Guffey, Roger L.
Stories from the Porch
The front porch is an integral component of Appalachian homes and the culture of the people who live there. ‘Come on up and sit awhile’ is an invitation to friends and strangers alike to join the host on the porch where a screen door separates the privacy of the home and the public square. Porches were the antecedents to today’s social media. Impersonal cell phone screens have supplanted the friendly rocking chairs and swings where people shared their stories.Women broke beans and peeled apples, men swapped idle chatter while whittling cedar sticks, children read comic books and fairy tales, and dogs basked in the sunlight. People remembered times long past, courted romantic partners, and mourned the passing of friends and family. Traditions were passed between generations on the porch where the problems of the day evaporated in the cool twilight amidst the sirenic calls of whip-poor-wills and screech owls. Stories from the Porch is a collection of narratives that a visitor might hear while enjoying a slice of apple pie and a cold glass of lemonade or a cup of coffee from a stovetop percolator.