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Mountain Life & Work vol. 9 no. 1 April 1933 Council of the Southern Mountains 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2003 mlwv9n10433 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Mountain Life & Work vol. 9 no. 1 April 1933 Council of the Southern Mountains Berea College; Council of the Southern Mountains Berea, Kentucky April 1933 $IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. VOLUME IX APRIL, 1933 First Aid to Soft Coal Miners' Town (poem) Buncombe County Night Schools Carry On The Mountain Preacher and the Mountain Problem The Weaving Meetings in Gatlinburg Roads and River (poem) The Agricultural Situation In Southeastern Kentucky The Goat King of the Ozarks The Opportunity School at Gap Mills 'Lasses fer Larnin' Book Reviews Machine Age In the Hills, by Malcolin Ross Call Home the Heart -Then a 'vlajor Operation NUMBER 1 -Wilmer E. Kcilworthy -Mary P. Dupu), -Della M. Day -I,. C. Kell), -WinoKcnc B. Rccldirrli, -Mary P. Drrhuy -Earl Mayhcru 20 -Stcclc Kcarrcdy -Mcrrjoric Lee -C. Bnrl Price 6 7 12 16 19 -RcrÃ¢â‚¬Â¢icuÃ¢â‚¬Â¢cr! by A. G. Wcirllcr -Rcrie2ced by E. J. Wcckcs Published Quarterly at Berea College, Berea, Ky., in the interest of fellowship and mutual understanding between the Appalachian Mountains and the rest of the nation MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK VOLUME IX APRIL, 1933 NUMBER I First Aid to Soft Coal--Then a Major Operation Wilmer E. Kenworthy Periods of industrial crisis are not new in America, but the paralysis of an industry is an experience we do not readily recognize. We have learned to deal with depressions in a clumsy way, but we have no ideas at all about dealing with a situation such as the soft coal industry presents. Will Durant has said that an industrial crisis is a condition which arises when "our inventive ness in production has been nullified by our disorderly distribution." If such a yardstick were applied to the bituminous coal problem we would find that our inventiveness in production has been nullified in an all too permanent fashion by this same disorderly distribution, plus substitutes, mechanization of the mining process, increased efficiency in the use of coal, and a dozen and one lesser troubles in the shape of chronic labor disturbances, railroad competition, differential freight rates, car shortages, and price cutting. Obviously the process of nullification has been successful, and the industry is on the verge of complete paralysis. In dealing with this patient we must render first aid to keep him alive, diagnose the case to determine the exact location of the internal injury, and perform a serious major operation with courage, skill, and faith. Cold, hunger, and disease have closed in on the coal mine camps in the last two or three winters to an extent almost without parallel in any group in this county. Emergency measures to combat these three ruthless forces have been instituted and will have to be continued indefinitely, because relief cannot be withdrawn until a program of complete readjustment to a new economic plan has been successfully carried through. Unfortunately there is in sight no program which will include much over half of the present population in the mine areas. RELIEF Even the problem of relief is new in this situation. The isolation of the mine camps, the universality of destitution, and the lack of resources in the counties and states affected are the primary difficulties with which we have had to deal. Cold, hunger, and disease are not beyond the understanding of the American people. Most of us think there is a great deal of such suffering within the limits of our centers of wealth and luxury. What we cannot see clearly is a picture in which there are entire towns where no one has anything. We do not fully comprehend that a large majority of these affected areas are so isolated that they can only be reached with difficulty and therefore suffer from the trite but true "what people do not know does not hurt them." What do New Yorkers care about Kentucky miners? It would matter little if it were not for the fact that no one in the vicinity of the affected areas has been able to withstand the down-pull of utter want, and the paralysis of the industry has exhausted the resources of the counties and even the states. Even miners who are employed are working only one or two days a week, and have so little left when rent, insurance, and other fees are deducted from their wages that they can buy only such staple foods as beans, potatoes, and bread. Those who do not work at all of course have nothing. Clothing is gone, both among the partially employed and the totally unemployed. Reports from the field workers are the same day after day-"I went to a home where there were eight children. Four of the eight were sitting around the stove without shoes and stockings on .... they Page 2 MOUNTAIN LIFT: AND WORK April, 1933 did not have any. One of these had been out of school for a month on this account. A sister was in bed since her only clothing was a torn dress and she did not want me to see her that way." Another says, "Too many families have to sit up during the night and keep the fires burning in order to keep the children warm. Still another says, "They were so poor they did not have a bed and the baby had been born there during that cold spell, on the floor on an old corn-husk mattress." Under the circumstances it follows that health conditions are at times almost unbelievable. Undernourishment is more widespread this year than ever. Some communities report that 65 per cent of the school children are at least 7 per cent below normal, most of them much farther below than that. Contagious diseases go on rampages without medical attention or quarantine. One field worker says, "Our great concern is the matter of taking care of sick children. A______ says that in M________ County they just have to let them die." Whole families have tuberculosis. Ade n*ds and infected tonsils are almost universal in ol some communities. "Stomach trouble" is an expected thing of which 90 per cent of the men who apply for work complain. Hungry, half-clothed men and women hope for better days until those better days, like prosperity, seem to be just around a corner they never get to. Remember, this destitution set in more than a decade ago; so it is not hard to realize that the hope which is supposed to spring eternal in the human breast has wearied and died. One woman thought a year ago that she at least had her beautiful hair left to be proud of, but without anything else even it has lost its lustre and she is as spiritually naked as the rest. This inner condition is not to be underestimated-it is as important in our inventory of the situation as the hunger and the physical nakedness. Something has been done along the lines of emergency relief, of course. It is common knowledge now that at the request of the President's Committee for the Unemployed and the Federal Children's Bureau, the American Friends Service Committee went into the mine camps of six states in the winter of 1931-32 and distributed a total of well over two million meals. To enable the children to get to the feeding centers and stay warm enough to digest the food they got there, over sixty tons of clothing were distributed to them. This winter, 1932-33, the feeding has been taken over in many counties by the local people with Reconstruction Finance Corporation funds. But in seventeen counties in West Virginia and Kentucky the Service Committee has been asked to administer that part of the funds which is for child feeding, and in two counties has been handling the entire Work Relief program. Twentyfive thousand children are being fed under its direction at this writing. Other types of direct and work relief are not unlike programs in other states. Funds are inadequate to meet more than bare essentials, of course, and are supplemented as much as possible from the contributions of friends. These are the emergency measures-as necessary to the case as first aid is to the man who has been in a terrific smash-up and so hurt that the surgeons either cannot operate at once or do not know just where the internal injury is. But, as one relief worker graphically puts the case, "While the fact that these children are starving is terrible, it is even more terrible to realize that unless something fundamental is done, their grandchildren will also be starving." Rehabilitation must be seriously investigated and persistently pushed forward. REHABILITATION Whose responsibility is the job of rehabilitation? The easiest course is to leave each miner to solve his own problems. He is a free citizen; he agreed to work for the operator at the operator's terms, and now that the operator is through with him he must look elsewhere for his livelihood. Easy to say, but anyone who has seen "Coal's Children" knows that they cannot help themselves. They are unable mentally to do anything without leadership, and unable physically to do anything without financial help. They have followed the miner's lamp into the mines and darkness . . . . someone must take them by the hand to lead them out into the healing sunshine of happy lives again. The next line of least resistance is to leave each April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 3 company to deal with its miners and its problems. Obviously enough, this is also an impossible course because in most cases the operator is carrying a yoke of responsibility that daily grows more difficult to bear. He has the problems of management in a maze of caverns where cutthroat competition is waiting around every corner to eliminate him and leave him deeply in debt . . . . hopelessly sunk. If he cannot keep his mine open and sell his coal he will not be able to pay any wag=s. If he keeps the mine free from water, clear from gas, and ready to open when he gets orders for coal, he has heavy items of electricity for pumps and fans, and taxes to pay. If he closes the mine entirely the cost of reopening may be prohibitive. One mine operator recently estimated the cost of reopening his mine at $150,000. If neither of these ways is practical, how about the industry as a whole? It developed without cooperation or program; it got itself into this jam; can it not take care of itself? Perhaps this is a way. Some think it is the way. Malcolm Ross, an observer in the mine areas for some months, asks us to consider the penny-a-ton plan which England has found successful. He points out that even with production as low as it is, such a levy would bring in about $3,000,000 each year for use in social welfare work of all kinds among the miners, and for research into new uses and byproducts of coal which would revive the industry. He says, in defense of his proposal: "To tax a declining industry for any purpose seems impolitic, and would certainly be so were the tax laid on some districts and not on others. However, the even distribution of a cent levy on every ton of coal mined can be painlessly absorbed by consumers, and without harm to operators. "The plan touches soothingly on every sore spot in the industry. For the first time American operators and miners would meet to work together on a non-controversial project. In that cooperation lie the roots of a new mutual tolerance. "The general committee, empowered to spend ten per cent of the fund, would become a board of strategy in a continuous campaign to find new work for the surplus people of the mines. "It would also act as a national employment bureau to send idle miners wherever they might be required in industry. It could plan for new industrial projects in the region itself, both to give work to unneeded miners and to provide income-producing industries other than coal. Then the collapse of mining need never again plunge every inhabitant into ruin." This plan will bear some looking in upon as far as certain parts of the ,picture are concerned. But it does not take care of the most desperate part of the picture, for while perhaps three hundred thousand miners will be needed in the mines when a new normal is reached, there are about two hundred thousand, who with their families, make up an enormous population that is surplus now, and will always be surplus. So, with all its possibilities we must look elsewhere for help to these unwanted thousands. Is it the responsibility of the Federal Government? Some think so, and are pointing legislation in that direction. But, as fast as the American people may be coming to the realization of their social responsibilities toward their fellowmen, the actual accomplishment of such a program will be too far away to help tomorrow, or next month, or perhaps even next year. So what? It remains for someone to pioneer .... to point the way; hoping that where a trail is blazed others w*]I follow and push farther across this frontier of social welfare. With this point of view, the American Friend Service Committee has kept a weather eye out for every chance to do something more permanent than feeding. EXPERIMENTS The Mountaineer Craftsman's Cooperative Association is the crystalization of the first idea. About fifty men and women from three mill" camps were selected for this experiment. Using largely homemade tools, the men were taught to do woodwork and the women to weave. They were surprisingly adept and soon began to turn out high quality products of simple beauty and great durability-symbols of the true mountaineer character. They make stools, chairs, tables, bookcases and other articles of wood, which are sold through the Association at reasonable prices, in northern markets for the most part, along with the exquisite woven pieces the women have made. The sales have been suffi Page 4 MOUNTAIN Lill: AND WORK April, 1933 dent to put the shops on a practically self-supporting basis. Through this experiment the Service Committee feel they have accomplished three things: They have learned that, contrary to an old belief, miners can be taught other trades; that it is possible even in times of wide-spread depression to find things for men to do which remove sizable groups from the necessity of relief; and that home industries such as weaving and furniture making can be introduced as a means of supplementing other sources of income. No experiment is successful unless it can be applied to the actual problem and unless its results point to a practical solution of that problem. So while the men and women now working in the shops of this association are being taken care of, the vast population of their fellow unfortunates cannot be helped until we make our new knowledge work for us. Two methods of procedure are suggested. One is that the shops be made into training centers where traveling teach ers will be instructed, who will then go out into the mine camps to teach groups of miners how to do woodwork in their homes. The other plan is to bring groups of miners into the central shops for periods of training. In either plan the result must be to put men into a position where they could work at home during their idle hours and idle days if they were still mining, or