was making these but it yeah I played it on the piano when it has to be classical music it wasn’t very sophisticated so.

    00:16:36.960 –> 00:16:38.400 Joseph McElroy: Well you’re 11 but.

    00:16:39.960 –> 00:16:47.460 Joseph McElroy: You had a country I heard you had a country music and singing cousin the Texas named Ben who gave you your first guitar.

    00:16:47.880 –> 00:16:51.180 Joseph McElroy: And he was he brought you into the country music world did he.

    00:16:51.570 –> 00:17:01.770 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, he said, you can’t play that Mexican guitar with nylon strings anymore, and I got back to college and he had sent me a Martin double I 21 and I still have that guitar I love it.

    00:17:02.610 –> 00:17:08.100 Joseph McElroy: And that’s you where at random woman’s calls now it’s known or unknown is Randolph college well why’d you go there.

    00:17:08.970 –> 00:17:10.650 Louisa Branscomb: I love the Appalachians.

    00:17:12.390 –> 00:17:15.420 Louisa Branscomb: I think, almost and looking back and actually it was yells.

    00:17:15.930 –> 00:17:27.030 Louisa Branscomb: topics for tonight that made me recognize that I’ve been like the little pin that you put down on your GPS, you know I’ve been like this little pin that went up and down the Appalachians all my life from.

    00:17:27.330 –> 00:17:34.170 Louisa Branscomb: sort of up in Virginia, all the way down to the ridges where the mountain starts in Alabama and right now.

    00:17:35.190 –> 00:17:40.620 Louisa Branscomb: Asheville North Carolina and I guess, they must have sort of run through my soul.

    00:17:42.270 –> 00:17:45.960 Louisa Branscomb: I wasn’t aware of that, I was sort of everywhere I’ve been it’s been.

    00:17:46.890 –> 00:17:47.970 Joseph McElroy: let’s kind of interesting.

    00:17:48.570 –> 00:17:59.760 Joseph McElroy: One you got a long way to go, cuz you know if you consider Appalachian you going all the way up with 3000 miles, all the way, but not only that like 100 million years ago there was even longer.

    00:18:00.060 –> 00:18:09.330 Joseph McElroy: a trail that broken to in the continent split now the other parts over in Ireland and Scottish there’s an international Appalachian trail so you’ve got a lot of places yet to live.

    00:18:12.150 –> 00:18:13.440 Louisa Branscomb: Those delta miles going.

    00:18:14.100 –> 00:18:14.970 Joseph McElroy: To get those.

    00:18:16.140 –> 00:18:23.130 Joseph McElroy: So, so you said that you ended up in North Carolina after you graduated What did you go to their specifically

    00:18:24.150 –> 00:18:24.510 Joseph McElroy: Was it.

    00:18:25.170 –> 00:18:25.830 Louisa Branscomb: took me there.

    00:18:26.160 –> 00:18:27.330 Joseph McElroy: You guys took you there.

    00:18:27.510 –> 00:18:36.510 Louisa Branscomb: I learned to play bluegrass at Randolph macon woman’s college, with a good friend named Sally one guy, who was a great banjo player and.

    00:18:37.260 –> 00:18:47.370 Louisa Branscomb: And I just fell in love with it instantly, and so I got a flat pick and got my steel string guitar and we had a little band and but I went to.

    00:18:47.940 –> 00:18:59.400 Louisa Branscomb: Winston Salem my first job was there at Bowman Gray school of medicine, but I really went there to play bluegrass it was a wonderful seat of bluegrass music and I’ve kind of found out that each Center of.

    00:19:00.870 –> 00:19:15.450 Louisa Branscomb: Of acoustic music has its own personality, so I learned an awful lot in the beginning, from the Winston Salem mount airy hills dil de lacks fancy get players and we play a lot of square dances and that’s how I got my chops.

    00:19:15.690 –> 00:19:16.140 Louisa Branscomb: And me.

    00:19:16.380 –> 00:19:26.100 Louisa Branscomb: I was just on fire to the right, so I had written I guess about 500 songs that I had been careful with that time and I had written steel rails so that was in 1971.

    00:19:26.790 –> 00:19:29.310 Joseph McElroy: what’s your first chart it was actually in Japan right.

    00:19:30.390 –> 00:19:33.600 Louisa Branscomb: yeah amazing how much you know about me that I promise.

    00:19:34.950 –> 00:19:38.850 Louisa Branscomb: It actually was, and it was a song called Blue Ridge memories, here we go again.

    00:19:40.470 –> 00:19:54.000 Louisa Branscomb: It was, I signed that on our first second or first or second boot hill album That was the band I had in Winston Salem with Sam signer and played with throughout the 70s.

    00:19:54.750 –> 00:20:00.900 Joseph McElroy: wow so, but you know also, at the same time, you made the decision to start.

    00:20:01.950 –> 00:20:08.670 Joseph McElroy: Educational psychology and education, what was what spurred you to do that.

    00:20:09.780 –> 00:20:18.300 Louisa Branscomb: Well, I had been on the road playing banjo for 10 years and I decided that I just couldn’t eat McDonald’s hamburgers and.

    00:20:20.490 –> 00:20:27.510 Louisa Branscomb: It was true that I felt like I needed a break from the road being a woman and bluegrass in the 70s.

    00:20:28.860 –> 00:20:30.420 Louisa Branscomb: It was incredible.

    00:20:31.800 –> 00:20:38.400 Louisa Branscomb: edible to be a bluegrass musician during that very creative time and bluegrass moving.

    00:20:38.430 –> 00:20:41.940 Joseph McElroy: Forward Sally with the first women’s bluegrass band right.

    00:20:42.390 –> 00:20:55.080 Louisa Branscomb: We met, we had one, it certainly one of the first and we bluegrass liberation, we were 1971 and up but regardless of gender, just being in bluegrass in the seven was.

    00:20:56.370 –> 00:21:07.320 Louisa Branscomb: It just was so inspiring to be in that shift in the music bringing more younger players on Sam Bush and others at that time, but I also felt like.

    00:21:07.830 –> 00:21:16.170 Louisa Branscomb: Being on the road, I needed a little bright to figure out, who I was and I always had a fascination with people and learning about.

    00:21:16.470 –> 00:21:26.700 Louisa Branscomb: People and kind of the human spirit, how do we survive at all, and so that’s part of what led me to go back to school and psychology but I kept playing I’ve never stopped performing and being in a band.

    00:21:27.450 –> 00:21:34.050 Joseph McElroy: wow so you graduated in 88 with a Ph.D. impressive from Georgia state.

    00:21:36.690 –> 00:21:48.360 Joseph McElroy: You know, thanks for that almost immediately started getting the real success we know they’re either huge song or steel rails with Alison Krauss reporting recorded that you wrote it in the 70s, but it became a big hit 91 didn’t.

    00:21:49.290 –> 00:21:50.190 Louisa Branscomb: um well i’m.

    00:21:51.300 –> 00:22:00.270 Louisa Branscomb: eternally grateful to what Allison did with the song 1991 it had been recorded quite a few times by Van starting with Mel Tillis, believe it or not.

    00:22:01.500 –> 00:22:11.400 Louisa Branscomb: Who, I had the great fortune to meet and spend the day with, and he published on my songs he recorded steel rails, but he didn’t release it, although I do have it.

    00:22:11.820 –> 00:22:28.410 Louisa Branscomb: And then, it was also recorded by the make peace brothers and by my band boot Hill and Allison heard my version of it and unbeknownst to me recorded it and then I found out one very memorable night at the station neon accidentally that she had this hit on steel, or else.

    00:22:28.530 –> 00:22:29.280 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow.

    00:22:29.880 –> 00:22:30.990 Joseph McElroy: And what do you think.

    00:22:31.020 –> 00:22:36.420 Joseph McElroy: What do you think about her version why became such a hit and how it actually brought so many new people to bloom.

    00:22:38.820 –> 00:22:41.490 Louisa Branscomb: In a word, because of Allison.

    00:22:43.080 –> 00:22:52.740 Louisa Branscomb: she’s so beyond gifted I don’t think there’s a word for it and Whenever she touches a song, you know it turns to a sole goal or something like that.

    00:22:54.390 –> 00:23:05.730 Louisa Branscomb: I’m saying the heart of that song and it’s a very simple song and as someone who can do simple elegance.

    00:23:06.120 –> 00:23:23.010 Louisa Branscomb: Is Allison she’s always had been such a master of taste and knowing when not to sing and she was so wise beyond her time so to deliver a song that I always thought was sort of dorky and simple and make it.

    00:23:24.300 –> 00:23:40.260 Louisa Branscomb: In her hands so elegant I think that’s a big part of it, but I’ve also you know also thought a lot about why that particular song would appeal to people and I’m still learning what it is that makes a song connect with other people so.

    00:23:41.430 –> 00:23:52.890 Louisa Branscomb: And, and that song, for example, I think it’s the images that the song has almost no conversation almost no sentences as you speak to someone it’s just a string of images.

    00:23:53.430 –> 00:24:04.710 Louisa Branscomb: And the powerful thing about an image is that it allows people to connect with this energy around the image, if you don’t have an image this is too tired.

    00:24:05.400 –> 00:24:14.400 Louisa Branscomb: Or to obscure if you find an image that’s universal law like like the lamp behind me on the mantle, which is an image of that TIM O’Brien used brilliantly.

    00:24:15.990 –> 00:24:27.750 Louisa Branscomb: The lamp is burning on the mantle, I believe, is one of his intro lines on a song and it allows people to immediately connect with their emotions and it bypasses the part of the brain that thinks too much.

    00:24:29.670 –> 00:24:37.050 Louisa Branscomb: Is married time not like any other art form because it’s married to time it passes tied to time.

    00:24:38.190 –> 00:24:52.140 Louisa Branscomb: Or the listener, they have to be able to get your song as it goes by, think of it as a train with windows, they have to get every window, as it goes by, because if they get lost they miss party or song.

    00:24:53.430 –> 00:25:02.220 Louisa Branscomb: the beauty of a song is that most images are people can sort of go into their own reverie about what those images mean to them.

    00:25:02.820 –> 00:25:19.650 Louisa Branscomb: So I asked Allison what’s what was the image that is what draws drew her to the song since I was the last night, and she said it was the line winding through the trees, like a ribbon and the wind, and so I always learned from my songs by people giving me feedback.

    00:25:20.640 –> 00:25:36.330 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s cool so so you mean it’s very interesting me because right about the same time that you, you know you got your Ph.D. in psychology the clinical psychology and you also started your your your first songwriting camp right.

    00:25:37.860 –> 00:25:44.340 Joseph McElroy: What was it the what would what song farmer songwriting treat and you want to Georgia.

    00:25:45.960 –> 00:25:53.550 Joseph McElroy: And it, you know, then there’s you know there’s a history of musicians getting their PhDs like I think Dr john starling.

    00:25:54.480 –> 00:26:06.600 Joseph McElroy: With the classic seldom seen ban gave up touring because you know, he pursued his professional degree more than he was pursuing, but you seem to have managed to.

    00:26:07.380 –> 00:26:15.420 Joseph McElroy: work at both of them simultaneously for the next 30 years how did you manage that what made you what why, why did you choose one and how did you manage it.

    00:26:16.890 –> 00:26:28.080 Louisa Branscomb: All right, I think that’s a valid question and I’d probably say that my heart had two directions and to leave either one either.

    00:26:28.530 –> 00:26:33.690 Louisa Branscomb: This desire to connect with people and learn about the resilience of the human spirit through.

    00:26:34.440 –> 00:26:44.040 Louisa Branscomb: Being a clinical psychologist and also very interested in creativity and how people transform life, you know we live it’s hard for everyone so.

    00:26:44.760 –> 00:27:02.100 Louisa Branscomb: I think art is one way we transform it and then the other side of me I think music is in my bones, I mean my father took me to blues joint in Birmingham, on the other side of what we used to say, the other side of the tracks where mom didn’t know he was taking me because.

    00:27:03.300 –> 00:27:12.810 Louisa Branscomb: he knew a lot of the people in those clubs, and I was so lucky to be touched by the authenticity.

    00:27:13.290 –> 00:27:31.470 Louisa Branscomb: Of the blues in the African American people in Birmingham is saying in these dives and my father knew, some of them, because he worked with them, they had TB and some of the illnesses that he treated, but my dad played harmonica he played blues harmonica and he played stride piano.

    00:27:31.860 –> 00:27:39.930 Louisa Branscomb: So, and we would walk in, and I was 12 or 13 and they go hey Doc and dad would sit in and play with them and.

    00:27:40.950 –> 00:27:53.280 Louisa Branscomb: Again it’s a story I look back on and think I learned something music joins us together it’s much more important how we’re alike in life than how we’re different.

    00:27:54.330 –> 00:28:01.890 Louisa Branscomb: and seeing my dad I’m surrounded by so much love and the love that he had for other people through his work.

    00:28:03.120 –> 00:28:10.020 Louisa Branscomb: Being a health provider and then through his music, I guess, I tried to carry on and wear both hats myself.

    00:28:11.070 –> 00:28:16.890 Joseph McElroy: I think that’s lovely It makes me think that maybe we should have our politicians sing their position to talk about.

    00:28:18.390 –> 00:28:21.780 Louisa Branscomb: Why them and we should require them to write a song the right.

    00:28:23.190 –> 00:28:23.700 Louisa Branscomb: They are.

    00:28:24.570 –> 00:28:29.220 Joseph McElroy: I will have to take another break and we’ll come back we’ll talk about your you’re your songwriting.

    00:34:02.130 –> 00:34:13.830 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast and my guest Louisa Branscomb and I think we have to do everything twice right now right.

    00:34:15.330 –> 00:34:21.810 Joseph McElroy: Get commercials tried twice again intros twice what else can we talk about toys but anyway.

    00:34:25.170 –> 00:34:37.350 Joseph McElroy: So we’ll move on alright so Louise in 1987 mentioned before you started the wood song farm songwriters retreat in North Georgia.

    00:34:38.370 –> 00:34:44.760 Joseph McElroy: So, what was the concept and how did you come to own the farm and or locate your retreats there.

    00:34:45.900 –> 00:34:54.930 Louisa Branscomb: um well I probably have to be honest and say that in my life, a lot of times I do things simply because I’m drawn to them are moved by.

    00:34:56.640 –> 00:34:57.390 Louisa Branscomb: some kind of.

    00:34:58.440 –> 00:35:10.410 Louisa Branscomb: passion about it, but then I don’t figure out the concept until later So when I look back, I know that for me when I’m I do my best, creating when I’m in nature, or at least surrounded by.

    00:35:11.370 –> 00:35:22.620 Louisa Branscomb: Nature in a beautiful setting where all of the stress of life seems way far away, and for me, that was my farm and I felt like my farm gave me this connection to my own.

    00:35:23.160 –> 00:35:28.590 Louisa Branscomb: Humanity you know when we’re not stressed and we’re not having to be anxious and afraid about things around us.

    00:35:29.310 –> 00:35:37.500 Louisa Branscomb: That really helps dissolve a lot of our defenses where we can be in touch with what makes us most human and those are usually.

    00:35:37.830 –> 00:35:47.430 Louisa Branscomb: that’s usually the best place to write from, so I think I was probably wanting to share the farm as a place that nurtured people as writers.

    00:35:47.730 –> 00:35:54.060 Louisa Branscomb: And there’s something about the past as well, like when we’re connected to two people in the past, who have had a hard-working.

    00:35:54.630 –> 00:36:12.990 Louisa Branscomb: work ethic which is true of the Appalachians and true of North Georgia is in the southern tip of the Appalachians with cotton farming that my farm is the cotton farm it was 150 years old and had many relics around me I was only I was the first new families on it so.

    00:36:14.460 –> 00:36:23.310 Louisa Branscomb: It gave me a connection deep deeper than my life, you know to other lives, where music was so important, were the two.

    00:36:24.000 –> 00:36:35.880 Louisa Branscomb: Girls in the family, saying, listen to the mockingbird and put salt on there, you know they lift salt, out of a spoon because I thought it made me sing better and when they played on my album there was like salt all over the floor.

    00:36:37.260 –> 00:36:44.880 Louisa Branscomb: You know these things that brought me back to the essential Appalachian heritage, like a song like listening to a mockingbird.

    00:36:46.290 –> 00:36:50.040 Louisa Branscomb: That grounded me and my own creativity so though I’ve tried to be.

    00:36:51.720 –> 00:36:55.590 Louisa Branscomb: New or have my own unique way of writing as we all do.

    00:36:56.280 –> 00:37:04.440 Louisa Branscomb: I’m very aware that it comes from this thread that goes deep into the heart of the mountains, that I come from, and that that’s a big part of me, so I try to.

    00:37:04.740 –> 00:37:16.410 Louisa Branscomb: I try to bring that setting to other writers and that that cultural history we don’t have to talk about you can just look at like the old ironing board in the corner over here, am I going to write why.

    00:37:17.640 –> 00:37:20.250 Louisa Branscomb: you’re here it is over there.

    00:37:21.270 –> 00:37:24.060 Louisa Branscomb: is a reminder of.

    00:37:25.740 –> 00:37:35.910 Louisa Branscomb: When life was not easier, but more transparent, simpler than we all need, I think it helps us to reconnect with ourselves.

    00:37:36.810 –> 00:37:49.860 Joseph McElroy: Is that what was the so bringing people into a sort of elemental environment was part of the plan for the songwriting retreat, it was actually a real retreat from everything.

    00:37:50.430 –> 00:37:58.290 Louisa Branscomb: A real retreat and then we always had a theme that somehow was designed to make a place that was.

    00:37:59.340 –> 00:38:02.880 Louisa Branscomb: nurturing and inspirational for songwriters and that.

    00:38:03.540 –> 00:38:09.540 Louisa Branscomb: And I think that the farm itself was the biggest teacher without being spelled out when people.

    00:38:09.810 –> 00:38:19.680 Louisa Branscomb: And I’ve had this feedback from songwriters now, for you know 35 years is that when they cross the threshold to the farm they felt in another world that was safe.

    00:38:20.070 –> 00:38:30.000 Louisa Branscomb: and inspiring with nature all around and the songs of the birds and the songs of the attractor in the distance and the train and the distance all of these things.

    00:38:31.260 –> 00:38:41.400 Louisa Branscomb: Let I think lead people dissolve these normal defenses that we have to protect us from the world, and let us connect more quickly with each other and trust each other.

    00:38:42.420 –> 00:38:59.250 Louisa Branscomb: sort of there was just an implicit trust that the farm, I think, gave and that allowed us to be better songwriters and to listen to each other’s work and be inspired because you didn’t have to try to protect yourself a world away from the real world.

    00:39:00.150 –> 00:39:04.620 Joseph McElroy: And and did you combine your psychology into your retreats as well.

    00:39:05.370 –> 00:39:17.310 Louisa Branscomb: But not in an intentional way again and I think, looking back on some of the things that I hope make me a good teacher as a songwriter instructor.

    00:39:18.300 –> 00:39:29.040 Louisa Branscomb: These are the same ingredients that have made me interested in connecting with people through sharing people’s journeys as a psychologist and understanding people’s journeys.

    00:39:29.460 –> 00:39:46.320 Louisa Branscomb: I feel more of a facilitator than a teacher and I think that’s when we’re our best is when we’re listening to the other person and trying to understand what they’re trying to say whether it’s a conversation or a song or someone sharing their journey and their hardship.

    00:39:47.670 –> 00:39:55.830 Louisa Branscomb: I worked a lot with veterans and I work with veterans at a very young age, because I felt like I was out singing songs about peace.

    00:39:56.160 –> 00:40:04.020 Louisa Branscomb: during the Vietnam War and I wasn’t very grown up and I didn’t really realize what the hardship of war was, and so I wanted to pay it.

    00:40:04.560 –> 00:40:17.430 Louisa Branscomb: forward by working with veterans as a psychologist and I learned so much about how people transform hardship because veterans know about that better than most of us.

    00:40:18.150 –> 00:40:27.690 Louisa Branscomb: And so I was often inspired or I worked with a veteran to help them tell their own story and I’d say hey if you put that in one line.

    00:40:28.140 –> 00:40:43.830 Louisa Branscomb: What would that line be and that’s the hook, and any of us, you can do this yourself if I ask you right now, what is one line that captures how you are in this moment hey I’ll put you on the spot, Joseph What would it be, and you know it’s words or less.

    00:40:44.280 –> 00:40:45.390 Joseph McElroy: Of a transition.

    00:40:46.020 –> 00:40:51.030 Louisa Branscomb: yeah OK so moving on or our transition was a little long for.

    00:40:51.690 –> 00:40:53.250 Joseph McElroy: Moving on to the new phase of life.

    00:40:53.640 –> 00:41:13.800 Louisa Branscomb: yeah you know new phase of life there you have it, a new phase of the moon, and you know there’s a lot of you know, the eclipses over you phase of life so when you work with those images and but back to something more important, which is as humans, we get so cut off from our humanity.

    00:41:14.970 –> 00:41:20.790 Louisa Branscomb: Because we’re so busy trying to protect ourselves from that onslaught of information and.

    00:41:21.270 –> 00:41:30.180 Louisa Branscomb: In the hardship around us and all around the world, and so we need these places where we can let down and find our creativity.

    00:41:30.750 –> 00:41:47.160 Louisa Branscomb: and find our own humanity and that’s the thread that connects us to some universal experience or image that that’s what a song touches other people with so there’s an intimate connection between being safe and the natural world.

    00:41:48.210 –> 00:41:50.160 Louisa Branscomb: I believe, to be creative.

    00:41:50.700 –> 00:42:00.030 Joseph McElroy: So you’ve done it several times here you’ve connected music to healing and you know, and you know, and you know.

    00:42:02.760 –> 00:42:07.860 Joseph McElroy: Experience internal experience that produces a better world and things like that.

    00:42:08.970 –> 00:42:14.760 Joseph McElroy: Do you have at your retreats jeff’s specific examples of where people have been changed?

    00:42:16.050 –> 00:42:22.650 Louisa Branscomb: I’ve been very touched by some of the stories that I get on after my retreat.

    00:42:24.510 –> 00:42:38.610 Louisa Branscomb: Many times I’ve heard you know I thought I was coming to learn to write songs and I left transform and now, who I am is different, so how I write songs is very different, and that always touches me to here again I.

    00:42:39.840 –> 00:42:54.120 Louisa Branscomb: I just try to create a place and but I’m pretty focused on how I do, that I don’t allow like a lot of interference coming in from other things and I try to establish a set of trust.

    00:42:54.690 –> 00:43:08.880 Louisa Branscomb: I’ve also heard that people came to I thought to learn about songwriting but they felt healed from something in their life in the process of connecting with what they wanted to say in the song.

    00:43:09.390 –> 00:43:09.750 Joseph McElroy: So I.

    00:43:09.960 –> 00:43:15.360 Louisa Branscomb: think that I’ve heard a lot that the songs they wrote it my retreat we’re transforming for them.

    00:43:15.840 –> 00:43:22.860 Louisa Branscomb: And through this, I’ve learned that not only do we transform life by taking a little piece of it and putting it on a song.

    00:43:23.250 –> 00:43:32.250 Louisa Branscomb: But, but our songs transform us and people don’t talk about that much, but I have learned so much by listening to my songs.

    00:43:33.060 –> 00:43:45.690 Louisa Branscomb: That might sound kind of like well, are you listening to yourself, not really in my way of thinking, because, again, I think all of this is creating an open channel through something bigger than me to come through.

    00:43:46.440 –> 00:43:52.710 Louisa Branscomb: something about that, whatever your spirituality is your collective unconscious or the universal human condition.

    00:43:53.130 –> 00:43:54.030 Louisa Branscomb: or odd.

    00:43:55.530 –> 00:44:14.220 Louisa Branscomb: When that’s flowing because I’m open enough for the flow then often I’m surprised by what my song says and they make me feel better they make me know myself better, so I think, maybe that’s the thing, people are picking up on when I say that about the week retreats that I have.

    00:44:14.910 –> 00:44:24.150 Joseph McElroy: Well, I think that you know, I think that retreats are actually incredibly important for people to take in their life right, especially ones that are dealing around creativity, I mean I’ve had some.

    00:44:24.690 –> 00:44:32.310 Joseph McElroy: yeah some fundamental experiences, you know after my second wife died and we’ve been married for 20 years I went to Joseph Campbell’s you know heroes journeys retreat.

    00:44:32.760 –> 00:44:39.450 Joseph McElroy: which was about exploring creativity in life, but the one point they had us do a funeral for something we won’t like go.

    00:44:40.020 –> 00:44:48.450 Joseph McElroy: And you know I just a year earlier than a funeral from my wife, it was I got to thinking about that, but what I ended up doing a funeral for was.

    00:44:49.290 –> 00:45:02.310 Joseph McElroy: For the Mr. and Mrs. Joseph McElroy the identity, the identity that I’d had for 20 years which I hadn’t let go and I needed to say goodbye to properly to move on in my life.

    00:45:02.670 –> 00:45:12.180 Joseph McElroy: And it was a transcendent experience, and that was you know, a creative retreat I think what use what you described here can produce that kind of profound effects for people, I believe.

    00:45:14.160 –> 00:45:23.010 Louisa Branscomb: You just said it brilliantly and not coincidentally I’m hugely influenced by Joseph Campbell’s model of the hero’s journey, and I believe that.

    00:45:23.490 –> 00:45:41.250 Louisa Branscomb: It takes a lot of courage to engage with the one we’re in a huge life transition I’m in one right now, so I don’t feel courageous every day, but I do feel like I’m at that point in the journey when we’re in the dark night of the soul like we’re in the middle of change.

    00:45:41.610 –> 00:45:44.250 Louisa Branscomb: And we’re not to the next place yet like.

    00:45:44.280 –> 00:45:53.940 Louisa Branscomb: There is a death, there is a death of ourselves, and we don’t get to hold on to you know we’re not like those mountain climbers and they’re in a sling and somebody’s going to.

    00:45:54.450 –> 00:46:04.200 Louisa Branscomb: pull the rope it feels like we’re falling off the mountain because we can’t use the same solutions that we had before because we’re changing.

    00:46:04.740 –> 00:46:15.390 Louisa Branscomb: And in the model of the hero’s journey, you have to have that freefall and then you find what it is, you need to say and what it is, you need to do in your life.

    00:46:15.870 –> 00:46:24.000 Louisa Branscomb: That moves your journey forward, and we have to be willing to take the risk of that or like back to Davy Crockett.

    00:46:24.780 –> 00:46:34.830 Louisa Branscomb: One of the wild frontiers of our souls to do that and it’s very uncomfortable and this whole last two and a half years has been very uncomfortable because.

    00:46:35.220 –> 00:46:46.890 Louisa Branscomb: I myself find found I couldn’t stay stuck, because how I was in the world was changing too much, and so I had to find a new part of me to be with the new world.

    00:46:47.520 –> 00:46:48.120 Joseph McElroy: Where you move.

    00:46:48.480 –> 00:46:51.840 Joseph McElroy: To a new is that why you moved here to die schmo with.

    00:46:53.370 –> 00:47:08.220 Louisa Branscomb: I’m in part, yes, yes I wanted some different things in my life than I could find in the rural area that I was in Georgia, but I also, I think the pandemic was a big part of it happened after I knew it, so I.

    00:47:09.540 –> 00:47:15.540 Louisa Branscomb: have not done a workshop in two years, not just because of the pandemic, but because I didn’t know who I was.

    00:47:16.860 –> 00:47:19.050 Louisa Branscomb: And I also haven’t written very many songs so.

    00:47:21.300 –> 00:47:33.690 Louisa Branscomb: Actually, it was a song that I wrote about a week ago that I’m kind of clarified to me where I’m at it’s like when you write a song you’re it’s kind of like the guy on the top of the mountain and he’s putting a stake.

    00:47:34.170 –> 00:47:37.920 Louisa Branscomb: This is me right now I’m On top of this, a mountain I know who I am.

    00:47:38.370 –> 00:47:44.400 Louisa Branscomb: And I’m fascinated by these mountain climbing movies go figure I watch Netflix people climbing mountains, all the time.

    00:47:44.940 –> 00:48:02.160 Louisa Branscomb: But um you know because I think I like to understand these amazing things we do as human beings that do bring out our core self and so once I finally had the images come to me in this new song which is the one we talked about me playing.

    00:48:03.570 –> 00:48:11.400 Louisa Branscomb: I was ready to do a retreat so after I wrote this song about a week ago and I don’t even know if it’s a good song, yet it might not be but.

    00:48:11.970 –> 00:48:25.500 Louisa Branscomb: It clarified it spoke to me and said, this is who you are This is where you are, and now I can authentically bring people back together again and do a new retreat and I know what we’ll be talking about.

    00:48:26.160 –> 00:48:37.710 Joseph McElroy: wow was that I mean that I mean I think that’s a good illustration of what artists go through in their life having those moments where they feel.

    00:48:38.790 –> 00:48:44.340 Joseph McElroy: lost when they’re able to find their way back again in a different way, so that’s fabulous.

    00:48:46.200 –> 00:48:52.680 Joseph McElroy: So you know we’re having a new retreat at what’s I’m sorry I’m losing the name of it right, the second.

    00:48:53.910 –> 00:48:54.600 Louisa Branscomb: Mountain.

