George W. McCoy Collection   M1978.01.02
Materials generally covering the economy of western North Carolina
Box File Item # Date Description Thumbnail
2 2 gmc_064 to gmc_078 June 20, 1960 Address by Gov. Luther H. Hodges in which he discussed the economy of western North Carolina, the challenges faced, and ways it could be improved. Includes population and income data by county
gmc_079 to gmc_088 June 3, 1960 "Who leaves North Carolina, who comes in and why...out-migration and in-migration, industrialization, unemployment" ; transcript of an interview with Rupert Bayless Vance, professor of sociology at UNC that cover the effect of changing population levels on the economy of North Carolina
gmc_089 Nov 30, 1959 "The United States Municipal News" Vol. 26. No.22 ; published by the United States Conference of Mayors ; lead story covers reapportioning state legislative representation
gmc_090 Oct 16, 1954 Sent [to McCoy?] by James Hutchins of Burnsville, with the comment "I thought you might like to use this anonymous bit of lore that smacks of old times."

"I want to go Back to the Country and Get My Fill of Cracklin' Bread"


"I have lived in the heat, dirt and smoke of this man-made town until I am ready to scream, here the land is covered with brick and concrete, and the hearts of many of our people are as hard and flinty as the sidewalks.

"I want to go back to the country, where the air is soft and pure where the neighbors will sit up with the sick, dig graves for the dead, and shed tears of regret at their passing; where folks, go to meetin' pitch the tune with a tunin' fork, and sing through their noses with the fervor and spirit of the faithful.

"I want to trim the lamp wicks again and fill the lamps with ile fetched from the store in a can and with a Irish tater stuck in the stout. I want to eat some food cooked on the old iron-witch stove and sweet taters baked in the oven cn the hearth over a bed of hickory and red coke coals.

"I want to see again a boy swinging the brush over the table to keep the flies away. A family rated according to the kind of fly brush it used. The very poor used a limb from the mulberry tree, and the middle class had one out of papers. The upper rich had one from a Peacock's tall, Such families rated high, brother.

"I want to go back where everyday towels are made out of salt sacks, where the one store bought towel is taken out only when the preacher comes. I want to see the man of the house take his table knife of chilled steel and whet it on the tines of his fork before cutting meat cooked with the beans.

"I want to see the housewife reach into her gourd for a pinch of salt to season the beans and taters. I want to see soft soap in a terrapin's shell, with Grandma's initials cut on the side.

"Let me go again into the big house, sit by the fire, and admire the old-fashioned dog irons and the wrought iron shovel and tongs made in the country blacksmith shop. I want to see Paw heat the shovel on a bitter cold day and hold it in front of the old Seth Thomas clock to thaw out the frozen oil on the works, I want to see the sunmark on the back door sill.

"Let me go and prime the ashhopper, Let me cut a sassafras stick to stir the soap, and I'd like to see the old side-saddle hangin' on a peg on the front porch, covered with satin riding skirt, back in the days when women rode side-ways and not astraddle, I wont to see again the old stile or steps out near the front gate, where the women used to climb up to get on the horses.

"I want to go back to the big house, where the parlor was the sacred place, That was where all the sparkin' was done, and where the preacher slept. And what a bed! Two straw ticks, and one big feather bed, with fat bolster and pillows. When the bed was not in use, the pillows were covered with shams that had mottoes on them, i remember one, which was calculated to hold you for some time:

'I slept and dreamed that life was Beauty,
I awoke and found that life was Duty.'

"On the center table in the parlor was the old family Album with plush backs. It held pictures of the family dating back to the Civil War and, in some instances the likeness of a great-uncle who fought with Scott in Mexico, Those in civilian clothes always had one hand on a knee, and the other folded on the stomach.

"I want to go back where the shoe boxes were saved to make splints for sunbonnets; where men carry lap-links in case a hoss breaks a trace chain. I want to tie a coon—hide hamestring once more, and set the coulter deeper by hiking the back band. I want to spend Christmas in the country again, and get off the Christmas tree one stick of candy, one orange and a penny pencil.

"I want to go back where they make sausage and souse meat; where pumpkin is sliced and hung on the quiltin' frames to dry; where germs, vitamins and termites have never been heard of.

"I want to carry an old barlow knife again, and whittle red cedar and soft poplar. I want to go back where Grandma smokes a long-stemmed clay pipe where she fires it by dipping it into the ashes on the hearth and tamping it down against the jamb of the chimney.

"I want to go back where the geese are picked every month, where roosters run with the hens, where corn is planted and soap made by signs of the moon, where boys gather walnuts and hickory nuts in the fall of the year.

"Yes, I want to go back to the country and pet my fill of Cracklin Bread.

I want to see the old what-not in the corner. I want to go back where people drink sassafras tea to thin their blood in the springtime, where goose-quill toothpicks are used. I want to go back where they fill the straw ticks after every thrashin' and cord the beds once a month; where the children wear bibs, and the men wear red flannel drawers."

gmc_091 Dec 6, 1958 Clipping from the Ashville Citizen and notes regarding the effect of Federal taxes on moonshiners