Monday, August 25, 2008

Okay, I've fallen a bit behind.

I had a wonderful day with Friend Scott, yesterday. People were civil and no fights erupted at the Hall Family Reunion--though he claims he got cussed out three times and wandered into the aftermath of a dreadful domestic dispute before he got to my house.

"Why didn't you just come here when you saw the cop cars?" I ask, because that's what I'd do. I'd get away from a dreadful situation like that once the cops were there. Because I hate a scene. People love scenes here.

"But I just had to find out what was going on!"

Typical Scott. He had to drive back to Texas this morning with a trailer of Standardbreds for a horse something in Fort Worth. He sleeps with the horses while he's there and they keep him up. It's like a horse house party.

There wasn't as big a crowd this year as there usually is. We got there in time for the morning and afternoon singing. It was hot and a bit sluggish for the afternoon. The singing at the Hall Reunion is some of the best in this area. They've really held on to that tradition, though I'm told in years gone by--it was even more impressive. Only five people came up to the front who could still read the shape notes. Still it was something to behold.

The food, as usual, was amazing, delicious and plentiful. Those Hall ladies sure can cook--I've seen a copy of their cookbook from the past and they really need to do another one of those. I would so buy it.

The absolute stand-out for both Scott and me, was this sublime sweet potato dish. I didn't think it was possible to surprise me with a sweet potato. I really didn't. I'm the Bubba Gump of sweet potatoes.

Scott and I were sitting side-by-side on a bench with our plates when I took the first bite.

"Oh. My. God. Have you tried this yet?" I pointed out his mound of the stuff on his plate.

Scott tries it and said, "I could eat that three times a day!"

I went back for seconds and Scot had three helpings. It's really a dessert and I have a feeling it would be much better as a pie than a casserole. She had taken the basic sweet potato pie filling recipe then topped it with German Chocolate cake filling(the coconut part), then sprinkled a butter-nut crunch topping and baked it. It had this stunning buttery crispy top caramelized on top of the sweet potato and coconut filling. Yes--it was really sweet and rich but what a show stopper! I wanted to leave a note in the empty casserole dish that said, "I love you!"

Happy Birthday to my buddy, Mallow over at Fun in Flatland. Go over there and wish her a good one. She's got amazing yummy cake photos on her blog!

Now. I have a matter of great import I need you native Appalachian folks to weigh in on. I may put it up as a poll. It is a matter of spelling.

How do you spell the word that means a small valley tucked into the mountains--holler or hollow?

The reason I'm asking is because the first line of Narrative Magazine's story of the week this week spells it "hollows" in the very first sentence. Spelling it that way destroyed the credibility of the author's narrator from the get-go, as far as I'm concerned. They don't say it or spell it that way here. At all. Do you remember being taught one way or the other? Am I being too harsh?

The 90 acre fire is now 1500 acres and burning Rocky Top. Still visible if not sniffible from my back porch. The night sky glows over beyond Sol Messer and you can see flames. They say it's 20 percent under control.

Scott's mailing address is:

Scott Smith
442 Tigerville Road
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Send him some underwear or a postcard.

There is Popcorn Sutton news. His court date rescheduled to the 22nd of September. It doesn't look good for him.

CMT has a reality show called Outsiders Inn set in Cocke County. Scott has been following it religiously. I haven't been watching it though I remembered hearing about it while they were filming. Everyone was really excited to have the "TV people" in town. Having come out of that industry, I pretty much knew exactly what to expect. So now, predictably, some folks are upset. After the Esquire article back in 92 or whatever--you'd think they'd understand.

I will blog about all of this and more upcoming. But wanted to let you know things were moving right along here. Oh. And my kidneys are tanking again so they've upped my imuran.


  1. Erica said...
    I feel like I have no bidness commenting on this, as I am not Appalachian folk, but...I have been a fan of Loretta Lynn's for a very long time, and I have only heard Butcher Holler pronounced as such, but the Wikipedia entry lists it as being "Butcher Hollow" (with "Holler" in parenthesis), which completely befuddles me. So obviously I am of zero help and just serve to complicate matters further. Sorry Rosie. :-(
    Karen Smithey said...
    I was just getting ready to say "what a great post," and then the last sentence got me.

    Sounds like you're feeling okay, though? Hope so.

    Do you think you could recreate the recipe for the sweet potato dessert? I'd love to try it.
    Nancy said...
    I've never heard it pronounced any way but "holler"... but I knew it was a "hollow".
    kazari said...
    I would spell it hollow, and in our idiom it would sound hollah. But you know how far South I am : )

    On the other hand, there's lots of slang words here that are spelt 'queens english' and pronounced quite differently.
    hope your feeling better soon.
    vonne said...
    I'm from KY. and we say Holler, but in school I was taught to spell it Hollow. I still spell it hollow, unless I'm 'talkin' southern', then I spell it Holler.

    My aunt lives on Dykes hollow Rd. close to Tracy City, Tn. and she has always written it Dykes Holler Rd.
    Mallow said...
    Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! :)

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