Magic Moments

Among the blur of intense summer days spent living and working in Appalachia and West Tennessee, some experiences dazzled in the moment and remain vivid in the memories of SHC’s participants. Some of these shining, amusing memories are captured in the stories below.

 

Sharon Roberson on respect for elders

Sharon Roberson shares how her cultural upbringing facilitated an innate respect for elders that, she believes, is foundational to achieving societal civility.   Full footage of Sharon Roberson’s 2018 oral history interview. Continued

Byrd Duncan welcomes “June Beasley” to his home

Dick Burr shares the comedic story of Byrd Duncan first meeting folk musician Joan Baez.   Full footage of Dick Burr’s interview from March 25th, 2021. Continued

Memories from the mountains

Tom John and Rick Davidson share some of their most memorable moments and takeaways from their time spent in Appalachia with the Student Health Coalition.   Full footage of the 2013 interview with Tom John and Rick Davidson. Continued

Art Van Zee on the first health fair in St. Charles and early clinic history

Art Van Zee shares about the first health fair in St. Charles, Va. (1973) and expands on the origins of the clinic that still stands today. Recorded March 17th, 2013.   Full footage of Art Van Zee’s interview. Continued

The power of multi-generational primary care

Art Van Zee describes how meaningful the opportunity to provide care for several generations of the same family has been on his medical career, and why community-run clinics in rural areas, such as the one in St. Charles, model a… Continued

Square Morman’s sons on 1960s civil unrest and Tent City

Dana Ellis, a nurse and co-director of the West Tennessee Student Health Coalition, asks two of Square Morman’s sons what it was like in the early 1960s — from racial tensions to the development of “Tent City.” Recorded on June… Continued
Diane Lauver's Legacy Plant

Resilient Reba: A bittersweet story from Diane Lauver

During a health fair in the 70s, I stayed with a couple in Elgin, Tenn.: Reba and Bud Smithers. Another health fair worker, Angela, stayed with me at their home. A few experiences with this couple left me with strong… Continued

One of the best days ever

[Story contributed by Rosalie Hammond, December 2015] During the summer of 1971, I spent a good deal of time on health fair follow-up.  We had always been committed to doing more than just identify clinical problems at the health fairs. … Continued

Tom John in brevis

Dr. Tom John speaks about his experiences with the Student Health Coalition (SHC) and the Center for Health Services (CHS). Recorded by Margaret Ecker, 2013. Continued

“It isn’t easy to catch a pig, not even in the confines of the back of a truck.”

[Story contributed by Pat Kalmans] The whole bee thing with Bill started in Nashville on the Vanderbilt campus. Bill had been wanting to raise bees for a while, but didn’t want to necessarily mail order the suckers.  One day, literally… Continued

“I don’t think I could have made up the memory of crawling through barbed wire with 40 pounds of squealing, snapping, struggling pig in my arms”

[Story contributed by Neil McBride] Ok, I’ll join with the two stories that suggest Bill‘s conversion from radical mountain agitator to organic farmer was not as sudden and distinct as some might think. They also address the sense that when… Continued

“Not a nanosecond of time was allowed for the corn to begin to lose its sweetness between stalk and pot.”

[Story contributed by Trip Van Noppen] In 1975, I began working for Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM) and moved into the Ponderosa, the really old farmhouse outside of Lake City that Bill had somehow obtained for general housing needs. Jimmy… Continued

“We lived with a coal burning stove and kept our provisions in gallon glass jugs against the mice.”

[Story contributed by Margaret Ecker, RN, MSN] Sometime around 1975, local friends in Lake City offered us newly minted community organizers this abandoned house for a dwelling. We lived communally, our numbers fluctuating with the season. We lived with a… Continued

“For several years after that episode, the family sent me a card on their daughter’s birthday, thanking me for saving her life.”

[Story contributed by Margaret Ecker, RN, MSN] My first job as a nurse practitioner began around 1975, in a Briceville, Tenn. community-run clinic housed in a trailer and managed by a local board chaired by the venerable Byrd Duncan. A… Continued

The story behind the photograph

[Story contributed by Richard Davidson, M.D.] After an initial scouting year in the summer of 1969, the Student Health Coalition (SHC) began health fairs and community organizing in Appalachia in the summer of 1970. After several months of hard work,… Continued