Why Do Appalachians Always Return "Home"?

I was watching a documentary on Appalachia and one of the things they talked about was the fact that the people almost always return home when they move away and they did not know why.  They talked about how people used to go to bigger cities for work and then bring their families back to the hills every weekend.  The quote was “why do Appalachians have to touch home so often” when people from other places may only go home once every few years or so.  So what do you think?  Why do we return to the hills so often when we move away and why do we almost always retire to the hills?  What makes us different from people from other places?

2 thoughts on “Why Do Appalachians Always Return "Home"?

  • June 4, 2010 at 9:26 pm
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    That is a very interesting question. I have been relocated for over 60 years from my family home in Beans Fork, KY but my mother, brothers, and sisters and I either visited our old Hollow each year or wrote and received letters from friends during all this time. In fact, I was last there in 2009 and visited with a friend who was younger than I, but the memories of our childhood because of the contact through the years in written communications and visiting had remained a strong relationship. In my case, it may be because my father is buried in Noetown and we have always longed to have him and maintaining of memories, but there is something about Appalachia that is embedded into our lives even prior to our ability to recall or make sense of that uncouncious desire of tht hallowed ground.

    I am proposing a dissertation about Appalachia now and as I study research, it is misunderstood by academic and other researchers. The most conclusive definitive explaination is that the people of Appalachia are a distinct cultre and is not understood by “outsiders.” The desire is so strong to return to your culture which could be compared to the Salmon, birds, seals, and other species return to certain locations without any councious acknowledgement.

    I am still searching for the answer and that question and the answer are a major pursuit in my PhD studies.

    Leo Hise

  • September 20, 2010 at 4:48 pm
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    Great question-which I don’t have the answer for : ) But I have often thought about it. Seems almost like bragging to say it’s cause our culture is more real-more life changing than others-and how would I know it is-since I’ve never lived anywhere else but Appalachia.

    I like Leo’s words: “The desire is so strong to return to your culture which could be compared to the Salmon, birds, seals, and other species return to certain locations without any councious acknowledgement.” Maybe thats it.

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