Appalachian Patria

Appalachian Intellectual. To me that means plain thinking. I am A Non Commissioned Officer in the Army Reserves. Let me say...My views expressed here are mine and not those of The U.S. Army, Army Reserve or my fellow brethren in The National Guard. This is entirely Sua Sponte. This is My Thinking. I'm single and in my mid 30's. Politicaly, I'm a Libertarian. (Again, Sua Sponte.I do not represent the Libertarian Party.)I love my native Appalachia, Rock n Roll and...I love God.

Location: Brevard, North Caroilina

I started blogging for two reasons. I was concerned about the changes to the area I live in, Southern Appalachia and I was about to go to the war. I was in Iraq in 06 and 07 and now Kuwait in 11 and 12. Blogging was a means of documenting my experiences and hoping it would help gain clarity. I don't feel that way about it any more. It's said people write blogs because they are frustrated, that's why people read them too. That makes us sound apocalyptic. Are we? Let it be said, what I say here is of my own thinking. This is entirely Sua Sponte and not an official representation of the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government as a whole.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I did it today. I voted. You've probably been hanging on the edge, I know. Oh, you'd never guess who I voted for. Bob Barr...No preaching...

I am appalled however, at all of the hypocrisy, untruths, lies ans nonsense in this election, not to mention the ignorance. It's all you see on Television, nothing else is being advertised. I'm afraid things are only going to get worse.

I will tell you this, Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and a Rev. Baldwin had a debate in Cleveland Ohio today. It's supposed to be replayed on C-Span this weekend. I know you've had your fill of it, but, it's there if you want to see it. The third parties should have done this earlier...It may have made more of a difference.

Cult of Personality (Guitar Hero Version) - Various

"Ask not what your country can do for you..."
(Even though I think he was an over rated President) Pres. John F. Kennedy.

The Appalchianist

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nutshell Post

Folks, this is going to be short. Or, at least as short as I can get it.

Last weekends Drill...Battle Assembly as it is now called...Nothing has fundamentally changed though...was a busy one. It managed to come off pretty good though. The kicker is, I have four guys under me. Three of them didn't pass the PT Test. This is becoming a significant source of aggravation for me. Given, there were factors involved, such as it being the first good cold snap of the year, we can do better than that. Once in a while, someone is going to have a bad day, their rhythm is off. It's beyond stats, it's standards. I have guys that need to go to schools, and that is holding them back. Once we get a boot out of the mud, we can get marching...In all reality, I just want them to be right.

Yet, all of my guys qualified on the range. That was not a great problem, I'm relatively happy with that. For the most part, my guys do make good honest effort. They volunteered, that shows something...But, I will tell you, many people in uniform are overly self important and leach off of the system...My guys just need to tighten up their shot group, which, I believe they will soon do.

I took the week off to Bear Hunt...Hog Hunt if the opportunity arrived, and had a busy, but fun week. One day I left out at 0620 and was home at 2230. The earlier part of the week was so dry, that the dogs couldn't hold scent, especially on the ridge tops. I wasn't getting the dogs out of the box. Partly because I ended up with such a large group, both Hunter and Dog wise. Thursday, they were turned loose on a cold track and it fizzled. Little wiggly Butt Walker Dog, wouldn't let anyone catch her. I had to go get her.

Friday I went over to the magical land of Coweeta Creek. It was a wash out. Saturday was a better day, after some tracks fizzling, both of my Dogs blew up on a scent shortly after noon. A group of Curs and a Bull Dog were running loose with us and they packed right on the trail with Squeaky and Wiggly. About an hour later they had what was believed to be a Hog bayed up across a ridge from where we had turned them loose. But when the boy got into there, crossing a creek and laurels, it was gone. Wiggly hid from a boy after that, and spent the night running up and down the ridge. I had looked for her for some time, tracking her, calling her, Twister walked the ridge for her. I finally got fed up, and left her. The next day Twister picked her up. She is shy, and I don't like it. A night in the Laurel Leaf Motel did her some good I hope, because, Twister got her, I didn't have to. You want to hunt Bear and Hogs, not Dogs.

That's it in a nutshell, other than a 265lbs Bear being killed Wednesday.