combine their handicraft with subsistence gardening to make a livelihood if they are not employed in the mines at all. That brings up the second project of importance-Subsistence Gardening. Last year with the cooperation of the Committee, the Extension Department of the University of West Virginia organized garden clubs. Securing a plot of ground which was not in use, they obtained seeds from the Red Cross and managed to have quite respectable gardens. This spring the carry-over in enthusiasm was so great that in Monongalia County (W. Va.) alone there are twenty-six garden clubs ready to operate on a larger scale than last year. This project is so fundamentally important that the Reconstruction Finance Corporation officials wrote to the governors of all states, in part as follows: "Subsistence gardens either as individual garden plots, as a tract of ground with plots assigned to individual families, or comiiittnity gardens tended as a whole, have occupied an important place in relieving distress throughout the past two or three years. The value of these gardens is two-fold as they supply food and also provide wholesome employment for those in need. "Whenever the Governor and his State Committee on Relief believe it would be helpful to provide seed for subsistence gardens for fainili; s receiving other types of relief, some of the Federal funds made available by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation for relief purposes for the State and its political subdivisions may be used for that purpose." With no new industry in sight to need the services of 200,000 men, the prospect is remote for restoring these exminers of soft coal to a high standard of living. To think only of providing for food, shelter, and clothing is not a happy thought, for man cannot live by bread alone. Out of the subsistence gardening projects will grow, we believe, one of the most important steps toward a real solution of the trouble"Back-to-the-land" movements. In Kentucky the Committee has a small farm. After careful selection a man and his family have been chosen to make the experiment of singlehanded return to the land. The land and essential equipment called for an outlay of about five hundred dollars. The Service Committee will hold a mortgage on the property for this amount. To make it possible for the family to live while the first crops are in process we will pay him two dollars a week for the first year. That he can do away with the mortgage in time seems impossible since he will probably never have much cash. So the Committee has agreed to credit him with a dollar and a quarter toward reduction of the mortgage for every day he puts in at th, job of improving and running his farm. Of course, in the end it will amount to supporting the man for a year and then giving him the farm. But after all when a comparison is made between the possible amount of money necessary to keep this family on relief over the next few years, and the one and final sum of five hundred dollars this arrangement is the most economical even from the standpoint of cold cash. Then too, the fact that he is helping himself is vitally important. It gives him self-respect. April, 1933 FARM COLONY This one-family project may not prove practical when applied to the vast population with which we are going to deal, so something larger insist be worked out. Therefore, a "farm colony" program is being started. About eighty acres of land will be leased to the Service Committee for an indefinite period of years at one dollar a year. The lessor is a socially minded operator. An engineer, an architect, and an agricultural expert from the State university of West Virginia will give time to the planning of a colony where perhaps five carefully chosen families will be placed to start the project. Realizing that unless plans are carefully laid the colony life wM be a mere ex'sten I I I I cc, the directors will be most careful in testing the soil, locating and planning the houses, providing for sanitation, and laying the foundation of physicai comfort. Th, inten tion is to lay out garden plots of one or two acres, unfenced, stretching behind each cottage so that all can be plowed together. Then will com: belts of corn and other large crops, orchard land, pasture land, and woodlot. The feeling is that the land should be worked in common, except for the garden plots. Then various sidelines should be developed such as bees, rabbits, chickens, and pigs. Eventually each family should have a cow. The land will probably be placed in the care of trustees at the request of the interested persons, and if the first five families succeed more can be added. Funds are limited, but we hope that this p3' ill point the way for those who can pro ro ect wi ide for large-scale financing. vi The mental and spiritual value of these projects is not measured in quarts or yards or tons. One worker does about as good a job of measuring this value as can be done when she says, "I don't think you can know what a difference it makes to have jobs like the farming to get people excited over. The people here are getting enthusiastic again, and that is what they need to carry them through these dreadful times. Even the workers feel it. This is what I meant when I told you that it was impossible to divorce relief work from `rehabilitation.' The dead burden of relief is too heavy for volunteers without some ray of hope in the way of constructive work." But after the enthusiasm of doing somethipg MOUNI~AIN Dl-'E AND WORK Page S new is over these people's lives will easily become the dull earning of daily bread and they will soon be cherishing the unuttered prayer, "Give us bread, but give us roses." Then what is the answer? If we can learn from the English method of dealing with the industry by the penny-a-ton method, perhaps we can learn from the Danish how to bring mental refreshment to our "colony." As many people know, the Danish Folk Schools provide for adult education about three months every two years. In these schools they attempt to take the fruits of the academic world and make them available in simple form for the enrichment of the lives of the common people whom "God must have loved, since he made so many of them." Where there is no call or opening in relief work the Service Committee is still interested in anything that will look toward the future, and so in Western Pennsylvania is working on a straight rehabilitation program in two counties. The work is still more or less in its embryonic stages, but weaving and knitting clubs have been organized, gardening projects are under way, and possibilities for cobbling and woodworking shops are being investigated with the idea of establishing a "production-for-use" unit. The goal set in these two counties is to be able to do without relief by next year. The possibility of reaching this goal looks good now, and with the cooperation of the State college the hope is to learn important things about dealing with unemployed. BARTER On the fringes of all these projects is that magic word "barter." Used in the sense of exchanging commodities without the intervention of money, it applies to a number of things already done, because work has had to proceed without money in many cases. In the mine camp where the weaving shop is located the women tear and sew carpet rags which are weighed. Then, once a week a "store day" is held when all the available clothes and other household necessities which have been sent in to help them are to be distributed. Mach article of clothing is "priced" as being worth so many "ounces of carpet rags," so that each woman gets remuneration in direct proportion to the work she has done. In Logan, W. Va., a barter market has been started in cooperation with Page 6 MOUNTAIN Lets AND WORK April, 1933 the economics classes in the high school. Anyone who has something to trade is invited. Sometimes those who participate have little to exchange, but by making the Service Committee representatives more or less of a central "trader" with a goodly supply it has been possible to feed newer and better articles into the market. In spite of the poverty these markets have become the gathering place for those who really need something which they cannot purchase with money, and who are willing to sacrifice whatever they may have to get it. Eggs for coats, canned fruit for a dress, are common among the country people, while shoes for trousers or a coat for shoes may be the order among the villagers. The scheme has attracted considerable attention and two other towns have asked for help in launching "Barter Markets." Here again is a project with an intan g'ble value, I for the spirit of cooperation and mutual helpfulness is growing in the market place. THE FUTURE The future course of this rehabilitation work is not charted through calm, open seas, but lies across treacherous shoals. Deep currents of unknown strength and direction will probably harass us just when we think we see land ahead, and it is reasonably certain that every step of the way will be taken slowly, as a ship proceeds cautiously in a fog. But one thing is certain; no new continent was ever discovered around the fireside, and the Friends enjoy the adventure of pioneering. They believe there is a growing social consciousness in America and that it is gradually crystalizing in the minds of a few legislators. So they have some hope of gaining widespread and adequate support for programs that will touch the great need in a real measure. Their hope is that action will be taken before too many lives are lost physically, or shattered mentally and spiritually. MINERS' TOWN Mary P. Dupuy Whenever I pass up the coalfield way it seems so empty of all but gray; Sky and streets and women's gownsNo other color in miners' towns. Always a creek and always a haze, Always a series of sunless days; No rain and splash and zest of shower, But only the dullness of clouds that lower. Rusty machinery down by the shops, Piles of aging mining props, Gray dumps lying in giant hulk, Daily swelling their slatey bulk. Empty "gons" creak on the track, Tipple screens hourly thump and clack; Sound and smoke and gutted hill, Lean gray willows at foot of the fill. Maybe spring will. green around The edges of the miners' town. April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 7 B UNCONIBE COUNTY NIGHT SCHOOLS CARRY ON DELLA M. DAY Despite "busted" banks, drastic budget cuts, and prevailing conditions of the financial depression, Buncombe County night schools continue to maintain a strong hold on Asheville and Buncombe County. The Community Schools, busily working to keep above board, are blazing a trail whereby the problem of illiteracy in the South may be met. The South is the only part of the United States where native white illiteracy rates are high. Nearly three-fourths of all the native white illiterates in the United States are in sixteen southern states. Most of them are in rural areas, mountain sections, and industrial centers. These men and women are handicapped by illiteracy through no fault of their own, but are victims of circumstances over which they have had no control. The stories of how they missed their chance vary, but in most cases they begin with: "I had to pull fodder," "My parents died and no one cared," "I had to shift for myself." "The schools were only a few months and too far from where I lived." "We lived here and yon, and I never had no chance to go to school." One of the most pathetic cases of the night school students is that of a young mother who began work early in life. At the age of five, when she should have had the attention of a fond and intelligent mother, little Mattie Matilda was endeavoring to keep house for her family. This is a brief sketch of Mattie Matilda's unfortunate life as she told it to one of the teachers: "I've had to work hard all my life. When I was five yeaxs old, my father died and we moved to town so as my mother and older sisters could find work. Even though I was only five, I had to keep the house and mind my younger sister while mother worked in the mill. When I was ten, mother run up my age to twelve. She took the house and I took the mill. At fifteen I married, and before I was sixteen my first baby was born. I went back to work when Genette was three weeks old and worked till the next one come, and so on till I'm the mother of seven children. Taking care of them and working day and night hasn't left me no time to learn my letters. I am twenty-eight years old and have always wanted to learn to read and write, but I never expected to have a chance." Mattie Matilda's story in detail is somewhat typical of illiterate women in industrial villages and in the mountain communities to which many of them have returned after failing to make a living in the mills. The average age of illiterates taught in Asheville and Buncombe County is thirty years. Many of them have young children who, if they are in the public schools, do not have proper home environment and are handicapped by the illiteracy of their parents. By giving these parents the tools of learning, their children are surer of a fairer start in life. As one pupil has said: "It's a step upward for the children to get us on the side of education, for we've just about stamped 'em before the schools get 'em." To give these parents and their children a better "chance" was the earnest desire of Mrs. Elizabeth C. Morriss when she organized the Community Night Schools of Buncombe County, North Carolina, in the fall of 1919. This program has grown from a small beginning to an organization of compelling force and influence. It has been a part of the public school system for years and is now the work of the whole city and county, and it is functioning effectively in spite of a greatly reduced budget. The most prominent and influential, as well as the poorest and most humble citizens, consider it a real privilege to have a part in supporting this work. Two years ago when financial conditions were extremely critical, it looked as if the program might have to stop. The Director asked one of the pupils what he thought of closing the night schools. He said: "We don't aim to give up the night schools till all our neighbors have had their chance. I am sixty-five years old and never went to school a day in my life till three years ago. I pay taxes and I want some of the tax money used for night schools. I'll ask the Board myself to help us. We can't afford to stop now." There had been serious loss of public funds, drastic cutting of expenses, the closing of many important departments in the school system. Page 8 MOUNTAIN Lire AND WORK April, 1933 Community School workers were almost afraid to ask the Board of Education for even a small appropriation. After consulting with pupils, teachers, friends, and officials, a request was made for one thousand dollars; this was cheerfully granted. For a number of years the local City and County Boards of Education had made a joint appropriation of twelve thousand dollars for the support of Community Schools. Now, one thousand is gratefully received. This amount will keep the torch of learning burning for the three