Before the coming of the four-lane, Jackson County was an insular community defined by geography—wedged in between the Great Smokies and Blue Ridge escarpment, bisected by thousands of miles of streams. The people who settled the area tended to be tough as pine knots but also tended to be salt-of-the-earth. This book offers tales of a time of transition in the area, when arguments over whether someone should opt to have an electric wire run to their home weren’t far separated from quibbling over Internet service providers. Inside are tales from logging camps, fields, gardens and lonesome game trails and stories of challenges faced with the unique sense of mountain humor. Local columnist Jim Buchanan tells tales of bear hunts, cool springs and creatures great and small.