It's an Appalachian Thing.
The Appalachianist

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Old Timey Dance

While I was researching aboriginal use of dogs I came across some amazing (to me they are) photographs documenting hunting in the Cherokee National Forest in Eastern Tennessee. They are found at the Tennessee State Library Archives. Most that I found were taken on Tellico River and Citico Creek. The pictures range from Wild Boar, Bear, Deer to Turkey, as well as the Hunters and their Dogs. It's nostalgic and truly beautiful photography. You can view these absolutely great pictures here. They seem to range through a great deal of the pages (20th something and up, apparently they skip the War Years, 42-45). While, I fawn and lament over these pictures, they speak something. Obviously coming out of the depression years, there was an effort to attract people to guided hunts, I don't know if it was state sponsored photography or a private effort. The photography coming out of Appalachia during that time documents some form of industry, family history, the poverty, or Corn Liquor Stills. These pictures show another part of the history and culture that doesn't get put into modern literature.

Monday is the opening day of Bear Season. I'm forced to sit the week and the weekend out with both work and the Army Reserves. I am taking the next week of though. Most Bear/Hog Hunters layed low, resting their dogs up for the big week. But, I took mine out. They did strike a big track and I quickly decided not to "let loose". But, I rigged them around parts of Transylvania and Jackson Counties, scouting for future possibilities.

I went across Wolf Mountain over in Jackson County, the birth place of my "Paw Paw", my Maternal Grand Father. He was born there in 1901 and after a few years the family went to Copperhill Tennessee, where my Great Grand Father worked the mines. While there a younger boy that buddied around with him took to calling him "Chief", because of his being 1/4 Cherokee. The whole family had strong Cherokee facial features. The name stuck and throughout his life he was known as "Chief Galloway". When he was 14 the family had returned to Transylvania County and a man had a bull that only my Paw Paw could feed. One day that bull let loose catching him with a horn on the leg and hoof into his head. They shot the bull and that day a drunk Doctor placed a steel plate in my Paw Paw's head. He never gained the full use of his leg. I like to think that Paw Paw ate steak some time after that.

I drove by his and my Maw Maw's graves. They're buried at Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Balsam Grove. I've got several family members there. Later I crossed Rock House Creek on Davidson River where my Maw Maw grew up. Her father was a Ranger for Vanderbilt. The house they lived in sat on Rock House Creek near where Forest Service Road 475 (Gloucester Gap Rd to us locals) crosses it. This is close to the Davidson River Fish Hatchery that was a CCC Camp for some of those years. The house, now known as Black Forest Lodge is sitting on The Cradle Of Forestry exhibit. Before it was moved to it's new location a Lassie Movie was filmed out of it. I've never learned the name of that movie and I would love to see it. I would love to see the woods my Maw Maw walked through, up the Davidson River across Gloucester Gap and down Shoal Creek to attend Church. I've heard she talked of hearing the Panther cry while walking across there. A grave Yard sits off of the road a piece on the head of Davidson River. It's known as McCall Cemetery and a girl is buried there that was killed by a Panther. My Maw Maw died before I was born.

The Family has a picture of her Father standing with several men and the Bear they killed. Two hounds can be made out and they seem like they might be Plotts. Back in those years there was a line of the "Old Time Plotts" in Balsam Grove and it's possible that they are some of those Dogs. That was over a hundred years ago.

Monday starts the season when Hill Billy Adrenaline Freaks get in there with their Dogs and dance with the Bear. I end this post with The Ramones "Lets Dance".

lets dance - the ramones

"Any Ol' Dance That You Wanna Do"
The Appalachianist

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Electioned Out

I've been turning down the radio and walking away from TV Commercials. Chances are, you have too. Every time we turn around some politician is trying to sell us Snake Oil. And, that is what you are being sold, Snake Oil. Drink it and you will feel healthy wealthy and wise...Never mind that churning in your gut...Just drink it.

Well, Joe Tax Payer is now $700 Billion poorer than he was before, and when all the little dividends are added up, it'll be more than that. No matter what Tax Scheme we wind up with, we will wind up paying for it. It's a done deal, and even after the bailout we were told would make things better, they're still spinning. Joe Taxpayer is just going to have to buckle down and make the best out of it. Follow this link, it says allot.

I'm going to leave it alone. I'm going to shut up and not say a word about the whole mess. I do this, because, we deserve some peace.

