Today's guest of Gateway to the Smokies Podcast is Neil Hutcheson, an Award-winning Filmmaker, Photographer, and Author.
He resides in Raleigh, N.C. where he works as a producer and director of the Language and Life Project for N.C. State University, but spends a great deal of time in the Great Smokies, the location of several of his most popular projects.
His most well-known works include books and films about Maggie Valley moonshine legend Popcorn Sutton, as well as books and videos on Cherokee culture and language, along with documentaries and books pertaining to Appalachian and African American vernacular, climate change and heritage fisheries of the Outer Banks on the N.C. coast.
Tonight’s show starts off with an introduction of what to expect from this episode. After announcements from the show’s sponsors, our host Joseph McElroy introduces tonight’s special guest: Neil Hutcheson. The two go through and lightly discuss Neil’s well known projects, his background, and Neil explains how he unexpectedly came to be in this industry and where his interest in language and filmmaking came from. The two swap origin stories shortly before the break.
Coming back from the break, the discussion shifts into more of Neil’s works, such as his documentaries. One project that they go more into depth about was a play about Louis Redman. Neil explains who Louis Redman was and what he did and how his case and the history surrounding it reflected the media at the time. He emphasizes that the media can get distorted and how no one really knows the true Louis Redman. The conversation moves on to the topic of “mountain culture.” Neil wrote about this culture in his book and explains how it has changed in the recent years since he last wrote about it in the early 2000s. The two discuss what mountain culture is and dismantle the negative stereotypes and perspectives that surround it.
Coming back from the break, Neil discusses how he got the local community to trust and accept him into their community. Additionally, Neil talks about how he got to get on a deeper level with Popcorn Sutton, especially since he often gave off the impression of always putting on a show. Neil explained how Popcorn Sutton could give off that impression, but he was a genuine performer and to an extent, was being himself. This leads to the conversation about how Neil was able to successfully capture who Popcorn Sutton is as a person in his movies and especially in his book. He goes on to talk about his more recent projects, many of which come from his own companies.
The final segment starts off with an introduction of one of Neil’s latest works, involving documenting another aspect of mountain culture: mountain music. The documentary can be found on YouTube and is called the Queen Family. Joseph and Neil talk about their favorite parts of the mountains and mountain culture in general. Neil explains why he loves the nature on the mountains so much. They go further into their discussion by talking about more specific local spots at Maggie Valley and Neil tells what his itinerary would be like when visiting. The episode closes with special shoutouts and where the audience can find more about Neil and his upcoming works.
00:00:27.840 --> 00:00:32.310 Joseph McElroy: Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of gateway to the smokies.
00:00:33.270 --> 00:00:41.970 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is about america's most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains national park and the surrounding towns.
00:00:42.330 --> 00:00:51.390 Joseph McElroy: there's areas filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we explore with weekly episodes.
00:00:51.840 --> 00:01:04.770 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin mcilroy man in the world, but also a deep roots in these mountains my family's lived in the great smoky for over 200 years my best business is travel, but my heart is in culture.
00:01:05.340 --> 00:01:12.900 Joseph McElroy: today's podcast is about outlaws and outliers in the smoke, the first a little a little sponsorship information.
00:01:13.530 --> 00:01:21.240 Joseph McElroy: I want you to imagine a place evocative emotive courts of the past at modern environment with a chic appalachian field.
00:01:21.810 --> 00:01:28.740 Joseph McElroy: a place for adventure and for relaxation imagine a place where you can fish in a mountain here and it's trout stream.
00:01:29.010 --> 00:01:47.820 Joseph McElroy: grill the catch on fire and eat accompanied by fine lines or craft beers imagine it plays with old time music and world cultural sounds, there is no other place like the middle Arc motel and Maggie valley North Carolina your smoky mountain adventure starts with where you stay.
00:01:48.840 --> 00:02:02.700 Joseph McElroy: smokies adventure calm that smokies plural adventure singular COM has a site that features listings and information about the smoking's hiking wedding venues books trail Max resources.
00:02:03.210 --> 00:02:21.150 Joseph McElroy: The emphasis on smoky inventors is outdoor recreation outdoor life events like weddings and adventures, along with providing information and lodging family and family entertainment events conventions and honeymoons and wars it's the leading information portal of the smoking now.
00:02:23.310 --> 00:02:28.740 Joseph McElroy: I want to mention some events coming up this is summertime in the smokies there's lots of events.
00:02:29.790 --> 00:02:40.650 Joseph McElroy: So you can you can sort of search for them and find them just about anywhere I pick some that I think are great and also you know, relative to the businesses, the business I run in the mountains.
00:02:42.360 --> 00:02:57.480 Joseph McElroy: And the first one is the deron Nicholson bluegrass band camp and concert somebody that know anything about bluegrass know Darren Nicholas and he's a member of balsam range he has his own band he's a grammy award nominated artists and.
00:02:58.710 --> 00:03:08.310 Joseph McElroy: It has won many of bluegrass towards this event is for aspiring musicians to learn and interact with some of the best artists in the business.
00:03:08.700 --> 00:03:27.090 Joseph McElroy: And the venue culminate in an open to the public, all Stuart star concert on July 17 that's this Saturday this this this band camp will be repeated in future years so look forward if you're listening in the in the future to this podcast but for now July 17 and.
00:03:29.130 --> 00:03:44.880 Joseph McElroy: Go to Melbourne motel calm look under the mountain heritage smoky mountain heritage events and you'll find this event, and you can purchase tickets to come to it, you can also with lodging you get a free concert and you get half price on the on the band camp.
00:03:45.990 --> 00:03:53.850 Joseph McElroy: They have him coming July 23 and 24th is hillbilly jam, the famous hillbilly Jim and Maggie down in North Carolina open the public.
00:03:54.120 --> 00:04:09.270 Joseph McElroy: Both days music festival with crafts and food, food vendors moonshiners of the discovery channel car and bike show, and more so, go to the hillbilly jam calm or call eight to eight four or 5079795.
00:04:10.560 --> 00:04:16.890 Joseph McElroy: This year is the 55th season of the shindig on the green presented by the folk heritage committee.
00:04:18.090 --> 00:04:18.750 Joseph McElroy: Along with.
00:04:19.800 --> 00:04:28.980 Joseph McElroy: headlining sponsor allen's jewelry and pawn finkelstein's loan office but it's a free event in the heart of downtown nashville it goes over several days during the summer.
00:04:30.090 --> 00:04:41.820 Joseph McElroy: And then the left to the left the days left in July, or the 17th of 24th of the 31st as well as the August 14 and 20 21st and the heart.
00:04:42.090 --> 00:04:57.420 Joseph McElroy: Of downtown asheville parks what pack squares park Roger part pack square park called Roger McGuire green that's pack square park Roger mcqueen's that Roger McGuire screen green I gotta learn to say that.
00:04:59.400 --> 00:05:16.410 Joseph McElroy: it's got lots of music lots of vendors it's a great thing to go to has been going for 55 years i'm sure you'll find it, this is also the of the 94th annual mountain dance and folk festival as a ticket event at the pinsky hall auditorium at unc asheville which is.
00:05:18.450 --> 00:05:28.380 Joseph McElroy: 300 liberty lane and national it takes place every each of the nights Thursday through Saturday 630 6:30pm nightly.
00:05:29.730 --> 00:05:30.150 Joseph McElroy: and
00:05:31.170 --> 00:05:43.080 Joseph McElroy: I think the upcoming dates are August 5 Sixth and Seventh, so I advise you to go, that was a 94 year event, it has to be doing something else, and it showcases music dancers, and storytellers.
