A thought from one of our readers:
Aldo Salvatore Coraggio
I want the earth to become a place where the person is at the center, not profit, a place where the person is worth for his being and for his actions, not for his possessions.
I am from a tennis town where Palmetto
Championships are still played each May.
Where the Standpipe stands guard over the
small building that once housed the library,
close enough for me to walk for a book.
I am from closed-off streets on Wednesday
afternoons when shops were closed and kids
could skate their cares away around the
I am from home-made biscuits on the table three
meals a day unless you wanted a slice of
Merita bread to accompany your fresh
vegetables and chicken with gravy,
homemade chow-chow and sweet pickles.
I am from going to church on Sunday morning and
Sunday night with other activities during the
week—First Baptist, then a church
plant—Eastview where I learned to play the
organ. Bible school with glass-bottled Nu-
Grape and Orange Crush iced down in a tin
washtub to drink with your moon pie or
pack of Nabs.
By Betsey Matheny,
Pegasus Poet and Foothills Writers Guild Member
I Am From:
I am from homemade yeast rolls tied in knots with butter glistening on top.
From King Arthur flour and Fleishman’s active dry yeast in the packets of three connected together side by side.
I am from a two story clapboard house on a deep lot with slate roof, wide porches, and a one car, two strip driveway,
Our house nestled comfortably between neighbors houses much the same.
I am from snowbanks piled up taller than my head on both sides of the street where six to ten kids dug tunnels and made snow forts armed with an arsenal of well made snowballs or ice balls, (depending on the overnight temperatures).
I am from clams roasted on an open fire over a cast-off Ford pick-up tailgate.
From determined, independent folk bent on finding their own way of doing things right.
I am from Joseph, called “Joe” by everyone who knew him, and Grace Mary, just called “Mom” or “Grandma Grace” depending on your generation.
I’m from family gatherings where everyone talked at the same time and no one listened.
I’m from listeners who really hear you when you need them to.
I am from “Don’t let this set-back stop you from trying.”
And from “You will find your way through this!”
I’m from Quaker Quarterly Meeting Sunday suppers on the grounds,
And Silent Meetings listening for the still small voice of God.
I am from the Adirondack foothills, great northern baked beans slow cooked in a crock, and Mamie Eisenhower’s Fudge for desert.
I am from the calloused hands and bent shoulders of my grandpa who once deadlifted a boulder three men with crowbars had been unable to budge from the hand shoveled water well they were digging out back.
I am from the log cabin built out of old telephone poles, and a fireplace built of fieldstones gleaned from a tumbled down property line stone wall.
I am from family photos taken outside that same cabin, in front of that massive stone chimney.
From the family reunion pics. and the one proud child with their first catch of fish pics.
From the log cabin, that was a three generation family bonding experience. Every stone of that chimney was mortared in by Joe’s hands and carried there, one wheelbarrow at a time, by my brother, Johnny.
I am from Barnes, Varney, Hall, Smith, Hoague, Superaut, Cooley, Stiles, Jackson, Johnson, and Gailey ancestry. Then I married John Stepp and doubled my family tree.
I am from Irish, English and French Canadian stock who have been in the Americas since the 1700’s as farmers, laborers, business men, and women of honest labor, and proud service to both community and country.
I am from the first generation in our family to achieve higher education degrees, but certainly not the first to demonstrate creativity. There is an actress, three quilt makers, oil painters, miniature creators, bakers, herbalists, seamstresses, fine cooks and candy makers just to name a few among the women in my pedigree.
Susan B. Stepp, FootHills Writers Guild, Pegasus Poets II
I am from the red clay hills of Georgia
near the bustle of Atlanta
on the banks of the Flint River
where it is still only a stream
dammed up by my grandfather
I have been from south Florida
with summer sun all year,
palm trees, hurricanes, flat land
citrus plucked fresh off the tree
sandy soil, ocean breezes, flowers
I have also been from the hills of north Georgia
in a town with one traffic light
where strong down-to-earth country folk
taught me simple values of rural life:
porch sitting and homemade biscuits
I am now from South Carolina
for over half a century, with
roots deep in the Carolina soil
surrounded by family, friends, neighbors,
former and current students of all sorts
I am from generations of strong folks
who taught me to value life,
sunshine, meaningful work
honesty, chickens and goats
digging in the dirt, rain
each other, and every moment
All these places have brought me to this day
and to a deep appreciation of this life.