    00:48:54.960 –> 00:48:57.990 Joseph McElroy: Mountain and that’s going to be in the Asheville area.

    00:48:58.740 –> 00:49:06.750 Louisa Branscomb: Yes, that’s I’m sitting at lyric mountain right now and we were in spot on our which is close to Asheville and black mountain and.

    00:49:07.410 –> 00:49:17.370 Louisa Branscomb: it’s a little mountain farm instead of a big goal experience in Georgia cotton environment is it’s lovely and we’ve been working on the main House here all year and getting it ready so.

    00:49:18.480 –> 00:49:20.580 Joseph McElroy: It will be natural I’m gonna have to come out and visit right.

    00:49:20.760 –> 00:49:21.000 Okay.

    00:49:22.890 –> 00:49:23.400 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:49:24.660 –> 00:49:29.130 Joseph McElroy: Bring the kids out there for a little that sort of thing so what’s the first retreat.

    00:49:29.850 –> 00:49:47.040 Louisa Branscomb: I’m thinking it that it will be the second weekend in July July 8 weekend and my friends Johnny and Jeanette Williams, who are wonderful Appalachian players are all levels of songs from traditional to cutting-edge.

    00:49:48.210 –> 00:49:53.550 Louisa Branscomb: Johnny and Jeanette are from Danville and they’re coming down I’ve been on my retreats for many, many years and.

    00:49:54.390 –> 00:50:05.610 Louisa Branscomb: we’ll have a small group and it’ll be an experiential workshop and plenty of time to share songs and enjoy the new setting and maybe the new setting will inspire us and some different ways we’ll probably talk about that too.

    00:50:06.480 –> 00:50:08.100 Joseph McElroy: Well that’d be great I mean that.

    00:50:10.350 –> 00:50:19.980 Joseph McElroy: I look forward to hearing how that comes out so you know you mentioned that you had a song to sing us sing that song.

    00:50:20.670 –> 00:50:22.920 Louisa Branscomb: I think I’d be glad to try it out on you.

    00:50:25.980 –> 00:50:30.540 Louisa Branscomb: My process with this song is how do you write.

    00:50:32.160 –> 00:50:37.500 Louisa Branscomb: How can you do justice and a song to everything going on right now around us.

    00:50:38.940 –> 00:50:50.550 Louisa Branscomb: there’s been where we’re in a new era, I think sometime in the darkness of the pandemic, we all got catapulted into a new era and we’re waking up to.

    00:50:51.240 –> 00:50:56.850 Louisa Branscomb: What it even is we don’t even know how to be yet it’s such a profound quantum.

    00:50:57.480 –> 00:51:12.960 Louisa Branscomb: change, and so I didn’t know how to write a song capture that and then I realized going back to steel rails it’s just images that we can connect with that make us feel compassion and a sense of meaning and that’s all this song is as a couple of those images, but.

    00:51:14.550 –> 00:51:22.470 Louisa Branscomb: One of them came from a show, I saw the iceberg melting another came from the.

    00:51:23.580 –> 00:51:31.680 Louisa Branscomb: newscast I saw it on Anderson Cooper you may have seen it on any channel it’s a little girl in Ukraine standing on the table and singing.

    00:51:32.520 –> 00:51:41.490 Louisa Branscomb: She was five years old, seven years old, and this bombed-out basement with all these people crowd it in with wounds and bleed.

    00:51:42.180 –> 00:51:47.700 Louisa Branscomb: blasted and tattered I’m sure you know a lot of people saw this beautiful news clip.

    00:51:48.300 –> 00:52:05.130 Louisa Branscomb: And you saw the spirit of humanity just wake up and everyone in that room when that little girl started singing and one more time, I was reminded about the incredible power of music to transform and heal so that’s in the song too and it’s called gold in the dark

    00:52:10.980 –> 00:52:14.760 Louisa Branscomb: I don’t know watch come over me.

    00:52:17.820 –> 00:52:20.250 Louisa Branscomb: I just can do nothing right.

    00:52:21.750 –> 00:52:28.470 Louisa Branscomb: seems like the world is burning and likewise clock stopped turn and clockwise.

    00:52:29.610 –> 00:52:32.400 Louisa Branscomb: we’re all ships in the night.

    00:52:34.380 –> 00:52:44.430 Louisa Branscomb: At the edge of the mountain made a wrong, I can count on me your face and the wind on my heart.

    00:52:46.230 –> 00:52:56.550 Louisa Branscomb: stairs know when and when the wars one and you and I don’t need one and you’re my gold in the dark.

    00:53:00.000 –> 00:53:03.600 Louisa Branscomb: By their last run out of time.

    00:53:05.880 –> 00:53:08.670 Louisa Branscomb: She was women for her life.

    00:53:10.950 –> 00:53:18.690 Louisa Branscomb: Like every homeless so with nowhere else to go all she needed was.

    00:53:20.160 –> 00:53:20.640 Louisa Branscomb: high.

    00:53:22.650 –> 00:53:32.760 Louisa Branscomb: At the edge of the mountain I need a rock I can count on need your face at the window of my heart and.

    00:53:34.440 –> 00:53:43.980 Louisa Branscomb: there’s no when the wars one year and I don’t need one and your my gold in the dark

    00:53:46.860 –> 00:53:49.230 Louisa Branscomb: mom is out of town.

    00:53:50.340 –> 00:53:54.450 Louisa Branscomb: Will just call somewhere where everything was hopeless and.

    00:53:55.470 –> 00:53:56.490 Louisa Branscomb: So wrong.

    00:53:58.860 –> 00:54:08.670 Louisa Branscomb: a seven-year-old girls she stood up on a chair there and efficiently began to sing this song.

    00:54:09.720 –> 00:54:20.010 Louisa Branscomb: I’m at the edge of the mountain need a rock I can count on need your face at the window of my heart.

    00:54:21.480 –> 00:54:28.230 Louisa Branscomb: Because there’s no when and when this was done and you and I don’t need one and you’re my gold in the dark. you’re my gold in the dark.

    00:54:43.200 –> 00:54:48.120 Joseph McElroy: Oh, my goodness that was fantastic oh Thank you so much, that was an honor to have that played on the show.

    00:54:49.860 –> 00:54:50.250 Joseph McElroy: You know.

    00:54:51.270 –> 00:54:54.240 Joseph McElroy: that’s there’s not really much to say after that.

    00:54:57.900 –> 00:55:09.030 Joseph McElroy: it’s been wonderful talking to you, is there a is there ways people can find out more about what you do and information to follow up from this program a website, or something like that.

    00:55:09.600 –> 00:55:18.480 Louisa Branscomb: my website is Louisa Branscom online and my Facebook page is of course I’m visible on Facebook and my.

    00:55:19.320 –> 00:55:25.410 Louisa Branscomb: email is branscombmusic@gmail.com and i’d love to hear from anyone about anything related to songwriting.

    00:55:25.680 –> 00:55:35.760 Louisa Branscomb: we’re a community and not I’ve never met a songwriter I didn’t really like or anyone who’s interested in helping a songwriter and being part of the Community and I sure appreciate what you guys are doing to.

    00:55:36.510 –> 00:55:40.050 Joseph McElroy: Thank you it’s we are a Community of art and.

    00:55:42.870 –> 00:55:46.110 Joseph McElroy: Culture and it’s sort of special so.

    00:55:47.550 –> 00:55:54.390 Joseph McElroy: This is the gateway to the smokies podcast we’re on Facebook.com/gatewayto thesmokiespodcast

    00:55:55.800 –> 00:56:05.250 Joseph McElroy: we’re also on talkradio.NYC where the live broadcast goes out to many people in New York City and others around the world.

    00:56:06.000 –> 00:56:13.650 Joseph McElroy: The talkradio.nyc network is interesting Okay, but I recommend going to look at the many other programs, they have they’re all live podcasts.

    00:56:13.920 –> 00:56:19.800 Joseph McElroy: ranging from self-help the small business to other travel shows, I have another one on here as well, called wise content creates wealth.

    00:56:20.280 –> 00:56:30.240 Joseph McElroy: Which is about marketing and the age of Ai and content and next week we’ll have another next week is a rerun because I am moving next week.

    00:56:31.110 –> 00:56:49.410 Joseph McElroy: Now to Asheville North Carolina but then the week after that we’ll have a live program on Tuesdays for a gateway to the smokies from six until 7 pm and again thank you Louisa for being on the show today it’s been a pleasure, I look forward to seeing you again.

    49m - May 17, 2022
  • Episode 58: Dogwood Crafters Cooperative with Brenda Anders

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/05/10 - Dogwood Crafters Cooperative with Brenda Anders


     If you love crafts or have an interest or family tradition in making crafts, you are going to love this episode! You'll learn Dogwood Crafters Cooperative featuring Brenda Anders.

    In today's episode, Joseph is joined by our special guest Brenda Anders, she is a true daughter of the Smokies who has lived in WNC since 1978 when her husband took a job with WCU. Not long after that, Brenda joined Dogwood Crafters, one of the most storied crafts cooperatives in the Southeast, located in historic Dillsboro, N.C. Since then Brenda has played an integral role in the success of the business --which was first formed in 1976 –serving in various key leadership positions including President and Chairman of the Board, along with heading multiple operational committees within the organization.

    Website: https://dogwoodcrafters.com

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.




    Joseph begins by mentioning the sponsor, The Meadowlark Motel as well as smokiesadventure.com and some upcoming events. On May 13th and 14th, they're having the Icons of Hotrodding Festival. Also May 31st -June 4, they'll have an event called Slingshots in the Smokies and more festivals and camps later in the summer. Joseph also reads a poem related to today’s topic and events by Marcus B. Christian called “The Craftsman.” He introduces his guest, Brenda Anders, who has lived in WNC since 1978 when her husband took a job with WCU. Not long after that, Brenda joined Dogwood Crafters, one of the most storied crafts cooperatives in the Southeast, located in historic Dillsboro, N.C. Brenda grew up in Tennessee and says that she didn't realize how lucky she was. Sometimes she forgets to look at the mountains and realize the beauty of the environment but is always reminded when she has company in the car with her as she rides. Brenda moved to Western North Carolina when her husband got a job as the director of the Computer Center. She got involved with Dogwood Crafters after falling in love with the art there. She explains the workplace then and now with her team and how they've stayed successful.


    Brenda says that there is one active original member in Dogwood Crafters, who also helped get the organization started with their husband. She also mentions another crafter who recently came back, Don Wood, who now does beekeeping. Brenda explains what artists must go through when wanting to create something and be a part of Dogwood Crafters. When you are interested, she says that you would go to Dogwood and fill out an application and bring the item you want to make. A jury committee made up of anonymous crafters, look it over and make sure that it is some time that has not already been offered to make. She mentions having a coordinator for every room in the log cabin where they work and have the chance to showcase everyone's work and sell a variety of items. Brenda also talks about using recycled items. On the Facebook Livestream, she shows us several items like a pair of mittens that were made by using a couple of different sweaters. They can make something with just about everything!


    Brenda explains how she and her team were able to acquire all 12 rooms in the log cabin which was once a motel. Everyone in the organization works very hard on keeping things in order from building to supplies, maintenance, flower boxes, and more. Dogwood Crafters also offer free classes to anyone as long as you pay for the supplies that you would be using. They also have a scholarship committee where they give money to different schools and students wanting to learn the Appalachian craft. They have different projects that they do in order to earn this money. They come up with different ideas, for example, she says that they also sell jams and jellies. As a nonprofit, they don't have a lot of money, but the percentages that they earn comes from the crafters and their pantry. Brenda also mentions how Dogwood has been involved in the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. She also talks with Joseph about the rooms in the log cabin and how they are all themed differently.


    Brenda talks with Joseph about Mary’s Garden. Mary Nolan was a member of Dogwood Crafters for many years and when she passed away, they wanted to pay tribute to her. So they had their side yard bricked and they have a plaque with her photograph on it and it's called Mary’s Garden. It keeps Mary with them, and Brenda says that everyone in Dogwood is like family. She also mentions supporting customers by continuing to have good quality crafts and each crafter comes up with new ideas. They also talk about Dogwood being a part of festivals. In Dillsboro, they are part of three main festivals. One of them is Front Street in July, Colorfest in October, and Luminaire which takes over the first two weekends in December. Dogwood tries to connect with its community and show people that all of its work is handmade. She mentions the different events that they do like the Easter Parade where hundreds of people join in, being a free event for families. Brenda says that her vision for this co-op and Dogwood Crafters is that they continue to recruit crafters, continue to carry on its legacy and keep it there for generations to come. Although it's hard work and hard to get young people into crafting, she says that they do their best to show them that they can craft their own rug, socks, and much more than they think. You can find out more by searching for Dogwood Crafters on Facebook as well as their website dogwoodcrafters.com.



    00:00:45.450 –> 00:00:56.640 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, welcome to the gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National park and the surrounding towns.

    00:00:57.030 –> 00:01:06.660 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty, a deep-storied history, and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:01:07.110 –> 00:01:14.490 Joseph McElroy: I’m Joseph Franklyn McElroy a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains my family is living in great smokies for over 200 years.

    00:01:15.030 –> 00:01:27.360 Joseph McElroy: My business is in travel, but my heart is in culture today we’re gonna be talking about the dogwood crafters cooperative with Brenda Anders but first I got some messages from sponsors and some events.

    00:01:29.760 –> 00:01:39.870 Joseph McElroy: imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, yet modern and vibrant with the “Chic Appalachian” feel. A place for adventure and for relaxation.

    00:01:40.470 –> 00:01:49.050 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream grill the catch on a fire and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

    00:01:49.830 –> 00:02:02.400 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sounds. There is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley North Carolina. Your Smoky Mountain Adventure starts with where you stay.

    00:02:04.620 –> 00:02:09.540 Joseph McElroy: Another Sponsor is SmokiesAdventure.com. The smoky mountains and surrounding areas are a vacation destination for all seasons.

    00:02:10.260 –> 00:02:17.070 Joseph McElroy: Some of the nation’s best hiking trails, waterfalls, outdoor adventures, and family entertainment can be found, right here.

    00:02:17.580 –> 00:02:28.230 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokiesadventure.com, smokies plural adventure singular.com to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    00:02:28.620 –> 00:02:37.770 Joseph McElroy: trails waterfalls, Cades Cove, and more. Then check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment you and your entire family can enjoy.

    00:02:38.160 –> 00:02:48.360 Joseph McElroy: And if you’re looking for places to have a wedding or an outdoor life event or a honeymoon or romantic getaway check it out there are places that you can go to do that there’s well.

    00:02:48.630 –> 00:02:56.430 Joseph McElroy: The goal of smokies adventure.com is to become a leading information portal for adventures and experiences in the great smoky mountains.

    00:02:57.120 –> 00:03:06.600 Joseph McElroy: Now I mentioned some events coming up in Maggie Valley knowing we have this great festival and the May 13 and 14th for having the icons of a pop music festival.

    00:03:07.020 –> 00:03:29.340 Joseph McElroy: And then, in the 1950s and 1960s hot rod and custom cars trucks and vans for cars and vehicles, all of them 1969 and then they’ll be 50s and 60s music automotive vintage vendors kids drivers food vendors judging with awards and trophies presentation it’s a family-friendly.

    00:03:31.560 –> 00:03:40.680 Joseph McElroy: urging you to come on down and check it out and then on May 31 of June 4 we have slingshots in the smokies and see and know slingshots in the smokies.

    00:03:41.850 –> 00:03:47.370 Joseph McElroy: is known as the super bowl for slingshot of its for those who don’t know slingshots or a sort of a.

    00:03:49.200 –> 00:03:58.710 Joseph McElroy: motorcycle on three wheels, and so this will take place in the Maggie Valley festival grounds and again we’ll have all sorts of wonderful things going on.

    00:04:00.510 –> 00:04:07.620 Joseph McElroy: Since we’re talking about crafts, I need to talk about July 9 and 10th on Maggie Valley festival grounds, you have the annual.

    00:04:08.280 –> 00:04:24.390 Joseph McElroy: Maggie Valley arts and crafts show it’s the largest Maggie Valley largest gathering of artisans and crafters it comes to go to the seller handmade treasures artists and small the southeast attendance and there’ll be chains are demonstrations of lots of festivals.

    00:04:26.010 –> 00:04:39.540 Joseph McElroy: So you can go to maggievalleyfestivalgrounds.com to find out more about all the festivals coming to Maggie Valley, which is where you can go and how you can partake in enjoying all these different things now the Meadowlark is, as announced a big.

    00:04:40.710 –> 00:04:51.270 Joseph McElroy: big event coming up in August we’re going to have a Songwriters Camp and Concert with Grammy-award winning artist Jim Lauderdale and Charles Humphrey III

    00:04:51.660 –> 00:05:03.690 Joseph McElroy: Along with other award-winning artists like Darren Nicholson and Balsam Range, Clay Mills, and Charles Chamberlain. it’s a two-day event of interactive songwriting instruction from world-class musicians.

    00:05:04.350 –> 00:05:14.250 Joseph McElroy: a DEMO tape produced for each participant, and concerts by Songs from the Road Band on Friday night and a Barbecue dinner, and also our concert on Saturday night.

    00:05:14.910 –> 00:05:21.420 Joseph McElroy: This is a unique event like no other and space will be limited to ensure individual attention is given to all participants.

    00:05:21.720 –> 00:05:31.050 Joseph McElroy: the price is $675 per person including all activities and DEMO tape, two world-class concerts, and the Barbecue dinner on Saturday night.

    00:05:31.470 –> 00:05:43.980 Joseph McElroy: And then their special room prize packages are offered from different kinds of places to stay to include lodging providing for Friday and Saturday night call 8289261717 for details.

    00:05:44.400 –> 00:05:55.110 Joseph McElroy: And there’s also a limited amount of concert tickets available for the concerts and Friday Saturday night so check it out again and reserve your spot at 8289261717 so.

    00:05:56.220 –> 00:06:08.370 Joseph McElroy: Now, you know that I like to introduce some times what’s coming up with the bed with a poem I might write your fine I found that interesting going by a guy named Marcus B. Christian written in 1970 is called the Craftsman

    00:06:10.320 –> 00:06:19.650 Joseph McElroy: It goes like this, I ply with all the cunning of my art. This little thing, and with consummate care, I fashion it—so that when I depart,

    00:06:20.100 –> 00:06:35.070 Joseph McElroy: Those who come after me shall find it fair And beautiful. It must be free of flaws—Pointing no laborings of weary hands; And there must be no flouting of the laws Of beauty—as the artist understands.

    00:06:35.670 –> 00:06:46.530 Joseph McElroy: Through passion, yearnings infinite – yet dumb-

    I left you from the depths of my own mind And gild you with my soul’s white heat to plumb, The souls of future men.

    00:06:47.160 –> 00:07:02.250 Joseph McElroy: I leave behind this thing that in return, this solace gives:

    “He who creates true beauty ever lives.”

    wonderful poem little focused on one gender but it applies I think across the board.

    00:07:03.720 –> 00:07:09.570 Joseph McElroy: So somebody has a lot about crafts and we’ve introduced today is our guest her name is Brendan Anders.

    00:07:10.710 –> 00:07:19.770 Joseph McElroy: She’s a Maryville Tennessee native and then a true daughter of the smokies who’s lived in Western North Carolina since 1978.

    00:07:20.490 –> 00:07:26.190 Joseph McElroy: Since then Brenda has played an integral role in the success of Dogwood Crafters Cooperative,

    00:07:27.000 –> 00:07:34.440 Joseph McElroy: One of the most storied crafts cooperatives in the southeast, located in historic Dillsboro, N.C.

    00:07:34.950 –> 00:07:45.690 Joseph McElroy: Brenda has served in various key leadership positions including President and Chairman of the Board, along with heading multiple operational committees within the organization.

    00:07:46.260 –> 00:07:58.470 Joseph McElroy: For more than four decades Brenda’s work and leadership with Dogwood Crafters have created a template for many other artists and crafts cooperatives to follow throughout the country.

    Hello Brenda, how are you doing?

    00:07:59.220 –> 00:08:03.300 Brenda Anders: I’m doing just fine glad to be here and share the story of dogman crafters.

    00:08:03.480 –> 00:08:09.060 Joseph McElroy: I’m glad to hear about a little learn a little bit about yourself first you grew up in Maryville Tennessee.

    00:08:10.380 –> 00:08:22.170 Brenda Anders: I did, and I went to business college with my husband’s cousin and he came upon a fishing trip to visit his uncle he likes to say he used the wrong bank and got married instead.

    00:08:23.550 –> 00:08:34.080 Brenda Anders: And we did get married shortly after we only had about six dates, as he went into the air force, and then we got married moved to Texas for 13 years.

    00:08:34.530 –> 00:08:41.520 Joseph McElroy: Well yeah sometimes I mean, I had the opposite experience, I met married my first wife within six weeks.

    00:08:43.980 –> 00:08:45.390 Joseph McElroy: didn’t last for three years, but.

    00:08:46.920 –> 00:08:52.050 Joseph McElroy: I learned a lot from it so sometimes you learn lots of times you find your life mate right.

    00:08:52.470 –> 00:08:52.920 Right.

    00:08:53.970 –> 00:08:57.840 Joseph McElroy: So you wrote they’re having grown up in the foothills of those folks.

    00:08:58.530 –> 00:09:02.760 Brenda Anders: Well, to me, I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was.

    00:09:03.270 –> 00:09:09.900 Brenda Anders: It was just a natural thing it’s just like right now, when I drive around in the mountains, sometimes I forget to look at them.

    00:09:10.320 –> 00:09:12.120 Brenda Anders: Until I have company in the car with.

    00:09:12.120 –> 00:09:19.980 Brenda Anders: me and they start commenting on how pretty it is, and I have to jerk myself up and check myself and look around a little bit to appreciate what I have.

    00:09:20.670 –> 00:09:26.160 Joseph McElroy: Now America was a sort of a suburb of Nashville right wasn’t more suburb or more role and your.

    00:09:27.180 –> 00:09:27.660 Brenda Anders: role.

    00:09:27.990 –> 00:09:35.400 Joseph McElroy: yeah and so you got to do all the good home cooking and all that sort of stuff that we all familiar with, he grew up in the mountains.

    00:09:36.300 –> 00:09:41.640 Brenda Anders: As the iron, my mother did all the cooking but back in those days, we had to iron.

    00:09:42.330 –> 00:09:47.370 Joseph McElroy: Oh, there you go did you have an electric guard do you have to use it like the one here.

    00:09:48.300 –> 00:09:49.380 Brenda Anders: I’m not quite that old.

    00:09:54.630 –> 00:09:56.280 Joseph McElroy: So when did you read Maryville?

    00:09:57.210 –> 00:09:59.460 Brenda Anders: And I married in 1965.

    00:10:00.060 –> 00:10:00.480 Okay.

    00:10:01.620 –> 00:10:02.280 Joseph McElroy: go around.

    00:10:03.510 –> 00:10:06.690 Brenda Anders: He worked for champion paper cut me for just about a month.

    00:10:07.710 –> 00:10:18.600 Brenda Anders: Until his school started it and then he was in school got a job at the computer Center and then he’s been in computer work ever since until he retired.

    00:10:19.200 –> 00:10:23.700 Joseph McElroy: was good, so what brought you to Western North Carolina.

    00:10:25.170 –> 00:10:28.800 Brenda Anders: He was it got a job as Director of the Computer Center at Western.

    00:10:29.370 –> 00:10:31.080 Brenda Anders: Ah, and I followed him.

    00:10:31.590 –> 00:10:33.030 Joseph McElroy: I guess you had to, right?

    00:10:37.290 –> 00:10:39.690 Joseph McElroy: Did you end up in Dillsboro for that time or was.

    00:10:40.770 –> 00:10:50.160 Brenda Anders: About four miles, out of a Dillsboro in a town called Sylva all the surrounding areas of Sylva and we have little communities like Webster and Dillsboro.

    00:10:51.750 –> 00:11:06.930 Joseph McElroy: I love Sylva and those are there, wonderful little towns so so you got involved with the dogwood craft cooperative I saw it just a couple of years after he’s found it so you are your sort of a founder of it honestly.

    00:11:07.980 –> 00:11:14.310 Brenda Anders: Now I wasn’t that lucky I wish I could have said, I was part of the 12 who got that started.

    00:11:14.880 –> 00:11:25.710 Brenda Anders: But I was a member of the newcomers club index and county and we had a field trip, one day, and we went into dogwood crafters and I just fell in love with the art.

    00:11:26.640 –> 00:11:41.040 Brenda Anders: There, and my question was who does the decorating here and Rosemary jar or who was President that day or that year, she says, I think you do because you’re the first one that ever mentioned that word.

    00:11:42.150 –> 00:11:46.200 Brenda Anders: up to that point, the crafters had to get this stuff off of the street.

    00:11:47.520 –> 00:11:48.450 Brenda Anders: legs.

    00:11:49.500 –> 00:11:52.740 Brenda Anders: The plastic legs things and they were great jewelry over it.

    00:11:54.240 –> 00:12:05.220 Brenda Anders: Raw the things that you put electrical wire around the big round things they drug everything they could dig it dogwood started and that.

    00:12:06.270 –> 00:12:12.810 Brenda Anders: is a tribute to them, but I got there about three or four years later and I’ve been happy there ever since.

    00:12:13.830 –> 00:12:17.970 Joseph McElroy: Oh, you successfully know I’m an artist myself.

    00:12:19.980 –> 00:12:24.420 Joseph McElroy: you’re in a speakeasy down there at the Bellagio look around a lot of those are by my paintings.

    00:12:25.800 –> 00:12:36.990 Joseph McElroy: And you know it I’ve been involved in a few artists and craft things and they don’t a lot of them have a moment in the sun, then they just disappear, so you guys are really done something.

    00:12:37.890 –> 00:12:48.210 Joseph McElroy: To it intrigues me that you managed to create something this last this long list and so successful, and in fact, you’ve sort of become a model across the country for how to run.

    00:12:48.870 –> 00:13:02.400 Joseph McElroy: A cooperative so so you know I look forward to this conversation find out more so, so you basically started with land and paper.

    00:13:03.150 –> 00:13:11.580 Brenda Anders: Yes, a little ad that says, if you have handmade crafts and that you’d like to sell them, will you come to a meeting at the library.

    00:13:12.000 –> 00:13:27.660 Brenda Anders: And 12 people came and they set up the rules and the regulations over the next little while that we still go by today and they started meeting in a House there in Dillsboro that is chocolate factory now, but they would come set up their little.

    00:13:28.710 –> 00:13:40.230 Brenda Anders: TV trays and tables they had their own cash box and they sat and visited and, at the end of the day, they fold everything up and took it home pretty soon I realized that.

    00:13:40.650 –> 00:13:57.750 Brenda Anders: If I took turns and helped each other like you’d be homemaking crafts, the rest of the tap so that was the word cooperative that we still go back today, because without each and every one of the members of chocolate it couldn’t operate the way it is.

    00:13:58.950 –> 00:14:14.400 Brenda Anders: Basically, we have two crafters every day working the front counter a cashier and a bagger, and we have only one paid employee, no one was foolish enough to sign up to do the bookkeeping of the record-keeping of.

    00:14:14.850 –> 00:14:26.400 Brenda Anders: club thousands of items that we have a dogwood that the word volunteer and everyone are this thing is the key to the success of Dogwood Crafters.

    00:14:26.610 –> 00:14:27.870 Joseph McElroy: Cool. Well, we got to take a break now.

    00:14:29.310 –> 00:14:39.060 Joseph McElroy: and come back we’ll talk more about how you how it works and what the insights you gained and then the how’s that actually propagated in the world.

    00:14:40.260 –> 00:14:40.770 Brenda Anders: Okay.

    00:16:56.790 –> 00:17:04.890 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, I’m Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and My guest Brenda Anders.

    00:17:05.910 –> 00:17:19.860 Joseph McElroy: So Brenda I know that you joined in 1978 how many original members have you had what 12 members and what do you have about 90 now, is there any original members left.

    00:17:20.520 –> 00:17:29.880 Brenda Anders: We have one very active original Member her name is Patricia Calvin and she and her husband are very active and getting dogwood started, he was a lawyer.

    00:17:30.420 –> 00:17:54.150 Brenda Anders: And he helped get our policies and bio all set up and for years did leather working and she paints on glass, so we have one and another crafter who has recently come back Don Wood he was helpful in getting the Co-op started and he is now a retired from the University does beekeeping.

    00:17:54.960 –> 00:17:55.320 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow. You know I’m a beekeeper

    00:17:58.080 –> 00:17:58.830 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

    00:18:00.660 –> 00:18:12.330 Joseph McElroy: I did I put these in the South Bronx and actually got some recognition for that, because you know we got help the local communities do some beekeeping.

    00:18:13.830 –> 00:18:15.750 Brenda Anders: Those babies when you meant to ask for.

    00:18:16.170 –> 00:18:25.680 Joseph McElroy: Well, about you know, the thing is, I would create it I would enjoy it for a while and then I would train somebody in the Community, one of the Community gardens how to take it over and they take it over.

    00:18:27.270 –> 00:18:39.900 Joseph McElroy: And then I create another one that now I just made now that I’m now I’m coming down there and create some beehives at the Meadowlark and or at my place and then at nine enough but.