thousand illiterates in the County still untaught, and will enable those who had made a good start to get their literacy certificates. The fall of 1931 found the organization reduced from a staff of five full-time and a number of part-time teachers to one full-time teacher. How was one worker to carry on under such adverse circumstances? It was indeed a baffling situation. An appeal for assistance was made to interested individuals and organizations, with gratifying results. The President of the Asheville Normal and Teachers' College offered to help solve the problem. Faculty and students were asked to cooperate. Their response was adequate and effective. Twenty-five members of the senior class volunteered to teach two nights each week in the night schools. These girls gave in preparation and teaching approximately sixteen hours each week. Special methods and problems in teaching adults were discussed in weekly conferences with the college Supervisor of Practice Teaching and the Night School Director. These girls enjoyed rare experiences in practice teaching, and the night schools were most fortunate to have the association. A member of the faculty drove the school car fifteen miles to the country two nights each week and took six of the student teachers to night school. He also taught a class in Bible and supervised the school. Recently, he made the statement that one of the finest outcomes of this service was the contact made with parents of college students, and the fine spirit of cooperation and understanding which has developed between the parents and college faculty. Transportation was provided in various ways, and schools were opened in five centers. Other faculty members also gave valuable assistance. Jan itors donated their services. Lights and supplies were furnished by interested organizations and individuals. The pupils and their friends collected coat hangers and soap coupons which had a cash value of half a cent each. The College Glee Club gave a benefit concert, Night School pupils staged a simple play, one school gave a mimtr:i show, another gave an old fiddlers' convention. The proceeds from all these sources added muchneeded funds to the budget. An outstanding and worthwhile service was rendered by two interested and well-trained young women. Their combined volunteer secretarial work in the Night School office saved the This Young Mother Has Learned To Read And Write April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 9 salary of a paid secretary and added much to the efficiency of the program. Early in the fall a home-snaking teacher was appointed by the State Supervisor of Home Economics to teach in Community Schools. Threefourths of her salary was paid from State and Federal Home Economics Funds. Classes in food, clothing, home and child care, home care of the sick, first aid, home beautification, and gardening were organized in the homes of Night School pupils. In these classes frequent opportunities are provided for pupils to use the tools of learning which they have recently acquired in the night schools. This teacher also cooperates with the Salvation Army, and the Welfare and Health Departments in their relief programs. The State Supervisor of Trade Education gave valuable assistance by paying four experienced teachers to teach classes in industrial arithmetic in connection with four of the regular night schools. These teachers supervised the work of the student volunteer teachers and in most cases provided transportation for them. One of the high spots in the year's work was the County Commencement at the Asheville Normal and Teachers' College. Sixty-one adults were awarded certificates of literacy, signed by the Governor of North Carolina and bearing the seal of the Asheville Normal and Teachers' College. After the graduation exercises a beautiful boxwood which had grown for forty years in the garden of one of the oldest pupils, was planted near the president's office, dedicated with appropriate ceremony, christened the John E. Calfee Boxwood, and presented as a living symbol of gratitude to the president. A lovely pink dogwood PARENT EDUCATION AT NIGHT SCHOOL Page 10 MOUNTAIN LiPE AND WORK April, 1933 was planted near the largest dormitory, a gift from the Community School Council to the class of '32 as a token of appreciation for their services. The Night School graduates were guests of the college and were served a delicious luncheon in the faculty dining room. During the afternoon, the Night School pupils were taken for a tour of inspection of interesting buildings on the campus. The student teachers who had taught these adult pupils acted as their guides and hostesses, and took great delight in showing the beautiful college to their friends and neighbors. Later in the spring many of the Night School pupils attended the graduation of the student teachers and brought simple gifts to their favorites. This year the program was resumed on practically the same status. The Asheville Normal and Teachers' College continues to give the same definite assistance as the year before. The President of the College announced at the Night School Commencement that he was gratified with the part his institution had taken in the Community School program and proposes to make it one of the permanent activities of the College. Another home-making teacher was added to the staff by the State Department. Twenty-five members of the junior Class were selected to teach in the night schools. This change was thought wise since the seniors obviously have more campus activities than the juniors. Five unemployed teachers, four white and one colored, have given ten weeks' work teaching adult illiterates in Buncombe County. They are paid ten dollars per week from R.F.C. funds available for North Carolina relief purposes. An Advisory Committee of twenty-five members was formed for the purpose of promoting the various activities of the program. The members of this committee were selected to represent civic clubs, patriotic societies, churches, woman's clubs and other interested organizations. This Committee has rendered most valuable assistance to the whole program. Missionary Societies of the various churches have given excellent cooperation. Many of them have adopted the Night School program as their service work. They have given money and many valuable materials as well as the inspiration of their approval. The Community School Council, an organization of night school pupils and their friends, rallied to the support of the night schools and made a valuable contribution to the success of the program. The Conservation Committee of the Council initiated a tree-planting project as their part of the George Washington BiCentennial Celebration. This committee sponsored the planting of three hundred trees to honor George Washington. One hundred night school students planted at least one tree each at their homes and reported to the Committee. One hundred friends of the night schools were asked to do the same and one hundred organizations in the city and county paid one dollar and fifty cents each to purchase a tree (pink or white dogwood) to plant in Aston Park. A local nurseryman furnished and planted the trees at wholesale prices. Part of the fee paid was used to purchase a tablet to contain the name of organizations represented. The trees were planted and registered with the American Tree Association, and certificates were awarded to each indi v*dual and organization. Plans are being made to erect the marker and to have an unveiling and dedication ceremony at which representatives from the one hundred organizations will participate. The trees and marker will be formally presented to the city officials with appropriate ceremony. For a number of years the Scripture Gift Mission of Philadelphia and the American Bible Association of Richmond have donated Bibles and Testaments to the Community Schools. They were particularly generous this year. Four hundred Bibles and Testaments were distributed to the Night School folk who were perfect in attendance or who brought three of their neighbors to school. This fine cooperation has been of inestimable value in keeping up the interest and attendance in the schools, as well as the deepening of the spiritual life of the pupils. Following the custom of a number of years, the Community Schools and the Girl Reserves of the Y.W.C.A. had a very neighborly sharing of Christian pleasures. The Girl Reserves, with the cooperation of all the branches of the Y.W.C.A. and of various other organizations and individuals, furnished candy and toys for all the children of all the Night School parents. Eleven hundred happy children received these gifts from gayly decorated trees at the night schools. Besides this, fifty-one April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LuL AND WORK Page 1l of the neediest families had their specific wants taken care of-from good warm coats for the mothers down to shoes and stockings for the very least ones. The Night School pupils, in grateful, neighborly fashion, brought to their "Y.W." friends walnuts, and hickory nuts, potatoes and pumpkins, popcorn and apples. Best of all, they brought to them beautiful Christmas trees and evergreens, carefully picked out and as lovely as any in the whole world, for the ceremony, "hanging of the greens" and for the whole Y.W.C.A. building. A most interesting and worth while contact was made with the Berea Opportunity School this year. Two Buncombe County Night School pupils were awarded scholarships for the month of January. This was undoubtedly the greatest and most thrilling experience of their lives. It broadened their vision and awakened their ambition to go on to school and obtain an education, even if they are twenty and thirty years of age respectively. They are making definite plans to go back next year for Opportunity School and hope to enter Foundation School the second semester. A visit was made to Berea Opportunity School the last three days in January by two of the Night School workers. They were greatly impressed by the excellent work being done by Miss Dingman and her associates. It seems an especially appropriate place for adult students who have learned the "Three R's" in the local night schools to go to obtain many new, vivid, and worthwhile experiences. The Berea Opoprtunity School might well be considered a sort of university, continuation, or inspirational school for these recently literate citizens. Their backgrounds are extremely limited, and a month at Berea Opportunity School is literally the opening of a door into a new life for them. Here, through the adequate facilities of a great college, the splendid cooperation of President Hutchins and his capable faculty, they are given the opportunity of rounding out a better life, not only for themselves, but for their children and for the communities in which the,, live. One of the Buncombe County students said in part: "Berea is the greatest place I've ever seen or heard about. I learned of things I did not even know were in the world. The lectures were all great, but the most helpful were on community problems. I want to do all I can to help improve my community. I wish all my friends and neighbors could attend the Opportunity School, too." The other agreed with him, and said: "I'm not the same boy who went to Berea a month ago. It took the bashfulness off my face and helped me to gain confidence in myself. I can never forget how kind the teachers and students were to us." Parents and friends of these students agree that the progress made by the boys at Berea was almost miraculous. It is the opinion of the writer that all social workers who are interested in the enrichment of adult life may realize untold values by cooperating with Miss Dingman in her splendid intensive program at Berea Opportunity School. It has been said, "Literacy is not education but the simplest tools with which education rnav be obtained." Should the two million native illiterates in the South be denied these simple tools? Is functional literacy for all normal adults not a reasonable goal to strive for, not only in the South, but in the whole United States? In BuncombCounty the program started by Mrs. Morriss and sponsored by public school officials, men's civic clubs, patriotic organizations, women's clubs, missionary societies of local churches, Community School Council, Asheville Normal and Teachers' College, and many influential citizens goes bravely forward toward this goal. Page 12 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 The Mountain Preacher and the JVlountain Problem L. C. KELLY When one lives in the mountains long enough for the scales of preconceived ideas to fall from his eyes he will be convinced that the major problem of the mountains is the failure of the religious leader to measure up to the moral demands of the situation and to relate his life and calling rightly to the moral problems that affect the child life, the social conscience, the economic, political, and moral life of the mountains. The correction and cure of all the other problems in large measure wait for the dynamic of a new moral authority and spiritual power in the preachers and their churches, a strong organized force of Christian manhood that will abhor that which is wrong and cleave to that which is right. In the face of this great challenge we see the preacher as a man less thought of than men in any other calling or profession. Sinners as a rule have no respect for the ministry in the mountains. All preachers in the mountains look alike to the sinner. This is because of a certain type of preacher who has watered down respect for the calling by his unworthy living, and who has been a forceful factor in setting the moral standards by which all preachers are measured. His standards for the world and for himself have been low; but the world's standards for him have been high. We have the Holy Roller preacher, the "mock humility" preacher, the "immoral" preacher; the "open-your-mouth-andGod-will-fill-it" preacher, the "under-bidder" preacher; the "afraid" preacher, and the God-called preacher. Many of these preachers have never pastored a church; but they all help to fix standards and all have a following. The Holy Roller preachers are often long on emotion and short on standards. Many of them do not seem to know the difference between carnal feeling and spiritual fervor. They preach perfection and practice carnality. They set themselves to break down every effort and program of other faiths. Filled with prejudice and determined opposition to all other organized churches, they seek to build themselves up through a process of personal proselyting and by preaching in a frenzy of hysterical excitement. On a cold day in December some of them took a young girl down to the creek and dipped her in. For days they had practiced on her with their wild emotionalism. She emerged from the water shouting, every nerve and muscle at high tension. She screamed at the top of her voice; others praised God; all danced with twitching muscles. They were having a sort of religious "hooche-cooche," when something in the girl's nervous system