00:05:43.650 --> 00:05:55.110 Joseph McElroy: And today, I have a great and fabulous guests is Neil hutchings he is an award winning filmmaker photographer an author, who has one, among other things, three.
00:05:55.770 --> 00:06:00.630 Joseph McElroy: One, among other things, three emmy awards his work has been featured on.
00:06:01.410 --> 00:06:12.180 Joseph McElroy: PBS the history channel discovery others he resides in raleigh North Carolina where he works as a producer and director of the language and LIFE project for nc State University.
00:06:12.540 --> 00:06:25.740 Joseph McElroy: But he also spent a great deal of time and the great smokies which has been the location of several of his most popular projects and famous subjects subjects like popcorn suck suck Hello Leo.
00:06:26.190 --> 00:06:27.840 Neal Hutcheson: hi thanks for having me.
00:06:28.290 --> 00:06:32.520 Joseph McElroy: Oh i'm so glad so glad, so you grew up in Chapel hill right.
00:06:32.910 --> 00:06:34.170 Neal Hutcheson: I did that's right yep.
00:06:34.620 --> 00:06:42.360 Joseph McElroy: cool and then you went to boone translate in Spain, and then the raleigh where you studied at nc state is that all correct.
00:06:42.510 --> 00:06:43.980 Neal Hutcheson: yeah you've got my whole rap sheet.
00:06:45.450 --> 00:06:46.230 Joseph McElroy: sheet right.
00:06:46.440 --> 00:06:48.480 Joseph McElroy: Well, I want to do so, I had to notice it.
00:06:49.230 --> 00:06:50.520 Neal Hutcheson: Okay okay all right.
00:06:51.360 --> 00:06:59.370 Joseph McElroy: So imagine you could have a pretty good conversations about basketball right yeah are you a fan of North Carolina sports.
00:06:59.700 --> 00:07:06.960 Neal Hutcheson: Well, you know you can't really ignore them and growing up in Chapel hill like it was like you know it.
00:07:07.590 --> 00:07:08.610 Neal Hutcheson: was like you know you.
00:07:08.700 --> 00:07:13.920 Neal Hutcheson: got you your Carolina blue it's you know you don't even have a choice.
00:07:14.670 --> 00:07:17.700 Joseph McElroy: You don't I mean and you would probably run a town, if you didn't.
00:07:19.680 --> 00:07:27.990 Joseph McElroy: It was a college town so but it's a great college and I went there a few times you know to see see Duke Carolina but.
00:07:29.460 --> 00:07:31.110 Joseph McElroy: I enjoyed it so.
00:07:31.350 --> 00:07:34.380 Joseph McElroy: I grew up in a very strong culture part of the state of North.
00:07:34.380 --> 00:07:35.010 Carolina.
00:07:36.090 --> 00:07:53.220 Joseph McElroy: But you obviously you're a gifted art artists, with a passion for history and music and culture and colorful characters I understand to cut your teeth professionally by working with the nc State University linguist wall wall from and some other social scientist.
00:07:54.420 --> 00:07:55.230 Neal Hutcheson: yeah that's it.
00:07:57.960 --> 00:08:05.520 Neal Hutcheson: i'm hit the ground with working with Walt and doing language programs, I mean that's kind of what brought me to the mountains in the first place.
00:08:05.850 --> 00:08:13.560 Joseph McElroy: yeah it was that is that when you did your for your sort of first real big step for a career when you did a film called mountain talk.
00:08:14.190 --> 00:08:16.590 Neal Hutcheson: yeah that film was pivotal pivotal.
00:08:17.640 --> 00:08:32.250 Neal Hutcheson: For sure um and i'd say you know that was the first full length documentary that I had done and, and it really allowed me to spend a lot of time up there, where you are right now man and to meet people and just to kind of.
00:08:33.420 --> 00:08:36.330 Neal Hutcheson: absorb the culture, the local culture.
00:08:36.630 --> 00:08:41.580 Joseph McElroy: Is do you feel I mean, since you came through linguist do you think the sound of language is a.
00:08:42.720 --> 00:08:43.890 Joseph McElroy: entree into your art.
00:08:45.660 --> 00:08:54.960 Neal Hutcheson: I think um I always looked at language as a as an entree into the culture, you know so it's a it's a different direction into looking at culture in it and it and it uh.
00:08:55.560 --> 00:09:10.200 Neal Hutcheson: it's incredibly illuminating to look at culture that way, instead of kind of you know, as opposed to whatever head on, you know it's a it's kind of a backdoor to looking at culture and the more you look at it it's incredibly fascinating.
00:09:11.100 --> 00:09:15.780 Joseph McElroy: When you were young are you interested in language, are you addressing.
00:09:16.020 --> 00:09:16.500 No.
00:09:18.090 --> 00:09:19.440 Neal Hutcheson: totally unexpected yeah.
00:09:20.880 --> 00:09:25.950 Neal Hutcheson: yeah I you know, I find it interesting, but you know anything anything that you study becomes interesting.
00:09:27.150 --> 00:09:30.030 Neal Hutcheson: The more you know about it um but.
00:09:31.140 --> 00:09:39.720 Neal Hutcheson: No it's just that I happened to be at nc state, I was doing educational programs people said that what will for me to a video dude this was in the 90s.
00:09:40.170 --> 00:09:50.520 Neal Hutcheson: And I stepped in his office and I said I you know if you have work, you know I can help you i'm freelancing and he said, are you any good, and I said, you know I think so so.
00:09:51.300 --> 00:09:57.480 Neal Hutcheson: And so we started working and then that that has turned out to be a very fruitful collaboration and i'm still working with them.
00:09:58.110 --> 00:09:59.190 Joseph McElroy: Is that how you been.
00:10:00.750 --> 00:10:03.300 Joseph McElroy: With the job is a third of that relationships.
00:10:03.480 --> 00:10:16.410 Neal Hutcheson: yeah it wasn't a full time gig you know, I was reluctant to let go of free time to do my own projects, so it wasn't a full time gig for many years, but um i've still found time to do my own work as well on the side.
00:10:17.160 --> 00:10:18.930 Joseph McElroy: What do you do at the language of my project.
00:10:19.920 --> 00:10:21.300 Neal Hutcheson: Well, I produced documentaries.
00:10:21.540 --> 00:10:24.270 Neal Hutcheson: wrong but it's you know it's i'm.
00:10:25.950 --> 00:10:31.980 Neal Hutcheson: Producing a documentary is is do is wearing many, many hats, so I do a lot of things.
00:10:32.790 --> 00:10:42.600 Neal Hutcheson: Right now, and preparing for a trip to Ghana, in August production trip and so very little of what I do is would be what people think of as production right now it's i'm not doing any editing or shooting.
00:10:43.290 --> 00:10:49.140 Neal Hutcheson: Which is what I prefer to be doing, but you also have to do a lot of planning prep from you know logistical.
00:10:51.330 --> 00:10:53.790 Neal Hutcheson: preparations and things like that too it's part of the job.
00:10:55.530 --> 00:11:03.600 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know i'm interested I always like to know the origins of people's craft and you know i'm also an artist and it always.
00:11:04.050 --> 00:11:08.460 Joseph McElroy: Had but I came at it, I had no clue I was going to be an artist, and so the.
00:11:08.910 --> 00:11:15.780 Joseph McElroy: Even analyzing myself trying to figure out where where where the where is the evolution and all of a sudden, you become an artist yeah a lot of people grow up.
00:11:16.080 --> 00:11:23.400 Joseph McElroy: and consider themselves artists from the womb and other people just discovered along the way, where are you from the womb, or it is covered along the way.