    00:18:41.520 –> 00:18:57.300 Joseph McElroy: So you know, I understand that you guys are not like a fleet right you actually your bylaws required I think for homeless originally right that all the artists must be Cherokee an art jury community and then must be the highest quality How does that work.

    00:18:58.260 –> 00:19:03.810 Brenda Anders: Well, when you voice an interest you come to that word and you get an application.

    00:19:05.160 –> 00:19:18.360 Brenda Anders: You fill out the application and bring one or two items that you want to make a jury committee made up of three anonymous crafters no one wants to know who they are so they can’t blame them if they’re not accepted.

    00:19:18.900 –> 00:19:26.400 Brenda Anders: But they look the craft over they make sure that it’s not something already offered in dogwood and you’re in, and you can be.

    00:19:26.820 –> 00:19:40.290 Brenda Anders: A 20% crafter means we take 20% of your money at the end of the month, and you promised to work 176 hours a year keeping the shop open working at the counter.

    00:19:40.770 –> 00:19:54.480 Brenda Anders: Are you can join as a 40% or you might be older, you might have a real job this a lot of different complications that don’t allow you to work and we take 40% of that application.

    00:19:55.470 –> 00:20:04.890 Brenda Anders: So that’s how you become a member, and then, once you’re a member you’re sucked in there to help us work to volunteer on our committees and get things done.

    00:20:05.760 –> 00:20:07.410 Joseph McElroy: And why do you mean.

    00:20:08.610 –> 00:20:13.650 Joseph McElroy: Why do you think that originally I mean why you know that originally, why did they decide to make it.

    00:20:15.030 –> 00:20:23.580 Joseph McElroy: You know, instead of just being a sort of craft a flea market and make it into this real sort of excellent source of art.

    00:20:25.170 –> 00:20:33.390 Brenda Anders: Well, we wanted to be the best that we could we have a coordinator now for every room, we have 12 rooms in this log cabin.

    00:20:34.560 –> 00:20:50.220 Brenda Anders: That has used to being cannons cottages an overnight stay staying place back in the 30s we joined us with the help of our very helpful landlord three of those log cabins and then built a big room onto the back.

    00:20:50.760 –> 00:21:03.630 Brenda Anders: And every room has a different theme and every room has a coordinator that comes and redecorates the room about every six weeks after every major holiday and we did not want everything lined up.

    00:21:04.890 –> 00:21:23.100 Brenda Anders: Like a grocery store all the band-aids on one jail all the baskets on one shelf we decorate according to theme and color and that drugs, it gives everybody a fair chance to have their crafts highlighted in the spotlight it’s worked and it works well.

    00:21:24.150 –> 00:21:30.090 Joseph McElroy: that’s great is there any restrictions on the materials or what can be displayed they’re.

    00:21:31.170 –> 00:21:32.040 Brenda Anders: Not so far.

    00:21:32.190 –> 00:21:32.520 yeah.

    00:21:36.840 –> 00:21:39.210 Joseph McElroy: Well, you said there might be room for art, you know what I do.

    00:21:42.030 –> 00:21:44.490 Brenda Anders: In the first place it’s too big you’ll have you’d have.

    00:21:44.550 –> 00:21:46.890 Brenda Anders: To do some smaller to get into our lives.

    00:21:48.630 –> 00:21:49.620 Joseph McElroy: A little flower vase.

    00:21:51.360 –> 00:21:54.750 Joseph McElroy: But I’m saying you have a Christmas shop right.

    00:21:55.830 –> 00:21:56.280 Joseph McElroy: yeah your.

    00:21:56.910 –> 00:21:58.650 Joseph McElroy: Christmas selection.

    00:21:58.890 –> 00:22:10.470 Brenda Anders: Yes, we have a room that is called the Christmas room and we sell more Christmas items throughout the year, than we actually do Christmas, because during Christmas people mostly look for gifts.

    00:22:11.160 –> 00:22:30.780 Brenda Anders: What what I like about dogwood is working behind the counter and the door opens and somebody walks in, and I said oh you’re still here and I said oh you’ve been here before, and he says, my parents, dragged me in here as a child and then during dragging my children in

    00:22:31.740 –> 00:22:41.820 Brenda Anders: Where is the toy room now that’s it usually it’s the same place so it’s good that children remember and come back to us.

    00:22:42.480 –> 00:22:56.850 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah yeah that’s part of the Meadowlark charm too we had people that had honeymoons in the 60s and they bring their children back and their grandchildren back and they’ll be coming back for you know our whole lives it’s kind of Nice.

    00:22:58.500 –> 00:23:08.460 Joseph McElroy: So I understand that you guys take a great deal of pride and using a lot of recycled products very hard to just hold them off the handle of a cane or something like that.

    00:23:08.820 –> 00:23:19.110 Brenda Anders: We do like this, this pair of mittens are made out of old sweaters and there are about five or six different sweaters here and there, NASA morn and.

    00:23:20.100 –> 00:23:32.820 Brenda Anders: This is not really a recycled item but this little Christmas ornament it’s a pine Cone it’s been run over years and years and it’s really flat and it’s called a roadkill Santa.

    00:23:34.740 –> 00:23:44.340 Brenda Anders: And we have a man who recycles concrete nails and missionary nails and he makes this cute little reindeer we recycle.

    00:23:45.330 –> 00:24:07.710 Brenda Anders: lot boat doorknobs just a lot of things, and this day in town when people are cleaning out their parent’s house we get a lot of items donated to us fabric yarn and everything and we share those and then pass them on to other crafters and things, so we have about 17 items

    00:24:08.730 –> 00:24:13.260 Brenda Anders: Different types of items using recycled material wow.

    00:24:13.350 –> 00:24:19.920 Joseph McElroy: Do you have like a little warehouse of recycled material that artists can come to find for them.

    00:24:20.190 –> 00:24:29.730 Brenda Anders: We have a very small office when the public brings things to us, we put it in their free atoms somebody might say.

    00:24:30.330 –> 00:24:36.840 Brenda Anders: Even a half a bushel basket of light bulbs and bring them in and say we don’t know why we save these, but here you are.

    00:24:37.230 –> 00:24:52.560 Brenda Anders: Because we, this is a shop and we say that you, you make things out of lot books so it’s a pass-along thing our customers and the public helps us but recycle we collect liquor bottles from restaurants that.

    00:24:53.190 –> 00:24:53.670 Joseph McElroy: For you.

    00:24:55.650 –> 00:24:56.700 Joseph McElroy: So you say.

    00:24:58.230 –> 00:24:58.590 Brenda Anders: well.

    00:24:59.310 –> 00:25:06.390 Brenda Anders: they’re painted with alcohol eighth and little bitty lots put them in them and they make that real beautiful nightlife so.

    00:25:07.530 –> 00:25:12.660 Brenda Anders: We can make something out of just about everything, our crafters are very, very smart.

    00:25:13.950 –> 00:25:20.250 Joseph McElroy: that’s cool are most of your Members from the area, how far spread is your membership.

    00:25:20.970 –> 00:25:29.310 Brenda Anders: Since everyone is in charge of their own inventory and when you join and you’re trained to be a dogwood crafter you’re trying to about.

    00:25:29.760 –> 00:25:43.800 Brenda Anders: How the shop is laid out and when you come the next time you put your own crafts out, knowing that you can move some another crafter item over a little bit, but you can’t just throw it to the side or move it to the next room so.

    00:25:46.200 –> 00:25:49.380 Brenda Anders: We learned to do that now I forgot your question.

    00:25:49.650 –> 00:25:57.510 Joseph McElroy: Of course, it was how big of an area or you remember part of are they like, I mean, how do they live, just to build for the little.

    00:25:57.990 –> 00:26:04.950 Brenda Anders: Oh yes, I’m sorry, they have to live within 175 miles.

    00:26:06.210 –> 00:26:17.610 Brenda Anders: Of the shop in Hillsboro because we require them to take an active part you can’t just come and drop your things off and that’s the last, we see it, for a year.

    00:26:18.780 –> 00:26:26.280 Brenda Anders: If you’re not able to come and work, we require you to come and do other things like donating money for cookies far luminary are.

    00:26:27.420 –> 00:26:34.050 Brenda Anders: We make sure that you do something I just a little bit extra because you’re part of the volunteer organization.

    00:26:34.440 –> 00:26:42.690 Joseph McElroy: Right, so that means you get, mind you might get people from my bills coming from Cherokee from Asheville your way.

    00:26:44.400 –> 00:26:44.820 Brenda Anders: Yes.

    00:26:45.150 –> 00:26:45.630 Brenda Anders: Very good.

    00:26:46.050 –> 00:26:49.200 Joseph McElroy: As a good diversity to as well as your charity or as.

    00:26:50.310 –> 00:27:06.210 Brenda Anders: Well, your you mentioned Cherokee we have Joseph red cloud who cars that lady train whistles and things we don’t have near enough of these things, but you cannot make a crafter craft unless they’re in the right mind.

    00:27:06.690 –> 00:27:12.150 Brenda Anders: right but local craft local crafters is what we like recently we’ve had.

    00:27:13.200 –> 00:27:18.450 Brenda Anders: A little lady join Alva Houston, and this is her hickory nut doll.

    00:27:18.720 –> 00:27:20.190 Brenda Anders: You know, want to hickory night is.

    00:27:20.580 –> 00:27:23.040 Brenda Anders: yeah okay her face.

    00:27:23.910 –> 00:27:33.600 Brenda Anders: From hickory net and it’s an everything is here is made from her legs from a pipe cleaner covered and hose right up to the little quilt that she’s making.

    00:27:33.990 –> 00:27:50.070 Brenda Anders: And that was very good fun, for us, and we have a husband and wife team that makes baskets and canes chairs, this is called the Blue Ridge basket a very sturdy basket with a wooden bottle and bottom and.

    00:27:50.730 –> 00:28:06.420 Brenda Anders: She designed that in Chicago at the Blueridge basket and one of our most popular things for people to watch when we’re demonstrating is this braided rug and the children come in and they say oh look that lady’s making a carpet.

    00:28:07.020 –> 00:28:11.490 Brenda Anders: You know, we love for the kids to see us ironing.

    00:28:12.540 –> 00:28:23.760 Brenda Anders: cutting out things seeing a sewing machine and seeing things that are not exposed to now, so I thought that was very funny one the man says look she’s making carpet.

    00:28:25.110 –> 00:28:30.660 Brenda Anders: crafter to make socks hats, we just have an abundance of different items.

    00:28:31.290 –> 00:28:46.680 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know that there’s a lot of people that don’t you don’t understand our warcraft and they just deal with it on the superficial level which is you know that’s okay, too, but you know I always like to find people in know also the beauty inherent value of what people create.

    00:28:47.520 –> 00:28:49.800 Brenda Anders: Like to be proud of the time.

    00:28:49.830 –> 00:29:08.850 Brenda Anders: I went to my girlfriend’s house and her mother and aunt had a bad full of quilts and pillows and I said, what can you do with these well we just make them like nobody’s going to want them, but this, so I talked him into joining and those sisters were two of the most popular.

    00:29:09.900 –> 00:29:25.350 Brenda Anders: counter workers that there was an in the shop and they sold the whole bed, full of pillows and blankets and at that time, the government wasn’t involved, and we could sell our homemade jams and jellies.

    00:29:26.010 –> 00:29:27.360 Brenda Anders: Well, Miss Verily.

    00:29:28.380 –> 00:29:37.230 Brenda Anders: Would not cus, no matter what, so there was a man standing and looking at her Delhi and he said this verily coke must be one hell of a cook.

    00:29:39.420 –> 00:29:44.190 Brenda Anders: The expression on her face was something that I’ll never forget it’s such pride.

    00:29:44.640 –> 00:30:01.740 Brenda Anders: And, seeing that the people who came in and bought something that they created I’m a firm believer that there is gold in these mountains and it’s up to us to find those people and sell what is so rich in the past that alone on things that are handmade.

    00:30:02.280 –> 00:30:07.110 Brenda Anders: Because it’s very hard to keep people interested in handmade crafts.

    00:30:07.380 –> 00:30:18.750 Joseph McElroy: yeah well, we have to take a break now all right, well, we come back we’ll talk more about the nature of handmade crafts and further what you guys are doing in Dillsboro.

    00:32:26.220 –> 00:32:43.200 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with a Gateway to the Smokies Podcasts and my guest Brenda Anders, so Brenda you mentioned earlier about a 12-room log building I guess it was formerly cabins and motel, it was a tourist motel.

    00:32:43.860 –> 00:32:45.900 Brenda Anders: yeah yes I’m not cannons cottage.

    00:32:47.100 –> 00:32:48.000 Brenda Anders: belong to the.

    00:32:48.030 –> 00:33:00.690 Brenda Anders: a family who had become our landlord for all these years, Mr. Wade Wilson, and his wife Becky and like I said, we have, first in the little house one street over and.

    00:33:01.230 –> 00:33:22.500 Brenda Anders: He loves dogwood and the concept of having bills for becoming craft capital, so he asked us if we’d like to move over there, pretty soon we expanded and got the next cabin joined together it end up, we took three cabins and we’re still in and that today and.

    00:33:24.900 –> 00:33:26.370 Joseph McElroy: The rest of the campus still runs.

    00:33:28.140 –> 00:33:29.490 Brenda Anders: No. Without the hall, we have.

    00:33:30.660 –> 00:33:31.230 Joseph McElroy: just gone in.

    00:33:33.180 –> 00:33:36.090 Brenda Anders: a while back he met me on the street, and he says.

    00:33:37.380 –> 00:33:46.200 Brenda Anders: I want to sell your dog crafters and I said but it’s family-owned property how are you going to do that he says, I want it done.

    00:33:47.130 –> 00:34:12.480 Brenda Anders: And so, he named his price $350,000 we went to work, having garage sales we learn how to ask for grants and we got it down to a word we only owed $100,000 and our bank Suntrust bank loans are little craft cooperatives $100,000 and within seven years we had our building paid for.

    00:34:13.110 –> 00:34:13.320 that’s fabulous, that’s fabulous!

    00:34:15.060 –> 00:34:21.240 Joseph McElroy: You guys take care of everything volunteers do everything building flower boxes main interest really sort of.

    00:34:21.240 –> 00:34:28.290 Brenda Anders: Special, that is true that’s why I say I’ve been everything from the groundskeeper right on it, because.

    00:34:29.220 –> 00:34:36.570 Brenda Anders: We do have grounds that we have to keep and like you said, the flower boxes, as someone orders all of our supplies.

    00:34:37.200 –> 00:34:46.050 Brenda Anders: Another lady is in charge of all of our classes and we offer free classes to anyone who would like to come, they only have to pay for the supplies.

    00:34:46.740 –> 00:34:56.520 Brenda Anders: They use during that we have a scholarship committee we give them a lot of money to John Campbell Haywood Tech Southwestern.

    00:34:57.060 –> 00:35:06.720 Brenda Anders: To students wanting to learn and the Appalachian craft and so uh we have different projects, in order to earn money for that craft.

    00:35:07.230 –> 00:35:16.650 Brenda Anders: And of course, we love to advertise and we have one project that we do every year for special expensive advertising, and that is, we sell.

    00:35:17.130 –> 00:35:31.320 Brenda Anders: quilt tickets for a raffle quilt and our craft or one of our oldest crafters Laurie Walter who lives in wine soul, has made those quilts for the last five or six years we used to come together as a group, and make that but he says.

    00:35:32.400 –> 00:35:39.450 Brenda Anders: I don’t understand it, but he says, the women talk too much and if I would send them home he’d make the damn quilts itself.

    00:35:42.060 –> 00:35:51.810 Brenda Anders: So that’s what he’s done and we sell raffle tickets all year long so he can, so we can have special advertising the.

    00:35:52.890 –> 00:36:00.660 Brenda Anders: We come up with different ideas such as that to make money but makes me the shop is run by ours.

    00:36:02.250 –> 00:36:06.720 Brenda Anders: percentages from our crafters and we also sell jams and jellies.

    00:36:09.510 –> 00:36:10.740 Joseph McElroy: Most of the money comes from.

    00:36:10.890 –> 00:36:12.810 Joseph McElroy: Yes, so.

    00:36:13.350 –> 00:36:14.340 Brenda Anders: As a nonprofit.

    00:36:14.400 –> 00:36:16.530 Brenda Anders: we’re not supposed to have a whole lot of money.

    00:36:16.800 –> 00:36:18.690 Brenda Anders: So we don’t.

    00:36:19.200 –> 00:36:25.170 Brenda Anders: But we needed more so we needed those the money came from jam and jelly so we have a crafter.

    00:36:25.710 –> 00:36:33.600 Brenda Anders: A Joan Marston who has volunteered and she orders jams and jellies, we looked all over the country and we found a little shop and tiger Georgia.

    00:36:33.960 –> 00:36:46.050 Brenda Anders: still makes her jellies and little for four-gallon pots so it’s as close to homemade is, as we can get and when the man walks in the door, they just go straight to across the hall to our pantry and start.

    00:36:46.530 –> 00:36:55.230 Brenda Anders: buying the jelly and the Barbecue sauces and things like that, without the money that we earn from our jams and jellies, it would be hard for us.

    00:36:56.250 –> 00:36:59.130 Brenda Anders: To make our quota of expenses.

    00:36:59.880 –> 00:37:00.600 Joseph McElroy: Now I hear.

    00:37:01.620 –> 00:37:05.700 Joseph McElroy: You so you sell cookbooks and that you have begun writing those Is that true.

    00:37:06.840 –> 00:37:17.460 Brenda Anders: here’s the cookbook one of my favorite simply because of the color we’ve had five cookbooks and I think we, we have, four now, that are in print.

    00:37:18.000 –> 00:37:35.310 Brenda Anders: I did not write them at all, but I do have recipes in them our customers have recipes on our different crafters have recipes and cookbooks sales are we’ve sold thousands of cookbooks and because of the cookbooks we have.

    00:37:36.780 –> 00:37:44.100 Brenda Anders: Well it’s a whole story, I could talk for another hour and how we got to this, but we were on Carolina kitchen.

    00:37:45.570 –> 00:37:57.630 Brenda Anders: On WLOS TV every day, they have a five-minute segment of recipes and cookies so I was privileged to go over there and I did that way back in the.

    00:37:58.830 –> 00:38:05.340 Brenda Anders: I’ve done it for about 20 years, of course, the code would put a stop to that for right now but I’m trying to figure out a way how.

    00:38:06.390 –> 00:38:08.940 Brenda Anders: I don’t want them to come and gentlemen, my house.

    00:38:10.590 –> 00:38:12.120 Brenda Anders: That would require housekeeping.

    00:38:12.150 –> 00:38:15.090 Joseph McElroy: detail now, oh no you’re an expert at zoom just do it.

    00:38:16.470 –> 00:38:20.430 Brenda Anders: Oh I’m at your friend’s place doing this.

    00:38:21.630 –> 00:38:22.710 Brenda Anders: On a flip phone.

    00:38:24.390 –> 00:38:26.910 Joseph McElroy: Well, you did a zoom on a flip phone.

    00:38:27.360 –> 00:38:28.500 Brenda Anders: No, no, no I have a flip phone.

    00:38:32.160 –> 00:38:41.400 Joseph McElroy: By my father still on a flip phone too so yeah you know it’s funny that they’re now making smartphones to look like and flip like a flip phone.

    00:38:42.660 –> 00:38:45.630 Joseph McElroy: gen Z loves the concept of the flip phone.

    00:38:45.960 –> 00:38:46.950 Joseph McElroy: Not knowing that.

    00:38:48.000 –> 00:38:49.470 Joseph McElroy: That we had that 30 years ago.

    00:38:50.340 –> 00:39:03.030 Joseph McElroy: yeah right yeah so, but so so you guys do that’s really nice do all this promotion, with the cooking it’s really you know we’re wanting to do some interesting mountain cooking

    00:39:03.870 –> 00:39:12.120 Joseph McElroy: recipes for any restaurant come in the Meadowlark so I definitely want to see your cookbook to see if we can find some things that might be interesting for that.

    00:39:14.610 –> 00:39:14.940 Joseph McElroy: and

    00:39:16.170 –> 00:39:26.760 Brenda Anders: That over crafters are good cooks and we have many recipes in our fast cookbooks that come from our mothers and grandmothers so we’ll help you out on that.

    00:39:28.290 –> 00:39:29.040 Joseph McElroy: So tell me.

    00:39:30.390 –> 00:39:38.610 Joseph McElroy: How you know I just moved to Asheville so I know you have a moment in the mountain seekers it’s a national it’s a pretty nice event yes.

    00:39:38.640 –> 00:39:43.920 Brenda Anders: dogwood has gone to the North Carolina mountain state fair since it began.

    00:39:45.330 –> 00:39:58.260 Brenda Anders: I’m not good at naming dates, but about 27 years and we started out, we had loose on the dirt there in the arena, and now we have a wonderful new building built by.

    00:40:00.690 –> 00:40:10.140 Brenda Anders: The North Carolina folks that they in the regulators from Raleigh and about four or five years ago dogwood was asked to take over the.

    00:40:10.860 –> 00:40:27.540 Brenda Anders: historic heritage crafters there, which was a real privilege for us and we are in constant search of heritage crafters and we have so much fun working 13 days 10 days 13 hours a day.

    00:40:28.980 –> 00:40:34.830 Brenda Anders: selling and meeting the folks and introducing them to traditional mountain crafts.

    00:40:35.220 –> 00:40:36.810 Joseph McElroy: And when is that usually held

    00:40:38.130 –> 00:40:42.060 Brenda Anders: It starts Thursday after Labor day and for the next 10 days.

    00:40:43.470 –> 00:40:44.970 Brenda Anders: I expect you to be coming there.

    00:40:45.330 –> 00:40:47.430 Joseph McElroy: I will be coming there we live right there.

    00:40:50.070 –> 00:40:56.070 Joseph McElroy: I got a balloon and off I’m on my second rodeo and I got three and a half-year-old twins

    00:40:57.150 –> 00:41:03.840 Joseph McElroy: So so I’ll be bringing them to show them all sorts of mountain culture, I think they’ll get a kick out that I look forward to.

    00:41:05.580 –> 00:41:16.350 Brenda Anders: they’ll love it, they have the last birthing of the cows, then calves and pig races and but don’t forget to bring them to Virginia been building and say that crafters.

    00:41:17.760 –> 00:41:29.910 Joseph McElroy: So you, you mentioned, going back to you know I love Cabin right, so what I wanted to ask about that he said the rooms were thinking about doing things, what are the themes of your rooms?

    00:41:30.540 –> 00:41:37.560 Brenda Anders: Well, as you enter the room it’s the main room and we live near Eastern we have that decorated for Easter.

    00:41:38.250 –> 00:41:46.590 Brenda Anders: mother’s day father’s day and, as you enter then go to the right, we have the lodge a lot of people who come and visit us want.

    00:41:47.580 –> 00:42:08.070 Brenda Anders: To decorate their lodge so we have that than around the fireplace we have our Christmas room and then into the next room is our children’s and toy room, we have our pantry with jams and jellies, we have a room that has handmade soap pillows and.

    00:42:09.510 –> 00:42:18.510 Brenda Anders: Some jewelry items and things, then we have the traditional large room, which has the baskets brand new drugs, and things like that.

    00:42:19.080 –> 00:42:27.570 Brenda Anders: Then we have the bouquet of handmade hats and gloves and dresses and aprons and then we have a kitchen, which has.

    00:42:28.170 –> 00:42:47.520 Brenda Anders: kitchen items handmade kitchen items and then you’re not going to find stainless steel spoons or anything everything in our shop is handmade, then the big room that we built on to the cabins out to the back it’s called the gallery, and we call it that, because.

    00:42:48.600 –> 00:42:50.610 Brenda Anders: It has lots of walls that.

    00:42:51.810 –> 00:43:04.290 Brenda Anders: We can hang photographs and original paintings and prints and things like that, but we did have to put tables and shells in there because we have to have room for crafts.

    00:43:05.760 –> 00:43:17.520 Joseph McElroy: that’s fabulous well, we got to take one last break here we’ll come back we’ll talk a little bit about you know other things going on and how people find out of that all right.

    00:43:17.700 –> 00:43:18.210 Okay.


    00:45:21.630 –> 00:45:29.970 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Podcast Gateway to the Smokies with my guest Brenda Anders so Brenda.

    00:45:30.990 –> 00:45:37.500 Joseph McElroy: I read that you added a new feature to the Co-op and that’s Mary’s Garden, what does that how did it come about.

    00:45:39.000 –> 00:45:51.900 Brenda Anders: Mary Nolan was a member of dogwood for many, many years, and when she passed away, we wanted to pay tribute to her in a special way, so we had our side yard brick.

    00:45:52.680 –> 00:45:57.180 Brenda Anders: And we have a black with her photograph on it, and everything is just called Mary’s garden.

    00:45:57.720 –> 00:46:11.130 Brenda Anders: And we’re a firm believer at the dogwood that if you make the men comfortable sitting out on a patio with a good comfortable bench daily deal long while you’re in the shot buying things so mary’s garden has.

    00:46:12.330 –> 00:46:25.560 Brenda Anders: It keeps Mary with us, she was very important to us as dogwood every Member when you become a member of a dog and you become a member of dogwood your family when you’re sick we help you.

    00:46:25.950 –> 00:46:45.420 Brenda Anders: When when you have a death in the family, we help you and you are as important there’s no one there are people like me, have a good mouth and can talk about dogwood and things, but each and every Member of dogwood makes it a volunteer cooperative shop.

    00:46:46.620 –> 00:46:47.460 Joseph McElroy: So.

    00:46:49.080 –> 00:46:57.570 Joseph McElroy: it’s obviously real dedication to your Members, but I also feel like the last this long your real dedication to your customers, how do you support them?

    00:46:58.710 –> 00:47:23.970 Brenda Anders: We support them by continuing to have good quality crafts, we try each of our crafters come up with new ideas and our longtime customers notice when they come in, they say Oh well, this is new and every item has a tag on it and that crafters name is on the tech, so they know that.

    00:47:25.410 –> 00:47:36.870 Brenda Anders: Geneva has a new chair, or Judy Horn has some new gourds or they identify by name, not just a number on the tag so.

    00:47:38.340 –> 00:47:48.720 Brenda Anders: We try to support them by having new things and staying open it’s really hard to stay open as a business now and it’s a privilege to say that we.

    00:47:49.080 –> 00:47:59.700 Brenda Anders: have made this happen for as many years, as we have when we first started well not when we first started, but about 20 years into it handmade in America became very popular.

    00:48:00.420 –> 00:48:12.480 Brenda Anders: And they asked us to help other craft cooperatives get started so Mary and I would take these trips to different towns all around and.

    00:48:13.500 –> 00:48:24.300 Brenda Anders: We would talk to them about how we got started and what we did, and one of our Members Susie Ray wrote a book dogwood crafters our first 25 years.

    00:48:24.840 –> 00:48:39.480 Brenda Anders: And in that book, it tells exactly how we got started our recommendations of how a craft cooperative works, and you can take that look, and you can find a good location in your own town, and you can have your own doctor crafters cooperatives.

    00:48:40.260 –> 00:48:47.280 Joseph McElroy: fabulous that’s fabulous and you know, in your own town, but you go around the festivals as well.

    00:48:48.450 –> 00:48:51.210 Joseph McElroy: Yes, a big holiday, can you tell me about those?

    00:48:52.260 –> 00:48:52.950 Brenda Anders: Dillsboro

    00:48:54.270 –> 00:49:04.470 Brenda Anders: has three main festivals, we have a front street in July color fest in October, and our luminary, which is the first two full weekends in

    00:49:05.310 –> 00:49:24.810 Brenda Anders: December and that is where the streets are all by candles and white bags to thousands and thousands of fit and the shops offer refreshments and when we can get the horses to work there are horse-drawn buggy rides and everything and.

    00:49:26.610 –> 00:49:36.840 Brenda Anders: While the train comes to Dillsboro we like to have demonstrations, so the spring fling and fall fling has started and that’s just on.

    00:49:37.320 –> 00:49:49.200 Brenda Anders: Certain Saturdays I can’t remember the dates, right now, but we have crafters and in the front of each shop we don’t cross the streets off for those things but.

    00:49:50.160 –> 00:50:07.590 Brenda Anders: Again we’re trying to let people say that hey things are handmade and we have several good shops in town that, of course, they don’t all carry handmade things but they’re good quality shops that are restaurants can be beaten in Dillsboro

    00:50:08.370 –> 00:50:09.630 Joseph McElroy:Dillsboro

    00:50:11.250 –> 00:50:13.380 Joseph McElroy: has nice restaurants there Okay, yes.

    00:50:14.130 –> 00:50:19.770 Joseph McElroy: yeah I can’t speak more highly of it and you gotta you have a brewery there now to innovation.

    00:50:20.880 –> 00:50:22.050 Joseph McElroy: Innovation right brewery.

    00:50:22.350 –> 00:50:22.770 Yes.

    00:50:24.000 –> 00:50:29.790 Joseph McElroy: it’s good time to visit, then people should visit and then go to the go-to coop and buy some crafts would be a.

    00:50:29.790 –> 00:50:30.030 Brenda Anders: Great.

    00:50:30.570 –> 00:50:31.830 Joseph McElroy: A great day trip.

    00:50:32.040 –> 00:50:33.480 Joseph McElroy: And a fun thing that we have.

