Walking in Her Steps: Macon County to unveil Women’s History Trail
The multifaceted roles women have played in society are often overlooking in the history books, but if you dig deep enough you’ll find their behind-the-scenes work was meaningful and ahead of its time — even here in Western North Carolina.
Cherokee from the heart: Beloved Woman reflects on a wandering life rooted in Cherokee language
If anyone ever had an excuse to leave her hometown and never return, it would be Myrtle Driver Johnson.
Born May 21, 1944, to a mother who didn’t want her, Johnson had a hard upbringing in the Big Cove community of the Qualla Boundary. While her younger siblings — one brother and four sisters — lived with her mother and their father, Johnson, who never knew which of two men her father was, was sent to live with her grandparents.
‘Ironfoot,’ the hermit of Island Park
Editor’s note: This column first appeared in a September 2014 issue of The Smoky Mountain News.
I generally enjoy working in my office, which is situated off the town square in Bryson City. But I find that it’s sometimes worthwhile to get away, if only for a few minutes. Just shut down the computer, turn out the lights, lock the door, and take a walk. Get away, as they say, from it all.
History through story: Cherokee storyteller seeks to preserve historical memory with filming project
Kathi Littlejohn can get lost in stories. Especially Cherokee stories. Their origins are often moored in worlds long past, but these stories have a tendency to twist through the years to end up knocking on the door of modernity.
“One of my first jobs as a teenager was working at the Oconaluftee Indian Village, which I absolutely loved. I was a tour guide,” recalled Littlejohn, who is now 63. “And on bad weather days when it was real slow, it was so much fun for me to sit with the people that were doing the crafts or some of the older guides and listen to stories.”
An antidote to our society’s hysteria
Over the past few decades, our society has pushed for more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students. Countries like China and India have far outstripped America and Western Europe in the number of graduates they have produced in these fields. Some observers of future trends fear that that this lack of engineers and scientists will have negative repercussions on our technology and our living standards.
These concerns are undoubtedly valid and worthy of our consideration, and we should encourage young people to enter these fields of study if they find satisfaction in those endeavors.
History of American furniture a fascinating story
Oscar P. Fitzgerald’s American Furniture: 1650 to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, 621 pages) is a door-stopper book, a behemoth with well over a thousand photographs, some in color, most black-and-white, and as promised by the title, a history of American furniture and craftsmanship since the time of the thirteen colonies.
Wild West success could be a long shot
Growing up in Gastonia during the 1960s, Mike Withers would pile into an old Ford sedan with his parents and siblings for the long drive to the now-shuttered Maggie Valley mountaintop amusement park called Ghost Town.
Over generations, Ghost Town left an indelible cultural mark and an enduring economic impact on the Valley, the county, the state and the region.
Macon Airport Authority still eyeing expansion project
The Macon County Airport Authority may have hit a roadblock in the planning process for a project that will add another 1,000 feet to the runway.
Canton fifth is for the kiddies
The United States is and has been for some time embroiled in a great discussion about its role in the world based on its military and political alliances as well as its economic interests.
A rich newspaper account of Bryson City circa 1910
Despite the boosterism (and alliteration) that permeated a front page layout (perhaps instigated by the ever-energetic Jack Coburn, who is profiled in the article) published by the Asheville Gazette-News for July 16, 1910, some of the descriptive content excerpted here provides a lively and interesting accounting of the town and county as they were in 1910.