Spirit of Americana: Life Lived in the American Spirit

Spirit of Americana: Life Lived in the American Spirit

by James Carl Anderson, Polly Purnell

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Spirit of Americana presents a sometimes humorous, sometimes serious, scenario of rural communities, especially "The Ridge" in middle Tennessee. This book explains how such a setting can promote freedom and democracy, especially in America, and possibly in other countries as well. Spectators were entertained watching a tug of war between "Old Jack" a big mule, and a new 1935 Ford coupe. Many of the same people were saddened a few months later when the contest sponsor and his mother died the same day of pneumonia, an epidemic rampaging through The Ridge. Twin coffins were hauled to a hillside graveyard on a flat bed log truck. How did this widow and her seven little children survive the great depression of the 1930's? Since making moonshine whiskey was illegal in the 1930's, how did federal, state and county law enforcement officers cut down a huge still on Moonshine Island without making a single arrest? Furthermore, how did one of the nation's most wanted criminals serve as a deputy sheriff in the same community in later years? Spirit of Americana provides some logical answers to these puzzling questions. Necessity being the mother of invention explains how a resident of this poverty stricken ridge harnessed his waterfall to generate electricity for his home using automobile and bicycle parts. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Rural Electrical Association (REA) followed this same method a few years later bringing electricity from huge dams and generators to many houses on The Ridge and elsewhere. The Ridge did not lack military heroes during two World Wars, as well as wars in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Some came home alive. Some did not. Freedom was not cheap. The Ridge residents believed in America maintaining its freedom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456753801
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 07/15/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 124
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR James Carl Anderson showed a great deal of interest in the fine arts while in high school. For example, he was a member of the high school choir, President of his senior class, President of the Beta Club, and played a lead role in a Beta Club play. He also helped the Carter Family (Mother May Belle, sister, Sarah, and daughters, June and Anita) perform a concert at Jackson County Central High School in his senior year. While attending Tennessee Tech (1950-1954), Anderson was the student librarian of the college athletic library. He helped edit the Tennessee Teach Homespun magazine and sold ads to finance the project. Anderson improved his speaking and writing ability while debating some very important issues. His speeches, while in a dress Rural Officer Training Corps (ROTC) uniform, helped Tennessee Tech reach and surpass its stated goal. Perhaps Andersons most useful writing was accomplished when he served as Exhibits Manager for Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He played a key role in writing This Atomic World. In addition, he presented the 45-minute high school assembly program, based on the script, more than 1000 times across the United States of America. He spent four summers at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, while employed at Oak Ridge, and wrote a professional report, A Study of Evaluating the Effectiveness of High School Assemblies. A summary of that report was published in Student Activities Magazine in 1963. As an employee of Combustion Engineering, Inc., in Windsor, Connecticut, Anderson helped world renowned scientists write and prepare videotapes of two training programs, Introduction to Nuclear Power and Introduction to Environmental Protection (40 hrs. and 20 hrs. respectively). The sales department training program helped the company reach $2,000,000,000 in sales of nuclear steam supply systems and clean-up systems for coal-burning electrical power plants. Perhaps his greatest impact on society during a 50-year career in the military, industry, and education was when he served as Supervisor of Adult Education for Jackson County, Tennessee. He also doubled as the Assistant Football Coach for twelve years. During those 20 years, Anderson wrote approximately 100 feature articles for the Jackson County Sentinel that described the Friday night games of the local high school football team. Anderson also prepared more than 1000 lesson plans related to English, mathematics, social studies, history, creative writing, and science. His professional report on adult education helped him earn an Ed.S Degree at Tennessee Tech. Spirit of Americana, gave the author a chance to recall some of the most fascinating, funny, fulfilling, educational, and, yes, sad experiences of a lifetime. The author said, Some of those events of the 1930s are clearer in my mind now than some experiences of 2010. However, these book-worthy events were never printed until he sat down to write Spirit of Americana. ___________ ABOUT THE CO-AUTHOR AND EDITOR James Carl Andersons first cousin, Polly Betty (Anderson) Purnell, is the youngest of seven daughters of Robert Benjamin Anderson and Rose Lee (Pharris) Anderson. Polly was born three months after the death of Polly Birdwell Anderson, Roberts mother. Her death was caused by the epidemic that ravaged the community also causing the death of her first cousins father. That cousin is the author of this book. Robert Anderson decided to name this child Polly after his own mother who was so dearly loved and missed. Polly always enjoyed public speaking and acting. As early as third grade she attempted to write plays and would show off by reading aloud to the class because she was the fastest reader. One day she read so fast she skipped a word and was embarrassed to be seated while someone else was given the honor of reading aloud. She was promoted from first grade to third grade with 5 other children in the small country school she attended. This caused her to always be the youngest in her classes, but did not suppress her scholastic abilities. Polly graduated from Oak Ridge High School, a member of the National Honor Society, where she participated in plays at the school. She went on to graduate from Business College in Knoxville, Tennessee, the only child in her family to be educated past high school. Her employment included the Department of Energys (DOE) predecessor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in administrative positions. Later as a DOE subcontractor employee, she held positions of editorial significance and assisted in the maintenance and publication of DOE contract appendices. Polly greatly enjoyed participation in Toastmasters during these years at DOE, honing her public speaking and writing skills, while forming friendships lasting to this day. Polly traveled to various distant locations with her husband, William (Bill) Purnell, while he pursued his military career. They parented five children, who blessed them with nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Being a co-author and editor to Spirit of Americana has been a labor of love inspired by the words of the song, TWIN COFFINS. Polly first wrote a chapter about the circumstances surrounding that song and that chapter prompted James Carl Anderson to encourage her to write a book with his assistance. Little did they realize that the story would unfold to be a microcosm of American living that so many people experienced during the 1930s and following years. James Carls life was the story of so many families living and working during those years. This one mans life story was lived in the Spirit of Americana.

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