When Walker Williams (83) and his brother Dit (89) go looking for a good time these days, they get in Walker’s car and take a drive north and east of Landrum, South Carolina where Walker lives now toward a tiny holler called Spillcorn in Madison County, North Carolina where both brothers were born…literally…in a home that has stood the test of time deep in the heart of Appalachia.
no wonder the brothers come back here to their old home place
yep, Spill Corn is a real place
Walker’s cousin John offers a drink of cool water to anyone who drops by
one country store in the back hollers of Madison County
Walker leads the way inside
(I think the rice krispie treats were homemade – delicious)
The little convenience store is like the old general stores – it has a little bit of everything. If you’re on a long drive, you better make a quick stop and visit with Ethel who likes to know who you are, who your people are, and what you’re doing way out here.
According to our tour guide Walker (who is Pretty’s father btw), the tobacco barns are empty now, the cattle herds smaller and the only source of revenue left for most of the people who have remained in this remote area is logging…raiding their timber to sell down the mountains.
deep poverty exists in these mountains, and yet an occasional oasis appears
this road leads to the notorious Appalachian Trail
thank goodness the “color came late this year”
pair of goats interested in visitors – any snacks?
another cousin, Robert, cuts his wood for any neighbors
who might need it in the harsh winter
a river runs through it…the sounds of rushing water penetrate the stillness
the barns of Madison County – Walker has asked me to
make a photo book for him – he already has captions for the images
we’ll have plenty of material for his book
this man of Appalachia saying goodbye to the mountains for today –
until next time
Such a treat to spend the day with Pretty, her dad and sister Darlene in the middle of these magnificent vistas that are an important part of their family history. As my friend Meghan commented on Facebook, “these are the good ol’ days for you.”
Right on, sister.