00:11:23.820 --> 00:11:28.650 Neal Hutcheson: Definitely along the way, and you know it'd be interesting, I don't know if you want to talk more about that, in particular, right now.
00:11:29.070 --> 00:11:37.770 Neal Hutcheson: With limited time but you know be interesting to know how you got started because, for me it was kind of a lifeline that came to me unexpectedly in my college years.
00:11:39.000 --> 00:11:49.800 Neal Hutcheson: I was kind of intense young person with a lot going on, but I didn't have any means of self expression, you know, and one way or another it's got to come out.
00:11:50.400 --> 00:12:02.730 Neal Hutcheson: And I didn't have the discipline to develop skills that at writing at that time or at painting or some other craft to kind of get it out so i'm filmmaking kind of landed in my lap.
00:12:04.410 --> 00:12:22.380 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know my my story is actually fairly quick yeah I was arrogant a technology guy and somebody showed me some art and I looked at it and I didn't understand it, and I said, well, I can do that, and they said, well then do it and that started me on a journey of.
00:12:22.740 --> 00:12:24.180 Joseph McElroy: Personal that I couldn't do it.
00:12:26.070 --> 00:12:37.200 Joseph McElroy: yeah and a lot more depth and meaning and that journey led me along the way, but it was me being an arrogant ignorant cus that started my journey.
00:12:39.090 --> 00:12:39.780 Neal Hutcheson: I love to hear.
00:12:40.410 --> 00:12:40.830 yeah.
00:12:41.910 --> 00:12:49.530 Joseph McElroy: Well we'll come back we'll jump into some of the stuff that you've done and dig deeper into your your art and this way rooms.
00:12:49.740 --> 00:12:50.100 Neal Hutcheson: Thank you.
00:15:15.270 --> 00:15:26.340 Joseph McElroy: Oh sorry I was muted, so this is Joseph rifle mcilroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and my guest Neil has an idea how you doing.
00:15:26.970 --> 00:15:30.150 Joseph McElroy: Great Yes, that was that was my awkward entry.
00:15:31.320 --> 00:15:33.180 Joseph McElroy: So I do that occasionally.
00:15:34.980 --> 00:15:40.860 Joseph McElroy: So you know I mentioned mountain talk, but that wasn't your first documentary right.
00:15:42.960 --> 00:15:46.410 Neal Hutcheson: It was probably the first one that I recognize is actually being a documentary.
00:15:46.440 --> 00:15:49.920 Joseph McElroy: That was your first one that's your art okay cool.
00:15:51.090 --> 00:15:51.750 Joseph McElroy: You know the.
00:15:52.860 --> 00:16:01.260 Joseph McElroy: I yeah I entitled this episode outlaws and outliers because you've you've done some outliers and the most famous being popcorn sudden.
00:16:01.680 --> 00:16:14.280 Joseph McElroy: But you've got some other you've done some documentaries and work about another you I I understand you had a you have collaborated with a gifted writer and storyteller and play right there named Gary carden of cillo.
00:16:15.780 --> 00:16:19.260 Joseph McElroy: And he's a colorful talented person, how did you two meet.
00:16:20.430 --> 00:16:24.750 Neal Hutcheson: Well, I met him like I met so many other people when I when I came up here working on mountain talk.
00:16:25.200 --> 00:16:34.860 Neal Hutcheson: um I I spent about two years you know back and forth from rally working on that particular film but i'm Gary was one of the people that I really connected with.
00:16:35.340 --> 00:16:53.430 Neal Hutcheson: And of course we've been working together, ever since um but somebody pointed him putting me in his direction, basically, they said they said he's a you should talk to him, he talks about language, a little bit so that's how it started, I went and found him and I interviewed him and.
00:16:55.140 --> 00:17:01.140 Neal Hutcheson: I just kept visiting him and and I in fact I started working on a documentary about him in.
00:17:01.140 --> 00:17:03.930 Neal Hutcheson: Particular, and this is in maybe.
00:17:05.460 --> 00:17:08.220 Neal Hutcheson: Alright, so i'm still hoping i'm hoping to finish it this year.
00:17:09.840 --> 00:17:13.470 Joseph McElroy: Do you tell you to take your time with your subjects right.
00:17:13.860 --> 00:17:17.040 Neal Hutcheson: I don't like I have any control over it sometimes they kind of work out.
00:17:18.660 --> 00:17:22.530 Neal Hutcheson: process that uses me and I just think they're done when they're done, you know.
00:17:23.070 --> 00:17:38.520 Joseph McElroy: So you'd Have you had him collaborate, and this is what was interesting to me the outlaw Lewis redmond who was I guess the first king of the moonshiners, can you tell us a little bit about that project and him and it didn't he kill a man and get away with it.
00:17:39.540 --> 00:17:58.800 Neal Hutcheson: yeah well in the end, he didn't get away with that, but um yeah that's right it's a great story Lewis redmond was first of all let me mention about Gary cartons also play right and the way I got onto this particular topic was Gary pardons play called the Prince of dark corners and.
00:18:00.660 --> 00:18:08.970 Neal Hutcheson: And so I produced with Gary and with an actor named Milton Higgins, a really brilliant guy who, sadly, he died last month, but.
00:18:09.600 --> 00:18:12.510 Neal Hutcheson: So the three of us put the you know did a production of that play.
00:18:13.380 --> 00:18:18.810 Neal Hutcheson: that's how I got to know the story of Lewis redmond because that's what the play was about, and then I did a follow up documentary.
00:18:19.230 --> 00:18:40.710 Neal Hutcheson: But Lewis redmond was an outlaw active in where up where you are in in southern appalachian at the end of the 19th century, and he was he was active at the same time is billy the kid and Jesse James names that everybody knows, and he was actually more famous than either one of them.
00:18:41.790 --> 00:18:43.740 Neal Hutcheson: Is paper articles about Lewis redmond.
00:18:44.250 --> 00:18:45.180 Neal Hutcheson: And even one of those.
00:18:45.240 --> 00:18:51.180 Neal Hutcheson: Does too so that's amazing when you think about the fact that, obviously, most of your listeners have probably never heard of him.
00:18:51.570 --> 00:18:55.440 Joseph McElroy: No, I didn't know until I started researching you I had never heard of them.
00:18:56.460 --> 00:19:03.750 Joseph McElroy: So it's interesting, but he was he was quite a character, he killed the what was the Sheriff or something like that was trying to rescue.
00:19:04.410 --> 00:19:06.030 Neal Hutcheson: yeah that's right that's right.
00:19:06.300 --> 00:19:07.890 Neal Hutcheson: He may have killed another man there's.
00:19:08.040 --> 00:19:13.170 Neal Hutcheson: You know that that's one thing that's interesting about his story is that the historical record is very muddied.
00:19:13.830 --> 00:19:15.930 Neal Hutcheson: kind of his money in a way that it's.
00:19:16.110 --> 00:19:35.040 Neal Hutcheson: Interesting really reflects the kind of public media about appalachia through a lot of america's history, which is, which is to say that in southern in mountain papers and regional papers, he was regarded as he was talked about in these very noble terms.
00:19:35.430 --> 00:19:36.840 Neal Hutcheson: And in the northern papers.
00:19:37.050 --> 00:19:38.550 Neal Hutcheson: He was he was.
00:19:39.570 --> 00:19:49.110 Neal Hutcheson: talked about as a as a degenerate and it's outlawed and stuff like that you know and and there was these very exaggerated kind of depictions of him so it's a it's a really interesting subject.
