File Size: 145809 KB
Print Length: 592 pages
Publisher: Anchor (August 23, 2016)
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
Best Sellers Rank: #209,628 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #18 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Sociology > Rural #39 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Folkcrafts #95 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Sociology > Rural
Back in my Spent Youth, there was a set of Firefox books on the living room bookshelf. Daddy bought the first one when I was seven; and I loved reading about "haints" and Appalachian folkways. I don't know what happened to the books - but *do* know what they taught me. Until Foxfire books, I saw Appalachia only through movies – and my Daddy’s bedtime stories. Through Foxfire, I learned to love Appalachia and her folks and folkways. The Foxfire Book of Simple Living, Celebrating Fifty Years of Listenin', Laughin', and Learnin' is a pure joy.PROS:1) Honors Vanishing Arts and those who practice and teach them, like: Woodworking, Blacksmithing and Woodworking. (The section Vanishing Arts alone is worth the read! Watch for the recipe for Soap.)2) Wisdom of Our Elders, Making Do With What We Have has amazing lessons in resourcefulness. My parents grew up during the Great Depression, so I know all about the usefulness of flour and seed sacks. However, I’ve never seen fine crocheting made of flour sack ravelings before!3) “The World Is Watching” recalls how Appalachia is seen through media, from Disney’s *Great Locomotive Chase* to *Deliverance* and *Cold Sassy Tree* to Hallmark Hall of Fame’s *Foxfire* to Broadway and beyond. Amazing.4) My favorite section is “Remembering When The World Was Black and White, Stories from a Simpler Time.” Takes one back to the days when family photos were in black and white – and those pictures had to be sent away to be developed. If one could afford them at all. Pictures were treasured, like the memories in this section. I’m reminded that so many young people living in this digital age don’t know that photos and movies weren't *instantly* available.
I had heard of Foxfire before; namely their book series (of which I think there are currently ten). Since I had planned on getting around to reading those at some point, when I saw this I thought it might be a good way to figure out what they were all about. And it is; this book is almost a summary of what Foxfire is and their core values.For those not familiar with Foxfire, it is located in Rabun County, GA and has been around for several decades. The organization works on preserving oral history and old-time skills like soap making, blacksmithing, basket weaving, and much much more. It's basically all of the Appalachian skills that would have been around 100 or more years ago. Additionally there is lore, morals, and other lessons imparted. Foxfire is also a school that interacts closely with local high schools and the magazine/books were largely put together through that type of program.I like old time stuff. I quit, knit, do some woodworking, and just in general like to do things the way they were done a long time ago as I find the process interesting. There were a few of those types of lessons in this book; but it largely was a series of stories and thoughts, rather than a complete lesson in this book. It was still interesting though. While I would have liked to have more of the lesson type stuff; I realize that this book was not really meant as an instructional for skills, but rather just followed their aim at preserving history and stories.Because of the culture of this book, Appalachian living, there are a lot of stories that follow traditional gender roles, religion, etc. And even entire sections devoted to those topics.
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