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Thread: The "Road to Nowhere" is Back in the News

  1. #11
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    Nov 2009
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    AKSkim,

    While I do not live in Bryson City, I do live In the Southern Appalachian Mountain Region of North Carolina. I was born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina and darn proud of it. You are absolutely right about "those people over in NC are just plain backwards". However, most of them go back home after their mountain vacation in North Carolina is over. I kinda like "banjo music".
    Dave







  2. #12
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    AKSkim--I'm not sure how you meant your statement, but as it interpret it (hopefully in the wrong fashion) I take great umbrage. I'm one of those people from "over in N. C." who, while no longer living in Swain County, grew up there. I'm tremendously proud of my mountain roots and would like to think, since I hold three college degrees including a Ph. D., that I'm not completely backward. I do, however, love fine banjo picking. More to the point, the folks of the region, at least those who have lived in the high country a long time, are absolute salt of the earth types. I trust them implicitly.

    I would also point out that the Road to Nowhere issue has two distinct sides, and surely you can't lump both sides in the backward category.

    I do feel that those who want the road built are wrongheaded and arguably backward looking, but I deeply respect their stance even as I strongly disagree with it. Being fixiated in the past (and I'm guilty to no small degree) in the sense of looking backward and being backward in a mental or sociological sense are two entirely different matters.

    If I misunderstood your post I apologize, but as I read it the message seems full of opproprium. I'm also guessing there are others on this forum, some of them currently resident in western N. C., who will find it just as distressing as I do.

    I'm hoping you were just being flippant or that you will clarify your post and leave me full of relief.

    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  3. #13
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    I'm not "backward," I prefer the term "Appalachian American."

  4. #14
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    I feel like I need to apologize for my statement in my previous post that stated "However, most of them go back home after their mountain vacation in North Carolina is over". It was a facetious statement not directed at any group personally. Tourism is the lifeblood of many of the mountain communities of east Tennessee and western North Carolina, and without it many areas would suffer or cease to exist. I have heard the Deliverance connotation for the past 37 years and I don't like it any better today than I did in 1972. I read somewhere one time that the movie Deliverance did more to cast a negative shadow on Southern Appalachia than any other single event. Are there cases of people being "backward" in the mountains of North Carolina? Absolutely! But it's not just confined to the mountains of North Carolina, it's everywhere! I get tickled when I reflect on the tourists who were coming through my area in the late 60's and 70's. Their standard statement was "I wouldn't live here for anything"! Then in the 80's, 90's, and today the standard statement is "I would give anything to live here"!

    I hold no ill will against AKSkim, but like Mr. Casada, I do hope for a clarification. I have been around the good folks of Swain County a lot over the years, and they are as good a folks as you will ever come across anywhere.
    Dave







  5. #15
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    Davidson and Bryson City, NC
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    This is one of the problems with the internet. It's so easy to make a flipant remark, press send and it's there for all the world to see. Later you realize you really shouldn't have done that. Lord knows I've done it enough to know of which I speak. I'm sure AKSlim didn't mean it as it sounds.

    The folks in Swain County that ride around with "Build the Road" stickers on their cars are not backwards. There are some smart and influential folks in that camp. Stubborn as a mule? Maybe yes. But backwards, no. It defies logic in my mind why they can't reconcile that the road will never be built and they are much better off channeling their energies to make sure Swain County gets the best monetary settlement possible.

    The settlement number thrown around for years is $52 million. The county has an annual budget of something in the neighborhood of $15 million. It doesn't take too much to realize the financial impact the interest thrown off the investment of $52 million would mean to the county.

  6. #16
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    Yeah, and if they invest it properly (instead of spending it like the government always does), they can draw off of it for years!

  7. #17
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    Northern Kentucky
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Casada View Post
    AKSkim--I'm not sure how you meant your statement, but as it interpret it (hopefully in the wrong fashion) I take great umbrage. I'm one of those people from "over in N. C." who, while no longer living in Swain County, grew up there. I'm tremendously proud of my mountain roots and would like to think, since I hold three college degrees including a Ph. D., that I'm not completely backward. I do, however, love fine banjo picking. More to the point, the folks of the region, at least those who have lived in the high country a long time, are absolute salt of the earth types. I trust them implicitly.

    I would also point out that the Road to Nowhere issue has two distinct sides, and surely you can't lump both sides in the backward category.

    I do feel that those who want the road built are wrongheaded and arguably backward looking, but I deeply respect their stance even as I strongly disagree with it. Being fixiated in the past (and I'm guilty to no small degree) in the sense of looking backward and being backward in a mental or sociological sense are two entirely different matters.