00:19:49.440 --> 00:19:54.120 Neal Hutcheson: And the truth is somewhere in the middle and nobody you know, has really sorted it all out but.
00:19:54.390 --> 00:20:06.990 Joseph McElroy: Well, I mean yeah I mean you know you understand it, because the moonshine was important source of income for a lot of people, it helps save a lot of people's family at the same time, have destroyed a lot of people's families right so.
00:20:07.500 --> 00:20:11.220 Joseph McElroy: Absolutely it's people used to worship the ones that could make a go of it.
00:20:12.810 --> 00:20:33.390 Joseph McElroy: You know I I remember growing up, you know and that which would have been the 60s, there was an early 70s, the that what people would say with it with a sort of a tongue in cheek but they would say you were more likely to get arrested for drunk driving, then you were for killing somebody.
00:20:34.620 --> 00:20:36.480 Joseph McElroy: yeah yeah so.
00:20:38.250 --> 00:20:48.630 Joseph McElroy: It was, it was a little bit rough and sort of some ways, but you know I read this quote from you right, I thought it was really insightful, you said you wrote you.
00:20:49.260 --> 00:21:02.280 Joseph McElroy: told somebody if I forget who it was but mountain culture is surprisingly vigorous and surprisingly alive and will be until the current generation of 50 somethings dies out and it is dying out.
00:21:02.760 --> 00:21:07.800 Joseph McElroy: psychologically there's a fundamental difference in the way they look at the world and treat each other.
00:21:08.400 --> 00:21:19.560 Joseph McElroy: They wear masks and assume roles which is not necessarily a bad thing, but mountain people are not capable of that, I think that was like 2003 years, do you think that's still true what did you mean.
00:21:20.820 --> 00:21:32.760 Neal Hutcheson: yeah I think a lot has changed since I said that, and I think what I was witnessing and what other people witnessing is the real time change has taken place and.
00:21:33.180 --> 00:21:46.110 Neal Hutcheson: um but no there's there's still this pockets of real mountain culture and and people come into the area can still experience that and meet people and get any you know and get to experience a little bit of that.
00:21:46.650 --> 00:21:48.540 Joseph McElroy: um you know.
00:21:49.380 --> 00:21:56.460 Neal Hutcheson: There is a there's a book that's tends to be castigated called our southern highlanders by.
00:21:56.730 --> 00:22:07.050 Neal Hutcheson: A very famous right yeah and he was he was right in the area like he was probably you're in magic Valley, right now, so he was camping you know, a couple miles from where you're talking right now.
00:22:07.410 --> 00:22:20.310 Neal Hutcheson: And when he was writing this book, so you know the people that he was writing about work if you're talking about the long term residents that are still there, they were the very people that are still there, their their grandparents.
00:22:20.550 --> 00:22:33.720 Neal Hutcheson: Right and um The funny thing is I got to because of my friendship with popcorn Sutton and a few other people like I really got to see the inside of mountain culture and i'm.
00:22:34.350 --> 00:22:52.260 Neal Hutcheson: Even though that book our southern Highlands is problematic and people have attacked it for good reasons, but I got to see that they were very real characteristics in as people that are described perfectly in that book that was written almost 100 years ago.
00:22:52.590 --> 00:22:54.930 Neal Hutcheson: mm hmm right so that shows you the strength of.
00:22:55.980 --> 00:23:06.210 Neal Hutcheson: Culture and the character of the culture that, with all the changes in the last hundred years you, you still can see that same the same tendencies they're baked in.
00:23:07.410 --> 00:23:07.860 Neal Hutcheson: Now.
00:23:08.910 --> 00:23:14.070 Neal Hutcheson: I don't know you know what I said the quote, that you gave you know I don't know is the next generation inheriting those.
00:23:15.300 --> 00:23:31.050 Joseph McElroy: University, you know this this this weekend, we had a storytellers and singers over at the metal Arc the heritage Center right and we had a 70 year old storyteller tell a story, but he was brought there by a 20 something year old.
00:23:32.040 --> 00:23:36.840 Joseph McElroy: Guy there who's a previous personal in this podcast will Ritter.
00:23:37.830 --> 00:23:38.580 Joseph McElroy: Yes, okay.
00:23:38.910 --> 00:23:51.240 Joseph McElroy: yeah and he learning from all these old timers you know the culture and heritage, and it was really fabulous, so there are young people out there, learning it and you know my.
00:23:51.600 --> 00:24:04.020 Joseph McElroy: My family right there still people that live up in the hills and you know, are still very, very much in mountain culture, and you know it's a there's a beauty to it, I mean once you.
00:24:04.530 --> 00:24:15.270 Joseph McElroy: pick you know get through the what some people perceive is sort of the hard exterior it's a very loving culture and very funny yes yeah.
00:24:16.050 --> 00:24:29.520 Neal Hutcheson: Right, you know when I was working in cherokee which is not far from where you are a there, there was a story in there that we interviewed who who suggested that i'm.
00:24:30.390 --> 00:24:34.650 Neal Hutcheson: Mountain culture not only influence cherokee culture but cherokee called culture influence.
00:24:35.190 --> 00:24:40.770 Neal Hutcheson: Mountain culture, and so what you're talking about about this part of exterior that you don't quite know.
00:24:41.130 --> 00:24:49.350 Neal Hutcheson: What people are thinking you're not seeing their emotions and stuff like that, and what you get behind it it's very loving and very, very funny a lot of like.
00:24:49.680 --> 00:25:01.200 Neal Hutcheson: poking fun at each other in a very like smart and say like don't be fooled if you have not been to the mountains and you have the perception that you're going to be dealing with some simple yokels because they haven't necessarily been.
00:25:01.710 --> 00:25:13.050 Neal Hutcheson: Like that they're going to be one step ahead of you, the whole time so like they may be making fun of you, and you never even catch it so now drop your attitude at the door, I say.
00:25:15.300 --> 00:25:21.270 Joseph McElroy: Well yeah there seems to be a common thread in your work, I looked at it and you know and it's the, it is the.
00:25:21.660 --> 00:25:39.570 Joseph McElroy: Preservation of various kinds of nature nature, culture native cultures, like the cherokee Indian language appalachian culture, you know African American dialects as as well, as you know, mount musing moon shining so and even heritage fisheries out in the east coast so.
00:25:39.840 --> 00:25:40.590 Joseph McElroy: Is that.
00:25:40.650 --> 00:25:46.980 Joseph McElroy: Where your passion lies in sort of like understanding these cultures and maybe giving a little to help preserve them.
00:25:47.580 --> 00:25:59.760 Neal Hutcheson: Well, I you know I would back up from preservation and say my passion really is in is in when I get on the scene and I find something that i'm really interested in, and I see how quickly it's changing I feel like.
00:26:00.240 --> 00:26:10.770 Neal Hutcheson: You know, sometimes I feel like I I am on the spot, with my experience and and uh you know recording devices and I feel a duty to document things as they change.
00:26:11.070 --> 00:26:11.580 Joseph McElroy: mom.
00:26:12.030 --> 00:26:23.520 Neal Hutcheson: Can that lead to like preservation and specific instances, I think, so you know if people understand like fishermen like if you know.
00:26:24.240 --> 00:26:29.760 Neal Hutcheson: People who are not from the Community, they may come down there and find them to be a very rough bunch of people they may.
00:26:30.210 --> 00:26:38.220 Neal Hutcheson: have negative stereotypes about the way that they treat the resource and things like that, but then, as they get to know them that you know if they can understand their experiences a little more.
00:26:38.550 --> 00:26:43.950 Neal Hutcheson: They kind of understand that that the it's much more nuanced than than what they've been given to understand.
