Best Reads and Leg Stories from 2021

These are my favorites from 2021! Buy a copy or check them out at your local public library.

Saving Bay Haven: A Charming Town with a Dirty Secret, Karyn Tunks Wayfaring Stranger, James Lee Burke Jubilee Sunset Romance, Deborah McDonald
Greenlights, Matthew McConaughey
Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, Kristen Radtke

Leg Stories
We went to visit Greg and Pam, my former reference desk mate, in Tennessee. We checked out their new home overlooking Norris Lake and took in the sights. The weather wasn’t all that great, but we spent a little time outside and inside. The Museum of Appalachia is well worth your time and money.
John Rice Irwin started the museum. Most of the text is told in the first person by JRI himself, or as told to him by the original owner of the item. Mr. Irwin didn’t just collect stuff, he collected stories, and once people knew what he was doing they donated things to him, like coffins, entire buildings, peg legs, traveling cart and soooo much more. It’s nicknamed “A Living Mountain Village” for good reason.

Henry Clay Moss with a hatful of potatoes. Peg leg nerd alert: He wears suspenders to hold up his pants and a belt around his waist to keep his peg leg on.
Uncle Henry Moss’s Peg Leg with the suspension strap still attached. Museum of Appalachia.
JAKE JACKSON’S TRAVELING CART-When J.J. (Jake) Jackson became crippled, he made this hand powered, three-wheel cart to get to and from the grocery store he operated in Jonesborough-Tennessee’s oldest town.(The name of the store was “Jackson’s General Merchadise.” My best information indicates that Jackson operated his store from about 1930 into the late 1960s. (David Byrd, from whom I purchased this interesting contrivance, had heard thatjackson became paralyzed with “jackleg”, a condition said to have been brought on by drinking “bad” whiskey-not an uncommon occurence during prohibition, I understand.) JRI

If you ever find yourself northwest of Knoxville, Tennessee or near the Cumberland Gap, the building and grounds (including the Popcorn Sutton Whiskey Still) of John Rice Irvine’s Museum of Appalachia is a must see.

Thanks for reading. Happy New Year. Write On!

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