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Remedies and Rumors

Looking Back with Mathews, originally printed May 15, 1978   Every good thing has a price, and the price paid by the mountain people for the good environment has always…

Fighting flu the traditional way

By now everyone with a functioning immune system is aware that there’s a flu epidemic out there, the worst one in years. This year’s flu vaccine “missed” the main strain,…

Hopes and Wishes for New Year

Looking Back with Mathews, originally printed January 8 1979   Christmas 1978, that seemed so far away when the colorful leaves of October were falling, has come, and all too…

A brief and utterly unreliable history of the Christmas card

For many generations after the events of the First Christmas, nobody bothered to celebrate it. For one thing, they’d sort of lost track of the original, except that it was…

Slow Return to Early Christmases

Looking Back with Mathews, originally printed Christmas 1979   In the early days in these Appalachian Mountains there were many small communities of people situated in the deep hollows that…

Clamshells for Christmas

This is a public service announcement from those of us here at Alarmist Media, ever vigilant in protecting the public from themselves, each other, and most importantly us. This just…

Pulaski’s Foremost Hero

Originally printed February 6, 1978   On a cold sleety afternoon in January, I made a pilgrimage through the foot-deep snow to a far corner of Oakwood Cemetery, to satisfy…

O Christmas poo

Dear Santa, You know how, two weeks before Christmas, you keep getting these requests for world peace and stuff like that? This isn’t one of those requests. I do want…

“For the Love of Snuff”

Looking Back with Mathews, originally printed September 6, 1977   “Whether taken by the puff, or in the form of powdered snuff, or chewed and swallowed by heroes tough, it’s…

Signs of schools past

Looking Back with Mathews, originally printed August 15, 1977   “Do you wish to promote the morals of your children, while the intellect is being cultivated? We have no whiskey,…