    00:50:34.710 –> 00:50:47.880 Brenda Anders: A fun thing that we have is the Easter parade and that got started 37 years ago when several shops decided well we’ll just have our own parade, and so they put on funny hats and they marched around town.

    00:50:48.150 –> 00:50:56.520 Brenda Anders: Oh now, we continue to have that, and hundreds of people come our state magazine came and interviewed and stayed all day.

    00:50:56.520 –> 00:51:07.590 Brenda Anders: And took pictures and it’s a free event for families and it’s always the Saturday before Easter this year, we had a goat come.

    00:51:09.030 –> 00:51:17.910 Brenda Anders: Last year, oh, and we have a cat that has been coming up for five years, her name is a bonus, and she walks around on the leash last year at a chicken come.

    00:51:18.330 –> 00:51:27.690 Brenda Anders: So it’s always fun to see who shows up and watch shows up that it’s a good Dillsboro is a walkabout town it’s too long blocks.

    00:51:28.680 –> 00:51:40.320 Brenda Anders: front and back street and that, where you can park your car and go in and out all these shops and stop to eat and have a really good day that away from the maddening crowds.

    00:51:40.950 –> 00:51:43.140 Joseph McElroy: So what’s the future for the Coop.

    00:51:44.910 –> 00:51:45.660 Joseph McElroy: what’s your vision?

    00:51:46.770 –> 00:52:03.720 Brenda Anders: My vision is that we can continue to recruit crafters to carry on dogwood crafters as it has been for the last since 76 and keep it there for generations to come it’s hard work.

    00:52:05.100 –> 00:52:15.510 Brenda Anders: Getting younger people to want to make a craft that’s why we have to demonstrate and show that you can make carpet and you can make your own socks and crochet your own hat and.

    00:52:16.230 –> 00:52:24.540 Brenda Anders: Dollies I love Dollies I can have a lot of deaths, but I dare say that a lot of people don’t know what a dollies is

    00:52:25.260 –> 00:52:25.620 Brenda Anders: and

    00:52:26.460 –> 00:52:28.080 Brenda Anders: We just want to keep that alive.

    00:52:28.500 –> 00:52:38.700 Brenda Anders: And if we can do that the dog will be there for another 25 or 75 years I won’t be meaning for crafters won’t be but dogwood will be there.

    00:52:39.120 –> 00:52:45.330 Joseph McElroy: For you on the next generation that’s important So how do people find out more about you?

    00:52:46.410 –> 00:52:54.780 Brenda Anders: Well, Facebook or dogwood crafters are on Facebook, we have a website dogwoodcrafters.com.

    00:52:57.810 –> 00:53:12.330 Brenda Anders: And we still are old fashion and have brochures and some of the welcome centers and things like that, but I think, where people can just Google it and find us in Dillsboro.

    00:53:12.870 –> 00:53:18.630 Joseph McElroy: Well, I invite you to bring your quilt raffle tickets over the Meadowlark and try to sell some for it.

    00:53:19.020 –> 00:53:20.280 Joseph McElroy: Okay, and.

    00:53:21.180 –> 00:53:22.140 Brenda Anders: we’re very lucky.

    00:53:22.290 –> 00:53:30.660 Brenda Anders: Where we’re located we’re on how by 441 at the red light, there were three hours from Charlotte three hours from Atlanta three hours from.

    00:53:32.520 –> 00:53:42.420 Brenda Anders: major hubs one hour from Asheville so if you’re wanting to go to Cherokee stop 14 miles before you get to Cherokee and you’ll find dogwood crafters.

    00:53:42.540 –> 00:53:43.710 Joseph McElroy: And of course, you’re pretty close to.

    00:53:45.810 –> 00:53:50.280 Joseph McElroy: Maggie Valley you know I hope you guys come to our craft and arts and crafts show.

    00:53:51.960 –> 00:53:56.850 Joseph McElroy: All right, good well it’s been a pleasure, having you on the show today Thank you so much.

    00:53:58.440 –> 00:54:08.730 Joseph McElroy: I’ve learned a lot it’s nice to know about you that stimulates things in my brain, you know I’m involved in the arts and crafts, so I definitely come and check you out and see what’s going on.

    00:54:09.960 –> 00:54:17.760 Joseph McElroy: So thank you again, this is the gateway to the smokies podcast you can find out more about us at.

    00:54:20.520 –> 00:54:27.540 Joseph McElroy: Talkradio. NYC, is a network of live podcasts about what happened there every day.

    00:54:28.590 –> 00:54:42.330 Joseph McElroy: During every day of the week, where you’ll find out information that’s interesting they talk about small business and talk about you have self help it talks about cats, dogs and animals and all sorts of different things.

    00:54:43.800 –> 00:54:44.250 Joseph McElroy: So.

    00:54:47.190 –> 00:54:48.810 Joseph McElroy: it’s a pleasure to have you here.

    00:54:49.860 –> 00:54:59.670 Joseph McElroy: And and have you should listen to the show, so I encourage you to go see and listen to other podcasts on the network, I.

    00:55:00.780 –> 00:55:08.610 Joseph McElroy: This specific show has a Facebook page facebook.com/gatewaytothesmokiespodcast where you find the.

    00:55:08.940 –> 00:55:15.870 Joseph McElroy: The local live broadcasts and everything else we’re also smokiesadventure.com there’s a link that shows all the previous.

    00:55:16.560 –> 00:55:25.230 Joseph McElroy: podcasts and transcripts, as well as information that’s useful my mutual to us, was events know things going on and I.

    00:55:26.040 –> 00:55:31.080 Joseph McElroy: I have another podcast on this network that can wise content creates wealth which is about.

    00:55:31.590 –> 00:55:39.540 Joseph McElroy: Using AI and behavioral science to help marketing your business So if you get a chance to look at look for that podcast on Fridays from.

    00:55:40.170 –> 00:55:56.100 Joseph McElroy: From noon to one, this podcast is on Tuesdays from six to seven every week and it’s been a pleasure letting you into our world here, and hopefully, you’ll come to visit us and I’ll talk to you next week.

    50m - May 10, 2022
  • Episode 57: Forging a Blacksmithing Career in the Smoky Mountains

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/05/03 - Forging a Blacksmithing Career in the Smoky Mountains


    In this episode, you will learn about the art of blacksmithing and metalworking in the Smoky Mountains. 

    Matthew Shirey is an Award-winning Blacksmith and Metalworking Artist who has resided in Sylva, N.C. for over 15 years. A native of Pennsylvania, Matthew has been a full-time craftsman since 2017 and the Owner of Shira Forge since 2005. 

    Matthew was also the winner of the 2022 season premiere of the History Channel hit television show –Forged in Fire! He will discuss what it means to be a blacksmith in the 21st century and see how he forged his career out of metal at an early age.

    Website: https://www.shiraforge.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matthew.shirey.54

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shiraforge/

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.




    Joseph Franklin McElroy kicks off the show by mentioning the sponsor of the show, which is of course his own, the Meadowlark Motel and also smokiesadventure.com. Some upcoming events at the motel include this weekend, May 6th through the 8th called Wildcrafting and Mother Nature’s natural garden program honoring women empowerment and celebrating Mother’s Day. The poem Joseph reads to us today is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called The Village Blacksmith. The poem talks about being proud of the things you've done in your life and being a role model. He introduces his guest, Matthew Shirey, owner of Shira Forge since 2005. Matthew grew up in Pennsylvania and went to college there as well. He also spent time in Montana and Oregon. He wasn't sure what he wanted to do, but he did know that he wanted to do blacksmithing as his career. At one point, he threw whatever he could in the back of his van and traveled to Waynesville, North Carolina when an opportunity came up from a friend who needed a blacksmith. Before this, he spent several years working with kids, and different faculties did carpentry work, washed dishes in kitchens, and more.


    Matthew got into archeology and history while in high school which got him interested in blacksmithing. He walked into a heritage center in his hometown where they had a blacksmithing class. He spent a weekend one summer doing this and knew this was what he wanted to do for his career. Shirey says that it's the magic of forging, getting a steel pot, and being able to manipulate it. He also has always had an obsession with knives and metal and what you can create with them. Shirey talks about blacksmithing in the 18th and 19th century as well as today. He mostly learned a lot on his own through books, going to other blacksmiths, picking their brains, and the use of the internet. Shirey mentions Herschel, Frank, and John, otherwise known as the House Brothers, as influences. They make flintlock rifles, knives, axes, and other early American tools. Shirey’s main focus of what he makes are knives, axes, and carbon steel frying pans. He also explains the difference between carbon steel pans and cast iron pans. Carbon steel pans are super strong and have a little more advantage in various ways.


    Shirey talks a bit about his business, Shira Forge, and not going into it full-time until about 2017. He mentions that he had a teaching job with Southwestern Community College and was enjoying it. He also worked as a welder and carpenter. Shirey also talks about the name of his business which is paying homage to his ancestors as well as being a part of the show Forged in the Fire on the History Channel in season 9. He applied twice to be in the show and was able to be a part of the show in 2021. In the show, there are three rounds of competition and 4 bladesmiths. In the first round, you would have three hours to forge and heat treat a knife within whatever challenge was set forth. In the second round for Shirey, he had to put a handle and guard on a knife within a limited time frame. The final two competitors would go home to their own shop for a couple of days and forge whatever weapon was given to them as a challenge. The judges would look at not only the aesthetic of tools but also the functionality. The grand prize was 10,000 dollars which allowed Shirey to invest in his business and own tools.


    Shirey talks about wanting to get back into teaching such as maybe offering small workshops in his shop and reconnecting with other schools around the country. He may also be interested in creating YouTube videos as well. In the Great Smoky Mountains, Shirey likes to hunt and fish and just be outside whenever possible. In Sylva, he enjoys eating at the Guadalupe Café. Joseph also talks with Shirey about his favorite entertainment places to visit. They also talk about a celebration for Shirey’s win in the competition show which was held at the Lazy Hiker Taproom in Sylva. Shirey thanks Joseph for bringing him on the show to share his passion. You can find more about Matthew Shirey and his work at shiraforge.com, and on Instagram at Shiraforge.



    00:00:40.710 –> 00:00:42.060 Joseph McElroy: howdy welcome to

    00:00:42.240 –> 00:00:52.500 Joseph McElroy: The gateway to the smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the surrounding towns.

    00:00:53.040 –> 00:01:01.350 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty and deep-storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:01:01.680 –> 00:01:12.630 Joseph McElroy: I’m Joseph Franklyn McElroy a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains my family’s lived in these great smokies for over 200 years my business is in travel but my heart is in culture.

    00:01:13.380 –> 00:01:22.320 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re gonna be talking about forging a blacksmithing career in the smoky mountains, but first I got a message from our sponsor which happens to be me.

    00:01:23.670 –> 00:01:34.200 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place evocative of motor courts in the past yet modern and vibrant with a Chic Appalachian feel, a place for adventure and full relaxation.

    00:01:34.860 –> 00:01:43.710 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream grill the catch on fire and eat accompanied by a fine wine or craft beers.

    00:01:44.160 –> 00:01:58.380 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place that old-time music and world cultural sound, there is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventures start with where you stay.

    00:01:59.460 –> 00:02:08.160 Joseph McElroy: and other sponsors smokiesadventure.com the smoky mountains in the surrounding areas of vacation destination for all season.

    00:02:09.210 –> 00:02:15.510 Joseph McElroy: Some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures and family entertainment can be found, right here.

    00:02:15.900 –> 00:02:27.390 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokiesadventure.com that’s smokies plural adventure singular dot com to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    00:02:27.840 –> 00:02:32.730 Joseph McElroy: trails, waterfalls, cade’s cove, they got elk and historic.

    00:02:33.450 –> 00:02:40.230 Joseph McElroy: buildings and more than check out the awesome family attractions and entertainment, you and your entire family can enjoy.

    00:02:40.560 –> 00:02:50.940 Joseph McElroy: And if you’re looking to have an interesting life event you can find places to have interesting outdoor weddings or allotments or honeymoons or just romantic getaway.

    00:02:51.690 –> 00:02:58.800 Joseph McElroy: The goal of smokiesadventure.com is to become the leading information portal for adventures in the great smoky mountains.

    00:02:59.700 –> 00:03:19.500 Joseph McElroy: will tell you about a few minutes events coming up here at the Meadowlark Motel we’re going to have a wonderful event for the celebration of mother’s day this weekend may 6 to the eighth 2022 is called wildcrafting in mother nature’s natural garden program with Illa Hatter

    00:03:21.630 –> 00:03:25.860 Joseph McElroy: And it’s a weekend honoring female empowerment and iconic Appalachian women.

    00:03:26.460 –> 00:03:31.710 Joseph McElroy: And that’s what better time to do that and mother’s day it kicks off Friday night when we will have.

    00:03:32.100 –> 00:03:42.060 Joseph McElroy: acclaimed author wilderness survival expert Haywood County search and rescue team Member and record-setting endurance athlete Nancy East to present our Program.

    00:03:42.600 –> 00:03:49.500 Joseph McElroy: moms moving mountains and she will experience to share experiences in the great outdoors as well as her.

    00:03:49.890 –> 00:03:58.440 Joseph McElroy: amazing endurance hiking achievements and and a lot of our search and rescue stories that are quite interesting and then she’ll have a book signing of her.

    00:03:59.340 –> 00:04:09.360 Joseph McElroy: New book and that’s $10 for admission and it’s free for the guests in the motel and then on Saturday in the afternoon we’re going to have a whole.

    00:04:11.700 –> 00:04:25.620 Joseph McElroy: adventure with Illa Hatter who’s a legendary wildcrafting expert renowned author filmmaker instructor and tour guide for the great smoky mountains National Park at their elite field school.

    00:04:26.640 –> 00:04:43.650 Joseph McElroy: she’s an expert on edible pan plants medicinal herbs and new things for tape pertaining to wildcraft foraging and Appalachian plants trees and flowers she’s been on TV shows and videos and books and has worked on his advisor for movies and TV shows.

    00:04:45.030 –> 00:04:52.650 Joseph McElroy: And she will be presenting her beloved program mother’s nature natural garden and leading, which is talking about forging and all the things that.

    00:04:53.310 –> 00:05:05.670 Joseph McElroy: You know that you can do with those plants and herbs in the mountains and then she’s actually going to lead a tour on the grounds of the Meadowlark Motel which has a large wooden recreation area and a.

    00:05:06.870 –> 00:05:16.170 Joseph McElroy: Natural mountain heritage trout stream was and identifying nature’s bounty so you can actually get hands-on experience finding these things right in your backyard.

    00:05:16.620 –> 00:05:25.500 Joseph McElroy: And then it will there will be that all will culminate with a free Barbecue supper and music by Michael Ogletree and friends and the admission, for that is $20 or.

    00:05:26.190 –> 00:05:36.570 Joseph McElroy: Is free for motel guests, and then on Sunday morning, we have a mother’s brunch where they can have a enjoy cake and champagne at the motel so please come by if you can.

    00:05:37.770 –> 00:05:49.500 Joseph McElroy: upcoming events at the festival grounds on March 13 and 14th there are the icons of hot rodding festival well you’ll get the 50s and 60s hot Rod and custom cars truck events.

    00:05:50.640 –> 00:06:07.590 Joseph McElroy: And for models or 1969 and older and it’ll be the 50s and 60s music vintage vendors pinstripe or food vendors judging awards and presentations and so that I will look forward to that very much um, as you know, sometimes I’d like to do a poem.

    00:06:09.630 –> 00:06:27.510 Joseph McElroy: About about that’s related to the content of the show that we’re gonna be doing and I found one is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who’s around for making their 1807-1882 and it’s called “the village blacksmith” but you know it’s I’m also.

    00:06:28.800 –> 00:06:45.300 Joseph McElroy: It talks about you know it also talks a lot about do you know have lived life and to be proud of your accomplishments and the things that you’ve done and work every day with pride in that you know and some of that I, you know I spent 27 years in New York.

    00:06:46.350 –> 00:06:52.290 Joseph McElroy: You know, doing a lot of things there and a mouse seasons come where I’m moving back to North Carolina.

    00:06:52.890 –> 00:07:03.210 Joseph McElroy: And will be full time in the smoky mountain area now we’re actually gonna be living in Ashville and somehow this spoke to me as well, so let me tell you about this poem is.

    00:07:03.720 –> 00:07:17.430 Joseph McElroy: Under a spreading chestnut tree, The village smithy stands; the Smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands, And the muscles of his brawny arms, Are strong as iron bands.

    00:07:18.330 –> 00:07:28.350 Joseph McElroy: His hair is crisp and black, and long; His face is like the tan;

    His brow is wet with honest sweat, He earns whatever he can,

    00:07:29.190 –> 00:07:44.880 Joseph McElroy: And looks the whole world in the face, For he owes not any man. Week in, week out, from morn till night, You can hear his bellows blow; You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, With measured beat and slow,

    00:07:45.420 –> 00:07:50.160 Joseph McElroy: Like a sexton ringing the village bell, the evening sun is low.

    00:07:50.610 –> 00:08:04.710 Joseph McElroy: And children coming home from school look in at that open door they love to see that flaming forge and hear the bellows roar and catch the burning sparks that fly like chaff from a threshing floor.

    00:08:05.580 –> 00:08:18.720 Joseph McElroy: He goes on Sunday to the church and sits amongst his boys; he hears the parson pray and he hears his daughter’s voice Singing in the village choir, and it makes his heart rejoice.

    00:08:19.170 –> 00:08:32.490 Joseph McElroy: It sounds to him, like his mother’s voice, Singing in Paradise!

    He needs must think of her once more, How in the grave she lies; And with his hard, rough hand he wipes, A tear out of his eyes.

    00:08:33.870 –> 00:08:48.030 Joseph McElroy: Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing, Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begin, Each evening sees it close; Something attempted, something done,

    00:08:49.110 –> 00:09:11.160 Joseph McElroy: Has earned a night’s repose. Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, For the lesson thou hast taught! Thus at the flaming forge of life,  Our fortunes must be wrought; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought.

    00:09:13.320 –> 00:09:18.210 Joseph McElroy: So, today our guest is Matthew Shirey.

    00:09:18.720 –> 00:09:21.930 Joseph McElroy: is an award-winning blacksmith and metalworking artist

    00:09:21.960 –> 00:09:32.610 Joseph McElroy: who has resided in Sylva, N.C. for over 15 years and native of Pennsylvania, Matthew has been a full-time craftsman since 2017

    00:09:32.970 –> 00:09:47.370 Joseph McElroy: and owner of Shira Forge since 2005. He is a member of the American Bladesmith Society and attended the John C. Campbell Folk School and Penland School of Craft. yeah, both of which we mentioned in this program before.

    00:09:48.330 –> 00:09:56.730 Joseph McElroy: and breaking news he was also the winner of the 2022 Season 9 premiere of the History channel’s hit show Forged in Fire!

    00:09:58.170 –> 00:10:09.330 Joseph McElroy: Matthew’s unique style is the result of studying 18th and 19th-century ironwork and cutlery combined with the lessons learned while forging all his products literally by hand.

    00:10:10.290 –> 00:10:21.690 Joseph McElroy: And when he was in creating major function art in any shape he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and a notable Sylva photographer– and their two children. Hello Matthew!

    00:10:22.200 –> 00:10:23.910 Joseph McElroy: hi how are you doing today.

    00:10:23.970 –> 00:10:24.900 Mathew Shirey: I’m doing great.

    00:10:25.320 –> 00:10:39.930 Joseph McElroy: yeah well you know, obviously we were talking about your recent national TV show, but I want to explore what you’ve done before that because I think the richness of your life is more important than the transit glory of a media these days.

    00:10:41.100 –> 00:10:42.300 Joseph McElroy: But congrats on that.

    00:10:43.590 –> 00:10:48.360 Joseph McElroy: So let’s talk about your journey, you came from Pennsylvania, where in Pennsylvania?

    00:10:49.200 –> 00:10:55.620 Mathew Shirey: And I grew up in a little village called Mayport in Clarion County Pennsylvania, is the western part of the state.

    00:10:56.850 –> 00:10:59.010 Mathew Shirey: Is kind of the northern tip of Appalachia.

    00:11:00.780 –> 00:11:06.180 Joseph McElroy: cool and where did you what was your journey from there where did you go? After Pennsylvania?

    00:11:06.720 –> 00:11:11.190 Mathew Shirey: my gosh I went I went to college right there and clarion county kind of.

    00:11:12.270 –> 00:11:15.990 Mathew Shirey: was in and out of school a few times and then.

    00:11:17.190 –> 00:11:23.970 Mathew Shirey: I made a couple of journeys out West spend a little time in Montana, and then lived in Oregon for about a year and a half and

    00:11:25.110 –> 00:11:28.800 Mathew Shirey: That kind of fell through for me and I moved back to Pennsylvania and.

    00:11:30.150 –> 00:11:38.790 Mathew Shirey: I was kind of in limbo and didn’t really know what I was going to do, I just knew at that point, I set my sights on blacksmithing as a career and

    00:11:39.900 –> 00:11:47.520 Mathew Shirey: A friend of mine worked at Camp Daniel Boone down here in Waynesville North Carolina and he called me up and said hey if you’re looking for work, they.

    00:11:47.970 –> 00:11:58.650 Mathew Shirey: They have an 18th-century living history program called boots bro village and their blacksmith bail out at the last minute, and they need someone in four days to be down here and ready to work for the summer.

    00:11:59.340 –> 00:12:04.770 Mathew Shirey: And so I threw my forge and anvil and everything I had in the back minivan and cruise on down here.

    00:12:05.520 –> 00:12:08.640 Joseph McElroy: Wow it’s that that was an opportune moment for you huh.

    00:12:09.060 –> 00:12:11.220 Mathew Shirey: yeah yeah it’s pretty serendipitous.

    00:12:11.310 –> 00:12:12.570 Joseph McElroy: Oh cool and.

    00:12:13.680 –> 00:12:23.490 Joseph McElroy: So before that you, you just you found your calling is a blacksmith he didn’t really have a career, other than so your your your focus has been what you’ve achieved all along, right,

    00:12:24.390 –> 00:12:31.230 Mathew Shirey: yeah I spent a number of years working with kids and different faculties and.

    00:12:32.580 –> 00:12:40.050 Mathew Shirey: You know wash dishes in kitchens and did carpentry work and did you know did whatever I do pay the bills until till.

    00:12:40.590 –> 00:12:43.050 Joseph McElroy: The other any other crafts, that you explored.

    00:12:44.190 –> 00:12:59.310 Mathew Shirey: A I’ve done a lot of woodworking as well, I was, I was a shop teacher for six years before I made the jump into smithing full time, and so I did a lot of wind turning on the lane and got into building some banjos and you know I built.

    00:13:00.450 –> 00:13:07.770 Mathew Shirey: an addition on our house and some other you know some other carpentry framing kind of work so we’ve done a lot of what as well cool.

    00:13:08.280 –> 00:13:17.040 Joseph McElroy: Well we’re yeah I talked to a lot in this first segment, so now we have to explore how you came to blacksmithing and the next slide which we’re going to take a break right now okay.

    00:15:33.030 –> 00:15:40.530 Joseph McElroy: Howdy, this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies podcast, and my guest Matthew Shirey.

    00:15:41.490 –> 00:15:59.370 Joseph McElroy: Some of you know that I like to often have a beer craft beer local craft beer when I’m on the shows, and today I am having an IPA called the king of the mountain from a local brewery here and Haywood county called Buju brewery and I, I recommend it highly it’s really it’s kind of good.

    00:16:00.690 –> 00:16:03.540 Joseph McElroy: And Matt are you drinking water, you got something else that.

    00:16:03.780 –> 00:16:04.920 Mathew Shirey: i’ve got a cup of tea.

    00:16:05.550 –> 00:16:06.000 Okay.

    00:16:09.330 –> 00:16:13.260 Joseph McElroy: So you have a story about how you became interested in and.

    00:16:14.730 –> 00:16:19.650 Joseph McElroy: In vaccinating attended a workshop at a State farm state park near your hometown.

    00:16:20.670 –> 00:16:33.300 Mathew Shirey: yeah I had an in high school I got into the living history of experimental archaeology stuff you know dressing like a frontiersman of the 1800s shooting flintlock rifles and that stuff.

    00:16:33.900 –> 00:16:43.230 Mathew Shirey: And so that got me interested in the blacksmithing and I started looking locally for anybody that could teach me anything and help me get-go and

    00:16:44.250 –> 00:16:57.870Mathew Shirey: I happen to walk into like a heritage Center and cook for a state park and Northwest Pennsylvania, and they have some classes going on that summer and it just so happened they had a weekend blacksmith and class with a couple of local blacksmiths and.

    00:16:58.890 –> 00:17:12.720Mathew Shirey: So I signed up and showed up and spend the weekend standing out in the hot sun fortune away and pretty much knew at the end of that weekend that this was something I had to do, and hopefully would someday be able to do it for a living and.

    00:17:13.770 –> 00:17:18.720 Mathew Shirey: One of the blacksmiths that taught the class ended up calling me a week or two later he scored.

    00:17:19.590 –> 00:17:39.090 Mathew Shirey: An old champion hand crank riveters forge and were nice enough to give it to me from 50 bucks when it was worth probably 200, and so I got home and set that up and somebody else gave me an anvil they had sitting in a barn forever and I that was it I bought a bag of coal and started forging.

    00:17:39.600 –> 00:17:50.010 Joseph McElroy: fabulous So what do you think you know you said you had been would work or two is that the hands-on what separated from doing woodwork what made it your life’s calling.

    00:17:51.600 –> 00:18:01.500 Mathew Shirey: I think, just the magic of forging you know just getting that steel pod and being able to manipulate it install it, and shape it into whatever I wanted.

    00:18:01.860 –> 00:18:08.010 Mathew Shirey: and make something functional and I just, you know as long as I can remember, I always had an obsession with knives.

    00:18:08.370 –> 00:18:22.560 Mathew Shirey: And one you know was always trying to make when my dad shop when I was a kid and whatnot frying and old files and saw blades and stuff so just you know woodworking is fine there’s a lot of things I like about what but metals just were attacked for me.

    00:18:23.160 –> 00:18:29.790 Joseph McElroy: But you know I can understand you know, besides being a businessman right I’ve actually been an artist as well you know a few pieces here and there.

    00:18:30.240 –> 00:18:40.050 Joseph McElroy: But the thing that was the essence, for me, was learning to really draw you know, and I tried lots of other things, but I started learning to draw and lots of media, and I just felt.

    00:18:40.710 –> 00:18:55.170 Joseph McElroy: I felt like a real pleasant emotional experience when I just let myself get lost in that sort of right brain left brain dichotomy and you know it’s almost like there’s you get a buzz.

    00:18:56.610 –> 00:19:04.860 Joseph McElroy: Right, so you know when you find your medium, you know it’s like seeing in your blood right.

    00:19:05.100 –> 00:19:20.220 Mathew Shirey: yeah yeah getting in that creative zone, you know the rest of the world kind of disappears and you know I find myself up with a shot, two or three hours will go by and I’m kind of unaware of it, you know completely immersed in the process and kind of lose myself, you know.

    00:19:20.940 –> 00:19:28.290 Joseph McElroy: But it’s interesting somebody could walk in and you bet you when you’re in that phase and then start talking to you, and you can look at them and you can’t even understand what they’re saying.

    00:19:28.740 –> 00:19:29.610 Mathew Shirey: yeah sometimes.

    00:19:31.140 –> 00:19:37.890 Joseph McElroy: Right it’s like it takes a second for you to switch your consciousness so that you could actually you know speaking the language.

    00:19:38.400 –> 00:19:40.890 Mathew Shirey: Man yeah I’ve got to help her one day a week and.

    00:19:42.300 –> 00:19:55.110 Mathew Shirey: Sometimes I run them out of their little earlier than I intended to you because I just need to have the space to myself and not have the distraction, you know and not have that kind of need to communicate I just need to be able to like focus on what I’m doing.

    00:19:56.550 –> 00:20:03.120 Joseph McElroy: So that you say you I mean I read that you focus of your focus sort of like 18th-century blacksmithing right?

    00:20:04.140 –> 00:20:11.100 Joseph McElroy: Is that different than the 1920 century blacksmithing or there’s it just the tools or what is it.

    00:20:11.820 –> 00:20:18.000 Mathew Shirey: Well, you know I use modern tools I’ve got a hydraulic press and power hammer and belt Sander and all of that.

    00:20:18.540 –> 00:20:27.780 Mathew Shirey: I’m not you know not doing everything in 18th-century manner, but a lot of the process is still the same as it was hundreds of years ago, I mean I’m still.

    00:20:28.230 –> 00:20:43.050 Terri Clark: You know, forging and doing a lot of the same stuff and I think ultimately I’m a lot of times I’m trying to make things that fit into that time period are period direct for that time period and authentic for that time period.

    00:20:44.520 –> 00:20:51.750 Joseph McElroy: So you went to I saw you with some really good craft schools is that how you learn or did you also learn a lot on your own.

    00:20:53.130 –> 00:20:54.720 Mathew Shirey: I have mostly learned, on my own.

    00:20:54.810 –> 00:21:04.350 Mathew Shirey: As a bigger yeah when I started, you know the Internet was kind of a new thing at our fingertips, and so I started digging on there and.