00:26:44.370 --> 00:26:47.730 Neal Hutcheson: And though they actually will wind up being in sympathy with.
00:26:47.820 --> 00:26:48.210 With.
00:26:49.380 --> 00:27:06.780 Neal Hutcheson: Certain people that they might not have expected to previously because they had misconceptions about them and so can understanding people lead to i'm not doing the things that change their culture as much I, I hope, so I think so.
00:27:08.160 --> 00:27:15.330 Joseph McElroy: I think, also, I think you know, yes, the world can be overwhelming at times and it can come in and try to force you to.
00:27:15.690 --> 00:27:25.320 Joseph McElroy: You know, think that your culture is not important or stupid or silly and it can cause, especially younger people to say abandon it right.
00:27:25.740 --> 00:27:35.250 Joseph McElroy: And I think that a lot of people can come to understand hey the culture, they grew up in was really important to who they are, and it was really beautiful and a lot of ways.
00:27:35.820 --> 00:27:43.680 Joseph McElroy: Right and I, you know I started this podcast you know sort of the business intent, but you know i've also discovered that I love.
00:27:44.520 --> 00:27:58.950 Joseph McElroy: You know, bringing this culture and the beauty of this culture to light, so you know I think what you're doing is fabulous in that regard so we're going to take a break and I guess we'll talk about a little bit about your famous subject.
00:28:00.210 --> 00:28:00.540 Neal Hutcheson: Okay.
00:28:02.880 --> 00:28:03.150 Neal Hutcheson: Good.
00:30:33.480 --> 00:30:47.610 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin McElroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and my guest Neil hutchison so know you mentioned him and Maggie valid, but i'm actually sitting in New York City I split my time between Maggie Valley.
00:30:47.640 --> 00:30:58.200 Joseph McElroy: North cal okay so, but you know I when I left the mountains, you know I had to do sort of the reverse of you, I had to go outside the world and had to get people to.
00:30:58.950 --> 00:31:14.700 Joseph McElroy: You know, open up to me and accept me, you know, and you know penetrate yeah whatever cultural norms that that existed in place like new york's always sort of slightly testing you and you have to always you know prove that you can handle it but.
00:31:15.240 --> 00:31:17.070 Joseph McElroy: You know, when you came to.
00:31:18.090 --> 00:31:20.130 Joseph McElroy: The mountains there's obviously.
00:31:21.480 --> 00:31:30.660 Joseph McElroy: A big testing a barrier, you know dependent trading that you know, and so, how did you how did you get your subjects to accept you and to warm up to you.
00:31:31.770 --> 00:31:42.870 Neal Hutcheson: A bit well I just spent time there and I gave them um I you know I always kind of knew intuitively not to.
00:31:43.950 --> 00:32:02.910 Neal Hutcheson: Try to ingratiate myself or try as if, as if they wouldn't like see through my efforts to kind of win their trust or what you know, so I just was always mindful of just being myself and just spending enough time that that I had they had a chance to assess me and.
00:32:04.350 --> 00:32:08.580 Neal Hutcheson: Consider, whatever it is, you know that I was after so that was basically it.
00:32:09.330 --> 00:32:17.370 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know I I knew popcorn Sutton not particularly well, but I knew I knew him and he you know, he was a real kg guy.
00:32:18.300 --> 00:32:21.900 Joseph McElroy: yeah he was he was he yeah he was smart and he's always sort of.
00:32:21.960 --> 00:32:31.200 Joseph McElroy: I always felt he was putting on a little bit of her performance, because it was you know I made him money, so how did, how did you break through and get to some real honest stuff from him.
00:32:32.730 --> 00:32:40.500 Neal Hutcheson: Well, it did you know it took a long time in a way to get like you know, beyond the performance but i'm.
00:32:42.330 --> 00:32:52.620 Neal Hutcheson: In a way, you know not that long because I would say, you may not agree with this, I don't know, but I would say, like there was always a performance in play.
00:32:53.130 --> 00:33:06.630 Neal Hutcheson: When he was dealing with the public um, but it was kind of based on who he really was, and so is interestingly, it was like the performance was kind of close to who he actually was he was just giving.
00:33:07.980 --> 00:33:17.310 Neal Hutcheson: You know, certain portions of the public, maybe more more more the tourists a version of a moon shiner that they would that was what they expected.
00:33:17.520 --> 00:33:20.850 Neal Hutcheson: You know and but behind the scenes, he actually was that.
00:33:21.270 --> 00:33:21.750 Neal Hutcheson: So.
00:33:22.110 --> 00:33:30.000 Neal Hutcheson: You know, so I think he just kind of knew where to lean in and exaggerate and things like that sometimes he could lay it on a little thick.
00:33:31.740 --> 00:33:37.500 Joseph McElroy: though he was a he was a better in the mountains, we have somebody that can make a deal really well we call them a horse trader.
00:33:37.980 --> 00:33:45.120 Joseph McElroy: My dad's a hell of a horse trader he's he's he's from way back in the mountains finds creek and he input popcorn Sutton get along.
00:33:45.570 --> 00:34:01.740 Joseph McElroy: Along really well because my dad was a contractor and you know popcorn would need some things every once in Australia with him to get some construction done an exchange for some variables of moonshine so I ended up getting a drink some popcorn moonshine over the years.
00:34:03.150 --> 00:34:12.300 Joseph McElroy: So yeah so you would say, though, that he was a master promoting themselves right and and making deals to get himself known against products out there.
00:34:13.710 --> 00:34:24.540 Neal Hutcheson: yeah I think he was but I, you know I just I didn't want it it's true but and but you know along the way, some people have written them off and said he wasn't a real thing he was just playing a character.
00:34:25.140 --> 00:34:26.250 Joseph McElroy: It was the real thing.
00:34:27.390 --> 00:34:27.930 Neal Hutcheson: Right.
00:34:28.140 --> 00:34:31.650 Neal Hutcheson: Jackie I just want to emphasize that yeah there's a performance all right, but.
00:34:32.010 --> 00:34:32.370 Joseph McElroy: It was.
00:34:33.240 --> 00:34:39.810 Joseph McElroy: To make moonshine you have to know it's almost instinctual when the turn turn to when.
00:34:40.680 --> 00:34:47.550 Joseph McElroy: To cut it and when to stop you know when the when the what point in the distilling process to pull the liquor out and that's what you're going to drink.
00:34:47.940 --> 00:34:59.640 Joseph McElroy: Right and and the right water and things like that, if you don't do it exactly right and have so almost instinctual thing about it it'll just taste horrible but he's always tasted really good he had an art to it.
00:34:59.970 --> 00:35:06.810 Neal Hutcheson: yeah that's true that's right there's the one aspect of it, which is the craftsman and that was all that was all true, and that was there.
00:35:07.290 --> 00:35:16.470 Neal Hutcheson: And, but then the you know the art of performance is something I talked about a little bit in the book that I did on popcorn and I speculate that.
00:35:17.190 --> 00:35:21.720 Neal Hutcheson: I don't have any you know other sources for this, but I speculate that what you were talking about.
00:35:22.110 --> 00:35:31.140 Neal Hutcheson: About horse trading and the talent for barter in the mountains, is that the talent for performance in the mountains, which is well known and incredible.
00:35:31.590 --> 00:35:40.860 Neal Hutcheson: That that developed out of the little bits that you do around trading things and the and the kind of like well you know devaluing things and just that you know.
00:35:41.190 --> 00:35:57.990 Neal Hutcheson: That skill that was honed over so much time and I think that when the park was founded and outsiders came in and stuff like that that I think that that led them naturally to some of them to finding inner talent for performance.