snapped. She was carried off the field helpless. They said she fell in a trance. Sequence: "A great meeting," according to them; a broken constitution, a term in the insane asylum, and a premature grave. On her deathbed she begged that they keep from her room the preacher who had led her into that wild hallucination and that they not allow him to say a word at her grave. But not all the religious sins of the mountains are confined to the Holy Rollers by any manner of means. Four-fifths of the mountain preachers are Baptists-the other fifth being Holy Rollers. In Bell County there are fifty-one Baptist churches and eighty preachers. There is not an active, functioning church of any other denomination besides Baptist in the county outside of two cities, unless it be in one of the settlement schools. Yet this county is fifty-five or sixty per cent unevangelized. With many, salvation means to be saved from hell into heaven, from death into life, not from darkness into light. The idea of the goal of grace being perfected manhood and womanhood, to be worked out through a divine process, has not taken sufficient hold on the preachers or the people as yet to change the spirit of sin and lawlessness; and that there is lawlessness and degradation and power in sin from which a people must be saved has not been sufficiently emphasized as yet. In Bell County not more than two-fifths of the churches worship in their own houses. This lack of proper housing and of pastoral support is a result of past experiences. The ances April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 13 tors of these people fled from the old world to escape being taxed to support the State church. The generations since have swung to the other extreme. Let us consider further some of the different types of Baptist preachers in the mountains. The "mock-humility" preacher wears a large bump of feigned inferiority. He often speaks of "us poor mountain people." But such words are in reality only a way of claiming a superior humility while criticizing his town and city brethren as being too proud for him to find fellowship with. But he talks humility, agitates it, and sings it until he sows the seeds of mental and moral blight deeper into the heart of his followers than he knows or intends. This blighting, withering thing felt by many mountain children is but the sowing of these false teachers-a curse which has prevented the development of their potentialities, and for which moral and spiritual courage can be the only real cure. The "immoral" preacher will get drunk, preach while under the influence of liquor, commit fornication, live in adultery, beat his debts-in fact, stoop to many things no honorable non-Christian would think of doing. He is usually a great contender for the faith. Thus he breaks down the world's respect for the ministry. He is a great aspirant for office. He performs the marriage ceremony, and in a number of ways reaps some emoluments from wearing the title "Reverend." Nothing could be more blighting to Christianity than his type. The "open-your-mouth-and-God-will-fill-it" preacher is against education and study. He has gone to seed on inspiration. He teaches that if God calls a man to preach, He will put the message into his mouth-a misinterpretation of what Jesus told his disciples to do when they were haled into court for preaching the Gospel. Some of his type believe that God inspired King James to write the Bible. One man argued that he did not like Goodspeed's translation because it sounded wrong. Said he, "The King James for ine. Because that was the Book the Hebrew Children had when they walked through the fiery furnace; the Book John the Baptist and Jesus and Paul preached from; and it's good enough for rne." Laugh at him if you will; but do not overlook his loyalty to it as he sees it. He has implicit faith in inspiration, and in the fundamentals on which our moral and spiritual structures rest, out of which the bulwarks of a nation must be built. In the face of all our needs and burdens and mountain problems, we can think of nothing single or combined to bode so much evil for us as to have the props taken from under us, the props of our faith in God and the Bible, our faith in Jesus as Redeemer. With all of our wickedness and sins, we know that we are too sinful by nature to get along without a Redeemer and Lord. The "under-bidder" preacher is the kind that will undermine his brother pastor by offering to take the church for less than they are paying their present pastor. He has been known to engage to assist a brother pastor in a revival and to use the opportunity to induce the church to "release" the pastor and "call" him. Such as he are outstanding evidences of the need of a course in proper pastoral ethics, until both pastor and churches come to know how to deport themselves in the work of the Lord. The "afraid" preacher is not a physical coward any more than was the apostle Peter. It is in the realm of moral courage that he falls down. He is afraid of public sentiment, afraid of prejudice and custom; afraid to preach the truth of missions and stewardship, pastoral support, and vital things touching his own work and welfare. If all the preachers in the mountains or a large majority of them were men of great moral courage and fired with a social consciousness, clean livers and Spirit-led; if they were voices in the wilderness proclaiming the majesty of moral righteousness and calling the people to make straight paths of honesty and truth for the feet of children and a Christian civilization they could put the spirit of lawlessness and crime out of business. Political grafters and crooked lawyers, whose business now is to prey on the weak and unwary, would find their peculations and bloodmoney unprofitable. Under the denunciation of courageous preaching and pitiless publicity such as ought to be sounded from the pulpit, public sentiment would come alive and force the champions of evil doers and the exploiters of the weak to "hide-out" or to hunt new fields. The churches are the builders of moral standards. They should show the people that religion is not simply ecstatic emotionalism, not merely making disciples Page 14 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 through an annual protracted meeting, after which the rest of the year is to be spent marking time on the Kingdom highway, but that it must be the practical repetition of the Lord's command to be pure in heart, to be the salt of the earth, to be the light of the world. Then we have the preacher who is a man; who feels that God called him to be a man before hÃ‚Â° called hiin to be a minister. He is honest to the core and self-sacrificing to a fault. He is unselfishly dedicated to his task; and there is no man in the world that does the same amount of work under as trying circumstances with as little material reward. If a missionary goes to China, he knows he will get his salary, though it be small; but when a man surrenders to preach in the mountains he knows he will not get a salary and must make his living by the sweat of his brow. Our God-called man is sound in theology and full of evangelistic fervor. He sees lost men all around him; he has the unworthy preacher before him and behind him to becloud the issue and befog the minds of the people, muddy the stream of truth, the while creating disrespect for the ministry in the heart of honest-hearted sinners. Many of these men are possessed of great physical and mental strength. But they have had no training. Many of them can scarcely read. They have no chance to go away to school because most of them are married and have growing families. Yet they are hungry-hearted, the most hungryhearted of any group we have ever known. Some of these men who have been pastors for years sit spellbound each summer in the English Class at Clear Creek Mountain Preachers' School as the teacher talks about the simplest elements of the English language. To see forty or fifty grown men studying primary English is both a pathetic and an inspiring sight. These are the potential leaders of a great people-and yet they are in large measure the underprivileged of the ministry. One fine positive personality was asked to relate the story of his conversion and call to the ministry to a large cultured audience. He arose and said, "Brethren, I beg pardon for my language. I never saw inside of a grammar; I never went through the first reader." Today, in spite of his handicap he is an outstanding preacher who has great power with both God and man. After a young husband and father had been with us three years he was asked to tell what the preachers' school had done for him. He replied, "It has ruined me. It ruined all my old sermons, and it ruined me financially. The first three days of my attendance in this school showed me that I had to have more preparation. I saw I couldn't teach what I did not know. So I mortgaged my $2700 home for $1000 and spent one year in the New Orleans Bible Institute with my family. I lost my home; but 1 am not sorry. I would do it over if I had to." Then he said, "As I am out in these mountains at night praying, I so often now seem to hear strange voices. 1 can hear mountain preachers calling on God for help in their task; I can hear mothers praying to God for their children to have a chance in life. I can hear children crying for the bread of life, and for a chance to be somebody. My brethren, can you hear those things?" These God-called men have been the religious backbone of the mountains in days gone by, and they are yet. They have held the fort till in many places the battle has been won, and a better day brought in. They have fought under handicaps such as no other men of their day have known. They have lived largely by the sweat of their brows, preaching the funerals of the murderer and the irioonshiner along with those of the saints and the ordinary sinner. One man whose only way of livelihood is digging coal told me that he lost fifty days last year conducting funerals for which he did not get car fare. They have had few books because the ever-present wolf at the door has made it impossible for them to have books. Like Paul at Ephesus, they have fought the wild beasts of ignorance misled, and intelligence corrupted. They have stood like stone walls for the right as they have seen the right, and have preached the best they could in spite of tired body and untutored brain. What these preachers have had to see and endure is sufficient to melt the heart or to make a man hard as stone. They have had to stand by and see youths of fine mettle wrecked by the demons of lust and drink. They have seen jails and penitentiaries take in men and women who were driven by drink, or drawn by their own wild impulses, or damned by parental delinquen I April, 1933 cy, or caught up in the devilish mesh of rotten politics. They have seen potentially great souls flounder and wreck in the shallows of superficial religiousness and false piety. They have often seen public sentiment a menace to a whole community. Epidemics of "flux," typhoid, diphtheria or smallpox stir the doctors and bring out remedies, but epidemics of bad psychology and rotten political campaigning are condemned as something to be endured and tolerated until tolerance becomes a vice. They have seen crime condoned in some and over-punished in others, until judicial partiality has made justice a farce and the courts objects of contempt. The courts as now administered are not even a restraining influence. If there is any constructive spiritual agency now at work in the moutains it is the God-called preacher. So far he has made little impression because of the legions against him. He has not only had to feed and warm his family by his own hard t'I while he fights the good fight of faith, but he ol I I has had to fight against all sorts of bold, aggres sive sins: ignorance, prejudice, worldliness in its rawest state, bloodthirstiness, carnal passion, self ish exploitation of the weak, vote vending. He has had to oppose doctrinal bolshevists and re ligious disorganizers, men in high authority and places of power who exhibit no concern for spir itual and moral values, who seem not to realize that their very homes and possessions are built on nothing but sand unless the righteous rule. Now on top of all these he sees poverty pinching and pushing and hounding the people into added e'Is. vi Today the problem is religious, educational, economic and political. In addressing ourselves to the entire problem we must not lose sight of the unity of the whole, but must everlastingly keep in mind that education and economics and politics are not ends within themselves, but mean to an end, that end being the highest moral and spiritual life of a great people. From the religious viewpoint there are three possible ways to approach the problem. First, it is possible through a proselyting process to raise up a new generation of leaders of other faiths, better educated and perhaps less capable of reaching the uneducated. In that event you will have to ignore the leaders now on the field, lead MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 15 ers who have convictions as dear to them as life, and proceed to educate the mountain people away from their native faith and predilections. If Jesus were here today in person we wonder what he would say. Would it be, "My brethren, tackle this task through a proselyting process; set yourselves to sow the field down with seeds of denominational differences; you must first tear down before you can build up. In the spirit of rivalry, go to it!" Or might we hear Jesus say, "The people have their loyalties to my Father's word, which to break down would be to weaken them. They have their religious convictions which to break down would be to weaken them. They have their religious convictions which may become the foundation for great characters, great leaders, who like some of their predecessors and contemporaries have been and now are great bulwarks of the nation." Second, it is possible to do away with the religious and moral emphasis, as many are doing today, and approach the problem from the viewpoint of expediency only. This would mean that you would make education of the preacher and the child an end within itself rather than a means to an end. Even in that event you would have to uproot and eradicate the simple faith of these people in God and the Bible and reduce the problem to one of ethics and economics. In doing so all your efforts would be but to build a cozy nest on a rotten limb. We need to be reminded in this day of departure from the old paths of fundamental truth that moral standards grow out of sound doctrines, and as James Anthony Froude has truly said, "The progress of civilization depends on the extent of the domain which is reclaimed under the moral law." Third, you can take the mountaineer and train him to apply the New Testament democracy, making this acceptance of the Bible as the inspired word of God and his faith in God the basis for plans and programs and cooperation in the larger task as well as for character building. In that event you have much to begin