The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Mountain Humor

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1992

Issue: June, 1992

People in the mountains often combine a wry sense of humor with picturesque speech as the following story we heard will illustrate.

A prominent man in Wythe County that is involved in local politics comes from a long line of politically active people. As a small boy he attended a July 4th Celebration where his grandfather was set to make a speech.

He was standing behind his grandfather who was up on a platform or wagon, and listened while his grandfather gloriously praised the best features of the county.

The little boy tugged at his grandfather's pants leg and said, "Grandpa, you haven't told them about the Miller Creek Coal Mines." His grandfather ignored him, because, quite frankly, the mines produced a very poor quality coal and were an embarrassment.

The little boy didn't give up and kept tugging on his grandfather's pants legs saying the same thing, over and over.

Finally his grandfather could ignore it no longer. He stopped his speech and turned around to face his grandson and said, "I've used that coal and a shovel full of it would put out a half acre of hell."