    If I misunderstood your post I apologize, but as I read it the message seems full of opproprium. I'm also guessing there are others on this forum, some of them currently resident in western N. C., who will find it just as distressing as I do.

    I'm hoping you were just being flippant or that you will clarify your post and leave me full of relief.

    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com
    Jim,
    Well said. While I'm not from North Carolina, my family is from the Appalachian region of South Eastern Kentucky.

    Having 2 college degrees under my belt (Operations Management, Computer Science), I consider myself to be an over educated hillbilly.

    I just get tired of ignorant people making uninformed stereotypical comments about my family and people like them and think it's OK when they would NEVER think of making the same type of comment about an inner city African American person.

    'nuff said.

    Jeff

    ps. I'm not much of a banjo player, but I do play bluegrass on my Martin.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2009
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    Rock Hill, SC
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    Old Tom--The key as far as the money goes is that it be conservatively invested and the principal left untouch; only the interest or a portion of the interest use. Even so, it will enable a county which has a very low tax base (most of Swain County is in the Park, under Fontana Lake, or in the Nantahala National Forest) to do a great deal. Swain has always been one of the poorest counties in the state, yet the high school consistently does very well in state rankings when it comes to things like SATs, percentage of students going to college, and the like. I can say without hestation that I received a solid high school education (and it would have been better had I been a bit more assiduous in my studies!) and little has changed.
    As for the "Build the Road" folks and their bumper stickers, one of the cardinal characeristics of mountain folks is deeply ingrained stubborness. I'm sufficiently introspective to plead guilty on that count, but obstinancy and pride stand in the way of some decent folks and staunch citizens being willing to accept the inevitable truth--the road will not be built. I've written to that effect, vitually pleading for realization that the forces against the road and the issue itself are far, far bigger than Swain County, but they fall on deaf ears.

    A solid case in point was my dear fishing buddy, the late Frank Young. He persisted in bringing up the road issue almost every time we were together, knowing even as he did that my opposition to it was as adamant as his desire to see it built. Finally I said: "Frank you'll never change my mind and I'll never change yours. For the sake of friendship, why don't we just drop it?" He said nothing for the longest time, then replied: "You are right." We never talked about it again.
    But there are folks like Frank who insist on bringing it up and fighting it, including one county councilman, David Monteith, who simply will not listen to others. I don't understand either, but even if all the money is finally allotted the issue won't totally die.
    It's actually sad, but mountain folks can be inordinately stubborn and proud.
    Jim Casada
    www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  9. #19
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    Feb 2006
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    The Glades
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    573

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    jim,
    amen,
    sam
    I started with nothing, and I have most of it left.
    www.angelfire.com/film/samsfotosafari

  10. #20
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    Mar 2008
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    Granted before any of this was ever posted on this site I had no idea of this “Road to No Where.” It could have been another Bob Hope - Bing Crosby movie for alls I know.

    But after reading comments like;

    … anyone who loves wild places and lovely streams far from avenues of asphalt (and I think that's most everyone on this forum)… Oh you got my vote on that. But I would also like the government to keep MY money out those peoples hands. Just another HANDOUT.


    They have some validity to their arguments, because the government did go back on its 1943 promise… ... and yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus.

    … where it ends at a tunnel. Gotta laugh at that one don't we boys. I do have to ask.. doesn't a "tunnel" have two openings?

    As someone who has long advocated the monetary settlement on the Road to Nowhere issue…

    After reading this I couldn't help but picturing the Swain County Moron Society upon hearing that at their annual luncheon tapping the sides of their bowls with their spoons in approval.

    Oh.. few more items.

    Speck Lover; the banjo comment, my first choice was about the people in NC who practice home dentistry, I just figured the banjo was much more loved in that part of the country than their teeth.

    Jeff; your “I just get tired of ignorant people making uninformed stereotypical comments about my family and people like them and think it's OK when they would NEVER think of making the same type of comment about an inner city African American person.” post, well I think you and your friends have more to say about that at your weekly Saturday night cross burnings than I do.

    I just love it when someone throws in their education.. like I am to drop on the floor. I have seen all the education advertisements in the back of the airline magazines, but I haven’t yet seen one for a PhD in common sense.

    That is something you all are missing out on.

    Remember the world has changed a lot since 1943, and if you are so up set at the “promise” made during WW2… guess you haven’t been paying any attention what any politician has promised the American People since.

    Now let's get back to talking about fishing in The Great Smoky Mountains.

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