More: wildflowers, paddle makers, turkey calls – and more in Appalachia

This week we are airing an encore episode of Inside Appalachia.

We’ll meet a man who makes wooden turkey calls, but it’s not just any turkey calls. Painter Brian Aliff doesn’t consider himself an artist, but he intricately paints his turkey calls, which are now collectibles. We will also meet people who make wooden paddles by hand and decorate each one to measure, and a man who repairs cuckoo clocks.

Finally, we will travel to some of the most beautiful places in Appalachia to find wildflowers, such as Dolly Sods and West Virginia’s Canaan Valley. And we wonder: are these areas becoming too popular? These stories and more this week Inside Appalachia.

In this episode:

The welder turns the old clocks
When you need to check the time, where do you look? Most people turn to their phone or digital watch. These days, it seems like every electronic device has a clock function in addition to what it’s supposed to do, but it wasn’t always that way. Not so long ago, marking the passage of time was the job of a single device – a clock.

Folkways reporter Zack Harold spent time with Carl Witt, a man from Fairview, West Virginia, who learned how to repair clocks after coming across the late Charles Decker. Witt, a welder at the time, decided to retire and started his own clock repair business, Curiosity Clockworks.

Dolly Sods organizes a wildflower pilgrimage
Dolly Sods is federally protected public land – full of rocky ridges, soggy bogs and beautiful views. It is also the site of an annual nature walk called the West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage. The event attracts wildflower and birding experts from across the country and was held mostly recently in May this year. Inside Appalachia host Mason Adams made the pilgrimage last year from his home in Floyd County, Virginia to Dolly Sods in West Virginia’s Canaan Valley.

Paddlers design their own equipment
Appalachia has several huge rivers: the Gauley, Youghiogheny, and New River, to name a few. Whitewater paddling is popular in the area, but not too long ago modern paddlers began exploring these rivers, designing their own gear, and even building their own paddles. Some of these DIY paddle makers are now master craftsmen and their work is in high demand. As part of our Inside Appalachia Folkways Project, Clara Haizlett learned more.

Handmade Turkey Calls
Like many Appalachian traditions, turkey calls go back a long way. Historically, they were used as a hunting tool, but an artist from West Virginia took it to the next level. Brian Aliff makes handmade, award-winning decorative turkey calls. These pieces are functional and become collectibles, but it took time for Aliff to see himself as an artist. Hear Folkways reporter Connie Kitts talk with Aliff about this week’s episode.

Increased tourism strains local infrastructure
Tucker County, West Virginia has seen a surge of new visitors from Washington, D.C. in the years since the opening of US Route 48, also known as Corridor H. The number Soaring visitors is good for business, but it also strains the resources of a county with just one red light and 7,000 year-round residents. Mason Adams has visited the towns of Thomas and Davis in Tucker County, West Virginia and has this story about managing growth and resources against the backdrop of expansive natural beauty.

Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Dinosaur Burps, The Chamber Brothers and Wes Swing. Bill Lynch is our producer, but Roxy Todd originally produced this episode. Alex Runyon is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode. You can find us on Twitter @InAppalachia.

You can find us on Instagram and Twitter @InAppalachia. You can also email us at [email protected] Or leave us a message at West Virginia Public Broadcasting on Facebook.

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Inside Appalachia is a West Virginia Public Broadcasting production.