00:35:58.620 --> 00:36:00.630 Joseph McElroy: Well, you know I think if you look at.
00:36:00.690 --> 00:36:13.590 Joseph McElroy: The traditional storytelling storytelling amount of storytelling is often an exaggeration right I caught 50 fish in the pant leg when I fell in the water or.
00:36:14.400 --> 00:36:21.120 Joseph McElroy: That sort of thing it is sort of the reverse of the horse trading, which is say well these trousers are no good I couldn't catch any fish.
00:36:23.160 --> 00:36:27.000 Joseph McElroy: right there like obviously opposite of the same coin.
00:36:28.050 --> 00:36:28.530 Joseph McElroy: yeah.
00:36:28.830 --> 00:36:35.790 Joseph McElroy: yeah so um so you've done three movies on popcorn right documentaries.
00:36:36.030 --> 00:36:42.270 Neal Hutcheson: yeah it's a little bit of a complicated history but yeah technically three movies, we did a cult classic.
00:36:43.020 --> 00:36:51.210 Neal Hutcheson: Well, it would became a cult classic, the first thing that I made was really for popcorn to sell out of his junk shop and something he wanted to do.
00:36:51.480 --> 00:36:59.760 Neal Hutcheson: And that one's called that one's always that one's the most popular now 20 years later um it's called this is the last time round of liquor i'll ever make.
00:37:00.600 --> 00:37:02.340 Neal Hutcheson: sense yeah.
00:37:02.400 --> 00:37:11.850 Neal Hutcheson: we're still it's the whole things on YouTube if anybody wants to check it out, but people are still discovering it and it's lasted longer than anything else i've done but um.
00:37:12.540 --> 00:37:26.130 Neal Hutcheson: Then I did a TV version which came out at the tail end of 2008 called the last one, and that was a PBS family friendly kind of version of that with with cutaways for context and interviews and things like that it's a.
00:37:26.430 --> 00:37:26.940 Neal Hutcheson: little different.
00:37:27.660 --> 00:37:31.200 Neal Hutcheson: And then I did a more biographical piece called a hell of a life.
00:37:32.430 --> 00:37:38.370 Neal Hutcheson: And that came out after he died he died in 2009 that came out in oh I forget, but maybe 2012.
00:37:39.240 --> 00:37:53.010 Joseph McElroy: yeah cool well and you've also I saw you recently you've done a book recently like it's almost like a table talk book, but so more more meaningful, I mean what was how did you come about doing that.
00:37:53.370 --> 00:38:01.890 Neal Hutcheson: yeah well thanks for describing it that way it's it's deliberately designed to be enjoyable if you want to flip through idly or, if you want to dig in so.
00:38:03.150 --> 00:38:03.870 Neal Hutcheson: I.
00:38:05.580 --> 00:38:14.970 Neal Hutcheson: knew that people would want to have copies because popcorn is is well known and intriguing and so I felt a duty to make it as good as I possibly could um.
00:38:15.480 --> 00:38:18.600 Neal Hutcheson: You know, in a way, I feel like I was always working on that book and I just didn't know it.
00:38:19.470 --> 00:38:35.910 Neal Hutcheson: While I was doing the documentaries, but the the real motivation was that you know nowadays popcorn is remembered as in some quarters as as something akin to a folk hero and it's a very simplified version and a very kind of.
00:38:37.230 --> 00:38:41.970 Neal Hutcheson: Noble you know version of who he was is a friend of mine okay i'm not i'm not dragging down.
00:38:42.450 --> 00:38:50.160 Neal Hutcheson: And I think that folk hero is interesting, and I think that that phenomenon with him turning into a folk hero is fascinating and I talked about that in the book.
00:38:50.430 --> 00:38:54.840 Neal Hutcheson: But the the you know, the main purpose at the start of working on the book was to.
00:38:55.500 --> 00:39:06.810 Neal Hutcheson: Make sure that he's remembered as I knew him as a person I knew he would want that that he did he really didn't want to be the hero he wanted to be that law and he wanted to be who he was.
00:39:07.740 --> 00:39:19.590 Neal Hutcheson: And so I think that, and so the book tries, and I think, to some extent, I would say if it's okay for me to say about my own book like succeeds in in capturing him, you know fairly.
00:39:20.700 --> 00:39:24.060 Joseph McElroy: cool what what was the name of the book again what was the full title of it.
00:39:24.390 --> 00:39:26.220 Neal Hutcheson: it's called the moon shiner popcorn sun.
00:39:26.460 --> 00:39:30.450 Joseph McElroy: The moon cheddar popcorn Sutton and it's available on lot of places you go to the.
00:39:31.530 --> 00:39:39.570 Joseph McElroy: I think we have it up on smokies adventure calm and the metaphoric motel and you can probably get it on Amazon right it's a great book and there's a DVD with it right.
00:39:40.140 --> 00:39:56.610 Neal Hutcheson: If you get it on Amazon you're going to pay him because I held back because I want people to buy it from local places like the meadowlark and and the other places that are supporting the book and that support community and culture, so I hope people will buy local first.
00:39:57.690 --> 00:40:17.310 Joseph McElroy: Nice good local living economies it's we can promote that that's that's important you know that's why I keep the small business I have in the mountains going is to support local economies, I think it's important yeah so and you have a publishing company and a production company.
00:40:17.760 --> 00:40:20.430 Neal Hutcheson: Well i've got a publishing company, now that i've published a book.
00:40:22.260 --> 00:40:36.690 Neal Hutcheson: How many more books will publish we'll see it's a lot of work turns out um but yeah i've got a i've got a production company that's basically has facilitated my own projects it's more or less one man bands of still.
00:40:38.340 --> 00:40:43.500 Neal Hutcheson: In recent years, i've been collaborating with other people i'm an independent projects but.
00:40:45.900 --> 00:40:46.140 Neal Hutcheson: yeah.
00:40:46.170 --> 00:40:52.980 Neal Hutcheson: Just I just kind of invented and improvised all along the way to make whatever it was I was doing next Hampton.
00:40:53.550 --> 00:40:56.340 Joseph McElroy: Why did you call it sucker punch productions.
00:40:58.110 --> 00:41:01.680 Neal Hutcheson: Well there's there's there's triple entendre in that it's.
00:41:03.090 --> 00:41:07.830 Neal Hutcheson: Nothing to be worried about, but mainly you know um.
00:41:09.270 --> 00:41:17.820 Neal Hutcheson: I was thinking about it sounds kind of punky and brash and I was kind of I felt as the upstart like who what right do I have to just make.
00:41:18.330 --> 00:41:34.380 Neal Hutcheson: Films without anybody's permission and and be the kind of like octopus character, you know supine on sucker Punch and just and you know all the different jobs that I have to have in order to make a film, you know it's not just filming and editing.
00:41:35.880 --> 00:41:38.400 Neal Hutcheson: It was funny to me the different arms alright.
00:41:38.820 --> 00:41:39.300 city.
00:41:40.500 --> 00:41:48.720 Joseph McElroy: No, I mean it's important to have something meaningful for your company, especially if you have an inside joke, I had a company called corporate performance artists.
00:41:49.080 --> 00:42:00.750 Joseph McElroy: One time because somebody asked me while I was doing art and others do raising I raised some money for a startup in the.com era and they said what the hell, are you and I said I guess i'm a corporate performance artists.
00:42:03.720 --> 00:42:08.040 Joseph McElroy: I named my company that that I would tell people i'm performing my company.
