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Archive for the ‘Just A Bite’ Category

“At the very least, we can definitively trace the term to 1937, when it was used in a popular song. It is likely that Cackalacky’s etymology runs much deeper, however…. “It may have arisen from a kind of sound-play utterance used to refer to the rural ways of people from Carolina — a play on […]

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“I’d spent most of the day in the archives of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where a patient young archivist named Aaron Smithers had played me a stack of Blind Blake 78s…. “Despite most [78 rpm record] collectors’ contentious relationship with academia and with archives in particular, […]

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“Ringgold, Ga., has a mayor who’s one generation removed from the Civil War. “Joe Barger’s grandfather — that’s right, his grandfather — Jacob A. Barger served as a private for the South in North Carolina’s infantry. Mayor Barger grew up in Salisbury, N.C., about 35 miles north of Charlotte. ” ‘He was born in 1833,’ […]

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“If you have any oyster shells lying around, the U.S. Army wants five dumptrucks’ worth. You don’t even have to include the delicious oysters inside. And they’re willing to pay up to $15,000 for them. “That’s the gist of one of the stranger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracts in recent memory. Last week, the […]

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“On February 18 [1915] Wilson and his daughters and his Cabinet gathered in the East Room for the first running of a motion picture in the White House  ["The Clansman," later retitled "The Birth of a Nation."] ” ‘It was like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so […]

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“….One of the ‘papers,’ as they called them in the big Cambridge exam, was on the period from 1569 to 1603. In the course of immersing myself in that brief period, I read the poetry of Sir Walter Ralegh, which amazed me — really amazed me. I couldn’t understand how someone in the 1590s had […]

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“In Regulator-controlled Anson County, North Carolina, during the balloting in 1773, ‘sundry evil-disposed persons’ stationed themselves several feet in front of the courthouse and stopped ‘the freeholders on their way to the Table,’ asking ‘who they intended to vote for.’ “Those who opposed the Regulator candidates were ‘obstructed and hindered…some them being violently pushed back, […]

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“Then there’s [Little Rock, Ark., entrepreneur John Rogers'] rediscovery and purchase of over 8,000 glass negatives by the famed early sports photographer Charles Conlon, who shot some of the first ‘action’ sports photography between 1909 and 1930, capturing some of the most iconic images in history. Rogers, who calls Conlon ‘the Matthew Brady of baseball, […]

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“The grainy, black-and-white footage, filmed in 1919 and 1920, documents what has become a classic psychology experiment, described again and again in articles and books. The idea is that the baby [in the experiment] was conditioned to be afraid, instilled with a phobia of all things furry. “The man in the tie is John Watson, […]

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“Of all the major American dialects, South Mouth is the most consistently difficult to translate. “Among the most amusing examples is the expression a fade barn that the editors of the Dictionary of American Regional English tried to track down for a couple of years. The editors knew that the expression existed because field interviews […]

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