The Foxfire 45th Anniversary Book: Singin', Praisin', Raisin'
Edited by Joyce Green, Casi Best, and Foxfire students. Anchor, $18.95 (528p) IS
Written by students who collect oral histories from Appalachian locals, Foxfire magazine preserves the traditions of the mountain folk culture. The current collection continues to survey the simple life with recollections that go "back to the times of one-room schools, first automobiles, and just plain hard living." "Daddy Was a Farmer" offers an account of the Farm Families school program, when sharecroppers were given a farm to work and required to attend adult education classes. The crafts chapter covers such topics as braiding a bullwhip and chair-bottoming with poplar bark. Outstanding are 130 pages on the bluegrass musicians who took that "high-lonesome sound" from family reunions and county fairs all the way to the Grand Ole Opry. (These profiles can be amplified by ordering an accompanying CD from foxfire.org.) The book's introduction is annoying because it has no facts on how the Foxfire program began in the 1960s, but readers can find much of value in this superb survey of the arts, crafts, language, and lifestyles of another time. Photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2011