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Sheila Kay Adams is an acclaimed performer of Appalachian ballads passed down for seven generations through her ancestors. A featured performer in several documentary films, she has also served as Technical Director for the film Songcatcher, contributed to The Last of the Mohicans, and was cohost and coproducer of the public radio show, “Over Home.” Her performances can be seen year-round at major festivals throughout the United States, as well as in the U.K. Life Magazine praised her collection of short stories, Come Go Home with Me, as “pure mountain magic.” She lives in the Appalachian Mountains, where she was born, with her husband Jim Taylor.
Come Go Home With Me (1995)
My Old True Love (2004)
from My Old True Love, By Sheila Kay Adams:
Some people is born at the start of a long hard row to hoe. Well, I am older than God's dog and been in this world a long time and it seems to me that right from the git-go, Larkin Stanton had the longest and hardest row I've ever seen.
Granny had an old cow that was skittish back then that would kick anybody but her, so I knowed things was bad when she said to me, "Arty, go do the milking."
My heart laid in my chest as heavy as the milk bucket on my way back. See, my aunt Polly had been trying to have a baby for days and had screamed till her voice had plumb give out. I heard Mommie crying when I started up on the porch and just as I reached for the latch, the door opened and the granny-woman Hattie come out. She had a bright red stain on her forehead and try as I might I couldn't get my eyes to look nowheres else but at that red swipe mark. She never even had to say it. I knowed Aunt Polly was dead. Hattie's eyes was soft as a doe's as she took the bucket of milk and handed me the one she'd carried out of the house and told me to empty it at the far edge of the cornfield. Oh, Lord, I did not want to see what was in that bucket, but just like that red stain, I couldn't look nowheres else, and I gagged the whole time I was burying the afterbirth.