    00:21:04.830 –> 00:21:15.270 Mathew Shirey: Any books, I could find on the blacksmithing and I was reading, and you know when I lived in Oregon I kind of found a couple of local blacksmiths and just started hanging out of their shop and.

    00:21:15.840 –> 00:21:21.510 Mathew Shirey: Picking their brains as much as I could, but you know, mostly just hours and hours at the forge stumbling through it.

    00:21:22.560 –> 00:21:29.460 Mathew Shirey: You know I’ve got scrapped knives and X is laying everywhere that are a failure, you know failed attempts.

    00:21:31.740 –> 00:21:39.480 Mathew Shirey: Then you know when I when I moved here, I was here for a few years and took a class in school and a Penland, and you know, I was pretty.

    00:21:40.800 –> 00:21:44.970 Mathew Shirey: Pretty established as a blacksmith by then, but those those classes definitely.

    00:21:46.320 –> 00:21:49.050 Mathew Shirey: You know, improve my capabilities quite a bit.

    00:21:49.440 –> 00:21:59.580 Joseph McElroy: They give you your classes and help you get into some specific texting techniques that that other person spent that time that you did on yours.

    00:21:59.670 –> 00:22:07.770 Joseph McElroy: Right and you don’t have to spend that time, but you know you have a specific board or it could give you an idea of what you need to do for certain pieces that you’re working on.

    00:22:08.130 –> 00:22:15.750 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah so that’s cool do you have any influences that you consider important to you.

    00:22:18.810 –> 00:22:20.130 Joseph McElroy: there’s influences.

    00:22:21.240 –> 00:22:21.990 Mathew Shirey: say that again.

    00:22:22.380 –> 00:22:24.600 Joseph McElroy: mentors or influences, you know.

    00:22:24.960 –> 00:22:30.360 Mathew Shirey: I again grew up with an interest in early American frontier stuff.

    00:22:31.410 –> 00:22:36.720 Mathew Shirey: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the House brothers out of woodbury Kentucky herschel frank and john.

    00:22:37.650 –> 00:22:54.000 Mathew Shirey They make flintlock rifles and knives and axes and kind of the whole gamut of early American tools and their work was always really inspiring to me again when I was in high school I discovered the Foxfire books.

    00:22:54.360 –> 00:22:54.720 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah.

    00:22:56.190 –> 00:23:00.630 Mathew Shirey: Those have been a an endless resource to me and a source of inspiration.

    00:23:03.120 –> 00:23:20.730 Mathew Shirey: I outside of the early American kind of stuff I got into the work of our Paley alive when I first got started on his early stuff you know I did some architectural ironwork for a while so engage in fireplace screens and stuff and so His work was always really inspiring to me.

    00:23:22.380 –> 00:23:24.570 Joseph McElroy: Well, it will come and what was the first thing you made?

    00:23:25.770 –> 00:23:29.580 Mathew Shirey: The first thing I made in that workshop was a fork and a little bracelet.

    00:23:30.150 –> 00:23:31.050 Joseph McElroy: Did you still have them.

    00:23:31.710 –> 00:23:32.820 Mathew Shirey: I do not know.

    00:23:32.910 –> 00:23:36.690 Mathew Shirey: Oh, I have no idea where those ended up, I actually may have them.

    00:23:36.690 –> 00:23:38.370 Mathew Shirey: Somewhere but I don’t know where they’re at.

    00:23:38.820 –> 00:23:41.220 Joseph McElroy: With one of the first things that you made it to still have.

    00:23:42.600 –> 00:23:43.230 Mathew Shirey: gosh.

    00:23:44.700 –> 00:23:50.130 Mathew Shirey: I still have a couple of knives I made years ago that I don’t think I would let see the light of day.

    00:23:52.080 –> 00:24:02.850 Joseph McElroy: Listen i’m you know i’m sitting in a room in the motel where I’ve put a lot of my old artworks and you know I look at it there’s like this stuff is sucks but you know.

    00:24:04.860 –> 00:24:11.760 Joseph McElroy: it’s also my private history now so it’s like I also remember the fun I had from discovering things from it so.

    00:24:12.030 –> 00:24:18.750 Joseph McElroy: Right yeah so yeah you didn’t want it to get out of here and the commandment is burning when I die.

    00:24:19.140 –> 00:24:19.800 Mathew Shirey: Here right.

    00:24:22.320 –> 00:24:24.630 Joseph McElroy: So do you remember the first item, you so.

    00:24:28.050 –> 00:24:39.840 Mathew Shirey: I think I think the first thing I ever sold was a friend of mine, asked me to make a dinner triangle, she wanted to hang and dinner triangle on the porch and I remember it being.

    00:24:41.640 –> 00:24:44.460 Mathew Shirey: quite a bit lower on the bar than I was aiming for.

    00:24:45.810 –> 00:24:48.420 Mathew Shirey: But she still was kind enough to pay me for it.

    00:24:52.290 –> 00:24:56.460 Joseph McElroy: The first time I ever saw was my dad had you know somebody that was from.

    00:24:58.140 –> 00:25:07.290 Joseph McElroy: Some car company and they wanted a little painting on a thing in their kitchen on the thing going over the sink, so I made it I got paid for it was like wow yeah.

    00:25:09.030 –> 00:25:11.010 Joseph McElroy: They actually put it up, they actually put it up.

    00:25:13.980 –> 00:25:18.150 Joseph McElroy: I was like dumbstruck that they actually thought it was worthwhile putting it up so that was fun.

    00:25:19.920 –> 00:25:20.880 Joseph McElroy: So um.

    00:25:24.480 –> 00:25:27.480 Joseph McElroy: What is the, what are the types of stuff that you make right now?

    00:25:28.500 –> 00:25:33.480 Mathew Shirey: I am focused mainly on knives axes and carbon steel frying camps.

    00:25:34.440 –> 00:25:42.570 Mathew Shirey: that’s really like I said I got into doing architectural ironwork for a little bit I kind of thought that was where I needed to go to make a living at it and.

    00:25:42.960 –> 00:25:45.420 Mathew Shirey: A friend of mine who I think you’ve had on here, David Brew and.

    00:25:46.380 –> 00:25:53.490 Mathew Shirey: He said listen, I spent most of my career doing architectural ironwork, and I wish I’d spent most of that time-making knives and axes

    00:25:54.000 –> 00:26:03.210 Terri Clark: And he said, do what you love and you know it’ll come to fruition don’t get boxed into doing something that’s going to make you miserable.

    00:26:03.720 –> 00:26:15.120 Terri Clark: And so I kind of stepped away from the architectural ironwork a few years ago and start focusing on knives and axes and got into making these frying camps because I saw that there was a market for it and.

    00:26:16.470 –> 00:26:18.240 Terri Clark: I have no regrets, I really.

    00:26:19.320 –> 00:26:26.190 Terri Clark: You know I think about still doing architectural ironwork I wouldn’t enjoy it anymore, and I wouldn’t you know I wouldn’t be happy doing it so.

    00:26:26.460 –> 00:26:41.280 Joseph McElroy: Why would, I have a question, you know I’ve gotten interested in campfires and campfire cooking and you know cast iron cooking but I’ve been intrigued by the carbon steel stuff what’s the difference between the carbon steel pans in the cast iron pan.

    00:26:42.090 –> 00:26:52.440 Terri Clark: The main difference is the creative process, you know cast iron is just that its desire and it’s been melted and forward into form and cast.

    00:26:53.970 –> 00:27:03.570 Terri Clark: It tends to be you know more brittle than carbon steel cast iron pans can break, whereas carbon steel they’re forced to shape.

    00:27:04.620 –> 00:27:18.690 Terri Clark: You could throw them against a brick wall and they are not going to break I mean they’re super strong functionally speaking they’re very similar my pans are probably a little lighter compared to the same size as cat and cast iron and.

    00:27:19.980 –> 00:27:33.960 Terri Clark: I think the biggest advantage my pants have over cast iron is a longer handle so it doesn’t it’ll get warm and we’ll get hot if you’re cooking Heidi but, for the most part, you don’t ever need another name for it and they’re a little thinner and smoother than cast iron as well.

    00:27:34.110 –> 00:27:38.040 Joseph McElroy: Can you saute with a cast with a carbon steel pan.

    00:27:38.940 –> 00:27:39.420Mathew Shirey: Day.

    00:27:39.540 –> 00:27:44.370 Joseph McElroy: make you can see her it’s hard to do it in a cast iron to do when you go shake it and all that stuff.

    00:27:44.490 –> 00:27:45.660 Joseph McElroy: Right every right.

    00:27:45.960 –> 00:27:48.750 Mathew Shirey: yeah yeah that’s something little handles hard to get Ahold of in.

    00:27:48.750 –> 00:27:49.860 Mathew Shirey: My Nice.

    00:27:49.920 –> 00:27:55.080 Mathew Shirey: curve handled, and you can get that I can’t do, but if you can do the flip you can do these.

    00:27:55.620 –> 00:28:00.240 Joseph McElroy: You know I’m six foot five 300 pounds I got a little bit strange, but still even tough for me now.

    00:28:00.570 –> 00:28:01.110 Mathew Shirey: So yeah.

    00:28:02.610 –> 00:28:07.050 Joseph McElroy: Well, listen, we got to take another break we’ll come back we’ll talk more about your art the things that you’ve done.

    00:30:13.500 –> 00:30:22.650 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast with my guest Matthew Shirey so Matthew.

    00:30:23.580 –> 00:30:39.600 Joseph McElroy: I was reading on your website you formed here forge in 2005 but you didn’t actually go to in full time in 2017 so imagine having kids yeah things like that it took a while for the business build-up is that the reason you to get to be able to full time with that?

    00:30:40.140 –> 00:30:55.200 Mathew Shirey: yeah and through the bulk of that time I had a teaching job with Southwestern Community College, I was teaching shop and local high school and yeah it was a really good job and I enjoyed it and so there’s no reason to give it up and then.

    00:30:56.700 –> 00:31:07.110 Mathew Shirey: One day, the funding for a dried up and things changed, and I was out the door, so I spent a year or two working as a welder and as a carpenter and

    00:31:07.800 –> 00:31:16.980 Mathew Shirey: I was driving all the way up to cashers every day and I was kind of sick of that so I said, you know what I’ve got a shop here that I can make a living in and so I took the leap.

    00:31:17.970 –> 00:31:22.890 Joseph McElroy: that’s fabulous as I saw you one different you got lots of different recognition somebody should go to your

    00:31:23.340 –> 00:31:34.770 Joseph McElroy: Your website we’ll talk about that the end see that all the pressure got you’ve done some fabulous thing that I think it’s pretty inspiring for anybody wanting to be in the craft a world that you can actually make a living at it right.

    00:31:35.220 –> 00:31:38.880 Joseph McElroy: yeah so so you.

    00:31:39.990 –> 00:31:43.290 Joseph McElroy: So what is where did the name Shira forged come from.

    00:31:44.310 –> 00:31:45.600 Mathew Shirey: Shira forge and.

    00:31:46.140 –> 00:31:47.640 Mathew Shireyk: Sorry sorry that’s okay.

    00:31:49.380 –> 00:31:51.720 Mathew Shirey: it’s the original spelling of my last name.

    00:31:52.860 –> 00:32:05.970 Mathew Shirey: my ancestors have been in western Pennsylvania, since the late 1700s and you know, over time, that name got changed to Shirey but the original spelling a few hundred years ago, was Shira so.

    00:32:07.170 –> 00:32:11.400 Mathew Shirey: You know I’ve always been really fascinated with my ancestry and one on so it was kind of a.

    00:32:12.690 –> 00:32:14.250 Mathew Shirey: paying homage to my ancestors.

    00:32:14.970 –> 00:32:18.120 Joseph McElroy: that’s fabulous so you say your name I started saying the Shira right.

    00:32:18.450 –> 00:32:25.950 Joseph McElroy: mm hmm yeah you know I get these I get you to know Bob Plott who’s the head of the smoky mountain.

    00:32:28.770 –> 00:32:46.230 Joseph McElroy: Mountain Heritage Center for the Meadowlark you know introduces me to people and provides you know the background information and sometimes I don’t have the time because, like right now I’m moving into Asheville I don’t get to do the research on your name, so I apologize for not correct.

    00:32:47.730 –> 00:32:57.090 Joseph McElroy: yeah so so life is good in the smoky mountains right I’m moving back, I obviously always wanted to be here, you know, but I had to try my

    00:32:57.810 –> 00:33:11.550 Joseph McElroy: adventures in the world and the particular line of business, I was in required to be there, so what’s your careers for flourishing and then you got to be at a TV hit series, how did that happen forged by fire forge in the fire.

    00:33:11.850 –> 00:33:19.020 Mathew Shirey: And so it’s been on you know, I was just on the season premiere of season nine so it’s been on eight years now.

    00:33:20.580 –> 00:33:26.070 Mathew Shirey: And, of course, you know, being a blacksmith, I was interested in the show soon as I saw it and.

    00:33:27.270 –> 00:33:38.070 Mathew Shirey: Five or six years ago I applied to be on it and I didn’t get a call back I interviewed and all that but I didn’t get a callback and then a couple of years ago, I decided to try again and.

    00:33:39.300 –> 00:33:50.310 Mathew Shirey: got the interview, and they said we’ll be in touch and then the pandemic happened, and they said logo everything’s on hold, right now, but we’ll be in touch and so.

    00:33:51.000 –> 00:34:02.610 Mathew Shirey: Last July I got the call from them had the plane ticket was all said to go film and two days before I was supposed to fly out I got tested positive for covid

    00:34:03.480 –> 00:34:04.260 Mathew Shirey: Know anywhere.

    00:34:04.560 –> 00:34:12.180 Mathew Shirey: yeah and then by the end of October, they called me again and said, are you ready, this time, and so it all came together.

    00:34:12.750 –> 00:34:19.020 Joseph McElroy: cool and for people listening, can you explain the format of the show to us and how you participated.

    00:34:19.320 –> 00:34:29.250 Mathew Shirey: Sure, so there are three rounds of competition there is four bladesmiths in the first round, you have three hours to forge and he treated a knife.

    00:34:29.730 –> 00:34:44.730 Mathew Shirey: Within whatever parameters and challenge, they said for my episode, it was a crushed car challenge, so when we walked out on the floor, they uncovered a car that had been crushed and we had to salvage our steel for the night, out of that.

    00:34:45.330 –> 00:34:46.350 Mathew Shirey: bed hidden some.

    00:34:46.560 –> 00:34:51.600 Mathew Shirey: Some good pieces of steel in there, or you know, in my case, I found a piece in the front end.

    00:34:52.770 –> 00:34:58.320 Mathew Shirey: CV joint That was really good steel that I can make a knife out of so anyway, the first round.

    00:34:58.830 –> 00:35:11.700 Mathew Shirey: One person’s eliminated second round, you have we had two hours to put a handle and a guard on the knife and then they put it through some pretty severe testing and a second person was eliminated.

    00:35:12.210 –> 00:35:25.020 Mathew Shirey: And then the final to go home to their own shot for four or five days and for whatever epic weapons they choose, and so, for us it was down to me and a fella named Mike from Nebraska.

    00:35:26.370 –> 00:35:36.780Mathew Shirey: We had a fortune a pair of curve guitars which are a weapon from ancient India they had to match that have folders in the blades and some other parameters to follow.

    00:35:37.680 –> 00:35:51.300 Mathew Shirey: So got back down here it’s been four days in the in my shop with a camera crew and forge these weapons went back up to the set and the judges put them through a final round of testing and then choose the winner.

    00:35:52.080 –> 00:35:55.020 Joseph McElroy: Well, and what’s what are they what’s their criteria for the winner.

    00:35:56.700 –> 00:36:02.460 Mathew Shirey: A they put it through you know it had to meet all the parameters blade length shape all that.

    00:36:03.510 –> 00:36:10.590 Mathew Shirey: And then they put it through all kinds of testing of us there was like a stabbing test with the ballistics gummy.

    00:36:11.730 –> 00:36:13.680 Mathew Shirey: A slicing test with.

    00:36:15.150 –> 00:36:27.570 Mathew Shirey: Some some Kane kind of things, so you know they went through several different tests see how the knives perform, and then the judges kind of step away for a minute and make their decision.

    00:36:28.650 –> 00:36:33.780 Mathew Shirey: So basically they’re judging not only the aesthetics, of the weapon, but the functionality of it so.

    00:36:34.020 –> 00:36:42.030 Joseph McElroy: A little sort of a remote way it’s like the chef competition show that, were they going to cook based upon the parameters of the.

    00:36:43.140 –> 00:36:43.560 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:36:43.680 –> 00:36:47.400 Joseph McElroy: Right, how did you know what to Qatar, it looks like or how.

    00:36:48.390 –> 00:36:55.830 Mathew Shirey: I had a vague familiarity with them before you know the reveal on the final round.

    00:36:57.390 –> 00:37:02.220 Mathew Shirey: And I did you know I I did a little research and looked at some Google images and whatnot.

    00:37:03.540 –> 00:37:05.340 Mathew Shirey: And then just kind of went for it, you know.

    00:37:05.850 –> 00:37:08.460 Joseph McElroy: cool how it was the grand prize.

    00:37:09.030 –> 00:37:11.400 Joseph McElroy: $10,000 so bad right.

    00:37:12.090 –> 00:37:13.710 Joseph McElroy: Nice forever right.

    00:37:14.970 –> 00:37:18.390 Joseph McElroy: And you get to go back on future shows right we compete against other champions.

    00:37:18.480 –> 00:37:32.490 Mathew Shirey: If they ever call me I’d be happy to go back often they do have you know, a championship round or a beat the judges round or something like that, where they call people back on you know, keeping my fingers crossed that I get that call next season or something.

    00:37:33.090 –> 00:37:34.230 Joseph McElroy: And how is it.

    00:37:35.280 –> 00:37:39.960 Joseph McElroy: How is it changed your life personally and professionally or are people asked every autograph now.

    00:37:40.980 –> 00:37:45.540 Mathew Shirey: I’ve had one little boy, and my son at a soccer game asked for my autograph which was pretty funny.

    00:37:48.090 –> 00:37:53.670 Mathew Shirey: You know professionally it’s allowed me to invest in my business a little bit more and upgrade some of my tooling and stuff.

    00:37:54.810 –> 00:38:04.530 Mathew Shirey: And you know it’s here in the Sylva area I definitely have people I’ve never met before if come up and congratulate me and whatnot I feel like I’ve.

    00:38:05.490 –> 00:38:16.440 Mathew Shirey: probably got more local business from it, than anything else you know, being in the local paper and whatnot it’s given me some exposure here in Western North Carolina and it’s been really good.

    00:38:18.120 –> 00:38:19.350 Joseph McElroy: it’s helped your business that.

    00:38:19.800 –> 00:38:21.390 Mathew Shirey: Sure sure absolutely.

    00:38:21.960 –> 00:38:28.110 Joseph McElroy: cool I mean that’s good I mean yeah I mean these reality TV shows can be nice.

    00:38:28.800 –> 00:38:33.960 Joseph McElroy: A nice thing, but they don’t really change your business like that much I have a friend of mine that we wonder.

    00:38:34.470 –> 00:38:44.430 Joseph McElroy: What does that project runway or was in it really change your fashion life that much so she had one or two years of things, but it’s also good to have on your resume yeah.

    00:38:44.610 –> 00:38:50.250 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah you’re still a fairly young man right, you are what your 30s.

    00:38:50.280 –> 00:38:56.010 Joseph McElroy: Or maybe 44 So what are your future plans you got any projects you’re looking to do.

    00:38:58.350 –> 00:39:07.680 Mathew Shirey: I plan on just continuing doing what I’m doing you know, trying to improve my craft get better what I’m doing you know I I’m.

    00:39:08.160 –> 00:39:18.090 Mathew Shirey: I’m eligible at this point to test for my journeymen stamp with the American blade Smith society so in the next year or so I’m hoping to go through that process and get my journeymen stamp.

    00:39:19.830 –> 00:39:24.330 Mathew Shirey: You know I’m hoping here in the next year or two to start teaching again.

    00:39:25.800 –> 00:39:29.100Mathew Shirey: i’ve taught classes in different different places.

    00:39:30.420 –> 00:39:35.610 Mathew Shirey: With the last one being Haywood Community college and flown tops and blacksmith and classes there and.

    00:39:36.000 –> 00:39:47.310 Mathew Shirey: I took a break for the last two or three years, focused on my business, but I think you know the older I get more I’d like to get back into teaching some you know pass on what I’ve spent 20 years figuring out.

    00:39:48.720 –> 00:39:51.030 Joseph McElroy: cool are you doing any other product bugs.

    00:39:52.770 –> 00:39:54.630 Mathew Shirey: really what I’m trying to do now is.

    00:39:56.550 –> 00:40:10.620 Mathew Shirey: make more one-off knives I’ve been kind of making them in batches and that sort of thing and I’m going to continue doing that, but I really want to get to the place where I can kind of make what I’m inspired to make and make some more one of a kind pieces.

    00:40:11.040 –> 00:40:14.040 Joseph McElroy: I said, you made a lot of a belt, a lot of belt bags

    00:40:15.450 –> 00:40:17.400 Joseph McElroy: Like what you’re wearing your belt was that with me.

    00:40:17.880 –> 00:40:28.020 Mathew Shirey: yeah just kind of everyday carry a knife or running knife, you know I I like to carry a fixed blade knife so I’ve always got a little three or four-inch blade on me.

    00:40:29.160 –> 00:40:31.350 Mathew Shirey: So I make a lot, a lot of knives like that.

    00:40:32.340 –> 00:40:38.010 Joseph McElroy: You know now that I’m back in North Carolina could carry a knife with me all the time, you know New York, you have a limit of like four inches.

    00:40:39.930 –> 00:40:50.070 Joseph McElroy: You know I want, I want to talk to you, I do want to you know I’m getting into the whole cast iron and cooking and heritage cooking and things like that I do want to talk to you about doing.

    00:40:50.610 –> 00:41:00.750 Joseph McElroy: A custom, you know some sort of you know, this is it’s trivial but it’s I think it’s important to I want to do a knife that looks good on camera.

    00:41:01.200 –> 00:41:09.390 Joseph McElroy: Right yeah right, I think that if we’re doing cooking shows this guy looks like oh wow that’s really cool what somebody looks at night right.

    00:41:09.840 –> 00:41:12.570 Mathew Shirey: So maybe I’ve been messing with the mask is quite a bit lately.

    00:41:13.380 –> 00:41:18.090 Mathew Shirey: You know, you know if you’re familiar with I’m sure you are made it looks pretty.

    00:41:18.660 –> 00:41:19.740 Joseph McElroy: yeah right yeah.

    00:41:20.280 –> 00:41:31.710 Joseph McElroy: Oh also you talking about mountain heritage is just look at things like the old hickory I mean I don’t know how good they are I don’t want to necessarily be that primitive but you know the same time there’s a sort of authenticity to that right.

    00:41:32.010 –> 00:41:33.180 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah.

    00:41:33.570 –> 00:41:35.970 Mathew Shirey: yeah and I do a lot of my knives I leave some.

    00:41:35.970 –> 00:41:49.920 Mathew Shirey: forge texture you know I you know, some of them I clean up the whole way, but I really like that for texture and that kind of primitive natural look, you know I want I, like my knives and stuff to look like they belong when they’re in the woods, you know.

    00:41:51.870 –> 00:42:02.850 Joseph McElroy: Oh that’s exactly the kind of thing that I think works well and you also do the senior he did butcher boots or whatever there are big butcher blades.

    00:42:03.120 –> 00:42:04.740 Mathew Shirey: mm hmm like a cleaver.

    00:42:04.920 –> 00:42:05.610 Joseph McElroy: Cleaver yeah.

    00:42:05.700 –> 00:42:06.900 Joseph McElroy: yeah so.

    00:42:08.490 –> 00:42:12.450 Joseph McElroy: From my own, I have had half the beer so I’m not drawing blanks on for certain.

    00:42:14.250 –> 00:42:15.600 Mathew Shirey: that’s why I stuck with the tea.

    00:42:17.190 –> 00:42:21.750 Joseph McElroy: Well, it makes me a little more loquacious but sometimes it makes me less intelligent.

    00:42:25.440 –> 00:42:32.760 Joseph McElroy: yeah but it’s worthwhile right, I guess is that as a model not like I’m live wait wait wait I’m live but it’s maybe.

    00:42:34.710 –> 00:42:39.480 Joseph McElroy: So so so that’s great and.

    00:42:40.680 –> 00:42:59.520 Joseph McElroy: Now I am and what there was one of the lines you do can’t you’ve done some of those things like kitchen stuff and ironwork and things like that would you do anything like camp kitchen experiences, you know, like setups and stuff like that girl we’re.

    00:42:59.520 –> 00:43:05.580 Mathew Shirey: not really you know my frying pan to work rate on an open fire, just as well as the stove.

    00:43:06.720 –> 00:43:18.000 Mathew Shirey: In the past, I made some fireplace set or you know fire irons and whatnot for a campfire cooking but I don’t really do that kind of stuff for myself, these days, but I don’t really make them sell cool.

    00:43:18.540 –> 00:43:31.320 Joseph McElroy: Well, we have to take our last break here and then we’ll come back and we’ll talk about you know some of the other things that you’ve done, and you know the things that you find appealing about the scope and so.

    00:43:32.220 –> 00:43:32.940 Mathew Shirey: sounds good.


    00:45:33.150 –> 00:45:40.620 Joseph McElroy: howdy, this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guest Matthew Shirey.

    00:45:41.070 –> 00:45:41.820 Mathew Shirey: Shirey

    00:45:42.060 –> 00:45:43.530 Joseph McElroy: Sorry sorry oh my.

    00:45:45.180 –> 00:45:47.550 Mathew Shirey: The business is Shira the last name is Shirey

    00:45:48.000 –> 00:45:52.980 Joseph McElroy: Shirey okay so Shirey okay, so I got it now I’ll remember it so.

    00:45:54.180 –> 00:46:03.150 Joseph McElroy: we’re talking about blacksmithing in the mountains so um you mentioned, you want to get back into teaching you think you might open your own school.

    00:46:04.230 –> 00:46:11.280 Mathew Shirey: Nah, I don’t think I have any interest in that I think I might start offering some small workshops in my shop.

    00:46:12.330 –> 00:46:21.120Mathew Shirey: I can my shots pretty small, I can only accommodate probably three people in a class but i’m thinking about doing some like little weekend workshops in my shop and.

    00:46:22.020 –> 00:46:30.300 Mathew Shirey: Maybe reconnecting with Haywood Community College and starting to reach out to John C Campbell folks school and some other schools around the country like that.

    00:46:31.830 –> 00:46:32.040 Mathew Shirey: they’re there’s.

    00:46:32.670 –> 00:46:34.800 Mathew Shirey: Some really great facilities out there, I don’t need to.

    00:46:34.800 –> 00:46:35.430 Mathew Shirey: build one.

    00:46:36.240 –> 00:46:44.220 Joseph McElroy: On my you know your shop could be a school, but it would be all the students would be online right you could do a YouTube thing.

    00:46:44.370 –> 00:46:45.570 Mathew Shirey: Or you could be yeah.

    00:46:45.630 –> 00:46:47.040 Joseph McElroy: You do live podcast.

    00:46:47.070 –> 00:46:56.190 Mathew Shirey: Right yeah my 13-year-old is really getting into making videos and he’s been helping me with some videos and stuff so there may come a point where I start making some more YouTube.

    00:46:56.760 –> 00:47:09.300 Joseph McElroy: So you have somebody that knows how to do YouTube videos and they have a wife that it’s great at the lighting I, you should be able, you know you should be able to do something, maybe you just might want to get somebody to help me write some scripts or something like that, but.

    00:47:09.300 –> 00:47:11.220 Mathew Shirey: yeah I’ve got a couple of ideas.

    00:47:11.250 –> 00:47:13.320 Mathew Shirey: just got to find time to make it happen.

    00:47:15.330 –> 00:47:30.300 Joseph McElroy: cool so you know the show is also about a little bit about tourism in the mountains and I love talking to really great people and cultural icons and things but also So what do you enjoy doing in the Smoky Mountain?

    00:47:32.310 –> 00:47:33.540 Mathew Shirey: Anything outside.

    00:47:33.750 –> 00:47:34.470 Joseph McElroy: You know, we.

    00:47:34.590 –> 00:47:38.490 Mathew Shirey: try to get on the lakes and rivers, as much as possible in the summer.

    00:47:39.810 –> 00:47:44.610 Mathew Shirey: We do a lot of hiking I’m an avid hunter and fisherman when I can find time to do it.

    00:47:45.930 –> 00:47:52.230 Mathew Shirey: Just you know the natural beauty of this place is what brought me here and we try to make the most of it.

    00:47:52.470 –> 00:47:57.450 Joseph McElroy: cool and when you’re in Silva, what is your favorite place to get breakfast.

    00:47:58.740 –> 00:48:02.520 Mathew Shirey: My favorite place to eat period and Sylvia Guadalupe CAFE.

    00:48:02.970 –> 00:48:04.950 Mathew Shirey: Ah yeah mainstream.

    00:48:05.100 –> 00:48:08.820 Joseph McElroy: I love you get that tray with the multiple salsas right.

    00:48:09.120 –> 00:48:10.500 Joseph McElroy: yeah That is incredible.

