Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Zander Aloi, Capri Cafaro, Chris Schulz, Lilly Knoepp Published

A Tale Of Treenware And A NASCAR Legend, Inside Appalachia

A wall chock full of handing wooden spoons - in all shapes and sizes.
Allegheny Treenware based in West Virginia makes a wide assortment of wooden kitchen utensils.
Capri Cafaro/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, a pair of former miners found love shoveling coal and shaped a life making wooden spoons. We learn about treenware.

Also, NASCAR Hall of Famer Leonard Wood shares stories, and a bit of advice.

And, group bike rides are a way to socialize and get outside. But here in Appalachia, newcomers are met with steep hills.

In This Episode:

Two For Treenware

Two older people wearing flannel shirts, a man and a woman, work with tools for woodworking. They are making wooden spoons.
Stan and Sue Jennings turned a conversation about a passion into a business.

Photo Credit: Zack Gray/Allegheny Treenware

For 30 years, Sue and Stan Jennings have run Allegheny Treenware, a West Virginia company that makes wooden kitchen utensils. But they started off as a couple of coal miners. And when they weren’t underground, they talked about what else they could be doing.

Folkways Reporter Capri Cafaro visited the Jennings. 

Hanging Out With NASCAR Legend Leonard Wood

A line of racing cars are seen side by side. The one closest to the camera is white, and the ones next to it are red.
Straight from the source at The Wood Brothers Racing Museum.

Photo Credit: Mason Adams/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Stock car racing’s roots run deep in Appalachia. Some of NASCAR’s early stars came straight from the lawless moonshine runners of the 1920s and 1930s, but NASCAR’s oldest continuous racing team had nothing to do with moonshine. 

Mason Adams visited with Leonard Wood at The Wood Brothers Racing Museum in Virginia for stories and wisdom.

Exploring Morgantown On The Back Of A Bicycle

A cyclist standing up on her pedals is blurred by motion. The bicycle she rides has multicolored lights woven through the spokes of the wheels. The image is lit from the left by a bright white light, casting long shadows to the right of frame. In the background more bicycles, less blurred by motion, can be seen.
The ad-hoc Morgantown Social Rides aim to get cyclists onto the streets to explore the city in a new way.

Photo Credit: Chris Schulz/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

With spring, lots of folks are heading out to the woods or the rivers, but one group in Morgantown, West Virginia is taking to the streets – on their bicycles.

WVPB’s Chris Schulz grabbed his helmet and tagged along to explore his city in a new way.

Sovereignty At The Museum Of The Cherokee People

Three individuals stand smiling, posing for the camera. One man and two women. They stand next to a sign that reads, "Public Ridge, Public Radio."
BPR’s Lilly Knoepp (left) spoke with Museum of the Cherokee People Director of Education Dakota Brown and Director of Collections Evan Mathis at the Appalachian Studies Conference on Friday March 8, 2024 at Western Carolina University.

Photo Credit: BPR

In western North Carolina, a new exhibit called “Sovereignty” recently opened at the Museum of the Cherokee People. The exhibit focuses on the autonomy of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Director of Education Dakota Brown is co-curator of the exhibit.

BPR Senior Regional Reporter Lilly Knoepp spoke with Brown as part of a panel at the Appalachian Studies Association conference in March and sent us an excerpt.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by The Dirty River Boys, Charlie McCoy, John Blissard, Sierra Ferrell, and John Inghram.

Bill Lynch is our producer. Zander Aloi is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. We had help this week from folkways editors Nicole Musgrave and Mallory Noe Payne.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.