The weaving of my tapestry continues
Mary McAlister, Pegasus Poets and Foothills Writers Guild
I Am From
By Angela Mason Lowe (11/4/2021)
Pegasus Poets and Foothills Writers Guild
I am from South Carolina’s breath-taking
waterfalls and rippling streams
From Oconee’s cloud covered mountains,
cool and crisp.
I am from a family of bohemians,
wanderers who paint life in colors
From shades of blue, green, yellow and red.
I am from musical instruments,
a four-string fiddle and ukulele
From piano keys and guitars
played by ear.
I am from the rhythm of the drums
words of a song
From the healing balm of music.
I’m from the strong and the brave,
secure in faith.
From patriots and rebels,
immigrants and natives.
I am from the stories behind
pictures hung on the wall
From the soldiers of the red, white and blue.
I am from the richness of the dirt
plowed by the farmer
From a seed planted, watered,
weeded and nurtured.
I am from two hands used for work
and gentle caresses
From cotton mill workers and entrepreneurs.
I am from the lessons in life
taught through hardships and trials.
From sprinkled with laughter,
smile through the tears.
I am from the lines of a lyrical poem,
a shy actor on a stage
From rhyme and reason.
I am From
by Diana Carnes Pegasus Poets and Foothills Writers Guild
I am a slender willow, pliant, bending in the wind
Not an oak whose thick coarse branches would first break before rescind.
I am a fragile lily who wants tucking in at night
But defend my hearth by day and give intruders cause for flight.
My blade is used to slice the haunch or carve my babe a rattle
But do not underestimate its value in a battle.
I hunger with a quest for knowledge – base and elevated –
But no matter how much time I read, my need’s unsatiated.
My bond for daughters, sisters, mothers – is deep and goes unspoken
But with men somehow strange passions flare and nature’s almost…broken.
I am daughter of the daughters of the Amazons of yore
Who first conquered, then enthralled the chosen men whose get they bore.
I am silly when I’m happy and I brood when I am not
But the tie I feel for family just can never be unwrought.
I am From
by Jay Wright: Foothills Writers Guild
I’m from the foothills of Appalachia in northwest Georgia
where we feasted on neck-wrung chicken dinners
on Sundays after church at Grandma’s. Where we
were joined by Preacher Robinson, his family, and
other deep-water Baptists. Where Grandma held
in-home prayer meetings with neighbors on
Wednesdays. Where neighbors shared bounty from
their red dirt gardens. Where snuff-dipping, gossipy
neighborhood women gathered around old wooden
quilt frames every winter to lovingly create warm,
beautiful quilts from flour sacks and scraps of clothes
worn paper thin over time.
I am from a neighborhood of family and friends,
Grandpa’s in-home visits by Dr. Allen, fresh-churned
butter from Suki’s morning milking, telephone party lines,
hours spent in an old tire swing, and home-made
ice cream cranked to perfection by us older kids.
From a neighborhood where north winds brought the
stench of paper mills fifty miles away. From a black
and white TV that brought Bear Bryant football
highlights over a hundred miles away with only
a rooftop antenna. The Bear’s still my hero.
I am from a little three-traffic light town full of clothing
mills. Where my single mom worked alongside everyone
else’s parents. Where there were more mill workers than
farmers, more moonshiners than preachers, more barbers
than beauticians, far more stick shifts than automatics,
and the best kind of teachers.
I am from the foothills of majestic, snow-capped Mt. Etna
in Sicily. Where I stood watch from our Naval Air Force
base and witnessed Etna’s volcanic eruptions in the distance
beyond our runways, causing fear and devastation to the
farmers and their lands. I met people who were poorer,
less educated, and more desperate than any I’ve ever
known before or since.