with. Perhaps some will say that it is a weakness of the New Testament democracy practiced by the mountain Baptists in their church policy that has made it possible for unworthy men to be ordained to the ministry. Over against this it Page 16 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 ought to be said that it is the abuse of the New Testament principle that has given us many undesirables in the ministry, just as it is the abuse of the true principles of our American democracy that has given us the cheap politician rather than the true patriot. As we see it, the program to strengthen what IS through helping the religious leaders already on the field, instead of trying to ignore them or push them aside or root them out, would be a wise conservation and a true solution. THE WEAVING MEETINGS IN GATLINBURG WINOGENE B. REDDING WeaN ing Meeting days are big days in Gatlinburg. They come once a month, on the second Wednesday. While they are intended primarily for the forty-six women who weave at home for the Arrow Craft Shop of the Pi Beta Phi School, they are open to all, and many are glad of the opportunity to come. Early in the morning the five-and-six-mileaway weavers begin to arrive, taking advantage of meeting day to bring in their weaving and get a new supply of material. By one o'clock in the afternoon the weaving room is full and our meeting begins. We sing from the Old Harp sometimes, other days we try ballads, but more often old friends living miles apart would rather sit and visit for a little while. Our weaving meetings have years of history behind them, for their growth has been gradual. Eight years ago the weavers were invited to the Teachers' Cottage for a tea. A few brave ones attended and enjoyed it so much that they asked to have another the next year. We had a "coffee" the following spring, which was much more successful as far as refreshments were concerned. The third year we tried a few informal meetings, at which we gave general talks on weaving. After that the meetings became more regular, the women beginning to look forward to them as they grew more accustomed to gathering at the school. By that time we had acquired a new high school building and in it a lovely large weaving room and office, which the women consider their own private domain. The bashful ones began to come, irregularly to be sure, but it was an encouraging beginning. For the last three years the meetings have been well attended and have become one of the social events in the "Burg." Last fall the group organized under the name of the Gatlinburg Weavers' Guild. Programs for the entire year were worked out and mim-10graphed copies distributed. Until this year we had not departed from the realm of weaving for our talks; but we decided to make the meetings more general in character, and selected a variety of subjects. The plan has met with the hearty approval of the women. Four meetings during the year have been on weaving, one of them devoted to the use of color in weaving. In November we had one of the staff from the Division of Extension of the University of Tennessee give a talk on Storage and Closet Space in the Home, a timely subject in this town where one sees a new house almost every time he looks out of the window. We broke all precedents in January by inciting the men folks. Gatlinburg is to have a curb market next summer; we used our wide-awake and representative weaving group to sponsor the project and push it through. Miss Williams, thCurb Market Specialist from the University, wh is helping to organize the market, came up to this meeting and presented the plans. The School class in agriculture had worked out a vegetable gzrden plan for this locality which we mimeographÃ‚Â°_d and gave out by the dozens, hoping in this way to encourage systematic planting. The February meeting was our finest yet. We had an exhibit of weaving to show to our women whose knowledge of weaving had been confined to the work done in our own section. We had weaving from Sweden, a hand-woven smock from Russia, pieces from Mexico, a Navajo rug, an old jacquard coverlet, weaving from sister schools in the mountains. Best of all, Miss Clementine Douglas of the Spinning Wheel told us about her interesting journeys among hand-weavers in Egypt, Greece, and Italy. She brought weaving ONE OF THE WEAVERS AT GATLINBURG Page 18 MOUNTAIN LirE AND WORK April, 1933 from all those countries, too, tricky little looms, and even a three-thousand-year-old piece of handwoven mummy cloth. How eyes popped out and ears wagged to catch every word. A terrific blizzard didn't keep the women home that day, not even the farthest ones. That was a never-to-beforgotten weaving meeting, from which every woman carried away a new inspiration and pride in her work. In March our agriculture teacher gave a talk on gardening to follow up our garden plans that were given out in January. Now we are looking forward to two meetings on weaving, the women selecting the subjects. In April, the eighth grade girls will exhibit the weaving they have done in class and have a style show of their hand-woven dresses. In June will come our finale, a picnic lunch at which Miss Margaret Ambrose, Division Supervisor of Home Demonstration Agents, will give an inspirational talk to the women, as she did last year. The women have taken turns serving refreshments. Sometimes they play games when the days get long enough so that they can stay until three o'clock and still get home before dark. Are our meetings worthwhile, and do they fill a need in our community? We think so. The Weavers Guild and the P. T. A. are the only organized groups in our village, which is growing by leaps and bounds. Civic improvement will be a big local issue in the next few years; fortunately here are two groups of women beginning to realize they can do things. They are ready to undertake local problems beyond their weaving and school, and have discovered that there is power in organization. Who knows where our weaving meetings will end? Our outlook is bright, our faith in the future is unlimited, and our courage undaunted. A text for adults who wish to learn to read will soon be coming from the press. The author is Elsie C. Johnston, teacher of fundamentals in the Knoxville Public Night School, Knoxville, Tennessee. The book carries the fundamentals of learning to read, write, count and spell, and will be kept within the reach of all by a binding that is durable yet inexpensi~ e. All the tools of learning are to be found carefully graduated to the need of the learner. The everyday words are so written in story form that they will be remembered from lesson to lesson. The arithmetic or "Learn to Count" holds interest, step by step. Spelling, in the "Learn to Spell" section, is almost self-taught and gives an excellent vocabulary. "Saying Things Correctly" conveys correct English through the reading. And the writing has the simple business forms so needed in every day business transactions. Every reason why one desires to learn to read is met in the pages of the book. The elements that inspire are there. The seven cardinal points of education are written into reading lessons. Each page, in sheet form, has been tried in classes with great success. April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 19 ROADS AND RIVER Mary P. Dupuy 1 stopped beside the low log wall, Asking the way in the late, lone fall; One road ran onward and one to the right While the river beside them slipped from sight. "This leads past my grandpap's store, Over the hill a mile or more, On past Uncle David's mill, Till you come to the store at Hempenshill. "Yonder one goes to the voting place A good bit beyond the old mill race; Then you go two jumps till you come to Hall. The river? Oh, that don't go nowhere at all. "That's the only place they go, I know, There ain't nowhere else a body could go. I live about here and I know when I speak, You don't get nowhere when you follow the creek." An old man came with his grist for the mill, And took the road 'round the sumac hill; Two women trudged down the lower trail To market at Hall the eggs in their pail. I stood as I'm wont and watched folks go, Back and forth on the roadbeds low; One to Hempenshill, one to Hall, While I followed the river that goes nowhere at all. Page 20 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 The Agricultural Situation in Southeastern Kentucky EARL MAYHEW The collapse of commodity price level beginning in August, 1929, started many things: bread lines, increasing unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, bankruptcies, bank failures, evictions for rent, starvation, hunger marches, suffering from cold, unemployment relief, governmental re trenchments that result in increased governmental costs, some social restlessness, much "respectable anarchy," and back-to-the-farm movements. Sine that date, "Back to the farm," "Buy an abandoned farm," "Get back to earth," "The land! There is where our roots are," `Back to the land, pioneer virtues, and self-sufficiency," "A few acres and independence," etc., have been shouted from platform, preached from pulpit, and run in bold type in newspapers. A president of the American Bankers' Association has urged that people get back to the land and sober up from a spree of reckless spending, wild life, and the immoral pleasure of comfortable living. Just how having plenty of food, ample clothing, comfortable homes, and dental and medical attention and hospitalization when needed, and a car to ride to work in, is immoral conduct and riotous living i~ beyond my conception. Yet this general thought has been voiced by some well-meaning preachers, teachers, industrialists, social workers, politicians, and reformers, and by many uninformed and zealous demagogues who did not know what caused the depression and who were too full of escape-mechanisms to undertake to find out the facts of the case. Nevertheless many people have given heed to such reckless and destructive advice and have found themselves stranded on a piece of earth-for what, God only knows. In this section of Kentucky there are many people who took this back-to-the-land-advice seriously, who came "back" from city, factory, mine and other industrial centers of population where they had been gainfully employed, living fairly comfortably during the time immediately previous to August, 1929, and forgetting pioneer hardships and self-sufficiency. More than seven hundred families have returned to this county alone. To what end and for what did these families return? According to the 1930 United States census the population of Knox County was 26,253 people. At that time about 18,500 of these people lived on farms or in the country. Census figures indicate that the average size of the farm family is five persons. If this is so, then there were 3,700 families on farms or living in the country at that time. Yet the 1930 census reports only 2,850 farmers in the county for that year. This means that 850 industrial families and families dependent upon kinsmen, friends, and charity, lived on farms where less than three acres of crops were cultivated. Add to this the 700 families who have returned since the taking of the census, and it is readily seen that there are on farms 1,550 families who cannot be classed as farmers. During the past three years some of these families may have "tended" the prescribed three acres and might be called farmers from the census standpoint, but there are now at least 1,400 families on farms in this county who cannot be classed as farmers when considered from this census basis. What did the returning families return to? Mostly poor land. The average increase in rural school population in this county in 1932 over 1930 was 15 per cent. (In the boom industrial years previous to 1928, the rural school population was declining.) During the two-year period of 15 per cent increase, the river-valley or good land districts increased by 7 per cent, but the hill or poor land districts increased by 23 per cent. Back to the hollows, back to the heads of streams, back to the dry ridges went these people, to croppoor and steep lands. Back into large sections of the county where there is less than one-fourth acre level land per family, and where there is not a mowing machine, hay rake, or bottom plow to a whole school sub-district. They took many children, few clothes, little household goods, empty stomachs, and no economic resources with April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND Worth Page 21 them. The Red Cross gave them some garden seeds. They were hungry. The seeds they did not eat they planted-to become prey to insect pests or to be subjected to flood and drought. What did they return for? For "pioneer virtues and self-sufficiency," for "independence"? Evidently they did not know that independence on the farm depends upon: CLIMATE-Bumper crops are not produced out of floods and droughts; SOIL-One does not get 300 bushels of potatoes per acre from shallow, tight, yellow clay dirt lacking in humus and "too poor to raise a cuss fight;" TOPOGRAPHY-Harvester combines and other modern farm machinery cannot be operated on hills so steep that corn must be "shot in;" MARKETING COSTS-One cannot, just by wishing, get a carload of potatoes from the head of Stinking Creek to Atlanta. Other factors include competition from other crops or regions, prices of products to be sold and changes in these prices, cycles of over- and under-production, special demands for special markets, land values, capital requirements, labor supply, insect pests and plant and animal diseases, type of farming of neighbors, and personal factors that enter into farming. With all these variable factors, how could one return to the farm and independence! The poor s*Is, the poorly-located farms, the lack of funds ol and equipment for farming, the lack of knowledge of farming, the depression, the floods and the droughts, etc., have made applicants for relief out of 3,000 of the 4,400 families living on farms in this county, and first among them of course were the 700 families who have returned to the farms since the depression started in 1929. The following information, taken from the Kentucky Relief Commission office at Barbour v*Ile and from a Farm Survey made in the fal! i of 1932 will give some idea of what the situation is in Knox County: TENURE AND CROP YIELDS Of the 4,400 families living on farms, approx imately 3,000 families farm 3 acres or more, 1,100 families farm less than 3 acres, and about 300 families just live in the country and are largely dependent or pension families. Of the 4,100 families who farm, about 2,000 are owners of land and about 2,100 are renters or tenants. After the relief work started, all farm survey schedules were separated into two groups, those applying for relief and those not applying for relief. Thus there are four classifications of farmers: Owners applying for relief, and owners not applying for relief, tenants applying for relief, and tenants not applying for relief. The figures below indicate the status of these classes and groups as of January 1, 1933. OWNERS (Total Average I Not applying Applying I TENANTS I Average Not applying!, Applying I 66 12.5 13 12.3 7.7 I I Acreage Arable Land I Level Land I 1.6 2.1 1.3 Stated in another way the owner-farmer not asking for aid operated 1.6 times as much total arable land and 2.8 times as much level land as the owner-farmer who asked for aid. Here it is readily seen that level land is of more significance in keeping farmers from having to ask for relief than more acres of just arable land. Tenant farmers not asking for relief and tenant farmers asking for relief operated practically the same amounts of total arable lands, but those not asking for relief operated 1.6 times as much level land as those asking for relief. Here again the importance of level land to keeping "off" relief is readily seen. Therefore, if families must be sent back to farms, or allowed to go back, then let us send them to more level and more fertile lands, where they will have at least a chance for food. The productivity of the soils of the county is shown by the different classes of farmers below. The yields for the county in the year 1932 are about 50 to 60 per cent of what may be expected during an average year. Page 22 MOUNIAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 Corn Potatoes Hay I ! Area I Acreage Bu. pr. A. Acreage ! Bu. pr. A. Acreage I Ton pr. A. Misc. Cropped l ! ! I ( ! I Acreage I OWNERS I I I I I I I I I Not Applying I 14. ! 