Friday, December 27, 2013

Possum Drop

Clay Logan plans to drop a live opossum this year on New Year's Eve at Brasstown, North Carolina.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a lawsuit against Logan for lowering a live opossum.  They claim this is cruelty to animals and traumatizes this sensitive creature.

This annual event draws thousands of people and it was even filmed on national television. 

Recently, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour ruled against PETA (WKRK Radio, "The Party Line").  A live opossum will be lowered in a cage at Clay's Corner to celebrate this New Year.

According to Joe Shook, former sheriff of Clay County, NC, "Logan treats the possum like royalty during the lowering to bring in the New Year. The possum is well fed, protected from the elements and warm.  These are probably the best days of the possum's life," ("Clay County Progress," Opinions, Page A4, December 26, 2013).

No doubt this controversy about using a live opossum in the annual New Year's Evc celebration will continue.  But this year Clay Logan plans to lower the animal at the strike of midnight, then release it into the woods.

I wonder what my blogger friends think about dropping a live

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas

My mother, Blanche, and I wish our blogger friends a blessed Christmas and joyful New Year.

Photo by:  Linda Hagberg, editorial assistant, "Clay County Progress."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This weekend I attended "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," at the Licklog Player's Theater in Hayesville, NC.

I dreaded attending the play because my mind raced with things I needed to do.  I decided if the performance did not excite me, I would leave at intermission.

Surprise!  This was one of the best plays I've ever seen.  My senses exploded with imagery.  Children danced in colorful costumes and their songs melted my heart. Carol Smucker did a fabulous job playing the piano.

I wonder how Nancy Davis directed this performance.  She overcame the challenges of the children ranging in ages.  Even the toddlers performed perfectly and never forgot their lines.

But the backdrop of a snow-capped village fascinated me.  Not even the green-faced Grinch could steal the wonder of Christmas.

The big, bad Grinch thought he could rob Christmas from Whoville.  He donned a Santa Claus suit and made his dog wear antlers like a reindeer.  The Grinch kicked the canine, gave him orders, pushed him off the sleigh, and made the dog pull the sled. (The child who portrayed the dog was great).

Ole' Grinch stole the food, the decorations, the presents, and even the Christmas tree.  He knew he would destroy the holiday. "Now I want to see how those kids will observe Christmas since I've taken all their stuff," grumbled the big, bad Grinch.

Grinch was shocked at the reaction of the Whos from Whoville.  The children just danced and sang carols celebrating Christmas without any gifts.  The Grinch could not steal the holiday because it was in their hearts.

The Grinch's heart grew two sizes larger and he returned what he had stolen.  He joined the actors on stage celebrating a Merry Christmas.

I wish my blogger friends a joyful Christmas that will bless your hearts throughout the New Year.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."
                                              --Luke 2:11 (KJV)

Saturday, December 14, 2013


The Hayesville, North Carolina Centennial Exhibit is celebrating an old-fashioned Christmas.  You'll find a tree decorated with popcorn, wooden toys, Christmas quilts, baskets, dolls, and plenty of other old-time decorations that portray the way the Blue Ridge Mountain folks celebrated the holidays.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


The guest writer for this posting is my sister, Barbara Ledford Wright.  Her story, "Christmas Rabbit Hunt," appeared in WAITING WITH SANTA, a poetry and prose anthology.  Tom Davis with Old Mountain Press published this collection of 54 authors.  For information,

I knew it was Christmas when Johnny and Grayson Ramey made their annual appearance.

"Can we hunt fur awhile?" asked Johnny with tobacco stained teeth. " I have some young dogs I want to run."

"Sure," Daddy reluctantly replied and stroked Oscar's side. The bloodhound's bristles stood like needles and he made a low growl. I snapped the rope on his collar.

"Let him run, too," said Grayson.

"No", said Daddy. " If he smells a deer, and takes off, we'll have a hard time getting him home."

The Ramey boys gazed at Oscar.

Johnny backed his mud-splattered pickup beside our house like he owned the property. He opened the tailgate, and seven baying beagles shot out like cannon balls.

The pack tore toward the pine thickets. Brush and briars crisscrossed along the fencerow where the vegetation had taken over the field.

The Ramey boys stomped behind wearing orange vests and canvas britches. They carried shotguns longer than our broom.

