Bus driver blues

Anna Oakes photo

Some folks do what they love and just happen to get paid for it. We all know a few…they’re those people. And some of us harbor an unbridled resentment toward them. Others must negotiate the tradeoffs of work and play, and duty and freedom. Read more



Sarah E. Kucharski photo

It’s a trade off. We don’t all measure quality of life by the same yardstick, of course. Some would rather have department stores than dirt in which to dig. I just happen to choose dirt. Read more


“Old Maude bows to the Virginia Creeper”

Courtesy of the O. Winston Link Museum, Roanoke, VA. Copyright Conway Link

Railroads did not barrel into the Appalachians until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But when they did, communities lying in the path of the locomotives were dramatically transformed. Mountain enclaves became bustling little towns. Read more

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Barter Theatre

Donated photo

Abingdon, Va.’s, Barter Theatre gets its name from a Depression-era tradition. An enterprising young actor named Robert Porterfield and his fellow actors found themselves out of work and hungry in New York City. Read more


  • Bear necessities


    Bear necessities

    Ross and Coleen Miller create a Christmas card photo from their home and studio in East Tennessee, highlighting Ross’ wood sculptures and Coleen’s barn quilt squares.

  • When opportunity NOCs


    When opportunity NOCs

    Pat Gleeson recently traded the cable airwaves for the rapids of the Smoky Mountains, joining the Nantahala Outdoor Center as director of sales after 10 years with Comcast in Atlanta.

  • A portrait of Hazel Dickens


    A portrait of Hazel Dickens

    East Tennessee folk artist Amy Campbell recently left her job as a college art professor to pursue art full time. “It was a scary decision, but I was pretty confident in it,” she reflects. “I just had to do it.”

  • Bus driver blues

    Anna Oakes photo

    Bus driver blues

    Rob “Hound Dog” Baskerville of blues outfit The King Bees says his professions as musician and bus driver are a good fit: “Working musicians have to love to drive, first of all, because it comes with the territory.”