8.5 9.5 ! .65 ! 31 ! 3.75 I .8 ! 1.1 Applying 7.3 I 4.5 I 9 ! .75 I 21 I 1.1 I .75 I 1 TENANTS ! I I I I I I -N_ot Applying -~- 7.4 -- 6.5 -I- 9.5 - ~- .4- I 25 ! .5 I .75 I I Applying I 5.25 I 4.5 ! 9 ! .5 I 19 ! .25 ! .5 I I Owner-farmers and tenant-farmers not asking for aid cropped more acres, and more productive acres, than farmers who asked for aid. The only exception to this general rule was that farmers of both classes asking for aid had greater potato acreage than the respective class not asking for aid. The poorer farmers had poorer potato seed and recognized it, also poorer soils. They tried to plant enough of the poor seed in poor soil to make up for the poverty of both. This made a third poverty-the man. "A few acres and independence." With 5 or 7 acres of this poor land in crops, families there are requesting food, feed, clothes, medicine and shelter. With 7 acres or 14 acres of these soils in crops, families find the taxes cannot be paid, doctors cannot be had, school books cannot be bought, children are kept out of school to help get an existence, and disease is rampant. LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY A high percentage of farmers lacked various kinds of livestock. Not a few were entirely without livestock or poultry. It is significant that tenant-farmers not asking for relief owned much less livestock than owner-farmers who asked for relief and slightly less livestock than tenant-farmers who asked for aid. At the same time these tenantfarmers who did not ask for relief cropped more acres than either the owner-farmers or tenantfarmers who asked for relief. It would seem that farmers with less livestock in these low levels of farming are in a somewhat better position as to living right now than the farmers with more livestock. (This last statement may be far from true when a long period is considered). Owner-farmers and tenant farmers in the relief class apparently have sensed this, at least they are acting in this direction. A check February 7th showed that the 2,900 farmers asking for aid had from 10 to 40 per cent less livestock than they had in September. During the intervening three to four months livestock and poultry had been sold to get money to pay taxes, or because the farmers did not have feed for them and could not buy feed. A wholesale grocer recently remarked to me that in recent months checks that he gave for chickens almost invariably came back with the sheriff's endorsement on them, indicating that the hens had been sold to pay the taxes. Hundreds of farmers have told me that they had lent cows or work stock to people who had feed for them. Doctors, dieticians, economists, sociologists, county agents, and others may agree that selling the cows and chickens is bad for these people from the standpoint of health, and of economic and social well-being. These custodians of human welfare may deny the soundness of the apparently evolving principle of farming without livestock in this area, but the process of selling out and "doing without" is going on, and it will continue to go on at an increased rate if there is not a change in the present trend. In the past many of these people have failed to grow enough forage for their livestock and have worked in mines or other industry to buy the feed. Now thit money is almost impossible to get and huin in stom zchs are empty, whatever money is available must go for human concentrates, bacon, beans, meal, etc., instead of for livestock feed. The people need the milk and butter, the cream and the eggs, but they can and will adopt a standard of living that does without them. GARDENS Among the owner-farmers and tenant-farmers who have asked for aid there is little difference in the character of their gardens. They were all poor enough; in fact they couldn't have been April, 1933 MouNiarn LIFE; AND WORK Page 23 much worse. Flood, drought, and bugs were the common causes given for garden failures. Poor soils, lack of manure (too many cows are fed in the county roads and on creek banks where manure is wasted), and general lack of knowledge of gardening plus lack of funds to buy insecticides and fungicides are the real reasons for garden failures. The only vegetables grown by more than 50 per cent of those asking for aid were potatoes, onions, beans, beets, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and cabbage. It was significant that a larger variety of vegetables and the better gardens were reported from school sub-districts where local leaders or committeemen took more interest in the garden program. And this is particularly true where Red Cross seeds were distributed. FARM INCOME In 1930 cash incomes on farms of this county were $252 per farm family. The sources of this cash were: farm products, $142; timber, $5.00; labor off farm, $75; pensions, royalties, schools, etc., $31. Of the $142 from the farm, $105 were spent in farm operations, leaving only $37 from this source to be spent for family use. This with the $110 from other than farm sources provided $147 for the year for the use of the family of five persons. On the farm today, what with thc, poor soil, low prices, drought, and the poorest crop year in the history of the county, income from the farm just "ain't." No timber is being sold and there is no work to be done for wages off the farm. Yet there is the great need for clothes, food, medicine, taxes, shelter, and other necessities of life. Also, debts amount to an average of $60 per family for the applicants for relief. Perhaps that looks little, but when all applicants are considered the family indebtedness in at least 50 per cent of the families amounts to more than the total value of all property of the family. Debts destroy morale and confidence, and reduce ability to carry on. Because of debts, community leaders and committeemen report that less than 10 per cent of the better farmers, those not on relief, can buy from their own resources enough seeds and fertilizers to do the usual amount of farming this year. Unless credit for seed is extended through government agencies, harder times are ahead for 1934 than exist now. Though largely responsible, depression and fall of prices are not entirely the cause of the noincome condition of some applicants for relief. Poverty and the poor soils are the impulse to the life habits of perhaps five to ten per cent of these people. They sit and wait, do nothing, and "do without," until hunger, cold, or sex urges them to action. When sated they are content to sit again and wait until these urges give them another prod. This is not to say that these folks are poor human material. They have been more or less idlers for generations, but with new impulses and new motivations initiative and industry might replace irresponsibility to make more thrifty and better people. But to send this type of people from mine camp to isolation in hollows, on poor soils, without the "wherewith" to get a start in life, is to increase indolence, breed more poverty and spread crime, and thus defeat the very purpose for which we have organized democratic society. HEALTH Among the 2,900 farm families there are 288 active cases of pellagra and 81 advanced cases of tuberculosis. Because of their diet the relief families that have pellagra may run as high as 25 per cent or more by April. Better diet may drive the disease away this summer, to recur next winter or spring. Diet is the remedy; milk, lean meats, eggs are needed. Advanced tuberculosis in 81 families makes a health hazard for 400 or more persons. Here again diet is an important consideration: milk, eggs, and other nourishing foods are needed to combat the disease and resist the invasions. More than 98 per cent of the children have bad teeth, bad tonsils or both. These are being neglected and will eventually and surely lead to shorter and more miserable lives of those concerned. Nothing is being done about it. And into these families, on pellagrous diet, among tuberculars, among already undernourished, mal-developed, and ailing children, 146 new babies are to come within the next three months. These are recorded cases and not estimated. Nothing is being done to alleviate the bad conditions into which the new-comers will be born. WHAT IS TO BE DONE From the standpoint of a satisfying rural life, what is to be done? Much or most of what may Page 24 MOUNTAIN LIPP AND WORK April, 193 3 be done can be done only in harmony with what is done nationally or even internationally. Constructively, for improvement and development, little can be done until action is taken nationally or internationally on the following problems: 1. Restoration and stabilization of prices. It takes more than twice the amount of farm products to buy one dollar's worth of what the farmer buys now, compared with the amount needed in 1913. It takes two to five times as much of farm products now to pay off debts as it did when the debts were incurred. Farm price levels must be restored to the debt level before it is economically possible to do much farm improvement or investment. This price restoration takes national or even international action. 2. There must be readjustment of the farm tax burden. It takes more than six times as much farm products to pay farm taxes now as it did in 1915. This is a serious problem and a handicap to farthing. Restoration of price levels will take away at least half of this burden and make the rest of the burden relatively easier to bear. Combination of governmental units and functions will help. This will require local and state action, largely. 3. Get poor land out of cultivation. That means abandonment of lands or restoration of fertility. Both should take place here. Abandonment of poorest lands does not mean sending :note miners to heads of hollows. It means improving some bottom lands so that people now in hollows may move to level land. President Roosevelt's plan for the Tennessee River is sound from the standpoint of land use and rural social life. This may be county, state, and national action, singly or cooperatively. Action along this line of work may go along with other action and operate to help restore price level. 4. Cancellations of war debts and reparations. The local situation is a part of the national situation in agriculture, and the attempt to collect thwar debts in gold causes the erection of tariff and other trade barriers in other countries that hinder the disposal of our agricultural surpluses and thu: lower prices of the farm products; at the same time the tariff protection given our industries raises the price of what the American farmer must buy. Thus, lower prices for our farm products and higher prices for what the farmer buys saddles the war debt largely on agriculture. Nationally, agriculture cannot stand this burden; locally, our people cannot have even a good existence until the national situation is improved. We should not dodge recognition of these large relations in our attempt to alleviate our local situations. But in the effort to alleviate the present distress, individuals and small groups may: 1. Cause more food to be produced, preserved and stored on farms. Better gardens, better cows and better hens, and more of them, will alleviate hunger and give health. These will have to be financed largely through government agencies, K. R. C. relief, and crop loans. 2. Grow adapted cash crops on best soils by best methods and sell them on markets with least competition. Potatoes and small fruits, especially blackberries, will probably fit best here. Other fruit and truck crops may be used to some extent, and tobacco has a place. 3. Utilize the better soils for field crops to be fed to dairy cows, sell the cream and feed the skim milk to hens. 4. Use lands that are not too steep or too rough for dairy cow pastures. 5. Let forest retake the steep rough lands; these should be tax exempt. Reclaim all low or flat lands. K. R. C. work relief funds could not be better spent than in improving stream bed and draining bottom lands. We need something to haul before we need roads. We can get that something to haul from what is now waste and wet lands. 