Magic Moments

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 impressions. As I recall, when the couple were together, he led much of the conversation; …

Resilient Reba: A bittersweet story from Diane Lauver Read More »

“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 out of nowhere, but as if a Divine sign, there appeared a swarm of bees …

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“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 Bill asked someone to do something, they usually did it. I am sure that given …

“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” Read More »

“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 Dean and Granny Loomis were already there. They needed a caretaker. Bill drafted me to …

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

“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 coal burning stove and kept our provisions in gallon glass jugs against the mice. We …

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

“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 handful of other new nurse practitioners were working their own clinics, 20 or 30 or …

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

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, seeing patients and organizing local health councils, members of the Coalition met for an extensive …

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