Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Zander Aloi, Nicole Musgrave, Zack Harold Published

Looking Back at 2023, Inside Appalachia


This week, we return to some of our favorite stories from 2023. Appalachia saw challenge and calamity, but people found joy … and strength.

We learn about how an old family tradition is connecting with a new generation –and we find unexpected views and surprises just off the interstate.

In This Episode:

Finding Solace Through Faith and a Family Guitar

Three people stand side by side. One woman wears a black-grey shirt, one woman wears a yellow shirt, and a man in a blue shirt holds a black acoustic guitar.
Derenia Dunbar (left) stands with parents Ruby (middle) and James Boggs (right) in front of their family home in Millstone, Kentucky. James holds the guitar that was mostly untouched by the floodwaters that filled their house on July 28, 2022.

Eastern Kentucky is still building back after the devastating 2022 floods. We’ve featured several stories including reports from Nicole Musgrave, the lead editor of our folkways reporting project. She lived in the affected area and was part of a volunteer group helping people muck out and gut homes during cleanup. This was how she met James and Ruby Boggs in Millstone, Kentucky. Nicole brought us a story about the joy that comes from the soothing music of a family guitar.

How The Sausage Gets Made

Two men stand next to each other in white aprons smiling for the camera. The men are also in business casual attire - button up shirts with ties.
Sonny (left) and his father Angelo pose in front of the meat case at Angelo’s Market in Powellton Hollow. From father to son to father to son, Angelo’s Old World Italian Sausage has been around in the hills of West Virginia for a while.

Angelo’s Old World Italian Sausage is part of a family tradition going back generations and beginning on the island of Sicily. The sausage has been sold in West Virginia grocery stores for years. Folkways reporter Zack Harold visited with the Argento family to hear about the history that went into the sausage. 

The Reign of “King Coal”

Elaine McMillion Sheldon’s film, “King Coal,” had a pretty good year. Released late last Spring, the film appeared on screens and at film festivals all over the country, racking up some awards and impressing critics.

The film will be shown throughout Appalachia this winter. 

Host Mason Adams saw an early screening of the film and spoke with McMillion, co-producer Molly Born and artist Shodekeh Talifero.   

Spilling The Tea on The World’s Largest Tea Pot

In 2023, Inside Appalachia’s Zander Aloi took a trip to Chester, West Virginia, to learn the story behind a classic roadside attraction there – a souvenir stand known as the World’s Largest Teapot.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Morgan Wade, Hazel Dickens, Steve Earle, Paul Loomis, Jeff Ellis and Tim Bing.  

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.