6. Build and maintain soil fertility and use this with high-profit food crops, limiting the use of cattle to home use. 7. Get everybody to take an interest in the farm situation. The whole situation locally is 90 per cent the farm situation. Get leadership; these people cannot muddle through by themselves. Get teachers to teach in terms of life's activities and get them to see that in the country, life's activities are farm life activities. April, 1933 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 25 THE GOAT KING OF STEELE KENNEDY Passing through Arkansas on his way home from the Spanish-American War in 1898, Ira A. Bruce vowed that if he ever went broke raising live stock in Kansas, his native state, he would move to this section and raise goats. Fifteen years later, having lost about twenty-five thousand dollars, Mr. Bruce remembered his vow. After studying the topography, railroads, and centers of population from an old Arkansas map, he punched a hole in the map at a point which appeared to be the most mountainous and isolated spot in the state. "There," said he, "is where will go and begin life over." e wi Twenty years ago it was a long journey from the plains of western Kansas to Newton County, Arkansas, and it seemed longer to Mr. and Mrs. Bruce, who had only little more than enough money to pay the fare and were apprehensive of the future. Getting off the train at Pettigrew, they arranged with a mountain farmer to ride overland in his wagon forty miles to Compton, a postoffice ten miles southwest of Harrison. Arriving at Compton, they found themselves within a mile of the spot designated on the map. The country was just as they had pictured itextremely mountainous, thinly settled, well watered; and land was cheap. It was cheap because no one except a few descendants of the early pioneers cared to live in this rough isolated section where, under their system of living, the best of them did well to eke out a bare existence. Little did these friendly mountaineers suspect that this young westerner could teach them lessons of a more profitable agriculture; neither did they predict for him success and satisfaction in his new location. The Bruces homesteaded eighty acres of land one mile from Compton and, after borrowing a stove and some cooking utensils from neighbors, moved into a small cabin on the mountain side. Thus at home again they took an inventory of their worldly possessions; they had their clothing, a few blankets to keep them warm, and three dollars and thirty-five cents in cash with which THE OZARKS to begin what has become one of the outstanding agricultural enterprises in the entire Ozark Mountain region. Mr. Bruce learned that one of his neighbors across the mountain had a mixed herd of Saanen and Toggenburg goats which had been running wild in the mountains for seven years. Although the owner did not know how many there were, Mr. Bruce arranged to buy the entire herd on reasonable terms, by agreeing to round up the goats and drive them home himself. One might think the task considerable, but he had the entire herd of thirty-four goats in a corral the next day. He recalls, "I out-goated this bunch of goats in their own country." Finding the Toggenburgs more desirable for the rough, rocky mountains of Newton County, he began culling out the Saanens, and by the use of the best pure-bred bucks has bred his herd up to nearly full blood Toggenburg. "I never question the price of a good buck when I need one," he said; "It's a matter of whether I have the money to pay. The senior sire of the herd, 'Monty,' cost $250 when but five weeks old. He is a grandson of Ace's Flora, once the world's champion Toggenburg milker." The does are bred to freshen between April 15 and May 15, and the average milking period extends to about the middle of January. The herd of seventy-five milkers averages a gallon a day each; however, some of them give six quarts a day during part of the milking period. A herd averaging six quarts a day is Mr. Bruce's goal. In selection for breeding, he disregards color and keeps in mind only individuality and high production record. The cream, in cans strapped one on either side of a burro, is delivered at Compton; there it is picked up by the rural carrier and taken to Harrison, frorn where it is shipped to the creamery. "Jocko," said Mr. Bruce, pointing to a burro standing near the house, "has carried over ten thousand dollars worth of cream up that trail." No cream was being shipped from Newton Page 26 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 County when Bruce settled there twenty years ago. When he was ready to begin shipping he arranged with a cream buyer to come to Compton, test the first can of cream, and pay for it the day it was shipped. He invited all his neighbors to come and see this done. The cream check amounted to $6.45. Bruce owed $5.00 to a neighbor who was present at the meeting and whom he paid, suggesting that this $5.00 be passed on from one to another paying debts. Before the day ended a check-up revealed that $46.75 worth of debts had been paid with this cream money. In 1931, one cream buyer paid farmers in Newton County more than $20,000 for cream. Not all of this amount was for goat cream, however, as goat-breeding has largely influenced dairying in that county, so that many fine herds of dairy cattle are to be found. In addition to the sale of cream a considerable quantity of goat's milk is sold in Harrison and other near-by towns at a good price. This is delivered in the same manner as the cream. The sale of kids and breeding stock is also an important part of the business. Goats have been shipped from this ranch to all parts of the country and to various foreign countries. The net proceeds from the sale of cream, milk, and goats averages three thousand dollars a year. All operations are on a strictly business basis at the Bruce Ranch. Each member of the family has a particular task to perform, which is carried out on schedule. Two daughters, Esther, twenty, and Olive, seventeen, are co-partners with their parents, each being equally interested. A third daughter held a fifth interest until her marriage, at which time she took with her one-fifth of the herd. The girls worked out an alphabetical system of naming the goats, which is the most unique method known. When the kids, 90 per cent of which are twins or triplets, are born in the spring they are given names, feminine or masculine, beginning with the letters of the alphabet taken in order until all the letters are used. Then they begin again, numbering the alphabets thus-alphabet number 1, alphabet number 2, etc. The kids never nurse their mothers. The girls feed them warm milk by hand twice a day, always feeding the younger kids first. Within ten days each kid knows its name and comes when called. This system enables the girls to feed and care for 150 kids in less than thirty minutes. The does are milked in regular order and move into position for the girls as their names are called. Each member of the family knows every goat by name and alphabet. Each goat responds immediately when called. The original eighty-acre homestead has grown to a thousand acres of now profitable mountain land. Mr. Bruce made friends with all the forces of rugged nature with which he was thickly surrounded when he settled on this mountain side. The only enemies necessary to eradicate were wolves and bobcats. With the cooperation of his neighbors and the assistance of the Government Biological Survey Department he succeeded in killing all these animals which preyed upon the goats and pigs. Mr. Bruce has sold a number, of small farms which are continually in demand after the land has been enriched and cleared of underbrush by the goats. This type of land, of which very little is for sale, is usually valued at from $3.00 to $5.00 per acre, without improvements. Nine miles of natural fence, provided by the Big Buffalo River which is joined by perpendicular cliffs ranging from ten to three hundred feet high, enclose this thousandacre farm except for one mile where wire fence has been necessary to complete the barrier. This vast acreage of mountain woodland affords unlimited browsing for the goats and cuts the actual cash outlay for keeping them to approximately twenty cents per goat per year. There are natural deposits of copperas, saltpetre, lime, sulphur and other minerals among the rocky cliffs and along the stream beds which the goats find and take in sufficient quantity to keep then always in a healthy, thriving condition. It would be hard to find a better instance of natural advantage utilized and made to cooperate in a modern and successful agricultural enterprise, or to find a happier, more contented family than the Bruces. April, 1933 MouNfAIN Lire AND WORK Page 27 THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL AT GAP MILLS MARJORIE LEE When it was finally decided to have an Opportunity School at Gap Mills, West Virginia, five weeks before the event preparations began. Three of us had been to Berea. We knew at first hand what a visiting group would have to give us. We believed that the group would be deeply sympathetic to the real needs of people living in remote sections of the mountains; would be able even in so short a time to take in our situation, our audience; would be able to choose and fit material to an audience as mixed as this one would be. And last but not least, we believed that the visitors would give to us by ~ irtue of their own personalities. But an Opportunity School being an entirely new thing, unheard of in these parts, we felt that success in fulfilling its purpose as a community affair would mean stimulating the interest and enthusiasm and enlisting the cooperation of the whole community for ten miles around. We talked of it at every turn, first to the students, out of classes and in classes; at chapel each teacher who knew said what she could. We told parents about the meetings. In churches announcements were made. In one Parent-Teacher meeting an explanation was made of the character of the coming school and, by one who knew, enthusiastic comments upon the personnel of the group who were to come from Berea College. No day of the five weeks was let go by without something said to increase the interest in and enthusiasm for the coming event. This "spreading the word" we considered most important as a part of the preparation. Busy farmers and their wives have to know about an event long before it happens in order to plan. We were careful also to choose a time of year when it was easiest to be away from home and when the roads would be in good condition. We were careful to enlist the cooperation of the officials of the two churches. They entered into the plan with deep interest, promising to give the help needed in the way of creating interest and urging attendance. The principal of the school fell readily into the plan, promising to give Friday as a day especially for school children. As a result of our careful preparation, the attendance upon the school was more than we dared to hope for. Probably there would not have been as many parents present Saturday if the group planning for the lunch had not let them in on the responsibility of providing for visitors, the children, and others in attendance. As it was, they came, many of whom we scarcely ever saw upon other occasions, bringing their share of the verywell-planned lunch. The widely diversified program of worship, music, stories, travel talks, studies of present-day situations, sermons, and readings gave every person a chance to enjoy something deeply. We were convinced of God's power to reveal Himself in the faces of His children if we had not been before. It is with deep reverence we speak of it. It is upon an occasion like this that we teachers and leaders pause and ask what we are doing to increase the joy in and zest for living, what we are giving to ease the life strain and release hidden spiritual energies. Perhaps it is art that does this. Perhaps it was the artistry of the whole program that was the secret of this effect. We agree universally that the result of the Opportunity School was of the nature of a religious (or spiritual) revival, but kept from creating a harmful emotional reaction. Our world was deepened, widened. We saw the difference between essentials and non-essentials. Everything in life seemed to take its proper place. As one of our own West Virginia writers has said of spiritual awakening, the effect was a "sloughing off of the non-essential and the trivial and a shifting of the spirit into deeper and siinplcr channels, a pause when in the midst of all this rnad dance of time and circumstances one gets a sudden and enlarging glimpse of Truth and Eternity . . . . going home . . . . `a finding of oneself where one belongs."' We arose and went to our Father indeed. No three days would seem, without experience of them, able to hold so much of lasting value. But they did, and as one little girl put it, "we will never get over it." Page 28 MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK April, 1933 'LASSES "Here's a couple of gallon of 'lasses to pay fer my schoolin'," said a bright-faced lad to his teacher the other day away out here in the Ozark Mountains. Thus the pioneer spirit struggles with ;x situation which threatens the "larnin"' process. The world-wide depression falls with peculiar weight on this mountainous area of the Middle West. The seriousness of the situation is greatly augmented by the results of the drought and floods of a year ago. So momentous has the situation become that in this particular section, the state is unable to promise any further help for education for the remainder of the year. A splendid consolidation program, rivaled by few states of the Union, was curtailed in its rapid develop ment this year because of a decrease in the revenue which supports the schools. Consequently it rests upon the shoulders of the parents and the teachers to carry on as best they can for the remainder of the term. This they are doing in a splendid and heroic way, especially in this locality, surrounded by beautiful mountains and streams and "all that is in Nature grand," in which it is our good fortune to live. We are in close touch with the school where the opening sentence of this article was spoken and where "'lasses fer larnin"' is a vivid reality. One family of six children will pay all their tuition for four months in home-made sorghum molasses put up in gallon buckets and stone jugs. The teachers of the school will each take what portion it is possible for them to use in their homes and will then pool the balance in an effort to get a cash market whereby they may obtain some money for other necessities. Not all the children will have "'lasses" to trade for "larnin' " but in most cases they will trade other farm products, because money in this section is nil-it just isn't circulated. Some of the sturdy lads who have inherited the woodcraft of their fathers and forefathers will haul "pole timber" to school in the farm wagon drawn by mules or horses. Many husky boys have chosen to saw these poles into the desired length for the stoves in payment for FER LARNIN' C. BURL PRICE their tuition. On approaching the schoolhouse, which sits back on a beautiful wooded hill giving rise to a gusher spring, one might spy a couple of these lads playing a "saw duet" with the crosscut on one of these sapling poles. One teacher instructs a little girl in expression, and to her brother he gives vocal lessons; but never a cent of money passes between them. As the children come to their lessons, they bring milk and butter to pay for their training. When thousands of people in the cities were ordering Christmas turkeys by telephone from groceries and markets, our little singer was chasing a redcombed gobbler, to make payment to his teacher. A man drove up to the home of the principal and placed on his porch the half of a dressed hog to pay the tuition of his daughter for three months. "I will bring you more," he said, as he climbed into his wagon to drive away. What would the average American housewife do with one hundred and twenty-nine pounds of fresh pork all at one time? Well, our music teacher, wife of the principal, in her dilemma put out i I I an S. O. S. call to a few good neighbors. They came in, cut up that pork, and salted it away. When an invoice was made later in the day, there were found to be one large ham, a shoulder, ribs, fat for cooking purposes, meat for seasoning, and two large sacks of sausage, to be kept for winter use. "What is the price of dried apples?" asked the school superintendent of a local "store man." The superintendent had received twenty-nine pounds of this rural delicacy to pay for the learning of a very bright mountain girl. Some