    00:48:12.750 –> 00:48:22.890 Joseph McElroy: yeah we went there during covid you know and you were still able to sit on a picnic table after and get that salsas those multiple VM and everything else there was great.

    00:48:23.130 –> 00:48:23.460 yeah.

    00:48:24.690 –> 00:48:29.730 Joseph McElroy: How about entertainment, what kind of it was a great entertainment place and so.

    00:48:30.510 –> 00:48:36.180 Mathew Shirey: I innovation brewing both in Sylva their Hillsborough location, they often have music.

    00:48:38.460 –> 00:48:44.610 Mathew Shirey: let’s see where else you know every Friday night, they have music down the bridge park in town in the summers.

    00:48:46.020 –> 00:48:47.640 Mathew Shirey: So that’s you know.

    00:48:48.660 –> 00:48:51.000 Mathew Shirey: Those are kind of our general go-to places.

    00:48:52.230 –> 00:48:55.890 Mathew Shirey: Honestly, especially since the pandemic we don’t make it out very much but.

    00:48:56.400 –> 00:48:56.790 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:48:56.940 –> 00:48:58.680 Mathew Shirey: When we do those are the places we had.

    00:48:59.430 –> 00:49:02.790 Joseph McElroy: And now you know you’ve raised your children here in the smokies right.

    00:49:03.210 –> 00:49:03.570 Mathew Shirey: mm hmm.

    00:49:03.900 –> 00:49:14.430 Joseph McElroy: So now I’m would be bringing three and a half-year-olds here alright, so you had you’ve had children of that age, what are the things I should do with three and a half-year-olds in the smokies but can’t get anywhere else.

    00:49:15.210 –> 00:49:19.470 Mathew Shirey: And this again getting on the lakes, is always fun.

    00:49:19.530 –> 00:49:20.580 Joseph McElroy: You know what’s your favorite lake?

    00:49:21.450 –> 00:49:23.760 Mathew Shirey: We go down to Fontana.

    00:49:23.910 –> 00:49:24.630 quite a bit.

    00:49:26.370 –> 00:49:28.680 Mathew Shirey: I’ve actually got a favorite late but I’m not going to tell you.

    00:49:28.890 –> 00:49:29.490 Joseph McElroy: Ah.

    00:49:29.550 –> 00:49:30.360 Mathew Shirey: got all the.

    00:49:31.500 –> 00:49:32.700 Joseph McElroy: checks to me in the chat.

    00:49:32.700 –> 00:49:32.880 For.

    00:49:34.320 –> 00:49:34.890 Mathew Shirey: me.

    00:49:35.100 –> 00:49:39.090 Mathew Shirey: it’s pretty tiny went around here and not many people know about it, I want to keep it that way.

    00:49:39.900 –> 00:49:43.080 Joseph McElroy: Okay, but at the chat give me a break.

    00:49:45.870 –> 00:49:55.890 Joseph McElroy: Oh so well that’s great I mean yeah like my parents go Have you had a place that we used to go to down in Georgia line with them you know.

    00:49:57.120 –> 00:50:02.580 Joseph McElroy: drawing a blank on the name of it’s been a while so since we were there but they had a pontoon boat there’s always a blast.

    00:50:02.820 –> 00:50:22.020 Joseph McElroy: yeah so you know we’re a building a Heritage Center right documentary to do the number talking about I want to do cooking yeah I was thinking of getting a you know, a sort of a large size camp kitchen built right with a cook set things like that any recommendations, how to do that.

    00:50:25.980 –> 00:50:27.210 Mathew Shirey: Honestly, not really.

    00:50:28.500 –> 00:50:34.650 Mathew Shirey: I mean there you know I think the sky’s the limit but i’ve never built an outdoor kitchen and don’t know you know a lot about it but.

    00:50:37.560 –> 00:50:44.760 Mathew Shirey: If you get to that point, let me know, maybe I can you know, come up with some fire brokers and utensils and stuff like that for you.

    00:50:45.150 –> 00:50:45.870 Joseph McElroy: Alright cool.

    00:50:47.520 –> 00:51:00.960 Joseph McElroy: So you know I noticed that a local bar and restaurant is had a big screening and welcome home event for you after you want to convince your competition, I thought that was great what was a venue.

    00:51:02.190 –> 00:51:05.040 Mathew Shirey: That was lazy hiker taproom on mainstream Sylva.

    00:51:06.930 –> 00:51:21.180 Mathew Shirey: you know we small town, we know, everybody in the managers there and whatnot we went said hey we really like to have a party and invite all of our friends to come to watch this on the big screen there, so they were more than happy to make it happen cool.

    00:51:21.810 –> 00:51:23.940 Joseph McElroy: Now How can people find out more about you.

    00:51:25.320 –> 00:51:30.480 Mathew Shirey: My website are definitely the easiest way to find me www.shiraforge.com

    00:51:31.950 –> 00:51:34.650 Joseph McElroy: And here is your Facebook.

    00:51:35.400 –> 00:51:39.540 Mathew Shirey: I am on Facebook, I do most of my social media stuff on Instagram.

    00:51:41.070 –> 00:51:44.550 Joseph McElroy: Okay lots of pictures of stuff that you produce that makes sense right.

    00:51:46.320 –> 00:51:46.740 Joseph McElroy: and

    00:51:47.910 –> 00:51:52.710 Joseph McElroy: Can people ask for custom work from you or just buy from that site what are they what can they do.

    00:51:53.460 –> 00:52:01.800 Mathew Shirey: Both I’ve got you to know products listed on the website that they can order everything’s made to order I don’t really have anything in stock generally.

    00:52:02.820 –> 00:52:10.170 Mathew Shirey: But if you have you know, a custom knife or ax or something you want to be made shoots me an email, and we can try and figure something out.

    00:52:10.620 –> 00:52:13.350 Joseph McElroy: What do they need to provide you to make a custom product.

    00:52:14.460 –> 00:52:24.660 Mathew Shirey: Generally, like they want a custom knife, you know I need to know if they want mono steel or Damascus, what kind of blade shape blade length handle material.

    00:52:25.920 –> 00:52:34.260 Mathew Shirey: You know, handle construction whether it’s a full Tang or hidden Tang process, so you know just all those little details and then.

    00:52:35.550 –> 00:52:41.400 Mathew Shirey: Sometimes we just go into the details and other times I can sketch something up if somebody wants to.

    00:52:41.940 –> 00:52:46.620 Joseph McElroy: cool or well any other shoutouts you like to give.

    00:52:48.300 –> 00:52:50.580 Mathew Shirey: Thanks to you, guys, for having me on here, I really appreciate it.

    00:52:51.060 –> 00:52:53.820 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know I hope you’ll come by you know we’re doing.

    00:52:54.540 –> 00:53:03.480 Joseph McElroy: At the smoky mountain heritage Center the bob’s doing we’re having events where they have things like you know reenactment so you mentioned earlier, that you are doing that they have.

    00:53:03.900 –> 00:53:18.960 Joseph McElroy: yeah I think you’re gonna have blacksmithing things going on and you’re going to have you know all sorts of heritage events, I think you would enjoy, so we will come by and meet me in person, and we can you know talk about pans and knives

    00:53:19.590 –> 00:53:25.650 Mathew Shirey: And I know I’d love to participate in some of the events you’ve got going on there, and maybe teach a class there at some point.

    00:53:25.800 –> 00:53:31.530 Joseph McElroy: That would be fun, I mean we’re starting to do some really good classes like that, and I think that.

    00:53:32.370 –> 00:53:41.340 Joseph McElroy: it’s beneficial for everyone involved because I really love celebrating the culture of these Appalachians and historical things and celebrating what’s good about our history.

    00:53:41.820 –> 00:53:50.850 Joseph McElroy: And you know the craft was by far, one of the most beautiful things of our history yeah all right absolutely so we’re part of the.

    00:53:52.740 –> 00:53:56.250 Joseph McElroy:talkradio.nycnetwork.

    00:53:57.270 –> 00:54:14.370 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is every Tuesday from six to seven and there are many other podcasts on this network that I, you know enjoy we can try to convince you to see because it ranges from small business to other travel.

    00:54:15.390 –> 00:54:21.420 Joseph McElroy: shows to self-help to know information about pets information about insurance.

    00:54:22.560 –> 00:54:39.870 Joseph McElroy: Personal wellness spirituality so it’s not often you get a network that’s all live podcast, so I think there’s a dynamic there has to live that and yeah and less formality, that you can get you to know the host is on the show drinking.

    00:54:41.370 –> 00:54:48.450 Joseph McElroy: And screwing up names and words, but it makes you It makes you off, but you also know that you get some authentic information it’s.

    00:54:48.450 –> 00:54:49.050 Mathew Shirey: not right.

    00:54:49.230 –> 00:55:00.720 Joseph McElroy: it’s not pre-planned media so anybody listening, please go to talkradio.nyc and find the shows that might be of interest to you or you can find out more about this podcast on

    00:55:01.620 –> 00:55:17.580 Joseph McElroy: Facebook at facebook.com/gatewaytothesmokiespodcast where we will stream live every Tuesday and also have the previous episodes and other information about the smokies that you might find useful and the towns and crafts and things going on.

    00:55:19.170 –> 00:55:25.740 Joseph McElroy: And we are also all our previous episodes are hosted on smokiesadventure.com.

    00:55:26.100 –> 00:55:35.490 Joseph McElroy: If you go to that site smokiesadventure.com you’ll find a link at the top saying gateway to smokies podcast and you can go and see all the podcasts and we’ve had great people from.

    00:55:35.790 –> 00:55:47.970 Joseph McElroy: pressman to politicians to outdoorsman to historians to book writers things like that we’re starting to get a nice inventory I think it’s well over 60 now of

    00:55:49.530 –> 00:56:00.450 Joseph McElroy: shows that are not they’re not just tourism, you know oh look at this great place to come and see it gets into some bottom about.

    00:56:00.930 –> 00:56:12.840 Joseph McElroy: The people here and representing well how you know, thoughtful intelligent and deep this mountain culture is and I encourage you to go there and.

    00:56:13.440 –> 00:56:19.740 Joseph McElroy: I also run another podcast and talkradio.nyc called wise content creates wealth, I have to be a marketing expert and I’m

    00:56:20.160 –> 00:56:28.590 Joseph McElroy: delving into the world of the AI artificial intelligence and how it’s changing content production and

    00:56:29.280 –> 00:56:39.060 Joseph McElroy: And you know to search and marketing and how behavioral science and is used to switch reading so both from a business perspective.

    00:56:39.360 –> 00:56:45.180 Joseph McElroy: And from understanding what’s happening to as you go to sites and going to information.

    00:56:45.540 –> 00:57:00.480 Joseph McElroy: You know, to help you understand the world as it’s being presented to you it’s good I think it’s a good show alright, so thank you I’ll see you next time on the gateway to the smokies podcast from six to seven next week on Tuesday ciao.

    51m - May 3, 2022
  • Episode 56: Preserving the Past and Building for the Future

    Facebook Live Video from 2022/04/26 - Preserving the Past and Building for the Future


    In this episode of Gateway to the Smokies Podcast featuring Joe Sam Queen, he discusses the cultural and historical side of his career and other aspects of his life that folks might not be aware of. You will learn from him about the responsibility of preserving our past to make room for our future. 

    Joe Sam Queen is a renowned Architect, Historian, Dancer, Dance caller, and Politician – having served in both N.C. Senate and the N.C. House of Representatives –and is on the Traditional Artists Roster of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Association.

    He has been director of the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival for over 30 years and has served on the Board of Directors for Folkmoot and the Shelton House, as well as playing an active role as an officer in the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter along with many other regional charities, clubs, and historical groups. 

    Joe Sam's experiences growing up in Western North Carolina epitomize the cultural expression and deep-rooted tradition of the Smoky Mountains. Relive the past and learn about the future. 

    Don't miss this incredible conversation with a great man!

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-sam-queen-7b66a376/ 

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joesam.queen 

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joesamqueennc/?hl=en

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.




    Joseph talks about some upcoming events in Maggie Valley. On April 19th through May 1st there is a motorcycle rally called the Thunder in the Smokies. A new event will happen called Boho Hippie Fest with live music, vendors, bounce houses, food trucks, and more. At the Meadowlark Motel, there will be an event called Mom’s Moving Mountains and Mother Nature’s Natural Garden. There will also be an event featuring a wildcraft expert. Joseph also introduces his guest for today’s show, Joe Sam Queen. Joe Sam is a renowned Architect, Historian, Dancer, Dance caller, and Politician. Joe Sam talks about where his name comes from and his passion for dance and following in his grandfather’s footsteps in continuing the legacy and culture that is popular in the Great Smoky Mountains.


    Joseph talks with Joe Sam about his family being some of the earliest settlers in Haywood County. His family settled close to Dellwood in Maggie Valley. He talks about his grandfather who put together a square dance team around a time when radio was emerging. Joe Sam also discusses the meaning of the different kinds of folk dance. Clogging, he says, comes from Scott-Irish-German ancestors. Flat footing, he says is a kind of dance that everyone does a little differently, and you can be very creative with it. Buck Dancing is an African American term. They discuss a little about the history of these dances and music. His grandfather created the group called the Soco Gap Cloggers. Joe Sam says that President Roosevelt made his grandfather famous and was beloved in the mountains. He tells a story of how Roosevelt invited the king and queen of England to the White House. Roosevelt changed the traditions and instead brought a square dance team to perform, which was Joe Sam’s grandfather’s dance group.


    Joe Sam talks about sociability being the whole point of the Appalachian dance. He describes it as joining hands together, socializing and hospitality. Joseph makes a point that it can teach young people about manners, society, and of course, culture. Joe Sam mentions more different dances and music that tell a story about life and society. He also talks about what is in a square dance band. He says that square dance is very sociable and includes the banjo, bass, fiddle, and guitar. Joe Sam talks about being a dance caller as well. You're instructing, watching a certain dance, and calling it on the beat. There are also times when the caller may be dancing themselves. Joseph describes it as a man who is a dynamic composer.


    Joe Sam talks about square dancing and fiddling in today’s day in age. He says that he doesn't think square dance is dying out which is one of the reasons why he does the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival. He is also involved in Folkmoot, something else that he is trying to be involved in this coming summer. Joe Sam passionately talks about the positivity of these kinds of events as well as the beauty of nature in North Carolina. He also mentions being a part of building the HART theater in Haywood County as well as a charitable foundation that he has with his wife called The Queen Family Foundation. They support things like Sons of the American Revolution and the Arts Council in Haywood County. From the traditions of mountain music and the stories behind them to the general passion for North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains, Joseph thanks Joe Sam Queen for joining him for today’s episode!



    00:00:19.980 –> 00:00:22.140 Joseph McElroy: Howdy! Welcome to the gateway to the.

    00:00:22.140 –> 00:00:31.860 Joseph McElroy: smokies podcast this podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains National Park in the surrounding towns.

    00:00:32.640 –> 00:00:41.400 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with the weekly episode.

    00:00:42.060 –> 00:00:54.690 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy amount of the world, but also deep roots in these mountains my family is living the great smokies for over 200 years my businesses and travel, but my heart is a culture.

    00:00:55.410 –> 00:01:05.040 Joseph McElroy: Today we’re going to be talking about preserving and perpetuating our culture and the great smoky mountains, but first a sponsor message or two, and the first sponsor is me.

    00:01:06.120 –> 00:01:17.670 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past, you had a modern environment with chic Appalachian and feel a place for adventure and for relaxation.

    00:01:18.330 –> 00:01:27.540 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream grill a catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beer.

    00:01:28.410 –> 00:01:41.460 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place with old-time music and world cultural sale, there is no other place like the metal art motel and Maggie valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventure starts with where you stay.

    00:01:43.020 –> 00:01:49.020 Joseph McElroy: and other sponsors smokies adventure.com at smokies plural adventure singular calm.

    00:01:49.440 –> 00:02:02.010 Joseph McElroy: The smoky mountains and the surrounding area is a vacation destination for all seasons, some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls outdoor adventures, and family entertainment be found, right here.

    00:02:02.790 –> 00:02:13.890 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokies adventure calm to explore all the wonderful features of the great smoky mountain National Park trails and waterfalls kids code and more.

    00:02:14.520 –> 00:02:19.710 Joseph McElroy: than you know right now check out the spring flowers that are coming in and crazy beauty.

    00:02:20.280 –> 00:02:36.240 Joseph McElroy: And then check out all the awesome family attractions, entertainment and things you can do in the surrounding area with you and your family The goal is smokies adventures to become the leading information portal for adventure and ventures experiences and the great smoky mountain.

    00:02:38.100 –> 00:02:44.970 Joseph McElroy: So, as you know, we’d like to publicize some events are coming up and Maggie valley happens to have a lot of festivals coming up.

    00:02:46.530 –> 00:02:51.270 Joseph McElroy: April 19 through May 1 we have thunder and the smoky spring motorcycle rally.

    00:02:51.810 –> 00:03:03.090 Joseph McElroy: You know the rides in the mountains of the Smokies are some of the best in the world we’re doing motorcycle rides or you know bicycle rides or any kind so a lot of people come here to celebrate.

    00:03:03.900 –> 00:03:13.380 Joseph McElroy: Their passions and the thunder and the smokies is one of the oldest our rallies and Maggie valley and even the surrounding areas and it happens on.

    00:03:14.070 –> 00:03:23.700 Joseph McElroy: Friday Saturday and Sunday and it has tour rides lots of vendors selling crafts includes and as bike shows and games and prizes and concerts.

    00:03:24.060 –> 00:03:37.140 Joseph McElroy: Fire dancers and you know people jumping up and down and having a good time so come out and check out thunder in the smokies calm or call 828-246-2101 to find out more about it.

    00:03:38.580 –> 00:03:47.430 Joseph McElroy: Now, this is a new event no not even sure what it’s about but it sounds interesting then on May 7 or have something called boho hippie fest.

    00:03:48.270 –> 00:03:56.970 Joseph McElroy: Now I’m a man what I’m imagining is people and tie dye dancing and things like that, but they say it’s gonna be live music performance arts.

    00:03:57.330 –> 00:04:10.530 Joseph McElroy: demonstration vendors bounce houses games food trucks so for more information call contact hothead events, a 28246 1978, which is a really good year.

    00:04:11.340 –> 00:04:31.410 Joseph McElroy: or email hothead events@gmail.com and then another traditional one here in the mountains, is the kk O icons of hot rodding festival and that’s a May 13 and 14th, and this is 1950s and 1960s hot rods and custom cars trucks and vans.

    00:04:32.550 –> 00:04:45.300 Joseph McElroy: with lots of 50s and 60s music vintage venter’s pinstripes food and vendors and every judging with awards and trophies reach out to H to custom camp of america.com.

    00:04:46.530 –> 00:04:49.890 Joseph McElroy: With case, in place of the seas accepted America.

    00:04:51.690 –> 00:05:01.470 Joseph McElroy: And then we have our own event the middle are coming out and that’s a mom is moving mountains and mother nature’s natural garden program with Nancy Eastern Iowa had her.

    00:05:01.890 –> 00:05:11.880 Joseph McElroy: Some of you might remember Nancy East did a wilderness survival course here a few weeks back that was well attended and very popular she showed us how to survive.

    00:05:12.300 –> 00:05:15.900 Joseph McElroy: The 10 things that you needed to go out in the wilderness how to build a fire how to build.

    00:05:16.290 –> 00:05:27.030 Joseph McElroy: A camp, how do you know, save yourself would be broke your leg and stuck in the bottom of it somewhere and she’s just really knowledgeable she’s on the.

    00:05:27.900 –> 00:05:34.590 Joseph McElroy: The rescue team here the search and rescue team here in a wood county and the smoky mountains and she goes on lots of.

    00:05:36.930 –> 00:05:44.820 Joseph McElroy: search and rescue missions every season so she’s going to do on Friday night a whole presentation with pictures and everything of some of the more.

    00:05:46.230 –> 00:05:53.130 Joseph McElroy: compelling stories that she has from those search and rescues and then on Saturday, May 7.

    00:05:54.120 –> 00:06:03.570 Joseph McElroy: there’s a legendary wildcrafting expert here and she’s a renowned author filmmaker instructor and tour guide for the great smoky mountains National Park.

    00:06:04.080 –> 00:06:13.290 Joseph McElroy: DSM field school is I had her and she’s an expert on edible plants medicinal herbs anything pertaining to wildcraft forward to.

    00:06:13.800 –> 00:06:20.100 Joseph McElroy: Appalachian plants trees and flowers and she’s been on TV shows videos books.

    00:06:21.090 –> 00:06:30.330 Joseph McElroy: And and she’s just really well known, on the subject and so she is going to present a program and tell mother nature’s natural garden.

    00:06:30.720 –> 00:06:40.320 Joseph McElroy: And leading actually a tour of the grounds and area around here to find out what is the nature’s bounty that you can eat right in our own backyards.

    00:06:40.830 –> 00:06:49.800 Joseph McElroy: And then we’ll have that and I will culminate with a free Barbecue supper maybe a few of the dishes from what we find in the music by Mike Ogletree.

    00:06:50.250 –> 00:06:54.810 Joseph McElroy: And some of his friends on Saturday, you can reach out to the metal log motel.

    00:06:55.500 –> 00:07:07.470 Joseph McElroy: at eight to 89261717 to reserve rooms day or if you’re just a local monochrome its $20 per person, and you can reach out to reserve your space, but call me to 89261717.

    00:07:07.800 –> 00:07:14.970 Joseph McElroy: And then, a mother’s day we’re going to have a cake and cookies and cake and champagne in the lounge along with our traditional breakfast.

    00:07:15.750 –> 00:07:22.530 Joseph McElroy: So today we have a great yes he’s a legend in these mountain Parts I think the whole state, maybe even the name.

    00:07:23.250 –> 00:07:30.990 Joseph McElroy: His name is Joe Sam Queen and he has deep family roots in Haywood county dating back to the revolutionary war born in Waynesville.

    00:07:31.920 –> 00:07:40.020 Joseph McElroy: And he’s a graduate of nc state and architecture and he’s a renowned architect historian dancer collar and politician.

    00:07:40.500 –> 00:07:50.070 Joseph McElroy: having served in both the nc state Senate and the nc House of Representatives and he’s on the traditional artist’s rosters of the blue Ridge and national heritage.

    00:07:50.820 –> 00:08:00.030 Joseph McElroy: heritage association has been the director of the folk’s smoky mountain folk festival for over 50 years and has served on the board of directors, for the folk.

    00:08:01.650 –> 00:08:08.910 Joseph McElroy: folk route and the Shell, the House as well wills played an active role as an officer in the local songs of the American Revolution chapter.

    00:08:10.560 –> 00:08:27.630 Joseph McElroy: When he isn’t working in this business or these other organizations he enjoys calling dances dancing spending time as a family, working with his wife herself or an accomplished woman Dr. K queen on their own terrible foundation, how you doing Sam Joe Joe Sam.

    00:08:29.130 –> 00:08:31.020 Joe Sam Queen: Sam queen a little dough rain me.

    00:08:31.140 –> 00:08:31.980 Joseph McElroy: yeah there you.

    00:08:32.340 –> 00:08:41.940 Joe Sam Queen: I’m doing great it’s great to be on your show it’s great to promote all the good heritage and culture of Western North Carolina We really are.

    00:08:43.110 –> 00:08:44.130 Joe Sam Queen: A hotspot.

    00:08:45.180 –> 00:08:48.030 Joe Sam Queen: Welcoming the world so come and see us cool.

    00:08:48.420 –> 00:08:52.290 Joseph McElroy: Well we’re so glad to have you to tell me, you know how did you get the name, Joe Sam.

    00:08:53.460 –> 00:08:54.600 Joseph McElroy: that’s an interesting name.

    00:08:54.900 –> 00:08:58.260 Joe Sam Queen: Well, just my grandfather was Sam Sam.

    00:08:58.980 –> 00:09:11.310 Joe Sam Queen: A great name, my father was saying, love doing your he didn’t like being a junior and his best GI but he was demon marine my father is his best buddy was.

    00:09:12.990 –> 00:09:32.460 Joe Sam Queen: Terry jump Johnson Cherokee friend over cross so go gap and so I’m named after his best buddy Terry Joe Johnson, and it just call me Joe and my and Sarah went down to the Clerk of the Court and said that’s not enough name for a boy, we got to add a Sam in there.

    00:09:32.850 –> 00:09:45.510 Joe Sam Queen: So they gave me a little del Rey me Joe Sam Queen and the homeland as an architect, I think a Frank Lloyd Wright and it just a great name, so I can.

    00:09:45.750 –> 00:09:49.470 Joseph McElroy: read it does have a rhythm to it it’s like it’s a song when you.

    00:09:49.470 –> 00:09:50.250 Joe Sam Queen: Say his.

    00:09:50.400 –> 00:09:52.050 Joe Sam Queen: Name you’re young and with a little poem.

    00:09:52.080 –> 00:10:04.230 Joseph McElroy: that’s a good beer, so you know we we we have a lot of common and having a deep heritage and Haywood county and we both you know the different ways, I mean I think you’re more accomplished at it, but in.

    00:10:05.520 –> 00:10:24.540 Joseph McElroy: sharing a passion for preserving and perpetuating our culture, but making people aware of the cultural history by encouraging them to create our own smoky mountain experiences and you have you do a lot of educating folks in the area right yeah well.

    00:10:24.570 –> 00:10:36.090 Joe Sam Queen: You know my passion is that our region dance with you it’s often referred to as the big brown but it’s a southern Appalachian square dance.

    00:10:36.750 –> 00:10:51.540 Joe Sam Queen: it’s an American dance it’s a melting pot bands, it has Scotch Irish it has Cherokee it has African American roots, but it’s an American dance and its hotspot is right here, and they would camp.

    00:10:52.230 –> 00:11:03.930 Joe Sam Queen: Oh, and I follow a sword in my grandfather’s footsteps because he made famous a Maggie valley square dance team, called the soco gap cloggers which.

    00:11:05.010 –> 00:11:11.700 Joe Sam Queen: You know he was part of the cultural revival that radio started.

    00:11:12.960 –> 00:11:24.690 Joe Sam Queen: With the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers and the early roots of country music and the radio and dancing you didn’t have.

    00:11:25.710 –> 00:11:36.240 Joe Sam Queen: Music unless you had dance that the musicians follow the dancers, that it was a social event and the dance was so important, and this is a.

    00:11:37.200 –> 00:11:51.840 Joe Sam Queen: Social dances we call it on the streets of Wayne’s when we come out it’s our institution of hospitality, that the let’s all join hands and one big circle that’s our motto up here in Western North Carolina.

    00:11:52.380 –> 00:12:01.920 Joseph McElroy: Well, I think it’s great and it’s interesting talking about radio introducing that I was reading I think it was in today’s papers how back in 1870 some people came up from.

    00:12:02.550 –> 00:12:11.520 Joseph McElroy: You know from the North and wrote deep stories and about the mountains and one of them was Waynesville really painted us as a violent.

    00:12:11.850 –> 00:12:20.370 Joseph McElroy: painter crowd, and so it took a while, for it to penetrate back into the the the whole United States and hey maybe there’s more going on here.

    00:12:20.790 –> 00:12:29.790 Joseph McElroy: You know the great smoky mountains, opening up and you know the great things coming out and then people find it out there’s wonderful this dance and everything else.

    00:12:30.390 –> 00:12:37.170 Joseph McElroy: When we come back you have a story about Roosevelt and your grandfather that I think people will be interesting to hear about.

    00:14:54.180 –> 00:15:14.490 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with my guest Joe Sam queen on the gateway to the smokies podcast so Joe Sam you know talking about you know history your family, the Queen family, but some of the early settlers here in our regions right we.

    00:15:14.550 –> 00:15:30.420 Joe Sam Queen: We followed referred I’ve been known representative for the Cherokee and Haywood county so I don’t call myself a native there the natives but we wrote in 1776 and we haven’t left.

    00:15:31.230 –> 00:15:38.130 Joseph McElroy: 1776 and they haven’t left wow so I knew where did they first settling the account.

    00:15:38.880 –> 00:15:49.590 Joe Sam Queen: Well, they settled in what they call raccoon co out by that well known as the test farm area that was my first settling family yeah.

    00:15:49.890 –> 00:16:03.120 Joe Sam Queen: They settled down and finds creek and then crabtree and finally got to do, and which is head and Maggie Valley, as you know, and so we’re known as deal with Queens in the last couple of generations.

    00:16:03.600 –> 00:16:10.410 Joseph McElroy: yeah queen family sort of became famous for dancing and really popularized the whole thing.

    00:16:10.620 –> 00:16:15.990 Joe Sam Queen: yeah my grandfather was the great leader there I sort of fell I hit him, and he was the.

    00:16:16.080 –> 00:16:17.040 Joe Sam Queen: He was the legend.

    00:16:17.460 –> 00:16:19.590 Joe Sam Queen: But he was born in 1888 and.

    00:16:20.280 –> 00:16:27.690 Joe Sam Queen: grew up in a time when square dancing was really the most important social institution of the Community.

    00:16:28.440 –> 00:16:42.210 Joe Sam Queen: that’s how people gather together that’s how they courted that’s how they educated their children, at the square dance moves are a pre-literate institution to train the young people.