00:42:08.220 --> 00:42:18.510 Joseph McElroy: And it was an engine, it was an inside joke, but yeah it makes it, it makes it fun, it makes it makes it something that's personal and the little little secret that you can have.
00:42:19.050 --> 00:42:25.050 Neal Hutcheson: Exactly what you know if you're going to do something for yourself, you should have fun and and you know indulge a little bit and make it the way you want to.
00:42:25.950 --> 00:42:26.640 cool.
00:42:27.810 --> 00:42:35.040 Joseph McElroy: So you I think you Bob are some you working on Bob plot do introduced us right so yeah.
00:42:35.970 --> 00:42:48.600 Joseph McElroy: So you are see we're gonna need to take a break now, so I want to talk about a queen family that you're working on and then we're getting sent you know so much about the mountains now when I get your your favorite things to go for people to go see.
00:42:49.110 --> 00:42:49.620 Neal Hutcheson: sounds good.
00:42:50.040 --> 00:42:50.550 All right.
00:45:23.730 --> 00:45:33.000 Joseph McElroy: Joseph private mcilroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast with my guest Neil Hutchinson so Neil, you are working on.
00:45:33.960 --> 00:45:43.200 Joseph McElroy: Something that's interesting to me, you know Maggie valley calls itself the calling capital of the world right so we're always proud of dancing in the mountains, especially you know.
00:45:44.070 --> 00:45:52.860 Joseph McElroy: square dancing and plugin so you're working on a project on the iconic queen family, one of the foremost musical advancing clans and the great smokies what you doing.
00:45:54.150 --> 00:45:58.020 Neal Hutcheson: Oh well, you know that was actually a project that I did some years ago.
00:45:58.380 --> 00:45:58.890 Joseph McElroy: Oh, really.
00:45:59.070 --> 00:46:05.280 Neal Hutcheson: yeah it's already done and it was it was about music and the group that queen it, as you know, for us, you know.
00:46:05.760 --> 00:46:15.690 Neal Hutcheson: yeah it's a huge huge name up there, and so there, there are great dancers, but the ones that are working with weren't really into dancing they were just in the music.
00:46:15.960 --> 00:46:22.590 Neal Hutcheson: Okay, so they were in in Jackson county off of Johns creek i'm katie fork.
00:46:24.180 --> 00:46:24.960 Neal Hutcheson: You know that area.
00:46:25.320 --> 00:46:27.330 Neal Hutcheson: yeah okay so.
00:46:28.590 --> 00:46:37.020 Neal Hutcheson: And it was I started with Mary Jane Queen, who was the matriarch of the family and she knew balance that were hundreds of years old and and so.
00:46:38.430 --> 00:46:49.020 Neal Hutcheson: But I gradually got to know more of her family and they're all musical and when they get together, they would all play their literally on the back porch and make incredible mountain music and it wasn't like it wasn't.
00:46:50.160 --> 00:47:03.810 Neal Hutcheson: It was like the real thing you know it was like you just felt them expressing their love for each other by sharing that music with each other and so that's basically what I was documenting is is looking at mountain culture through another window, which was, which was music.
00:47:04.440 --> 00:47:08.730 Joseph McElroy: Well i'm very interested in seeing that what what where do you have that documentary.
00:47:09.570 --> 00:47:11.430 Neal Hutcheson: I think the whole thing is on YouTube right now.
00:47:11.700 --> 00:47:12.600 Joseph McElroy: And what's it called.
00:47:12.930 --> 00:47:14.070 Neal Hutcheson: it's called the Queen family.
00:47:14.910 --> 00:47:15.510 Joseph McElroy: The Queen.
00:47:20.040 --> 00:47:26.940 Joseph McElroy: So you bet a lot of visiting to the mountains Okay, so what is your, what is your favorite natural natural.
00:47:28.020 --> 00:47:29.340 Joseph McElroy: wonder in the mountains.
00:47:30.270 --> 00:47:38.190 Neal Hutcheson: Oh that's a good question um you know I used to come up there backpacking a lot, when I was a kid and I didn't know anything about the culture, but I really enjoyed the.
00:47:38.790 --> 00:47:50.130 Neal Hutcheson: landscape and and just interacting with the wild spaces and my favorite place was always Joyce kilmer slick rock area, which is a adjacent to Graham county.
00:47:50.640 --> 00:47:53.580 Joseph McElroy: yeah what was that, what do you find special about that.
00:47:54.540 --> 00:48:04.440 Neal Hutcheson: Well, I I like to the trails you know for backpacking but then you know, one of the really special things about that spot is that they preserved, a small.
00:48:05.310 --> 00:48:20.940 Neal Hutcheson: selection and that that was never logged right, so all the mountains most a lot of people don't even know this, that the great appalachian wilderness was was absolutely incredible with these huge trees, there were 12 feet in diameter and those are all gone, they were all logged.
00:48:21.360 --> 00:48:32.640 Neal Hutcheson: And um what we what we see now is what run back right and it's it's beautiful but it's not the wild place that was there before and so Joyce kilmer you could see that and.
00:48:33.360 --> 00:48:39.300 Neal Hutcheson: You know the last time I went as storm and taken out a lot of the big trees, unfortunately, it was it was kind of sad but it's still there.
00:48:39.510 --> 00:48:46.050 Neal Hutcheson: And you can go there and park and there's there's short trails you can walk you don't have to go backpacking anything like that you can walk half mile or a mile.
00:48:46.320 --> 00:48:49.350 Neal Hutcheson: and get back in there cool and they create is just gorgeous.
00:48:49.950 --> 00:48:54.300 Joseph McElroy: Oh yeah I haven't actually visited there, so I need to do that, that sounds really like a wonderful time.
00:48:55.560 --> 00:49:05.070 Joseph McElroy: Now, your new popcorn sudden so you know a little bit about the distilleries I think you were involved with the moonshine or should they still have it right, it was inspired by your movie anyway.
00:49:05.850 --> 00:49:07.050 Neal Hutcheson: I believe that it was.
00:49:07.140 --> 00:49:20.310 Joseph McElroy: yeah so so you know local distillery So is there any of them doing anything any a quote unquote moonshine it's not real moonshine if it's legal but moonshine that that's pretty good compared to popcorn to brew.
00:49:20.700 --> 00:49:23.340 Neal Hutcheson: Well, you know a lot of these things have sprung up fairly recently.
00:49:23.670 --> 00:49:30.420 Neal Hutcheson: yeah and there's you know there's a lot of good beer, you can get in the mountains Now I will not turn down a good hipster IPA.
00:49:32.430 --> 00:49:40.500 Neal Hutcheson: And you can find them whether you're in silver or there's a great place and bryson city, but anyway and an inhaler brewing company I think they're called.
00:49:40.800 --> 00:49:42.930 Joseph McElroy: I go to gym in waynesville yeah.
00:49:43.200 --> 00:49:46.530 Neal Hutcheson: there's good beer around but it's not you know that's nothing traditional.
00:49:46.740 --> 00:49:47.250 Neal Hutcheson: yeah i'm.
00:49:47.730 --> 00:49:51.930 Neal Hutcheson: The only distillery that I know anything about is elevated mountain in.
00:49:52.650 --> 00:50:02.400 Neal Hutcheson: In Maggie valley and and I think people should go check it out, and they should see that because i'm the proprietor Dave angel he puts on a great tour, and you get to sample the stuff.
00:50:02.820 --> 00:50:12.150 Neal Hutcheson: And it's good quality and he's from there, and I think i'm not quite sure about his whole story, but I think he's he's like you in that he's he's been elsewhere and come back.