I'll just cling to my Guns and Religion
The Appalachianist

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rediscovering Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers - Deep Purple

That radio station I pick up out of Athens has been playing that song some the last month. I sat in front of "the store" in Balsam Grove watching the world get lighter Saturday morning and heard that song. It came out in the winter of 87 when I was a fledgling in 3rd Ranger Bn. I bought it on cassette and played the heck out of it. I've never pinned the song down to a true meaning, but, it's always had a wise sense to it. It feels good to rediscover such things.
Now, I'm rediscovering fall. The higher you go, the more you see of it. I walked across acorns that covered the ground like gravel and the ferns were turning brown. Even at 2000ft the Sour Woods have turned red. The weather has been beautiful the last few days and twice I've read the thermometer in the mid 30's. But, it's dry. Pitiful dry. I don't care what river it is, you point at it and you will see more rocks than water and a big Scarlet Oak out in the yard is turning brown with the red. Bear season starts the week after this one and I'm concerned about the Dogs holding a scent. If they hit a track, it better be a hot one. If it rained now, we'd be rediscovering the rain. I've been foolish for stating the fact, but, we here in Transylvania County have an average annual rain fall of over 80 inches, upwards to 100 in some places. Go ahead, look it up. It's a part of our identity here. With it being so dry, I don't think we really know who we are now. But, we miss it and, if it was to rain we'd be rediscovering ourselves. It doesn't matter, if you rediscover something, it was probably right beside you all the long.

This is the last picture I snapped of Bell. She was good to have around, but soon, 'Coons will fear her and tremble at her bellows echoing through the cold winter nights.

"I am returning the echo of a point in time"
The Appalachianist

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Gone To The Dogs

Bye Bell
I don't have Bell, the blue dog no more. Shes gone back to where she came from. Her nose was for 'Coons, not Bear. The other weekend I took her out 'Coon Hunting with the man I got her from and she had had the break she needed. Bell was 'Coon crazy. Last week I caught a 'Coon in my Have A Heart Trap and before I could get it in the holding cage it got loose on me. It ran right by her and for two hours that night she howled. Bear have snuck around the house and she is quiet while the other two carried on. So, I took her out Saturday one last time training. I knew it was best, I dropped her off on the way home. It ain't because she wasn't a good Dog, she just wasn't inclined into what I had in mind. She was a pleasure to have around. She had good manners. Bells a 'Coon Dawg. There ain't nothing wrong with that.

I think I'm the only one on the road last night that didn't have a fire. I seen a touch of frost on a roof or two. On my way out this morning there were fire trucks at the end of the road. I was told a boy's trailer burnt down.

I still read. I have a book on order now and it should be here soon, "Cherokee Prehistory, The Pisgah Phase Of The Appalachian Summit Region" by a man named Dickens. I just finished "Walk With Wick, The Tree Dog Encyclopedia, Volume I" by John Wick. He opened my eyes to allot. I learned a great deal from that book about Dogs. I've gained some understanding, though minor yet, of my dogs. Volume I is packed with allot of good common sense and a life time of observations, trials and errors. If your a Houndsman that has stumbled on to this, I highly recommend reading that book. The man pulls no punches and backs his views up. Soon, I'll be reading Volume II.
Here in Training season I've not had them up on a Bear yet, but, I've turned them loose on a couple of colder tracks. Which has been good. That young Wiggly Butt Walker Dog could get ruined on a mean Bear, she's just now a year old. I want her to recognize tracks, and learn to stay with the other dogs and find her way back. Partly thanks to Wick, I see some good things I've done is raising her. She ran free until she was over six months of age and learned to use her nose and she was chained up before she ran something she ought not too. When she barked for extended periods I put a Bark Collar on her, it was a nuisance to me at the time but continuous barking can damage their vocal chords. And, if she runs junk, she gets whipped and her day is done, she goes right back to the box if not left on a lead for the rest of the hunt. I've become convinced that dogs are allot like little kids, they need to time for things to soak in, dwell on it. Good or Bad. I've come to realize that, thanks to John Wick.

Last drill was a busy one. They come up with more requirements to eat into doing something creative...They being someone allot higher than Battalion. I worked on Training schedules a good part of saturday Night. But, I did make a round of Down Town Athens. There was a pretty girl with a little pup on a lead. he had just lead it off of the sidewalk next to Junk Man's Daughter's Brother*. The poor pup looked so scared. She said she had gotten it from a shelter and she thought it was afraid of cars because it was found on the side of the road. I told her it was scared of everything, the poor thing had not had tome to adjust to her. It's a baby and it has been shuffled around so many humans. Dogs are allot like people, they need time to adjust to their surroundings. She was told it was a Beagle Mix, but it looked like it was part Leopard Cur to me.

*They have some creepy grinning Obama card board cut outs in their window. It's almost Stalinistic...No, it is Stalinistic.

I just posted what ever I ended up talking about, it's been so long since I posted.
and, I'm done posting.
The Appalachianist