of the boys do janitor service; girls sew and make quilts; mothers launder; fathers cut wood and bring in fruits and vegetables. Some of the quilts made by our girls are quite equal in beauty and workmanship to those sold in bazaars for sums ranging between twenty-five and fifty dollars. The "quilt pieces" are cut from portions of worn-out clothing and from remnants. Famous designs are used which have come down from Colonial times. When a April, 1933 MouN'1'AIN UH, AND WORK Page 29 q'It is sewed, it is taken to a horne where mothers ui and girls may meet to quilt and play as in the time when "from Aunt Dinah's quilting party, I was seeing Ncllie home." Popping corn, telling stories, cracking nuts, singing, and pulling molasses candy furnish the attraction. One older ladies' Sunda), School class has pledged itself to make one quilt a month to pay the tuition of worthy girls. One of our small boys pays his tuition by trapping fur-bearing animals. Often he catches skunks, 'coons, and 'possums, and one week he caught a gray fox. He lives about three miles from the school in a very secluded spot. About one hundred yards from his door is the opening of a large cave which extends for miles into the depths of the earth. In this cave are traces of ancient animal life, formations of magnitude and beauty, enormous rooms which when lighted look like gorgeous temples and palaces. The stalactites in one of these rooms, when struck in proper order, chime with the melody and resonance of a grand organ -but that is another story. Our boy and his dog may be seen almost any day after school is out, going into the woods to look at his traps for any "varmints" which he may have caught. If he is "lucky," he rebaits his trap, shoulders his catch, and completes his round. One of the most lovely stories about this whole situation concerns a certain elderly lady here who weaves rugs on a rustic hand-made loom. She achieves artistic results from old rags and gunny sacks, dyed with "wood dyes" and worked up her own way. Her father made the loom long before the Civil 'Var, and she makes her own warp. She weaves for people in many states. But the most beautiful side of it is that she is paying the tuition of an orphan girl. These various labors and this way of meeting an emergency breed neither drudgery nor dullness. On the contrary, the boys and girls are happy, bubbling over with energy and enthusiasm. There is a spirit of mountain aristocracy prevalent among them. You have read of it in story books, you have seen it on the screen, but we are surrounded by it. Our school in the mountains won the state championship in basketball recently and are contenders for the same place this year. Happy over it? Of course. Another happy event of the year occurred at Christmas. This school has a tradition that it must have a Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, and all the trimmings, but the problem this winter was, "What shall we do for gifts?" The principal came to the rescue, decreeing, "no one shall buy gifts this year, but every one of you must make a gift with his own hands for somebody else." Consider our conglomerate collection: pop corn balls, nut kernels picked out in halves or wholes, pies, cakes, molasses taffy, crude but cleverly made toys, handkerchiefs,-all prepared by the children. You can only guess at the real enjoyment of this Christmas celebration, one of the happiest our children have ever had. Each gift represented much time, much care, much patience, and carried with it more than could ever have been realized from dollars and cents expended at a gift counter. Under-privileged? Yes, and no. With such a splendid spirit manifested throughout the whole area, learning secured in this way, whether purchased with molasses, hides, corn, sweet potatoes, meat, wood, labor, quilts, rugs, or whatnot, will be enhanced ten-fold to the owner because of his sacrifice, and will, in days to come, be as a gift from God. "Thar's Abraham Lincolns in them thar hills." "SINGING GAMES OLD AND NEW" All who love play and rhythm will be interested in the little booklet, "Singing Games Old and New," collected and translated by the John C. Campbell Folk School, and printed and published by the Asheville Farm School, February, 1933. The majority of these games are of Scandinavian origin and were originally compiled to fill a recreational need in rural sections of our Southern Highlands. Wherever they have been introduced, in schools or communities, they have been most popular. Tunes, words, and steps of at least half are simple enough to be learned readily with the help of a good leader. The more difficult ones will offer only an agreeable challenge to those accustomed to folk-dancing. Melodies are included and full directions for playing. Copies, at fifty cents each, can be obtained at Farm School, Swannanoa, N. C., or John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, N. C.. MOUNTAIN LINK AND WORK BOOK REVIEWS MACHINE AGE IN THE HILLS BY Malcolru Rocs. Illustrated. 243 hp. Nem York. The Macrreillan Co. Reviewed by A. G. Weidler The phrase "plagued by a concern" has been haunting me since reading Mr. Ross's informing and stimulating study of the mountaineer-miner. This phrase indicates both the motive and the purpose of the experiment of the American Friends in the Kentucky-West Virginia Coal Fields in 1931-32 which Mr. Ross describes. The Quakers brought to this task the experience in similar rehabilitation work ill Europe after the war and especially in their work at Brynmawr with the Welsh miners in 1926. Their work in the Blue Ridge was done so quietly and modestly that there was danger that the publicity of more sensational efforts of Dreiser and others might obscure one of the finest pieces of pioneer work in the study of a nationally sick industry. Mr. Ross has rendered a distinct service in giving us the results of the careful scientific research and relief work done by this Quaker band. It is a challenge to study and action on the part of all true Americans and especially of those who are concerned about the future of the mountains. The author's analysis of the problems of the coal industry in America as a whole is thoroughly accurate, and he presents results in a popular manner that is more likely to attract attention than other studies less personal and human. He sees the rehabilitation of the miner as a problem of national planning for an entire industry. He appraises the splendid relief work of the Quakers as temporary and incomplete but as pointing the way to salvaging the surplus miners by returning them to the farms from which they came. Unemployment for the mountaineer-miner is a permanent condition. The solution of his problem is complicated by the presence of two classes, those who have always been miners and those who left their farms to go into the mines during the boom. The latter remain small-farmers at heart. They dream of getting back into the hills with an ax and a mule to start life over again. Since most of them have neither the land nor the money to get back to it, they scratch vegetable gardens in the packed earth X2.0`) April, 1933 around their shacks and talk of crops over their lunches underground. But the old timers have no itch to leave the mines. They would rather stay on and fight the operators for better wages and conditions. They are the most radical. Their minds and hearts, like the farmer group, are mountain bred; but they have singleness of purpose. Their natural inertia is being prodded by a goad too sharp for even them to take with indifference. For this second group Mr. Ross hopes that nationally controlled production, rational sales practice, a strong and thoroughly educated unionism and a cent-a-ton tax for a miners' rehabilitation fund will make possible living conditions similar to those guaranteed to the miners of the British Isles. For the others he proposes rehabilitation on the land. To this end he recommends a return of the surface rights to the miners, who in most cases were defrauded of their inheritance. This would make for peace and stability by insuring a prosperous and contented farmer-miner population. The appalling religious, social, and moral conditions call for an adequate program on the part of all religious and educational agencies serving the mountains. The Quaker experiment found the revival of handicrafts a natural development. They recommended also better educational facilities, development of the power of the smaller streams for small industries, and reforestation of small areas of fifteen acres each as adjuncts to the small farms for the production of hard woods. The condition of the children of these mountaineer-miners is the saddest picture presented by this study. Mr. Ross thus concludes his pleading for the children: If ever a people needed to be taught the fundamentals of how to live, the race of mountaineer-miners is it. The grown men and women, for the most part, are too set in their ways to learn; it is the pliable children in whom the present chance lies. It can be reasonably assumed that the sons and daughters of American bankers, lawyers, and business men will be sent to college and will develop in much the same pattern as their parents. The children of carpenters and clerks will find their comparable level always excepting those few who will go to extremes of development or retrogression. Opportunity in the United States has undergone a certain crystallization during the past few decades. In the mine fields, however, there is still a unique reservoir of unexploitcd April, 193 3 MOUNTAIN LiPL AND WORK Page 3 1 talent-combined with abysmally poor prospects of releasing the floodgates. In the mine camps of the Blue Ridge there are now 400,000 children. In fair times and foul they never cease being born. The present regime condemns them to bloody and barren lives. It is the earnest prayer of your reviewer that you too will become "plagued by a concern." CALL HOME THE HEART By 0litv Tilford Dar~arr (Fichling Burke, pseuel.) New York, Lonl,,muns, 1932. $2.50 Reviewed by E. J. Weekes Mrs. Dargan's "Call Home The Heart" is what we have long hoped for, a true presentation of life in Appalachia. The realism of the book is so genuine that it sounds like romance; the romance is so close to fact that it sounds like realism. Those readers who happen to be themselves mountain people will find here a thrilling picture of their own "hollers," branches, and hillside farms. To all others, "Call Home The Heart" will be a treat. Ishma Waycaster, born and raised on the mountains of North Carolina, has grown up conscious of he great heritage of fresh air, spacious skies, and ever-changing seasons; she has not however perceived the subtle influences which the infinite variety of color, the deeping vistas below her, the loveliness of spring, and the ties of affection have wrought upon her. Rather in the mind-wearying toil, the discouraging crops, and the irritating human relationships in her family, she finds the drab monotony and confinement of the farm insufferable. Goaded thus to desperation, she leaves her community under a cloud of disapproval and suspicion and seeks he salvation in a Piedmont factor town. Here her mind is quickly opened, not to easier, but to far more difficult living. With passionate fierceness she fights a great fight only to realize confusion worse confounded, since she, like the rest of us, is ill-equipped to reach a solution for a decent industrial center. And whence came her help? Let Mrs. Dargan tell you. The differentiation of the mountain characters reveals the craftsmanship of an artist. The cruelties of the mill town with the activities of the communists and the strikers hold us book-bound. The dissertation on communism one feels might well have been shortened and more effort spent upon Ishma's expanding education, but the author has not overdone her main character, nor the dialect, nor the grinding work of the farm, nor the influence of the mountains upon a genuinely sensitive soul. For this we are grateful. We have in "Call Home The Heart" an unbelievably good mountain story. SUMMER COURSES OF INTEREST TO MOUNTAIN WORKERS PENDLE HILL To those who would like to combine study with vacation this summer we would like to recommend four weeks at Pendle Hill, the Quaker Graduate School at Wallingford, Pennsylvania. From their announcement we are reprinting the following: AN INVITATION Times like these through which we are passing are critical and formative, full of the strange and the unknown. Without vision we may indeed perish. All of us, therefore, whose life work is that of shaping the future-teachers, religious and social workers, business and professional men and women-are called to special effort and sacrifice in order that those clear insights into life may be gained, and those spiritual resources built up which shall be adequate to the needs of our generation. It is to this task that Pendle Hill is committed, In the four weeks' summer term a special opportunity is afforded to those for whom the full year's course is perhaps not possible. During that month men and women not only find light on religious and social problems, but actually find themselves laid hold of by the light. Intimately associated with them in the daily life and work are the five members of the faculty sharing in the deepening of character and insight, and in the reaching out of the spirit into new understanding. The quiet beauty of the house and grounds, as well as the abundant facilities for recreation, contribute in making this a time of renewal and refreshment. You are invited to join us. John A. Hughes, Acting Director For further information apply to Joseph E. Platt, Dean Pendle Hill, Wallingford, Pennsylvania SINGING GAME COURSES Two Singing Game courses will be conducted this year by the John C. Campbell School-a week's session at Brasstown, North Carolina, beginning probably May 26, and a week's session at Massanetta Springs, Virginia, beginning June 19. For further information, write Mrs. John C. Campbell, Brasstown, North Carolina. OUR CONTRIBUTORS WiLNILR E. KENWOx-riiY is Publicity Director, Coal Relief Section, American Friends Service Committee. MARY P. DUPUY is an extension worker for Berea College. DELLA M. DAY directs the Community Schools of Buncombe County, North Carolina. L: C. KrLLY, a native of Alabama, is pastor of the First Baptist Church, Pineville, Kentucky, and has been associated with the work of the Clear Creek Mountain Preachers' School. Wnroct-Hr B. RenniNc teaches weaving at Pi Beta Phi School, Gatlinburg, Tenn. EARL MAYHEW writes from his experience as county agent for Knox Countv, Kentucky. STEELE KENNEDY, of Beauxite, Arkansas, contributes to various newspapers. MARjoKw ~r:3:, a Berea graduate, teaches school at Gap Mills, West Virginia. C. BURL PRici,, after his graduation from The College of the Ozarks, returned to teach in his native mountain community. A. G. WrmLrR Is Dean of Labor at Berea College. E. J. WEaxrs is a professor of English at Berea College. Shdents earning all or lurrt o/ thrir rxprm,crs ronhmitevl in forhtting this rnagazhtr pit the ffcrea Collev Press