00:50:12.720 --> 00:50:15.600 Joseph McElroy: yeah he was actually in New York for a little while but he's a cousin he's my cousin.
00:50:18.630 --> 00:50:19.110 Joseph McElroy: Down there.
00:50:21.480 --> 00:50:36.450 Joseph McElroy: Let me do you go to sell a lot and that's a wonderful town, what would you say is a great itinerary one to build visit silver, starting with breakfast you know and then where you might go in the morning, then lunch in the afternoon and dinner in the evening for entertainment.
00:50:37.110 --> 00:50:47.820 Neal Hutcheson: Well, silver has changed a lot, too, is it's developed but um it always had a little bit of stuff going on, because it's its proximity to Western Carolina university um but.
00:50:48.930 --> 00:50:53.610 Neal Hutcheson: You know, and you can spend a day in Silva and you can find good food morning.
00:50:54.990 --> 00:51:05.760 Neal Hutcheson: morning, day and night but um if if I was going up there and somebody was going up to explore the area, I would say, getting your current in or in motorcycle whatever drive a little bit and get around.
00:51:06.240 --> 00:51:06.570 Joseph McElroy: and
00:51:07.380 --> 00:51:14.280 Neal Hutcheson: I always like to in fact I just mentioned Joyce kilmer well that's that's close to robin's bill and Robin so.
00:51:15.030 --> 00:51:28.590 Neal Hutcheson: The last time I was there doesn't have a lot going on, but I always love going to Robin so you really feel like you're getting back into a mountain Community um and there's a place there, I think it's called lose know it's called.
00:51:30.090 --> 00:51:42.540 Neal Hutcheson: Lucy lens something like lens place it's had different names of the rooms, but it's it's top of the hill one and robin's bill, and you won't miss it because there's there's not much else around and it's just a diner you're going to get breakfast there you're going to get regular.
00:51:43.650 --> 00:51:48.270 Neal Hutcheson: You know diner kind of breakfast food, but what you're also going to get is you're going to be around local people.
00:51:48.720 --> 00:51:59.070 Neal Hutcheson: In there and they're going to be friendly they're probably be curious about what you're doing and and it won't be hard to strike up a conversation, which I highly recommend and start your morning out that way.
00:51:59.400 --> 00:52:07.350 Neal Hutcheson: that's fabulous right Okay, and then you can take a nice drive, if you want to go by Joyce kilmer you take the roadster curvy and beautiful motorcyclists love them.
00:52:07.650 --> 00:52:15.420 Neal Hutcheson: And you can take you can go i've never spent much time at Fontana village, but if you like, that kind of thing there's a lot of stuff out there.
00:52:15.660 --> 00:52:17.070 Joseph McElroy: Historical stuff yeah.
00:52:17.460 --> 00:52:26.850 Neal Hutcheson: And, and then you can see Fontana damn which is impressive a piece of work and circle back around and come back to silver for lunch.
00:52:27.330 --> 00:52:40.170 Neal Hutcheson: And you don't want to miss the coffee shop because it's it's just another place where real people gather it's been there for ever, my friend Gary carden who's now at six I think IQ as a as a kid he.
00:52:40.890 --> 00:52:43.830 Neal Hutcheson: What do you call it car hopped or whatever he brought the burgers out to people in the car.
00:52:44.880 --> 00:52:45.660 Joseph McElroy: coffee shop.
00:52:46.380 --> 00:52:49.110 Neal Hutcheson: coffee shop, the signing and so on, the main road gold and silver.
00:52:51.030 --> 00:53:00.570 Neal Hutcheson: And they're going to have country food it's going to be hardy fair they're gonna have a special of the day they're going to cook a good meal, you probably need to take a walk afterwards if you're planning to have dinner because you'd be full.
00:53:00.960 --> 00:53:01.320 But.
00:53:02.370 --> 00:53:09.000 Neal Hutcheson: But again it's it's also we're working people look people are going to go to so that's why I would give those answers.
00:53:10.590 --> 00:53:19.530 Neal Hutcheson: And then, because you had me thinking about this before, so I was there was a place this place in bryson city, so if you want to go for a really fine meal after after.
00:53:20.220 --> 00:53:31.710 Neal Hutcheson: All that um there's a place called the Cork and been in bryson city and they cook they've got a great Jeff there and they and they cook a lot of like fresh healthy.
00:53:34.020 --> 00:53:36.810 Neal Hutcheson: freshly sourced fair original.
00:53:38.130 --> 00:53:43.410 Neal Hutcheson: an original menu oftentimes you can get mountain trout which is my favorite So if you can.
00:53:43.440 --> 00:53:46.560 Joseph McElroy: Get that I would recommend get it done well it's, the best thing to get.
00:53:46.590 --> 00:53:55.230 Joseph McElroy: In the mountains yeah cool well, we have a few minutes left How do people get in touch with you or follow you keep track of what you're doing.
00:53:56.790 --> 00:54:00.750 Neal Hutcheson: Well um i'd say you know if you want to check out the work.
00:54:01.050 --> 00:54:13.860 Neal Hutcheson: there's a lot of like extra clips and especially a lot with popcorn Sutton on my YouTube channel and it's sucker punch pictures just look up that on on YouTube you'll find a lot of a lot of clips and stuff like that and see what that's about um and.
00:54:15.300 --> 00:54:32.700 Neal Hutcheson: If you let's see I don't know i've got a personal website Neil hutchison calm, so you can see past projects and links to other things Oh, and also the language and language in life.org which is my work at nc state, which is a large part of what i've done over the last 30 years.
00:54:33.420 --> 00:54:48.840 Joseph McElroy: cool well, thank you very much for being on my podcast has been very enjoyable having a conversation with you and very illuminating I I really appreciate the work that you do, and you know documenting the the culture of the mountains.
00:54:50.010 --> 00:55:02.010 Joseph McElroy: You know I think there was a period of time that there was a unique culture is still there, but it is, it is disappearing somewhat so understanding and preserving and I think is great.
00:55:03.330 --> 00:55:15.360 Joseph McElroy: I want to remind everybody this podcast is on the talk radio dot nyc network with there's lots of fabulous podcast for you to listen to me for a few commercials if you've listened to it, live.
00:55:16.080 --> 00:55:25.710 Joseph McElroy: After this show is rediscovering New York on Tuesday nights from seven to eight or seven to eight.
00:55:26.280 --> 00:55:35.760 Joseph McElroy: it's about visiting New York and there's a lot of inside stuff and unique culture of New York to explore as part of why I love being here when I when i'm not in the mountains.
00:55:36.480 --> 00:55:43.800 Joseph McElroy: Is the uniqueness of culture in New York City and the multiple cultures that you can experience here, so this show is great to go visit you can.
00:55:44.550 --> 00:55:51.510 Joseph McElroy: You can also watch this podcast on Facebook COM slash gateway to the smokies podcast where.
00:55:51.870 --> 00:55:57.720 Joseph McElroy: The live stream comes out with the zoom So you can see our faces, or you can go to gateway to the smokies dot fun.
00:55:58.050 --> 00:56:09.630 Joseph McElroy: To see this podcast and other previous podcasts as well as the signing up for newsletter be informed about events and future episodes and other things that we will do to.
00:56:10.050 --> 00:56:19.500 Joseph McElroy: illustrate and celebrate the culture of the smoky mountains and for things to do there and enjoy yourself that he much i'll see you next week, when we have.
00:56:20.430 --> 00:56:34.650 Joseph McElroy: For our show will be Wayne EB injure, who is a well known photographer in the smoky mountains and it has experienced a lot and we'll talk about the beauty of the smoky mountains talk to you soon.