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Now & Then winter issue celebrates ‘Fabric of Appalachia’

Tuesday, February 03, 2009JOHNSON CITY – The fall/winter issue of Now & Then: The Appalachian Magazine, themed “Fabric of Appalachia,” looks at fabric in both literal and metaphorical contexts.

Published by the Center for Appalachian Studies and Services at East Tennessee State University, the magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The publication regularly brings together some of the best contemporary Appalachian writers and poets, and the now-available “Fabric” issue is no exception.

In a literal sense, fabric is explored from a variety of viewpoints. Famed North Carolina quilter, author and businesswoman Georgia Bonesteel contributes an article entitled “Appalachian Quilting.” She is best known for her nationally broadcast PBS series “Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel.”

Nancy Jane Earnest gives an account of the L.C. King Manufacturing Co. of Bristol in “Still Sewing the Fabric of Appalachia,” and author Michael Joslin goes to the source in “A New Face in the Fields: Alpacas in Appalachia,” visiting Apple Hill Farm in Watauga County, N.C.

In “From Quilts to Chenille Bedspreads to Carpets,” Lydia Knight explores the rise of the fabric industry in Dalton, Ga. Now & Then Editor Fred Sauceman tells of the Southern Garment Corp. in Greeneville during and after World War II, then adds a recipe for spaghetti sauce with meat to the mix.

Other contributors approach fabric metaphorically. Elizabeth Hunter, a freelance writer living in the Bandana Community in Mitchell County, N.C., contributes a community-building piece entitled “The Great Bandana Porch Sit.” And Matthew Schacht focuses on non-profits that work with prisoners and their families in “Freeing Families: Non-Profits in Northeast Tennessee Help Families Fight Cycle of Recidivism.”

Marat Moore introduces readers to “Chest-messaging in the Coalfields: A Look Back at the T-Shirts of the Pittston Strike,” author and poet Jeff Mann contributes “Here and Queer,” while Grace Marshall writes about Wise County, Va., native – and cousin to George C. Scott – Gary Slemp in “Appalachia’s Renaissance Man,” and M. Thomas Inge describes a detective’s journey in “Searching for Sut: Solving the Mystery of George Washington Harris’s Gravesite.”

The “Fabric of Appalachia” issue is interwoven with short stories by Rosanne Griffeth, Jeff Kerr and Randy Sanders; first-person narratives from Judy Lee Green and Dan Jones; book and music reviews; and poems from five regional poets.

The magazine is available in Johnson City at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The Shamrock on W. Walnut Street, and ETSU’s University Bookstore and Reece Museum. It is also sold at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center; the ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site; Wallace News and Bays Mountain Park, Kingsport; Jacklyn’s Hallmark, Elizabethton; William King Regional Arts Center and Zazzy’s, Abingdon, Va.; and Downtown Books and News, Asheville, N.C.

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