After much hullabaloo, and gun shots, many rabbits were bagged. The beagles tore through our yard like ping pong balls. The Ramey brothers gathered the beasts by the arm loads, and tossed them into the crate on the truck.

Johnny cranked the old rattle trap, and waved his arm out the window. From the smile on his face, I reckoned they would have rabbit for Christmas dinner.

I turned Oscar loose, and the dog rushed about the lawn sniffing, spraying the bushes and barking. He had reclaimed his turf!

And so it was, every Christmas when I was growing up in my old mountain home; the Ramey brothers rabbit hunted on my daddy's land. It wasn't officially Christmas until their annual homage.

Monday, November 18, 2013


I gaze out my window at the Blue Ridge Mountains unfurling like royal ribbons.  Feather clouds dance through periwinkle skies and a wedge of geese resounds like a pow wow.

Oak leaves ride the wind like canoes.  Poplar trees overlook a cornfield.  Corn shocks rattle their fingers in the wind.  Soon Hub Cheeks will bring his combine and cut the silage.

A celery-colored hill peeks above Hyatt Mill Creek.  Black and white cattle huddle beneath a persimmon tree.

I recall Mama used to gather persimmons each fall and make preserves.  The bitter-sweet jelly tasted delicious on hot, buttered biscuits.

Something moves.  My friend, Nancy Simpson, says that to detect something moving is like another sense.  We have five senses:  sight, taste, feeling, hearing, and smelling. To sense something moving is almost another sense.

I do sense something moving.  I ease the curtains back for a better view.  Three deer glide over a split-rail fence then bound into the woods.  I wonder if they will escape the hunters this year.

Each evening same time, around dusk, five wild turkeys march up our neighbor's driveway.  The fowls strut in a straight line, cross Swaims Road, then disappear into the pine thicket with a gobble. At Thanksgiving these birds need to tone it down and hide.

At Thanksgiving, we need to count our blessings.  It's a time for recalling long ago falls of family fun and laughter.  It reminds us of good times and God's many blessings.

I hope all my blogger friends have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for my blogger friends and enjoy visiting your wonderful sites.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


The Native American Heritage Festival was held at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit in Hayesville, NC on October 19.  The festival featured artists demonstrating basket weaving with river cane, wood carving, beading, pottery, and stickball demonstrations.  Julie Reed and family served Cherokee food including frybread with a variety of toppings. 

A Cherokee corncrib is featured at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit.

Students from Hayesville Elementary School take a tour of the Cherokee winter house.
A Cherokee summer house is included at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit.
Ms. Sandy Nicolette explains the Cherokee game of stickball.
You'll find Cherokee masks at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit.
You may purchase wooden masks, beads, and baskets at this booth.
This Cherokee lady makes beautiful beads.
Amanda Swimmer (on the right) is 91 and does pottery.  She's shaping a turtle in this photo.  Her granddaughter helps her with the artwork.
Tony Walkingstick (Mr. Carl Moses' adopted son), makes Cherokee jewelry, brooms, and tommy hawks. 
Diamond Brown is an entertaining Cherokee storyteller and educator who founded "Touch the Earth with Native People" which has been presented throughout the United States.
Dan Hollifield, a Clay County resident, played his own hand-made flute at the Native American Heritage Festival.  He's a member of the Cherokee Nation and belongs to the bird clan.
An art show was also held in the Clay County Old Jail Museum during the Native American Heritage Festival.  The work of regional artists included jewelry, baskets, paintings, wooden art, gourd art and fabric art.
This event was sponsored by the Clay County Communities and Revitalization Association and the Clay County Historical and Arts Council.
You may visit the Cherokee Homestead in Hayesville, NC. 
For information, call:  828-389-3045.

Monday, November 4, 2013


 Uncle George Lee served in WWII.  He received a Purple Heart for serving his country.  Fellow veterans named the George Lee American Legion in honor of him.

The Hayesville, NC Centennial Display has featured an exhibit on veterans.  I thank Ms. Sandy Zimmerman, chairperson of the Centennial Committee, for allowing me to photograph this display.  This historical exhibit is open on Friday and Saturday, 9:00AM-4:00PM on the Hayesville Townsquare.


The morning light ricochets through the poplars echoing with birdsong. Native orchids peek through the pine needles on the woodland...