"Appalachia is as diverse as the 13 states the mountainous region occupies. And yet when people think of Appalachia, many continue to picture an area settled or inhabited by descendants of the Scots-Irish who lived in isolation from the rest of the world. Dr. Katherine Ledford, program director of the Appalachian studies program at Appalachian State University, works to dispel that notion."
"For decades, most people had never even seen a jar of moonshine, let alone tasted it. These days, you can find it at stores and restaurants around the country thanks to loosened liquor laws and changing consumer preferences. Even the industry’s biggest distilleries are experimenting with moonshine."
"I took two of my children to the mall a few weeks back. After stocking up on sneakers and sandals, we stood in line to ride the carousel. I paid $2 each for their tickets, then the lady at the cash register peered over the counter at my daughter Penny. 'Is she a special need?' she asked me. I stammered something in response. 'Special needs ride free,' she said, handing me back my money."
"Spring rains cascade over the lip of the Norris Dam in a torrent of white foam and spray. A hundred yards downriver from this concrete waterfall, people stop at the little park to record the scene on their smart phones or digital cameras. It is an image made for a postcard -- a remarkable marriage of nature and technology. And a centerpiece of the Tennessee Valley Authority."
"There is a sublimity surrounding a man who, standing in ocular darkness, lets loose a torrent of flat-picked melodies made sacred by their time spent echoing in the heart of Appalachia. Some might think, and perhaps with good reason, that entire realms of reality were inaccessible to Watson. After all, blindness cuts man off from the great communion of visual perception."
"At school teachers and kids form a special bond; they become like a small family. A new school year will bring new classmates, teachers, and schools for kids who go to Cleveland and Elk Garden Elementary Schools in Russell County."