Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Cumberland Past & Present

FLOWERING of the CUMBERLAND by Harriette Simpson Arnow, was published in 1963, by the MacMillan Co., NY.

Seldom did the transplant grow exactly as had the parent plant, or one might better say ancestors, for by the time the Cumberland was settled, language, education, along with many other aspects of life, had been conditioned by plantings and transplantings on older borders to the east. Still, the shoots set on the Cumberland bloomed, and often well where, when one considers the hazards and hardships of the environment, the wonder is sometimes that they grew at all. P. vii

With the flooding of Nashville by the Cumberland River, I thought about the Arnow book. The first paragraph in my notes contained "the hazards and hardships of the environment." Even in 2010. The flood is being characterized as a 1,000 year event on the Corps of Engineers' website. John Rich, the singer/songwriter, said the flood was an "inland tsunami" in his eyes. His website offers a free download of his song about the flood and a link to donate to Nashville's disaster relief.

There was behind them all a wealth of ballad, tale, proverb, song and rhyme [John Rich's heritage?], a store that during pioneer years was being constantly enriched. The pioneer boy, his father making history, heard not only of the dim times in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but of the immediate past—men under Clark wading breast-high water, the wild times on the trip to and from King’s Mountain, and the still wilder days in the Lost State of Franklin. All these were but the beginnings of the many tales. P. 131

Mural depicting "men under Clark wading breast-high water..." in the George Rogers Clark Memorial at the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Vincennes, Indiana

No comments: