by Barb Childers
For the first time, we took the Word Quilt to an event besides the annual Ringin’ In. On Saturday, Aprill 11, the Berea Library Archives came to Holy Family Church in Price Hill at the request of the UACC (Urban Appalachia Community Coalition) and brought with them the old photos preserved from the now-closed UAC offices. Old photos need captions and identifications so they can be accurately catalogued in the Berea Library Archives.
That meant that a treasure trove of memories would be resurrected… and the Word Quilt goes where the stories are!
Before the music and eating and chatting over pictures progressed, Jonathan Bradshaw and I laid the pencils and Word Quilt papers on tables. We wanted the tools to be handy for folks inspired to write down some of the stories that the photos stirred up. At the end of the day, although Berea collected untold numbers of stories and the UACC filmed urban Appalachians’ stories, our quiet little Word Quilt garnered a few fine additions. Should we share here the anonymously written humorous “letter home” from a farm kid who joined the Marines? (I laughed out loud — and wondered who painstakingly wrote out the 4 page story.) Or should we share the memory of grandma’s food on a tobacco farm in Mars Hill NC, written by Lore Ardeser of Northside? (I am still drooling at the thought of that box of ripe tomatoes kept by the back door.) In the end, I think it is most appropriate to share the memory of an urban Appalachian “heritage keeper” Effie Saylor, written by her daughter Sondra Saylor:
My mother Effie Saylor was born in Preachersville, Ky in 1916. She was the child of a tobacco farmer and 1 of 14 children. She landed in Lower Price Hill and was instrumental in starting the Lower Price Hill Community School and in the planning of the Appalachian Festivals. We had a “mini” festival in St. Michael Bingo Hall each year. She was proud of her Ky roots and so am I.
Mike Maloney is awesome. So dedicated to our heritage. God Bless him and all who work to keep our heritage alive.