    00:16:42.540 –> 00:16:52.200 Joe Sam Queen: How to import how to have manners how to join the Community has how to how to be a man and a woman in the Community and.

    00:16:52.980 –> 00:17:00.150 Joe Sam Queen: And of course, it was all about the fiddle and then banjo and the music that went with it and the good times and.

    00:17:01.050 –> 00:17:15.240 Joe Sam Queen: And in the early days, you know there were no big square dance halls that the big fan square dance halls followed the railroad they didn’t get here to you know at the 1910s or something get up over the mountain if they were late.

    00:17:15.660 –> 00:17:28.320 Joe Sam Queen: So they developed some hotels and have big fan rooms, that you can have a big square dancing but prior to that you, you answer a little on your porch in front of your fireplace is to the fiddled in the banjo and.

    00:17:29.370 –> 00:17:38.820 Joe Sam Queen: and learn the clock and do the little step but, but my grandfather came along, you know, in the 20s and 30s like I said, with the radio and.

    00:17:39.210 –> 00:17:52.890 Joe Sam Queen: In the advent of these fun hotels and they develop the dance ethic, and he put together a square dance team, and they can all dance and they all but dance together in a.

    00:17:52.920 –> 00:18:07.050 Joe Sam Queen: district-wide open to the music, he said he never gave a lesson you got went with him took me around advance some just pay attention you dance with your partner in the circle and the music that’s all you need to know.

    00:18:08.070 –> 00:18:08.550 Joe Sam Queen: Well, let me.

    00:18:08.610 –> 00:18:19.650 Joseph McElroy: Let me just clarify some things you know, because you know I know what it means, but a lot of people don’t you have clogging book dancing square dancing flat-footing now what are all those.

    00:18:19.740 –> 00:18:20.760 Joe Sam Queen: Well they’re all.

    00:18:21.810 –> 00:18:22.650 Joe Sam Queen: Community of.

    00:18:23.940 –> 00:18:33.510 Joe Sam Queen: Terms clogging comes from the sort of our Scotch Irish German ancestors, and again they had would choose and they call.

    00:18:34.680 –> 00:18:44.220 Joe Sam Queen: A bit you know they danced but their shoes weren’t good leather shoes and they’re there and they were on a small porch or a little cobblestone street.

    00:18:44.700 –> 00:18:48.690 Joe Sam Queen: Now we didn’t have any streets out in western North Carolina we were yard dancers.

    00:18:49.230 –> 00:19:00.840 Joe Sam Queen: Yet a fine sheared sheep cheered pastor the dancing before we had wood floors so we had a big dance and we took from the Cherokee the big circle.

    00:19:01.350 –> 00:19:11.250 Joe Sam Queen: The big circle is a Cherokee contribution and there are plenty of moves like that the big black snake, which we call when the clock, a lot of time, but.

    00:19:11.610 –> 00:19:20.760 Joe Sam Queen: They call up the Cherokee friendship dance but it’s the same thing we integrated into the American square dance the Appalachian square dance and.

    00:19:22.050 –> 00:19:41.370 Joe Sam Queen: But then there’s flat-footing, which is a little softer version, a little more musical jazzy version of flat-footing it’s quite creative everybody does it a little differently, you as a flat footer you develop your style you develop your few little steps you’re a little lip, as they say.

    00:19:41.790 –> 00:19:42.180 and

    00:19:44.160 –> 00:20:00.660 Joe Sam Queen: And and and if you’re in a circle nobody’s the some of the modern teams all dance precision, but that’s very contemporary that traditional teams every dancer dance to the music his own way, have, as he heard it in.

    00:20:01.590 –> 00:20:03.030 Joseph McElroy: A book dancing was.

    00:20:03.690 –> 00:20:11.610 Joe Sam Queen: dancing is another term again it’s an African American term the African American was the buck, where the buck wouldn’t allow in.

    00:20:12.630 –> 00:20:22.020 Joe Sam Queen: You know before integration to enter the circle, but they were often the musicians and they were often great dancers, so they danced.

    00:20:22.440 –> 00:20:30.930 Joe Sam Queen: And even on Main Street, they would you go to them when I was a little boy we go to Wayne’s world to get a haircut and in the barbershop then be a.

    00:20:31.350 –> 00:20:47.850 Joe Sam Queen: lad China and choose with can slap the rhythm with his rag on the shoe or he can play the harmonica and my grandfather gets up and dance and in the African American to shatter get up and try it out dancing and they would that’s what to call but dancing.

    00:20:48.420 –> 00:20:48.870 Joe Sam Queen: So I.

    00:20:49.200 –> 00:21:01.230 Joseph McElroy: used to I used to tell people, you know that you know, in the mountains, yeah you know you know you don’t America lot of times ago there was a reputation that white men don’t dance right or old good.

    00:21:02.040 –> 00:21:07.680 Joseph McElroy: we’ll get up and dance by themselves, I said hey listen, I was born and raised bantam by myself doing some God book this.

    00:21:09.270 –> 00:21:16.710 Joe Sam Queen: Money comes from there, the African American tradition because they often my grandfather was taught how to call by.

    00:21:17.190 –> 00:21:21.090 Joe Sam Queen: An African American fiddler and blacksmith when he would just a little more.

    00:21:21.600 –> 00:21:33.600 Joe Sam Queen: He never got to join the circle, but he was a fiddler so is often the musician on the side of the dance, and so we knew the dance he knew the call so he gave my grandfather some lessons.

    00:21:34.170 –> 00:21:47.970 Joe Sam Queen: And my grandmother, my grandfather’s mother, my great grandmother his mother taught him to do the flat-footed and to follow the step in the barn off because that is the only wooden floor the head is much counter dancing.

    00:21:49.410 –> 00:21:51.030 Joe Sam Queen: And we had dances in the barn law.

    00:21:52.290 –> 00:21:54.300 Joe Sam Queen: Today in tobacco we’d have a dance.

    00:21:55.080 –> 00:22:07.050 Joseph McElroy: But you know it’s interesting that so many people don’t really know that there’s a lot of West African tradition in mountain culture, you know, like bluegrass itself the banjo was from West Africa.

    00:22:07.110 –> 00:22:07.500 Joe Sam Queen: that’s why.

    00:22:07.530 –> 00:22:17.100 Joseph McElroy: And, you know it really took Scottish Irish ballad music and added a beat to it rhythm right and that’s whole new music, this is a crazy all over the nation.

    00:22:17.130 –> 00:22:25.680 Joe Sam Queen: c are real and we don’t have a drum we have the foot, we have the clock step and then the banjo had the banjo head, so you could wrap it with your finger.

    00:22:26.430 –> 00:22:40.350 Joe Sam Queen: And slap it if you want it to and, but it was African and in origin, and it really took off in the civil war, what when soldiers could carry it in 42 around hmm.

    00:22:40.950 –> 00:22:48.900 Joseph McElroy: So your grandfather just sort of put all this together, and really started you create The SOFA gap cloggers so.

    00:22:49.950 –> 00:22:51.780 Joseph McElroy: sort of became sort of famous right.

    00:22:51.840 –> 00:23:01.770 Joe Sam Queen: They were awesome they could dance like nobody else everybody’s trying to be what those guys could gown and the fellows they could just dance-like.

    00:23:02.250 –> 00:23:10.860 Joe Sam Queen: or wins will they my grandfather put this team together and they and Roosevelt made him famous quote Franklin.

    00:23:11.610 –> 00:23:23.610 Joe Sam Queen: Roosevelt was beloved in the mountains, he brought us out of the Great Depression my father and uncle Richard de la they were G is a love Roosevelt well Roosevelt and 39 was.

    00:23:24.120 –> 00:23:40.920 Joe Sam Queen: Was was trying to get the Congress, which was pacifist and an obstructionist, and then it’s time he was trying to get them to pass the land lease provision, so I could help Great Britain survive and they were being very.

    00:23:42.210 –> 00:23:52.350 Joe Sam Queen: reluctant, so he invited Roseville I did the King Queen of England, for the only Royal visit in history in 1939 and part of Roosevelt’s.

    00:23:52.980 –> 00:24:01.110 Joe Sam Queen: Cultural diplomacy was that, instead of having a black tarball for the King and Queen of England, which would be kind of traditional.

    00:24:01.830 –> 00:24:06.690 Joe Sam Queen: He decided to have an American square dance in the White House for the kings and Queens.

    00:24:07.530 –> 00:24:18.120 Joe Sam Queen: So he could show that that the people of the British Isles and the American people will one people that’s what that was part of Roosevelt’s political genius and.

    00:24:18.660 –> 00:24:25.530 Joe Sam Queen: His cultural diplomacy, so my grandfather went up there with the soco gap Congress and their and their band was the.

    00:24:26.370 –> 00:24:35.340 Joe Sam Queen: The concrete sisters of an all-women’s string band out of Kentucky and they they’re famous number is how many biscuits can eat.

    00:24:35.850 –> 00:24:46.140 Joe Sam Queen: You know, a half a dozen and a half of me, you know they were great, and that was the primary entertainment for the King Queen of England, for their.

    00:24:46.980 –> 00:24:58.170 Joe Sam Queen: What would have been a black tie ball and he went on the Newsreels and all over the world and laugh and post, and it was a big deal, so the circle gap Congress became.

    00:24:59.460 –> 00:25:04.950 Joe Sam Queen: The rave of the nation and my grandfather was there that was their leader.

    00:25:05.730 –> 00:25:10.530 Joseph McElroy: that’s fantastic I heard that your grandmother was also quite a dancer to she was dancing 96.

    00:25:11.550 –> 00:25:14.310 Joe Sam Queen: Well, my his mother.

    00:25:15.060 –> 00:25:15.870 Joseph McElroy: His mother.

    00:25:16.470 –> 00:25:26.220 Joe Sam Queen: Clean she was the famous dancer and my grandmother would dance little but she pretty much let Sam carry on and he’s on the way I say it was a.

    00:25:28.500 –> 00:25:46.860 Joe Sam Queen: force of nature they’ll we call him the old man Sam but he handsome Sam locally because my father was Sam I’m a Sam we’re the same queen brand so you got to kind of distinguish one generation from the other but Sally was a great dancer too.

    00:25:47.910 –> 00:25:48.780 Joseph McElroy: cool it and.

    00:25:48.960 –> 00:26:03.540 Joseph McElroy: She was dancing till 9696 wow so yeah there’s a lot of dance styles that are sort of in a way, considered indigenous the United States, even though that’s very debatable, which have Western square dance.

    00:26:04.050 –> 00:26:13.080 Joseph McElroy: And you have, and then you have you know things that people claim or you know similar, which is the Irish dancing how are these all different from what we know is square dance.

    00:26:13.140 –> 00:26:23.490 Joe Sam Queen: Well, again, our dance the the the people here settled in Maggie valiant Haywood county and Western were Scotch Irish we came in with rutherford on.

    00:26:24.570 –> 00:26:40.380 Joe Sam Queen: Scotch Irish trail we settle early they lack the isolation and that and the fertility of the mountains it’s Monday to their homeland and a lot of Germans that we had cloggers from German we had Scotch I never.

    00:26:40.920 –> 00:26:46.860 Joe Sam Queen: The Scottish and Irish were not very URBAN, particularly the Scots they were rural.

    00:26:47.280 –> 00:26:52.950 Joe Sam Queen: So they were yard dancers, I said they dance in the pasture and they were big circle dancers.

    00:26:54.750 –> 00:27:12.870 Joe Sam Queen: A lot of the Germans in anybody came from town they would dance in an on a cobblestone street with things like the real of Virginia real is a linear that but our dance is not linear and it’s not defined by size it’s not an eight couple bands it’s it can be 200 couples.

    00:27:13.170 –> 00:27:26.340 Joe Sam Queen: We have the big circle dance, and we really got that from the Cherokee the cherokee friendship dance and in their large circle dance around their fire and their social celebrations so.

    00:27:26.370 –> 00:27:27.240 Joseph McElroy: I think that’s good.

    00:27:27.330 –> 00:27:33.600 Joe Sam Queen: African Americans brought a ton of steps along with the Irish, along with the German.

    00:27:34.710 –> 00:27:45.510 Joe Sam Queen: Along with even the English and well chanda certain amount of fiddling and step dance, and that they did any sort of it melted in the milk great American.

    00:27:46.140 –> 00:27:50.820 Joe Sam Queen: Part of American and the reason we have a color is the color.

    00:27:51.300 –> 00:28:00.120 Joe Sam Queen: decides what you’re going to dance if you were coming from a German village you knew your dance nobody had to call it, you have started and you went through it to the end.

    00:28:00.420 –> 00:28:13.050 Joe Sam Queen: By the time you were old enough to dance you you you learn to dance, but in America, they share little pieces from everybody’s cultural little German little stocks little Irish little African American little Cherokee.

    00:28:13.980 –> 00:28:19.290 Joe Sam Queen: And they mixed it all together, so you always had a caller that that managed the mix.

    00:28:19.770 –> 00:28:25.200 Joseph McElroy: cool, but we have to take another break and we’ll call it will come back we’ll talk more about call it a square there.

    00:28:25.740 –> 00:28:26.220 Joe Sam Queen: Thank you.

    00:28:31.980 –> 00:28:37.560 00:28:38.070 –> 00:28:49.860

    00:28:51.240 –> 00:28:55.620 www.00:28:58.590 –> 00:29:12.120

    00:29:12.540 –> 00:29:24.630 00:29:29.130 –> 00:29:40.050

    00:29:40.650 –> 00:29:53.310

    00:29:58.140 –> 00:30:06.870 :30:31.650 –> 00:30:40.860 Joseph McElroy: Howdy this is Joseph Franklin mcilroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and I guess job Sam queen a musical note.

    00:30:42.390 –> 00:30:47.460 Joseph McElroy: So you know I read on the blue Ridge heritage, you know the cultural site.

    00:30:48.690 –> 00:30:52.320 Joseph McElroy: You have an entry about being you know, an area.

    00:30:53.940 –> 00:31:11.670 Joseph McElroy: craftsman and I’m an entertainer and everything else, and you said social sociability is the whole point of the Appalachian dance is that really the essence of it is getting together to be sociable and bring people in.

    00:31:12.930 –> 00:31:22.320 Joe Sam Queen: that’s right, it is a, it is our social institution of hospitality it’s an institution of hospitality but I’ll just give you an example.

    00:31:23.310 –> 00:31:38.790 Joe Sam Queen: The opening line is let’s all join hands in one big circle Community let’s join hands together it’s sort of like tabor fellow table fellowship and then you then the women wrote a lot of the dance calls they help them and, like.

    00:31:39.870 –> 00:31:42.480 Joe Sam Queen: You go right hands across and halfway back.

    00:31:43.620 –> 00:31:57.840 Joe Sam Queen: Well halfway back is the first lesson in life, you can change your mind and then then it’s ladies in front and Jim’s spine, but the next lesson laughing gentlemen, you need to learn to follow you latency you know you’re not always the one out front and then.

    00:31:59.310 –> 00:32:17.790 Joe Sam Queen: it’s honor your partner honor your opposite around hands across with a, how do you do I left pans back with a fine Thank you that’s a little low a little lesson in in in hospitality and manners so it’s socializing country bumpkins you know.

    00:32:18.120 –> 00:32:18.360 I.

    00:32:19.440 –> 00:32:19.980 Joe Sam Queen: learned that.

    00:32:20.160 –> 00:32:31.560 Joe Sam Queen: They got to learn to come and Courtney and not getting a fistfight over the girl next door, you know they gotta be I got to share in the dance Oh, my goodness well that’s one lesson and laugh or an Appalachian mail.

    00:32:32.370 –> 00:32:41.850 Joseph McElroy: that’s I mean that’s interesting that’s like the teaching the youth and especially teenagers, you know how to be more civilized.

    00:32:42.150 –> 00:32:44.070 Joseph McElroy: I didn’t think about that that is a.

    00:32:45.990 –> 00:32:51.240 Joe Sam Queen: Very literate institution of instruction and socializing.

    00:32:52.440 –> 00:32:54.720 Joe Sam Queen: And being sociable intergenerational.

    00:32:58.290 –> 00:33:07.530 Joe Sam Queen: The first move is the grand right and left where you go one way the girls go one way and the boys go together and they all the girls made all the boys.

    00:33:07.890 –> 00:33:18.810 Joe Sam Queen: Because when you entered the dance you probably dancing with your first cousin but you’re looking around for some other Gal dance within she’s grabbed that start with her, but she’s looking around for the Lambda.

    00:33:19.980 –> 00:33:20.430 Joe Sam Queen: Around there too.

    00:33:21.690 –> 00:33:38.340 Joe Sam Queen: And these are guys up the hall that you only see a few times when you get together with some local musicians, to have a little dance that’s the only society going around and rural Appalachian in the 1800s.

    00:33:39.000 –> 00:33:41.430 Joseph McElroy: or limited time to get them social.

    00:33:43.800 –> 00:34:00.330 Joe Sam Queen: And it’s usually fun, I mean it’s not land dancing it’s not you, you squeeze these gals, you know as my grandpa says, you can tell their weight by golly when you get done with this dance, you can tell they’re done and.

    00:34:01.620 –> 00:34:07.740 Joe Sam Queen: it’s very sociable dance it’s sort of hold off a little deer in code because it is so.

    00:34:09.990 –> 00:34:11.880 Joe Sam Queen: we’re hoping to start it back this summer.

    00:34:14.220 –> 00:34:28.200 Joseph McElroy: I was reading today that this last thing of covert 75% of kids that you know I got three year old so they caught it this last one, there you know 75% 75% of kids caught it so it’s pretty much done for kids.

    00:34:29.490 –> 00:34:32.490 Joseph McElroy: So you should be able to get together, but you know The thing that.

    00:34:33.750 –> 00:34:41.820 Joseph McElroy: struck me is that do you teach teaching people nursery rhymes and back in the day was also about teaching and a lot of nursery rhymes actually we’re.

    00:34:42.150 –> 00:34:53.790 Joseph McElroy: Dealing with how to you know deal with some dark stuff is, is there any kind of that tradition in the music as well to deal with some dark emotions and things like that the dark events.

    00:34:57.570 –> 00:35:11.340 Joe Sam Queen: I like to say yeah the four leaf clover I like to introduce it’s you all join hands all for its two couples, the American square dance.

    00:35:11.940 –> 00:35:20.460 Joe Sam Queen: The Appalachian square dance is a big round, so you start with a big round everybody mute in the circle does one, and then you break up into figure for.

    00:35:21.090 –> 00:35:34.530 Joe Sam Queen: You and your partner and an opposite cup and then you change after every figure for well the four leaf clover is y’all just the four of you join hands and you turn yourself inside out and tie yourself into a not.

    00:35:35.130 –> 00:35:46.830 Joe Sam Queen: We back off and it looks like a four-leaf clover, then you back out and untie yourself from that not and so you tie yourself into not and you untie yourself and you never break fellowship.

    00:35:47.190 –> 00:36:00.870 Joe Sam Queen: So that is another little story of how you navigate life and then it’s done for the Austrian up to the clam and throw away the old him can’t and that that’s kind of a pollution story, you know.

    00:36:01.200 –> 00:36:01.950 Joseph McElroy: Oh interesting.

    00:36:03.750 –> 00:36:04.200 Joe Sam Queen: and

    00:36:05.220 –> 00:36:05.700 Joe Sam Queen: The.

    00:36:07.380 –> 00:36:10.560 Joe Sam Queen: there’s a ton of them and shoot the buffalo.

    00:36:11.700 –> 00:36:24.930 Joe Sam Queen: Which is like our ocean way, we have a lot of in the mountains, we have a lot of moves like a move like ocean way we’re a long way from the ocean, but the Scotch Irish all live.

    00:36:25.410 –> 00:36:44.340 Joe Sam Queen: by the sea and a lot of the Germans and other immigrants did so they tell about the sea to their children and family in the mountains of North Carolina even though we’re a long way from it, a lot of never got to see again but they still dance to the thought.

    00:36:45.330 –> 00:36:53.430 Joseph McElroy: wow you know, I was talking to some I was talking to so we had some you know some musicians that are pretty good come over a bluegrass musicians come.

    00:36:54.630 –> 00:37:01.230 Joseph McElroy: Back come to the motel and play you know, during Nicholson some of his fellows and things I.

    00:37:01.230 –> 00:37:02.310 Joseph McElroy: was talking to me.

    00:37:02.310 –> 00:37:04.140 Joe Sam Queen: So some range, we got some great.

    00:37:04.560 –> 00:37:12.420 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah they said, you know, and bluegrass there’s a tradition of what a band can comprise of it if you go away from that tradition.

    00:37:12.720 –> 00:37:25.860 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah the bluegrass mafia comes after you now in square dancing I mean it’s pretty much a lot of times bluegrass, but what is the, what are the requirements of a blue square dance band, what are the instruments.

    00:37:26.280 –> 00:37:27.180 Joseph McElroy: Is there well.

    00:37:27.270 –> 00:37:41.010 Joe Sam Queen: There the classic bluegrass fallen from all time old time music is folk music and it’s dance music it’s got a dance rhythm, a lot of bluegrass is so fast, you have to be a weed eater if you gotta keep up with.

    00:37:41.220 –> 00:37:41.910 Joseph McElroy: Right yeah.

    00:37:42.000 –> 00:37:58.920 Joe Sam Queen: Excellent square dance music as a nice beat it’s very sociable you can dance with your partner keep the beat that’s why you say flat-footed is tap into music it’s the banjo the fiddle the base the stand-up bass and guitar.

    00:37:59.220 –> 00:38:00.630 Joe Sam Queen: Right no it’s a.

    00:38:01.230 –> 00:38:03.750 Joseph McElroy: Number of drawing ever a drummer anything like that.

    00:38:03.750 –> 00:38:04.050 Joseph McElroy: ever.

    00:38:04.260 –> 00:38:27.510 Joe Sam Queen: Ever ever ever so often they’ll play a paper sack family or the spoons or they’ll wrap the head of a banjo and then and then it’s and then it’s the cog step is as the drum but no there’s no real drum to traditional music wow.

    00:38:27.990 –> 00:38:40.830 Joseph McElroy: So now color’s your ears beer a color right now How do people become collars to leave these things this experience, or that they studied, or what was the requirements well.

    00:38:41.100 –> 00:38:48.210 Joe Sam Queen: Most of them it just experienced you go to a lot of dances you get the sense of it, you like you got a decent memory.

    00:38:51.990 –> 00:39:06.750 Joe Sam Queen: You can sort of live to pay attention because you’re instructing and watching the circle dance and colonnade on beat so it moves appropriately with the music and has a nice flow to it it’s not hard to be a color, but you have to sort of pay attention.

    00:39:07.980 –> 00:39:14.820 Joe Sam Queen: As my grandfather said, yet it adds an inner circle with your partner, and to the music that’s all you need to know.

    00:39:16.620 –> 00:39:20.580 Joseph McElroy: But wasn’t a color like almost a band vocalist I mean it is sort of the.

    00:39:20.640 –> 00:39:21.150 Oh, you can.

    00:39:22.680 –> 00:39:26.250 Joe Sam Queen: You get to sing the song you get to make up the tunes you know.

    00:39:27.930 –> 00:39:39.300 Joe Sam Queen: Lady around the lady in the gym don’t go lady around the gym in the gym go slow that’s one where you let your partner go around the opposite man and look mo.

    00:39:39.900 –> 00:39:50.430 Joe Sam Queen: Then come back in a circle, then the opposite lady gets to come around you but you don’t get to go so it’s a way to let the ladies have a turn in smoking over the gentleman.

    00:39:52.560 –> 00:40:02.610 Joe Sam Queen: Which is usually the opposite the way it is again the ladies road, a lot of these little duties to strain they’re going to be respectful.

    00:40:02.700 –> 00:40:10.920 Joseph McElroy: be respectful oh that’s interesting so a caller had to learn, I mean how many different calls are there, do you know.

    00:40:11.520 –> 00:40:19.620 Joe Sam Queen: Oh there’s probably scores and scores for sure you know, in a dance you end up calling them.

    00:40:21.480 –> 00:40:22.800 Joe Sam Queen: The primary doesn’t.

    00:40:23.280 –> 00:40:33.600 Joe Sam Queen: Because you were allowed with if you do, that many you know like we do a two-hour street dance in Waynesville we’d probably call four to five sets.

    00:40:34.230 –> 00:40:49.530 Joe Sam Queen: Because we, you have the figure four and then you have the big circle dances which is really just lots of fun you all join hands it’s it, you know we do folk move here in Western North Carolina which is international folk dance.

    00:40:49.770 –> 00:41:02.760 Joe Sam Queen: Right, those were a hotspot of traditional folk dance our Appalachian American authentic folk dance is right here, so we welcome the world to bring their so they come from.

    00:41:03.180 –> 00:41:11.040 Joe Sam Queen: They come from Ukraine they’ve been from Ukraine they’ve come from Lebanon they’ve come from Australia they’ve come from China and.

    00:41:11.430 –> 00:41:27.960 Joe Sam Queen: And and South America, a lot of folk dances have this big circle gathering for sure they often have little sets the American square dance team is eight to 10 and couples, but the actual social dance, it has no limit, you can have.

    00:41:30.720 –> 00:41:31.890 Joe Sam Queen: couples in a dance.

    00:41:32.130 –> 00:41:34.260 Joseph McElroy: Now these other traditions have a color.

    00:41:34.740 –> 00:41:39.570 Joe Sam Queen: And that the American tradition has callers, but most of the other traditions done.

    00:41:41.100 –> 00:41:49.500 Joe Sam Queen: That because they all come from a village or a single place where America is really the melting pot we he Pluribus Unum.

    00:41:50.640 –> 00:41:56.070 Joe Sam Queen: Out of many one, so we need a color to set the tone and.

    00:41:56.130 –> 00:41:56.610 Joseph McElroy: If I have.

    00:41:57.750 –> 00:41:59.820 Joseph McElroy: Both so the color is dynamic.

    00:41:59.820 –> 00:42:01.590 Joe Sam Queen: composer he’s a composer.

    00:42:01.650 –> 00:42:02.400 Joe Sam Queen: He really is.

    00:42:02.970 –> 00:42:08.340 Joe Sam Queen: wow he will make the poem he’ll make the the the the.

    00:42:09.390 –> 00:42:18.510 Joe Sam Queen: he’ll make this the motion to some little poetry and it helps you remember to help you keep it straight in the in day.

    00:42:19.680 –> 00:42:24.510 Joseph McElroy: wow well I guess the colors are traditionally have been pretty much in demand.

    00:42:25.440 –> 00:42:30.180 Joe Sam Queen: Well, they are they help my grandfather was in huge demand.

    00:42:30.300 –> 00:42:41.010 Joe Sam Queen: Oh yeah he danced somewhere from 1935 to 1955 he dad somewhere almost every night of the week.

    00:42:41.820 –> 00:42:50.550 Joe Sam Queen: Go to one big hotel on big dance hall after another, he would go all around I mean if you had a big political event, you had a big square dance I.

    00:42:51.000 –> 00:43:07.560 Joe Sam Queen: You know I politic by let’s all join hands in one big circle that’s my political monster that’s my social monitor that’s who asked that’s what I stand for so it’s a great metaphor for Community and in and politics but Franklin.

    00:43:08.220 –> 00:43:11.760 Joseph McElroy: cool well, we got to take another break and we’ll come back and.

    00:43:12.990 –> 00:43:19.530 Joseph McElroy: talk a little bit more about calling and other stories that you might have to get it, thank you.

    00:43:23.040 –> 00:43:32.01000:43:32.700 –> 00:43:46.380

    00:43:49.980 –> 00:43:52.770 00:43:53.190 –> 00:43:59.190

    00:43:59.490 –> 00:44:08.70000:44:09.150 –> 00:44:15.300

    00:44:22.200 –> 00:44:23.340

    00:44:24.540 –> 00:44:39.510 00:44:40.710 –> 00:44:45.240 00:44:48.690 –> 00:44:57.000 :45:20.520 –> 00:45:39.990 Joseph McElroy: Howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with gateway to the smokies podcast and my My guess the legendary Joe Sam queen so Joe talking about calling and Square and square dancing and the music, are you finding that young people today are becoming collars and becoming.

    00:45:41.010 –> 00:45:43.770 Joseph McElroy: fillers and stuff in a squared answer is dynamic.

    00:45:45.600 –> 00:45:45.930 Joe Sam Queen: Now.

    00:45:47.010 –> 00:46:00.870 Joe Sam Queen: We work to keep it alive that’s why I do the smoky mountain folk festival to keep young musicians coming forward, we have the junior Appalachian musicians, which we teach string music.

    00:46:02.160 –> 00:46:12.150 Joe Sam Queen: I mean that’s the fiddle the banjo the bass guitar in a little ensemble band after school after school program Appalachian music.

    00:46:13.470 –> 00:46:21.270 Joe Sam Queen: week we always part of our folk festival, we have a little outside tent we let the young folks come in, have a little part of the show.

    00:46:22.260 –> 00:46:28.980 Joe Sam Queen: their elders are on the main stage but beforehand, we let everybody have a little stir so we keep bringing it on that were.

    00:46:29.760 –> 00:46:47.700 Joe Sam Queen: an active group of square dances were trying to bounce back after coded I mean coven square dancing was definitely a spreader event so once I’ve laid low for the last couple of years, but we’re feeling fairly comfortable that this summer, will be a summer to dance again.

