FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY: Foxfire books help get simplicity back in life
As our lives continue to become more money-oriented – did anyone else notice that Christmas merchandise was on display before Halloween this year? – and some of us mourn the disappearance of our small-town lifestyle, the Foxfire books are a reminder of the values of simple living and the varied cultural heritage that still exists in many rural areas of the United States.
In 1966, a group of teachers and their students in the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern Georgia founded a quarterly magazine named Foxfire. Six years later, several articles from the periodical were published in book form – the first in a series of the Foxfire books.
More than just how-to manuals, the Foxfire books teach creative self-sufficiency, the art of natural remedies, home crafts and other country folkways, and express the enduring philosophy of simplicity in living. The Truckee Library has seven of the 11 Foxfire books that have been published to date. Three others are available from other branch libraries in the Nevada County system, and may be requested at the circulation desk.
Foxfire Volume I celebrates home life and the creative history of Appalachia, and includes sections on making butter, preserving foods, soap-making, basket weaving, building log cabins and spirited first-hand narrative accounts from Appalachian community members that exemplify the Foxfire style.
Volume II explores rites and customs of Appalachia, with chapters on old-time burials, midwives, witches, spinning and weaving and making a foot-powered lathe. Each section is accompanied by black-and-white photos or drawings which illustrate the subject matter.
Among the contents in Volume III are chapters on animal care, banjos and dulcimers, hide tanning, summer and fall wild plant foods, butter churn and ginseng.
One section describes how retired U.S. Forest Service employee Woodrow Shope built a smokehouse. Drawings, photographs, and a description of the building plans and smoking process provide an excellent blueprint for anyone interested in constructing a working smokehouse (in case you don’t want to buy the bargain smoker at WalMart).
Volume IV celebrates Appalachian home life, and covers knife making, wood carving, logging and cheese making. A wonderful chapter on Tedra Harmon, one of the banjo makers interviewed in Volume III, provides step-by-step photos and descriptions of how Harmon handcrafts sleds.
Herbal remedies, herb doctors and healers, ghostly folk tales and crazy quilting are some of the subjects covered in Volume IX. A remarkable section on different log cabins offers floor plans, black-and-white photographs and construction details and diagrams.
Special Programs for Children:
— Holiday Cookie Decorating Party, For ages 3 and up, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 3 p.m, at the Library
— Kids ages 5 and up may come in any time to sign up for the Winter Reading Program, which runs now through February.
— Regular Children’s Programs
Saturday Morning StoryTelling
For ages 3 to 7, Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. at the library, with Mrs. Fix from Church of the Mountains Preschool
— Multi-Cultural Storytime
For ages 3 to 5; Fridays, 10:30 a.m. at the library
For ages 3 and under; Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. at the library
— Third Thursday Evenings of Fun
Dec. 21: Christmas Tales with Cindy Maciel, 7 p.m. at the library; for ages 3-6.
Now On Sale:
Entertainment Books, with tremendous discounts on area restaurants and activities. A portion of the $20 purchase price benefits the Friends of the Library. On sale at the Library and at Boice Countryside Realty.
Now on display at the Library:
— Art above the fireplace by Lee Ann Masuret.
— In the display case: April Shepherd’s salt shakers
Monday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
10031 Levone Avenue
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