Now, I am from Appalachia’s foothills in South Carolina,
I see mountains on clear days. I’m surrounded by
dear, interesting people. God-fearing people. Locals
who sound like locals. Transplants who also seem to feel
at home here in these foothills.
I AM FROM
I am from praying daily in public school,
From proudly reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag.
I am from jump rope, hopscotch, and tic-tac-toe,
From reading, writing and arithmetic.
I am from black and white television with rabbit ears,
From Mr. Ed the Talking Horse and Captain Kangaroo.
I am from Bible stories in Sunday School,
From singing songs in the Red Back Hymnal.
I am from catching lightning bugs in mason jars,
From swing sets and super slides.
I am from fall fairs held in the cool crisp autumn air,
From excited children waiting for Santa at the end of the Anderson Parade.
I am from picking blackberries fresh on the vine,
From a bowl of cornbread and buttermilk served with a glass of sweet tea.
I am from saying “Yes Mam” and “No Mam”,
From nightly prayers of “Now I lay me down to sleep”.
I am from China tea sets and pretty baby dolls,
From cap guns and holsters and cowboy boots.
I am from sharecroppers to cotton mill hands,
From an “honest days’ work for an honest days’ pay”.
I am from experience and wisdom that can only be gained,
From life’s valuable lessons.
By Ann Ramsey,
Foothills Writers Guild and Pegasus Poets
I Am From
By Patricial Wood,
Foothills Writers Guild and Pegasus Poets
I am from:
Willow trees by mud-red river.
Arrowheads, fossils and canoes.
Wild honeysuckle by the acre.
Cold Pepsi in glass bottles with peanuts.
I am from:
Outside fish fries and patio barbecues.
Hidden waterfalls, boat rides and water skis.
Bike trails and mountain hikes on footpaths.
I am from:
Sunday dinners at Grandma’s,
Table spilling over with delicious.
Homemade peach ice cream
to tickle your palate.
I am from:
Small community, big family, faithful worshippers.
White country churches with graceful steeples.
A porch full of flowers in summer.
A swing filled with giggling kids.
I Am From the South
I Am From…
I am from wild, wonderful West Virginia.
I am from a small town that borders the Little Coal River in Boone
County. Days of nostalgia, playing tag and whiffle ball until
darkness fell over the top of the mountain. The aroma of home
cooked supper wafted in the air as I came through the front door,
sweaty, and in need of a hot bath.
I am from the simple life of church on Sundays and Wednesdays,
and revivals in the spring and fall, whether we needed it or not. Our
rhythm of life encouraged cookouts with neighbors, and lazy summers
of doing nothing at all. Pinto beans and cornbread were staples in our
diet, as well as homemade biscuits slathered with real butter and honey.
I am from Saturdays of chores and visits to the bookmobile. Slipping
into the cool mobile library, the aroma of anticipation washed
over my ten year old self, holy ground for a book lover.
I am from Goff’s and Bailey’s and sweet memories of Sunday dinners
after church. Arriving at Ma Bailey’s house after the curvy drive on
mountain roads, my taste buds were rewarded with fried chicken and
mashed potatoes, of which there is no equal. Her gentle spirit and soft
voice echo in the corridors of memory. Flowerbeds of colorful wildflowers
decorated her modest yard. Butterflies and bumblebees feasted on yellow,
pink, and purple blooms, a foreshadowing of my future yard.
I am from hillbillies and coal miners, alcoholics, and everything in
between. My people are hard workers, murderers, saints, gamblers,
preachers, and entrepreneurs. We survived floods, coal mining
strikes, black lung, attempts of suicide, the deaths of children and
parents, and discovered that the sun eventually slips into the eastern sky.
I am from a lonely world of trauma and death; A place of bondage
and fear. Escape came in the safety of a counselor’s office.
I am from holy healing and abundant miracles.
I am from a place of longing for what could never be, and a place I
could never return.
I am from rugged mountains, rippling streams and rivers, and turbid
I am from West by God Virginia, the Hatfield and McCoy’s, and
Take Me Home Country Roads.
I am from wild, wonderful West Virginia.