    00:46:48.120 –> 00:46:50.220 Joseph McElroy: No more sociability distancing.

    00:46:51.120 –> 00:46:52.800 Joe Sam Queen: No more sociability and the.

    00:46:54.210 –> 00:46:56.070 Joe Sam Queen: square dancing is not this it’s.

    00:46:56.940 –> 00:46:57.420 Joseph McElroy: too close.

    00:46:57.780 –> 00:47:03.780 Joseph McElroy: together so so are you got some little collars coming up some good ones yeah we.

    00:47:03.930 –> 00:47:16.770 Joe Sam Queen: You know, cars are there they’re not just a dime a dozen good ones they never have been a lot of good bands and you don’t have good music, if you don’t have dance, so my grandfather.

    00:47:17.280 –> 00:47:27.630 Joe Sam Queen: He kept a lot of musicians alive, because in the 30s and 40s and you didn’t have any money floating around, but you can have a dance you could pass the hat.

    00:47:28.050 –> 00:47:36.690 Joe Sam Queen: In in and they could get enough for fifth the liquor you know before the knives out, you know so they kind of data big success and had a big time doing it.

    00:47:38.520 –> 00:47:40.950 Joseph McElroy: Well cool so you’re building a lot of things.

    00:47:41.190 –> 00:47:43.590 Joseph McElroy: You know you mentioned folk mood your involvement.

    00:47:43.680 –> 00:47:46.620 Joseph McElroy: You know that it’s coming back this summer is going to be.

    00:47:47.010 –> 00:47:47.430 Joe Sam Queen: they’re gonna.

    00:47:47.460 –> 00:48:04.200 Joe Sam Queen: they’re trying, you know they have been had a couple of double whammy is at 911 which really interrupting international travel what folk movie is for people that don’t know if we are here in Haywood county we have the international folk festival the finest one in America.

    00:48:05.460 –> 00:48:18.510 Joe Sam Queen: In the northern hemisphere for that question it’s right here it’s in western North Carolina we go to 20 communities when they’re here we have an old elementary school we’ve taken over and we house.

    00:48:20.850 –> 00:48:33.960 Joe Sam Queen: Eight or 10 dancing sometimes it does and from all over the world they’re all internationals they come they bring their musicians every dancing has a band with them, I mean we’ve had some.

    00:48:35.190 –> 00:48:36.150 Joseph McElroy: Dependence it’s just.

    00:48:36.540 –> 00:48:54.330 Joe Sam Queen: Really submit, and we, and we, and we look at this as world where the world meets on mainstream, just like the sociability for our people, we do this for the world, right here, because dancing all joining hands in one big circle is a world monitor.

    00:48:54.420 –> 00:48:54.930 Joseph McElroy: It is.

    00:48:55.080 –> 00:49:06.270 Joseph McElroy: My at my wife is from Trinidad and there’s a bazillion drummer now and see I got her to come to Maggie the first time because of food so yeah really.

    00:49:06.600 –> 00:49:08.130 Joseph McElroy: You know when we were dating.

    00:49:08.160 –> 00:49:18.900 Joseph McElroy: You know it’s like wow they do this international thing and he’s from Trinidad so you know it’s The thing that makes people feel welcome I think it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done here yeah yeah.

    00:49:21.480 –> 00:49:22.110 Joe Sam Queen: I agree.

    00:49:23.550 –> 00:49:32.460 Joe Sam Queen: And it’s still coming back so people just keep your ears open we’re going to bring it back you know I’ll say this a little bit you started off with some of your sponsors.

    00:49:33.030 –> 00:49:44.700 Joe Sam Queen: Another international hotspot we are for birds we kneel tropical warblers hotspot in this hemisphere, the western hemisphere.

    00:49:45.570 –> 00:49:56.820 Joe Sam Queen: Coming up from South America crossing the Gulf and they nest in this great smoky mountains these little warblers seeing their magnificence right now the month.

    00:49:57.420 –> 00:50:03.960 Joe Sam Queen: of May is the time to see them because they come in the leaves haven’t hardly gotten out so you can find them.

    00:50:04.320 –> 00:50:11.370 Joe Sam Queen: they’re small they’re very vocal and sociable little creature and they’re calling and they’re vocalizing and.

    00:50:11.850 –> 00:50:23.490 Joe Sam Queen: and capturing their territory and their mate and they sing like you know songbirds there, they are the songbirds of the world, right here in Western North Carolina, we have more than any other place in the world.

    00:50:24.570 –> 00:50:37.230 Joseph McElroy: Literally, if you go in the backyard and our wooded area you’ll see the dozen different types of warblers I mean it’s you know and it’s not it’s, not even the even it’s, not even the right into the smoky mountains it’s incredible.

    00:50:38.550 –> 00:50:41.820 Joe Sam Queen: feat you rise, you get another population of different birds.

    00:50:41.910 –> 00:50:42.330 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

    00:50:42.420 –> 00:50:52.740 Joe Sam Queen: And we have like at least four or five tiers of barbers that come, all the way across the Gulf every summer to nest in the great smokers.

    00:50:53.370 –> 00:51:03.960 Joseph McElroy: Well we’re going to run out of time, I wanted to hit one other thing that you, you you’re involved with you know I I was in Waynesville has a pretty well known did are called heart theater.

    00:51:04.140 –> 00:51:16.140 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah and back in the day I did a couple performances in there and I’m you know and then last one decade or two you’ve built a theater and actual real great facility and you were involved in that.

    00:51:16.140 –> 00:51:23.970 Joe Sam Queen: Right, I was their architect, and in its is fine, an Appalachian structure of wood, as you will find in America so come to the heart theater.

    00:51:24.480 –> 00:51:34.260 Joe Sam Queen: anything we do, there is good, I can take anything we have won the national community theater award at that theater twice in the last eight or nine years.

    00:51:35.010 –> 00:51:48.300 Joe Sam Queen: we’ve represented America in Edinburgh, the famous Scottish the universal in Prague for the famous European theater festival so anything we do is great, if you want to be, it is really.

    00:51:49.620 –> 00:51:54.120 Joe Sam Queen: An a thing not to miss and Haywood county the heart theater cool.

    00:51:54.420 –> 00:52:01.740 Joseph McElroy: And we just have a couple maybe a minute or two, so you and your wife, Dr. K queen have a charitable foundation, what can you tell us about that.

    00:52:02.280 –> 00:52:04.770 Joe Sam Queen: Well, you know we’ve enjoyed.

    00:52:06.900 –> 00:52:23.160 Joe Sam Queen: doing well, by doing good our whole life practice architecture she’s a doctor and we support lots of things from the sons of the American revolution to Shelton house the heart theater to the arts counts in Haywood county.

    00:52:25.170 –> 00:52:29.280 Joe Sam Queen: You know this lots of good things we just try to be part of the Community.

    00:52:30.600 –> 00:52:37.110 Joe Sam Queen: As I think so many Americans do it’s just it’s a great heritage in America to give back.

    00:52:37.620 –> 00:52:39.060 Joseph McElroy: And what’s the name of your foundation.

    00:52:39.420 –> 00:52:44.100 Joe Sam Queen: it’s just the the the Queen family foundation week or.

    00:52:44.610 –> 00:52:45.720 Joseph McElroy: So is there any other.

    00:52:46.740 –> 00:52:50.910 Joseph McElroy: Things you’d like to shout out links websites and social media anything you want to mention.

    00:52:51.660 –> 00:52:53.130 Joe Sam Queen: Well vote democrat and I’ll.

    00:52:53.130 –> 00:52:53.550 Joseph McElroy: tell you.

    00:52:55.590 –> 00:52:56.910 Joe Sam Queen: it’s not a political show but.

    00:52:57.090 –> 00:52:57.690 Joseph McElroy: Yes.

    00:52:57.870 –> 00:53:00.180 Joe Sam Queen: it’s important, and you know.

    00:53:02.430 –> 00:53:14.790 Joe Sam Queen: At your place metal are not too long ago we honored Charles Miller and in are landing and they are both friends of the American revolution, so I I am we’re just.

    00:53:15.990 –> 00:53:24.480 Joe Sam Queen: Four or five years from the the 200 and 50th 50th anniversary of the American revolution, so we are, we are trying to.

    00:53:25.230 –> 00:53:32.580 Joe Sam Queen: expand on our revolutionary war heritage here in North Carolina, particularly Western North Carolina where we had the militia.

    00:53:33.510 –> 00:53:48.840 Joe Sam Queen: And in the flintlock rifle I mean the reason we have the second amendment is the flintlock rifled gun was a very different weapon, then the musket and they were deadly and sharp and.

    00:53:49.950 –> 00:53:54.480 Joe Sam Queen: And, and the British didn’t like them at all, because they could shoot die out an office.

    00:53:54.720 –> 00:54:03.870 Joseph McElroy: yeah well that’s good, well, thank you so much for being on the show it’s been a pleasure talking to learn about you know the traditions of mountain music and.

    00:54:04.530 –> 00:54:16.710 Joseph McElroy: And I’m very, very proud of the accomplishments you have done for Haywood county and North Carolina and the United States and, as I said, your legend and you deserve any accolades that you get.

    00:54:18.330 –> 00:54:18.780 Joseph McElroy: and

    00:54:18.960 –> 00:54:20.220 Joe Sam Queen: you’re so kind Thank you.

    00:54:20.610 –> 00:54:36.240 Joseph McElroy: Thank you you’re welcome this is the gateway to the smokies podcast and you can find out more about@facebook.com slash gateway to the smokies podcast or you go to talk radio dot nyc and find the show there and it’s.

    00:54:36.990 –> 00:54:52.800 Joseph McElroy: it’s streamed live talk radio dot nyc is a great network of free live podcasts every day that range from self-help to small business to travel too.

    00:54:53.400 –> 00:55:03.660 Joseph McElroy: Politics to pets, you know it’s one of those talk networks that you, you don’t know what you might hear here next though it’s all scheduled out.

    00:55:04.290 –> 00:55:15.840 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is every Tuesday at six until seven talking about the smoky mountains, I also run another podcast called wise content creates well.

    00:55:16.140 –> 00:55:24.900 Joseph McElroy: Which is about marketing and content, marketing and the coming evolution of Ai into marketing and insights of how you can take advantage of that.

    00:55:25.170 –> 00:55:36.210 Joseph McElroy: To build your business and your nonprofit and your opportunities, so I hope you’ll show up for that and that’s on Fridays from noon until one, and I thank you for listening to this show and I’ll see you next week.

    50m - Apr 26, 2022
  • Episode 55: Rally in the Valley—Smoky Mountain Motorcycle Adventures

    In this episode, you'll discover the Great Smoky Mountain region is home to some of the most remarkable riding destinations in the world. A land of enchanting beauty and endless possibilities for adventure on two wheels. A space to explore your greatest passions surrounded by the natural beauty of majestic mountain ranges, endlessly winding roads, and rustic cabins.

    We are joined by our special guest, Chris Parker, who is the Founder and Chief Designer of Road Wolf Design, a company based in Greer S.C. that he founded in 2007. His clients include Texas Pete Hot Sauces, Touring Sport BMW, Spartanburg Regional Health Care System, and Beowulf Technologies-- among many others.

    Prior to starting his own company, Chris spent over a decade working as a designer and artist in some of the top art departments in his industry. Chris is an avid BMW motorcycle enthusiast who has spent a large part of his adult life riding his bike in the Great Smoky Mountain region of WNC and East Tennessee, as well as in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia and across the United States. 

    We will discuss the upcoming Rally in Valley scheduled for May, as well as his expertise in creating memorable riding adventures in the Great Smokies.

    Website: http://roadwolfdesign.com/ 

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-parker-8442179/

    Tune in for this fun conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.




    Joseph opens up to upcoming events happening at the Great Smoky Mountains over the next couple of weeks: ranging from motorcycle to Mother’s Day events. Following, he transitions into introducing his guest, Chris Parker, who is the owner and Chief Designer of Road Wolf Design. It is a creative design company based in Greer, South Carolina, that Parker founded in 2007. Chris is an avid motorcycle enthusiast who has spent much of his adult years riding in The Great Smoky Mountains and across the U.S. Chris has been to the Smokies countless times since he started riding in Western Carolina in 2000. Originally from Scotland, Chris has moved around a lot. He has lived in South Carolina since 1991.


    Chris has been riding motorcycles for 22 years, his first bike was a used Honda Pacific Coast. Within 9 months he moved to a BMW bike, which he stayed on since. Chris obtained his BMW from a mutual work colleague who called a friend of his, saying his father-in-law was downsizing and moving, and he had an old 1998 BMW R-11 Hundred GS which he wanted to sell. After seeing photos, Chris’s interest grew, and a friendship sparked with the bike’s original owner. The two made a deal for Chris to buy the bike but as the friendship grew the owner offered the bike for free, with Chris only paying for the service. He flew to CA to pick up the bike, making a stop to meet the original owner in person. He then drove the bike across the country back home to S. Carolina in 6 days. Chris still owns the bike and says he will never get rid of it. Joseph shares his own interesting story. A friend of his was getting married, and he had a Yamaha 185 dirt bike which his wife was making him get rid of. During this friend’s bachelor party, Joseph drunkenly bought the bike. Three years later, Joseph was getting married and his friend was getting divorced, leading his friend to buy the bike back from him. They continue to share some motorcycle adventure stories– including one of an intense accident with a deer. Chris works for the BMW RA Organization. He is involved with the club and magazine. Chris has been the art director for the magazine for the past four years, and recently became the editor for the mag. as well. His first issue was the March/April ‘22 issue. The club is one of 2 motorcycle clubs that are national and are under the international umbrella, The BMW Club Council out of Germany. Chris describes the club as an enthusiast club that supports the love of all things BMW motorcycles.


    Joseph starts the segment by talking about the National BMW RA Rally which was held in September 2021 at Hayward County. There are plans for the rally to be held around the fall of ‘22 for a third year however it’s not confirmed yet. There were several factors that went into the organization choosing Hayward County for setup, the roads being the main factor for motorcyclists. The theme of the upcoming rally will be celebrating 50 years of the organization and ride attitude, for the enthusiast motorcycle club which is made up of riders who put in serious miles. The location provides them the epic opportunity to enjoy legendary roads, with people alike. The organization is looking into doing weekend getaways to make up for those who can’t make the once-a-year rally. The RA organization is also planning an upcoming regional event at the Meadowlark Hotel in Maggie Valley, to which Joseph is connected to. Joseph says they look forward to it. The area and the hotel are extremely motorcycle friendly. The big Steakhouse, Jay Arthurs, in the Valley is going to host them a big steak dinner, with live music, and a speakeasy area. This will be the first event Chris will host as a rally chair. They plan to end the rally with a challenging ride. This is the first announcement of this activity. Chris and others are going to be test driving this route this upcoming weekend. It’s about a 4-hour ride. Riding the Smokies is a magical experience.


    Chris shares some safety tips for riding in the Smokies–two of which are, pacing yourself, especially in unknown areas, and wearing your safety gear at all times when riding. There are hidden gem roads that can be found and taken once people get to know the area, which can avoid some traffic. Joseph shares that the Bear Water Brewery is a great place for motorcyclists to have a meal and enjoy the ambiance of the mountain. He asks Chris what are some of his favorite places to make a stop in the Smokies. A favorite of Chris’s is in North Carolina, a restaurant in a gas station called Café Rell. The chef was originally from Atlanta. He left city life and returned back to his hometown, opening up this French cuisine café. The location is surprising but the food is even more so. In Downtown Waynesville, he recommends Beach Mountain Diner. In closing the episode, Chris shares that people can join the RA via their website www.bmwra.org, there is an event tab where you can find the upcoming events that people can register for. He clarifies riders do not have to have a BMW to join, any motorcycle is welcomed.



    00:00:41.040 –> 00:00:43.410 Joseph McElroy: Howdy! Welcome to the Gateways to the Smokies Podcast.

    00:00:43.410 –> 00:00:53.700 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is about America’s most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the surrounding towns.

    00:00:54.450 –> 00:01:04.500 Joseph McElroy: This area is filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.

    00:01:05.310 –> 00:01:26.520 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklyn McElroy, a man of the world, but also with deep roots in these mountains my family is living the great smokies for over 200 years my business is in travel, but my heart is in culture. today we’re going to talk about smoky mountain motorcycle adventures.

    00:01:27.660 –> 00:01:34.350 Joseph McElroy: But first, a couple of sponsors messages and then some events that are upcoming that you might find interesting.

    00:01:35.280 –> 00:01:48.450 Joseph McElroy: First, imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past in modern and vibrant with Chic Appalachian feel a place for adventure for relaxation.

    00:01:49.170 –> 00:02:01.860 Joseph McElroy: imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain heritage trout stream grill the catch on a fire eat accompanied by fine wine or craft beers.

    00:02:02.490 –> 00:02:16.020 Joseph McElroy: Imagine a place in the old-time music world cultural sounds, there is no other place like the Meadowlark Motel in Maggie Valley North Carolina, your smoky mountain adventure starts with where you stay!

    00:02:17.400 –> 00:02:29.460 Joseph McElroy: and other sponsors smokies adventure.com smokies plural adventure singular the smoky mountains and surrounding area or areas of vacation destination for all seasons.

    00:02:30.000 –> 00:02:39.480 Joseph McElroy: Some of the nation’s best hiking trails waterfalls, outdoor adventures, and family entertainment can be found, right here in these mountains.

    00:02:40.200 –> 00:02:48.870 Joseph McElroy: start your adventure by using smokiesadventure.com to explore all the wonderful features of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    00:02:49.500 –> 00:03:01.230 Joseph McElroy: trails, waterfalls, caves cove or the elk are and more than check out all the awesome family attractions and entertainment, you and your entire family can enjoy.

    00:03:02.550 –> 00:03:09.900 Joseph McElroy: The goal is smokiesadventure.com is to become the leading information portal for adventures and experiences in the great smoky mountains.

    00:03:10.710 –> 00:03:21.660 Joseph McElroy: Now some events coming up most of these events are at the Maggie Valley festival grounds and it’s now become the big festival season in the mountains and the smoky mountain area.

    00:03:22.440 –> 00:03:37.440 Joseph McElroy: April 22nd to 24th is the Annual Southeastern mini trucking nationals it’s an open car and truck show featuring food and vendors and many trucks which are a hoot.

    00:03:38.760 –> 00:03:51.690 Joseph McElroy: April 19th to May 1st is Thunder in the Smokies Spring Motorcycle Rally, this is a Big Motorcycle Rally about three times a year and it’s the largest and oldest rally in Maggie Valley.

    00:03:52.200 –> 00:04:01.740 Joseph McElroy: And it’s all day Friday and Saturday and half the day on Sunday is got tour rides vendors bike shows games prizes concerts.

    00:04:02.190 –> 00:04:10.470 Joseph McElroy: Fire dancers, the latest bikes and motor products on display, and more you can go to thunderinthesmokies.com to find out more.

    00:04:11.100 –> 00:04:26.940 Joseph McElroy: May 7th is a new event that I haven’t during know where it is called the boho hippie feast it’s got live music performances art demonstrations vendors bounce houses games food trucks and more sounds like it’s going to be sort of a Bohemian.

    00:04:28.080 –> 00:04:46.890 Joseph McElroy: arts and crafts show with lots of fun so I’m looking forward to checking that out, and they may 13 to the 14th is the kk OA icons of the hot rodding festival, and this is going to be the 1950s and 1960s hot-rodding custom cars and trailer trucks and then have it.

    00:04:48.210 –> 00:04:59.730 Joseph McElroy: For models that are older than 1969 have automotive and vintage vendors pinstripe burrs and food vendors awards and trophies and all sorts of things.

    00:05:00.990 –> 00:05:11.160 Joseph McElroy: Now the Meadowlark you know, we have the Meadowlark Smoky Mountain Heritage Center where we have lots of mountain heritage and music events so in.

    00:05:12.510 –> 00:05:13.230 Joseph McElroy: In May.

    00:05:14.310 –> 00:05:30.930 Joseph McElroy: On May 6th through the 8th we’re going to have mother’s day events and it’s gonna have moms moving mountains and mother nature’s natural garden programs Nancy East and Ila Hatter.

    00:05:32.310 –> 00:05:50.370 Joseph McElroy: So first one there on a Friday night may six-seven acclaimed authors and wilderness survival expert Nancy East will be presenting mom’s moving mountains and she will share her experiences in the great outdoors as well as her amazing endurance hiking achievements.

    00:05:51.780 –> 00:06:03.630 Joseph McElroy: This is serious just here doing what wilderness survival is course is hugely valuable and she has some great adventures to talk about the show you picture things like that, then a May 7.

    00:06:04.320 –> 00:06:14.130 Joseph McElroy: The afternoon will feature legendary wildcrafting expert and renowned author filmmaker instructor and tour guide for the general some great smoky mountain National Park elite.

    00:06:14.940 –> 00:06:24.120 Joseph McElroy: GSM Field School Illa Hatter. Ila is an expert on edible plants, medicinal herbs, and anything pertaining to wildcraft foraging and Appalachian plants, trees, and flowers.

    00:06:24.600 –> 00:06:32.010 Joseph McElroy: she’s been featured in a lot of stuff like TV shows, and things like that.

    00:06:32.880 –> 00:06:44.100 Joseph McElroy: But she will be presenting your her beloved program Mother Nature natural garden and leading a short tour of the grounds, identifying nature’s bounty that can be found in our own backyards.

    00:06:44.610 –> 00:06:49.470 Joseph McElroy: And then we’ll have a combination with the free Barbecue separate music on Saturday night.

    00:06:49.950 –> 00:07:06.720 Joseph McElroy: So reach out and then In mother’s day in the morning will have will be having cake and champagne for people as they’re leaving in the morning, so come and reach out to meadowlarkmotel.com call 8289261717 to find out more and reserve your spot for these programs.

    00:07:08.970 –> 00:07:18.090 Joseph McElroy: I don’t know if everybody knows, but one of the best motorcycle museums in the country, if not the world is located right next to the Meadowlark motel.

    00:07:18.720 –> 00:07:31.380 Joseph McElroy: And it’s called the wheels through time museum and it’s home to the world’s premier collection of rare American motorcycles memorabilia and a distinct array of unique one-off American automobiles.

    00:07:32.940 –> 00:07:56.040 Joseph McElroy: It has a collection of over 350 rare machines comprised of 25 makes including Harley Davidson Indian excelsior Henderson Popeil crocker flying Merkel and many, many more, it was opened on July 4 2002 in a 38,000 square foot facility, and now it says 15th year of operation.

    00:07:57.270 –> 00:08:02.070 Joseph McElroy: it’s gotten worldwide media attention and brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to Maggie Valley.

    00:08:02.520 –> 00:08:16.740 Joseph McElroy: And it’s a unique display it has events going on thrill rides and all the machines run even the older some of the rarest in the world have been made into working order and every day.

    00:08:17.370 –> 00:08:24.360 Joseph McElroy: Thursday through Monday, they will actually get some of these different old machines running so you can hear how they sound.

    00:08:24.600 –> 00:08:35.400 Joseph McElroy: feel their vibrations, you know feel like a part of it, and then and the museum itself is a really wonderful experience because you’re walking through something that’s almost like a giant garage.

    00:08:35.700 –> 00:08:45.870 Joseph McElroy: Then it has art and automobiles represent a representative of the times right and motorcycles representative of the time in the exhibits.

    00:08:46.890 –> 00:08:55.620 Joseph McElroy: It was founded by Dale Walker who recently died, but his son has taken over who’s also an accomplished motorcycle.

    00:08:56.310 –> 00:09:04.680 Joseph McElroy: Now expert knowledge, so I recommend coming to stay in the Meadowlark and going over the wheels through the time museum to get your motorcycle on.

    00:09:05.520 –> 00:09:09.480 Joseph McElroy: Somebody knows about motorcycles our guest today his name is Chris Parker.

    00:09:10.050 –> 00:09:24.840 Joseph McElroy: Chris Parker is the owner and Chief Designer of Road Wolf Design it’s a creative design company based in Greer South Carolina where he was founded in 2007 his clients include Texas Pete Hot Sauces yay I love hot sauces, Texas Pete.

    00:09:26.430 –> 00:09:34.650 Joseph McElroy: touring sport BMW, and many others, Chris is an avid BMW motorcycle enthusiast who has been a large part of his adult life.

    00:09:35.040 –> 00:09:45.900 Joseph McElroy: riding his bike in the great smoky mountains regions and all across the United States now Chris has partnered with the staff of the Meadowlark Motel Maggie Valley to create a new event.

    00:09:46.320 –> 00:09:58.020 Joseph McElroy: For this prestigious group called the BMWRA group on May 12-15 2022 and at the Meadowlark Motel Maggie Valley and so hello, Chris how are you doing?

    00:09:58.680 –> 00:10:00.210 Chris Parker: Great good to be here.

    00:10:00.570 –> 00:10:05.730 Joseph McElroy: cool we are thrilled to have you with us here today, Chris and we’re.

    00:10:06.300 –> 00:10:19.410 Joseph McElroy: we’re really just like so I mean I’m very excited to discuss your upcoming rally in the valley scheduled for May and as well as you share your expertise and you know, creating memorable riding adventure so let’s get started.

    00:10:20.640 –> 00:10:25.890 Joseph McElroy: You live in a relatively short ride from Maggie valley when was your first trip to our region?

    00:10:27.450 –> 00:10:41.610 Chris Parker: Well, I’ve been up there so many times I’ve lost count been riding in western North Carolina since 2000, 22 years easily hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of miles.

    00:10:43.020 –> 00:10:49.620 Chris Parker: Maggie Valley, Waynesville area, a lot, because of the roads are just their epic so yeah.

    00:10:50.280 –> 00:10:52.680 Joseph McElroy: Are you originally from Greer or Where are you from originally.

    00:10:53.550 –> 00:11:06.960 Chris Parker: um well as a navy brat I was born in Scotland and moved around and then eventually made it to the US, but I’ve been living in the southeast primarily since the mid-70s, hence the accent.

    00:11:08.040 –> 00:11:19.020 Chris Parker: And in South Carolina since 1981 so I’m in the upstate of South Carolina which when you explain to people South Carolina they automatically assume you’re from Charleston or the beach.

    00:11:19.410 –> 00:11:30.030 Chris Parker: And you have to remind them that there’s the upstate which is mountainous it’s at the foothills of the mountains of where you’re at and North Carolina so you know you.

    00:11:30.360 –> 00:11:40.110 Joseph McElroy: Did you when you’ve been visiting if you get a chance to hook up with Mike Ogletree he’s our artist in residence and he was born in Scotland and played with a lot of Scottish bands.

    00:11:40.260 –> 00:11:45.540 Chris Parker: Did you get the time I met him, I met him last September, when I came up to visit the motel.

    00:11:46.020 –> 00:12:01.980 Chris Parker: and his background, when I found out who he was with I just my jaw dropped simple minds, I mean who doesn’t know who that band is and then he’s from Scotland and he’s got the accent I don’t, but we did have a chat he’s a nice guy.

    00:12:02.280 –> 00:12:18.240 Joseph McElroy: Oh good well that’s I mean yeah that’s yeah there’s actually a lot of Scottish heritage in the mountains right, so you probably find a little bit of that connecting up with people and you should go by the Scottish Tartan Museum in Franklin it’s.

    00:12:19.290 –> 00:12:19.620 Chris Parker: Like.

    00:12:20.250 –> 00:12:23.670 Joseph McElroy: it’s the greatest Tartan collection in the world, I think right.

    00:12:24.180 –> 00:12:31.770 Joseph McElroy: it’s pretty it is pretty impressive you know, we had him out for the Burn’s Day celebration of Robert Burns and.

    00:12:32.160 –> 00:12:36.930 Joseph McElroy: They brought some tartans and they brought some pictures and they did a whole discussion, so it was pretty cool.

    00:12:37.860 –> 00:12:53.730 Joseph McElroy: Pretty cool opportunity to find more about and I recommend people find out about that museum, because we know it’s of all the many museums, we have in the mountains that’s one of them that’s I think is pretty special hey so I’ve talked a lot, so we have to take our first break.

    00:12:55.170 –> 00:13:00.750 Joseph McElroy: And then we’ll come back and we’ll find more will find a little bit more about you and then writing BMW is in the mountains.

    00:13:02.070 –> 00:13:02.460 Okay.

    00:15:17.460 –> 00:15:27.660 Joseph McElroy: Howdy! this is Joseph Franklyn McElroy back with the Gateway to the Smokies Podcast and my guest Chris Parker so Chris how long have you been riding motorcycles?

    00:15:29.790 –> 00:15:30.990 Chris Parker: 22 years.

    00:15:31.500 –> 00:15:34.590 Joseph McElroy: 22 years and did was a BMW your first one.

    00:15:35.550 –> 00:15:53.400 Chris Parker: No, it wasn’t I bought a used Honda Pacific coast and learn to ride on that, and within nine months and about 15,000 miles later I moved to a BMW pretty quick and pretty much stayed on them for the last 22 years.

    00:15:54.090 –> 00:15:56.040 Joseph McElroy: Now, Bob folks,

    00:15:57.810 –> 00:16:12.750 Joseph McElroy: involved and helped me put together these programs he’s also Bob Plott and he’s als