A Smoky Mountain Boyhood
Memories, Musings, and More
Born in Bryson City, North Carolina, Jim Casada has had a long career as a teacher, author, and avid outdoorsman. He grew up in a time and place where families depended on the land and their community to survive. Many of the Smoky Mountain customs and practices that Casada reflects on are gradually disappearing or have vanished from our collective memories.
In A Smoky Mountain Boyhood, Casada pairs his gift for storytelling and his training as a historian to produce a highly readable memoir of mountain life in East Tennessee and western North Carolina. His stories evoke a strong sense of place and reflect richly on the traits that make the people of Southern Appalachia a unique American demographic. Casada discusses traditional folkways; hunting, growing, preparing, and eating wide varieties of food available in the mountain region; and the overall fabric of mountain life. Divided into four main sections—High Country Holiday Tales and Traditions; Seasons of the Smokies; Tools, Toys, and Boyhood Treasures; and Precious Memories—each part reflects on a unique and memorable coming-of-age in the Smokies.
Containing a strong sense of adventure, nostalgic tone, and well-paced prose, Casada’s memoir will be appreciated by those who yearn to rediscover the Smokies of their childhoods as well as those who wish to imaginatively climb these mountains for the first time.
JIM CASADA was, until his retirement in 1996, a professor of history at Winthrop University. He is the author of seventeen books on history, the great outdoors, hunting, and fishing, including the award-winning Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An Insider’s Guide to a Pursuit of Passion.