Author signings: Photographer Tim Barnwell and native Joe Satterfield
By Deirdre Parker Smith
For lovers of Appalachian music and crafts, the new coffee-table book by Tim Barnwell, “Hands in Harmony: Traditional Crafts and Music in Appalachia” is a gift.
Barnwell will be at a drop-in reception Friday evening, 7-9 p.m., at Literary Bookpost in downtown Salisbury.
He has done two other books of photos, “The Face of Appalachia: Portraits from the Mountain Farm” and “On Earth’s Furrowed Brow: The Appalachian Farm in Photographs.”
This book contains detailed black-and-white portraits of the world-famous Doc Watson, and the small-world famous, like Leniavell Trivette of Zionville in Watauga County.
When another photographer picks up the book and says, “Wow,” there can’t be a much better recommendation.
A quick look through the portraits is stunning. A longer study reveals deeper details that speak of the person and his or her talent.
Look at Lee Sexton playing the banjo on page 29, and you’ll see the banjo right off, then his big smile, then the musical instrument artwork on the wall behind the couch, then the homey pillows on the couch, then Sexton’s hands in mid-note. Suddenly, you hear the tune he’s playing.
Ralph Gates, on page 38, sits in a pair of overalls, glasses low on his nose, white beard resting on his chest, carving broom handles in Big Sandy Mush in Buncombe County. It’s Santa in his workshop.
Amanda Swimmer on page 75 is making pottery in Cherokee, her head down, her sturdy hands carving designs on pots. She’s wearing pretty beads and a gingham skirt. In the background is a stone fireplace and a view of rhododendron, as if she’s on a porch, or working in an open building.
Following the portraits are discussions with or about the artists ó some folks just let their talents speak for them.
In Bea Hensley’s conversation, he talks about being a blacksmith: “What give me the bug, though, was that I lived close to Daniel Boone’s forge.”
Hensley says blacksmiths live a long time. “…the Lord don’t need preachers and blacksmiths in heaven, so he leaves us down here as long as he can…
“…On my mama’s side, if you ain’t lived to between ninety-eight and one hundred and four, you ain’t lived.”
He figures he’ll still be at it at 95.
David Holt, well-known in the world of traditional music, and balladeer Sheila Kay Adams give a modern-day take on the old songs, some dating back 600 years to Scotland or England, and why the music still moves us.
Included with the book is a CD of traditional music, both sung and played, with lots of banjo twang and timeless melodies, many telling sad stories of lost love.
The $49.95 price is an indication of the quality and talent of the photographer and his treatment of the artists is an indication that he knows what we have in the Appalachians and that we must treasure it.
His signing is part of OctoberTour Night Out. The bookstore will have special deals in conjunction with several galleries downtown. A visit to Fine Frame, Wooden Stone, Pottery 101, A Step in Time or Southern Sprit earns readers a coupon for 10 percent discount on Barnwell’s book.
The author will also sign copies of his previous books.
By Deal Safrit
Salisbury native and former resident Joe Satterfield will be the guest at a special Saturday Salon on Saturday, Oct. 10, 3-5 p.m., during October Tour weekend.
The Bookpost will host a reception beginning at 3 as Satterfield visits to sign copies of his new book, “That Extravagant Decade?” the first of a four-book series of biographical, historical novels titled “Growing Up in the Great Depression.”
“That Extravagant Decade?” begins with the story of newlyweds Swain and Julia. It is a fictional account of the true story of two very different people, Swain and Julia, as they adjust to the daily realities of vastly different backgrounds. It is also the story of a son being born at the height of the Wall Street boom, followed 13 months later by twins who came just 60 days after the stock market crash. As if to top it all, the threat of a worldwide depression seemed increasingly likely by late 1929.
The story’s beginnings are on a hardscrabble, leased Georgia cotton farm, but, with the threat of TB to Swain, the couple begins a new life in the lush Florida paradise where a land boom seems to guarantee wealth and security. Unfortunately, Swain loses his dream job as the Florida boom begins to bust and the young couple move, sight unseen, to Salisbury, where the bulk of the novel remains set.
“This Extravagant Decade?” includes photos of old Salisbury from the period, as well as many names of real people from the times in action. Of course, the Satterfields were very real people, and still are. The novel will appeal greatly to any and all who have an interest in Salisbury in that time period, and of the early history of the onset of the Great Depression.
Joe Satterfield was born in a small upstairs apartment at 522 S. Church St. in Salisbury on Dec. 26, 1929. He attended Frank B. John Elementary School and graduated from Boyden High School (now Salisbury High). After three years at Catawba College, he graduated from UNC in 1952 and in 1958 received his Ph.D. in chemistry from University of Texas at Austin. Satterfield’s work history began as a helper and carrier at the Salisbury Post and ended with his retirement from Exxon Chemical after a 33 year career. Although Joe has maintained numerous contacts with Salisbury since transplanting to Texas in the 1950s, he is looking forward to renewing friendships and seeing old acquaintances with his visit and book signing in Salisbury.
Literary Bookpost is newly relocated at 110 S. Main St. in Downtown Salisbury. For additional information about other, forthcoming events, call 704-630-9788 or visit www.literarybookpost.com.