Monday, March 1, 2010

Mountain voice

I'm now reading Ralph Stanley's Man of Constant Sorrows  and I've figured out what I like so much about it, beyond the actual book itself. It's the voice. It's as if he were sitting next to me telling his life story and I'm right there tape recording for the record.

That's what I'm doing in my schoolhouse project. I'm recording the stories connected to Pilot Mountain Elementary, an old school in Burke County, NC. The voices I hear speaking back to me as I listen to the interviews and type are identical to the voice I am reading in this book. Rural. Mountain. Solid. Honest. The beauty is in the telling, not just in the story itself. The Appalachian Mountain voice has a strength and depth that speaks of survival against the elements and I want that, more than anything else, to come out in my finished product.

Must end this for now. It's time for my phone call interview with a third grade teacher from the 1940's. I can't wait to time travel with her through her voice.

1 comment:

  1. Gretchen,

    Best of luck to you in this very worthwhile project.