Tennessee hill folk by HBSS Joe Clark, Jesse Stuart

By HBSS Joe Clark, Jesse Stuart

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Joe Clark's photos of men sitting in the country store, before their homes, talking and relaxing, are excellent and appealing. More people should join them and each try to tell the best story. I wish I could have joined these men just to have listened. Here is where I have listened and got some of my best stories, stories that have gone around the world. Never underrate what is said here. I hope oral story-telling never becomes a lost art. Joe Clark has caught these men in a relaxed, happy mood.

The sweep is weighted on Page 4 the end with old plowpoints. We have to pull the bucket down to the water. The sweep lifts it up filled with water. We have a drilled well and water piped into our house. But it is that good pure well water that is so good to drink and to use in making our coffee and tea. The well has been a part of our lives. Before we had ice, electricity, and refrigeration, we put milk and butter in buckets and lowered them down into the well water to keep them cool. Thank Joe Clark for these photographs of our early culture.

I wonder now if some of his photographs aren't of the things I saw there then. For instance, there is the home where his grandfather and father were born-and they sleep in a cemetery nearby (perhaps a family cemetery). That house was a typical early house of rural Claiborne County, also of Greenup County-also of rural Appalachia. The fieldstone chimney is a giveaway to this. Even the Greeks of Ancient Thebes where Pindar lived could identify with this. I am happy that this old home will be preserved in one of these great pictures.

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