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Page 7 of Mountain Life & Work vol. 17 no. 3 Fall, 1941

Part of Mountain Life and Work

Fall, 1941 But Gid didn't tip the squire. The magistrate stepped off the marked line, giving up ere he'd begun. He didn't even box his arms. He walked backward, keeping Gid at arm's length; he sidled and crawdabbed until he had sorghum-holed himself. He came out green as a mossed turkle. And then it was Old Gid's boys began pushing, and fellows shoved and fought to keep clear of the hole. Jimp and I were in the midst of the battle. Gid's boys soused a plenty; they soused folk invited or not, and they ducked one another too. U Z grabbed Bailus, rolling him head foremost; and Leander caught me, and Bailus snagged Jimp. They dipped us. 1 wiped the green skims off my face. I saw Old Gid walk up to Rant Branders, saying, "Hit's time we're acquainted," and stuck out his arm. They clapped hands. Gid's jaws clenched as he gripped, his neck corded. Yet Rant didn't give down, didn't bat an eye, or bend a knee. He stood prime up to Old Gid, and wouldn't be conquered. Old Gid dropped his hand. He cut a glance about, chuckling. "Roust the square if they's to be MOUNTAIN LIFE AND WORK Page 7 a wedding," he said. "Night's a-burning." Jimp and I hid behind the cane pile, being too hang-headed and shy to watch a marrying. Under the Billy trees Jimp said, "Me and you hain't never fit. Fighting makes good buddies." He clenched his f fists. I knew Peep Eye spied on us. "You hit first," I said, acting cagey, taking my part. "Say a thing to rile me." I said, "Your pappy's a bully man, and I'm glad Rant Branders locked his horns." We fought. We fought with bare fists, and it was ruggety-pull, and neither of us could out-do. And of a sudden Peep Eye stood between us. Her cheek bore a soot mole, and she was fairer than any finch of a bird, fairer even than Plumey. She raised a hand, striking me across the mouth, and ran. Jimp said, "Jist a love lick." The blow hurt, but I was proud. And then we heard Old Gid's voice ring like a bell, and saw him waving his arms by the forgotten molasses kettle. "Land o' Gravy!" he shouted. "We've made seventeen gallons o' candy jacks." Knoxville, March 10-12, 1942 Another year is beginning and new as well as old problems are on the horizon for mountain workers. Current articles in various publications are stressing the crises which church-supported colleges are facing in the loss of student population both to the draft and to defense jobs and in the increasing difficulty of raising money. Then, too, there is the post-war world in the mountains for which everyone interested in the spiritual, social and economic welfare of mountain youth must be planning. It is at times like this that it means much to be a inernber of an organization in which a group is studying and facing these problems together. There is no one institution or agency that has a monopoly on perplexities and there is no institution or agency which cannot benefit from group thinking and discussion about them. The annual meeting of the Conference of Southern Mountain Workers will be held in Knoxville, Tennesce, March 1012. What do you think are the mest pressing questions which should be considered at those sessions? If this program is to meet the needs of the group, the members of the group must speak up. Now is the time for you to send in your suggestions to the secretary of the Conference of Southern Mountain Workers, Berea, Kentucky. The program committee will welcome free expression of ideas. HHD

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