On what would be the 107th birthday of the Dean of Appalachian Literature, we present our favorite titles by Mr. Still and a few other tidbits to remember a great American writer.
View a documentary from Western Kentucky University and WKYU, James Still: Man on Troublesome Creek
Compiled by Tiffany Williams of McRoberts, KY for The Hills Remember: The Complete Short Stories of James Still edited by Ted Olson
Some of our favorite words:
Big Thick: noun An unabridged dictionary. “My old teacher used to say that once a body breathed chalk dust and pounded the Big Thick Dictionary he was spoiled for common labor.” (pg. 285). (POM)
fat mouth: noun One who talks too much or blabbers. “I might do ’er, fat mouth.” (pg. 355). (DARE)
grands and greats: noun One’s descendants; thus, a profusion of people. “It would take Adam’s grands and greats to rid that ground in time for planting.” (pg. 231).
light a shuck: verb phrase To run fast, leave in a hurry. “I whistled up Trigger and lit a shuck down the road.” (pg. 179). (DSME)
piddle: verb To deal or work in trifling or petty ways; to act idly or inefficiently; to loiter. “Bot was company for Uncle Mize, with me in the fields trying to conquer weeds, and Broadus and Kell piddling.” (pg. 84). (MW) Hence piddling, adjective Trifling, insignificant, paltry. “A mighty piddling few.” (pg. 162). (DSME)
sheep’s eyes: noun Presumably, the bubbles that form on the surface of a liquid that are comparable in size to a sheep’s eyes and indicate that the liquid is at a boil. “Stir till it ’gins making sheep’s eyes, and mind not to over-bile.” (pg. 247).