Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Zander Aloi, Lauren Griffin, Lydia Warren Published

Inclusive Square Dancing, Zine Fest And Playing The Spoons, Inside Appalachia

People square dance in a ballroom. Balloons are shown on the ceiling.
Old-time square dancing gets an update with more inclusive language.
Lydia Warren/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week, we pick up a little light reading at the Johnson City Zine Fest.

And… Grab your dancing shoes and learn about a movement to make square dance calling more inclusive.

Also, the perils of playing the spoons.

You’ll hear these stories and more this week, Inside Appalachia.

In This Episode:

Making Square Dancing More Inclusive

Calling a square dance is tricky business. It’s a skill that’s been handed down for generations, but a growing number of callers are updating the language to be more inclusive to keep the tradition alive.

Folkways Reporter Lydia Warren brought us the story.

A Visit To Zine Fest

Colorful images are shown all mixed together.
Credit: Mason Adams/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A zine, as in magazine, is a self-published pamphlet or brochure, or even a booklet. Some are very low-tech and rudimentary, and others are elaborately designed works of art. They’re all unique, and reflect the people who make them. Mason Adams went to Johnson City Zine Fest, met zine makers and talked with them.

All About The Spoons

A man sits in a chair, smiling softly toward the camera. Behind him are school desks against a wall.
Jeff Fedan has been teaching aspiring spoons players how to play for years. He is also one of the co-founders and organizers of the yearly Pattyfest.

Credit: Lauren Griffin/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

If you love string-band music, you don’t have to go too far to find a bluegrass or old-time jam here in the Appalachian mountains. Musicians get together, try out new licks and teach each other songs. But, you don’t have to play fiddle or guitar to get in on the music. Playing along might be as easy as just grabbing something out of a kitchen drawer.

Folkways reporter Lauren Griffin has the story.

The Life And Legacy of Woody Williams

The Charleston, WV Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is show. One part of the monument reads Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice.
The front of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Charleston, West Virginia.

Credit: Janet Kunicki/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“Woody Williams: An Extraordinary Life of Service” is a new documentary exploring the life of Hershel “Woody” Williams, the last living World War II recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Williams, who died last year at the age of 98, spent decades working for veterans and their families.

Bill Lynch spoke with WVPB’s Randy Yohe and Janet Kunicki. They spent more than a year exploring Williams’ life and legacy for the documentary. 


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by the Carpenter Ants, Harvey and Copeland, Rev. Payton’s Big Damn Band, Le Tigre, John Blissard, The Sycomores, Hazel Dickens and Frank George.

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.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.