May 20th, 11:12pm

The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, in Townsend, TN, was one of our first stops in the Smokies. We came back on our final Tuesday to learn more about making moonshine, and to sit down with Beth Sutton, a retired English teacher from Cincinnati, and presently the Curator of Education at the Heritage Center.

Beth has lived in the Smokies since 1978 and her love of place came through as she told us about how locals, including herself, are in awe of the environment - that many feel a deep spiritual soul connection to this place. As a former English teacher, she broke down a few common themes of Appalachian stories: that ‘Mountain Jack’ will be making mischief, that ‘Booger’ is a ‘Boogeyman,’ and if you were hearing a ‘Haunt,’ you should be ready for a ghost story. She also shared of how music is a part of everyday life in the Smokies, and listening to those Appalachian ballads can give you a sense of Scot-Irish roots of the community.

Come by with a school visit, and Beth will show you how to shoot authentic blow darts, and how to throw axes, just like the early Cherokee and mountain families.