Sunday, August 07, 2011


Okay folks, this falls under the category "You never know what Ron's going to post."

For the most part of this extremely hot and humid day, I've been here at my computer updating my Find a Grave account.  While I enjoy updating my account, occasionally I like have to take a break from posting just names and dates.  That's when I check out the newspaper from near where my dad grew up and left when he was ten years old.  My dad was born in the mountains of western North Carolina, near the border with Tennessee.  The place where his family lived was called "The Bailey Settlement" which probably was just a shack by one of the holler roads that lead up to the top of the mountain.  Yep, my dad was a hillbilly I'm proud to say.  Of course I didn't feel that way when I was growing up but now I'm proud of that fact. My paternal ancestors were from Appalachia.

The earliest settlers arrived in those hills in the late 1600's.  They were of English and Scotch Irish descent. I've been researching my family tree for almost twenty years now and these are documented facts.

During the late 1920's, my grandfather moved his wife and nine sons (my father and his eight brothers) to southeastern Pennsylvania.  Two more sons were born in Pennsylvania.  I guess you could say technically the two new sons weren't hillbillies since they weren't born in the mountains.

My father met my Mother on a double date.  He was with another girl and she with another guy but once Mom saw him she told her girlfriend "You get in the back, I'm sitting with HIM."  The rest is history.  Mom and Pop got married (she was 16 and he was 20).  They produced three more boys (of which I am the oldest) and here I am today writing about it.

So what am I getting at with this sleazy picture at the top of this blog?  Some years ago when I visited my "roots" in those mountains, I was shocked at how little life had apparently changed since my grandfather and grandmother got out of those mountains to start a new life in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Just this past spring Bill and I were in Johnson City, Tennessee (the biggest town near those mountains) and we visited the "hollers" again and still see remnants of the homes of those very poor folk who used to live there.  However, while riding up and down those beautiful mountain "wiggly" roads (as Bill calls them), we noticed that more and more retirees from out of state have built modest homes that now dot the sides of those roads.

So I was lulled into thinking that maybe the Hatfield and McCoy days were way behind us (by the way, my Mother's maiden name was "Hadfield" - no relation) but checking the Johnson City Press today for Tipton obituaries what should I find on the front page.  Yep.  One of those men who give abad name to hillbillies.  Read the notice, he was threatening to shoot his hostages with a bow and arrow!  OMG.

One of my favorite bloggers post a weekly feature called "Mug Shot Wednesday."  Doofus here looks like a good candidate.  Come to think of it, this guy could just as easily be here in Sussex County.  Do you think?

Sorry folks, no pretty flower shots today.  Sometimes we just have to get into the nitty gritty.  It's called "balance."  Like I said, you never know what I'm going to post.  Predictable I'm not.


  1. I thought you were going to say you he was a long lost relative.

  2. Sean,

    Very well could be! I have a Tipton relative mug shot. I'll post it when I find it. It was taken a few years ago. One of my cousins who is married to a well known bluegrass star was very put off that I even mentioned that he was a relative. I don't think she reads my blog so I'll post it again. As a matter of fact, she hasn't spoken to me since. Oh well. You know the saying, "You can pick your nose but you can't pick your relatives."

  3. anne marie in philly2:20 AM

    a doppelganger, as dr. spo would say!

  4. Ron,

    Oh, I thought you had been to the Olde Tyme Photo Shoppe again where they plopped a wig on your head and a number on your chest. :)



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