Talking Turkey, Inside Appalachia


In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking a look at the myths and truths of the wild turkey, thanks to the folks at the podcast With Good Reason. We’ll find out if turkeys really can fly, meet a man who became a “turkey mother,” and find out what color turkey went out of style.

We’ll also visit with some turkey farmers in Virginia and even eavesdrop on a conversation with reporters with The Allegheny Front during last year’s Thanksgiving dinner and more.

Year after year, Appalachians have ventured over mountains to make it back home for the holidays.

Inside Appalachia’s host, Jessica Lilly, closes this episode with these personal thoughts about this year’s Thanksgiving:

“Rather than just see the ridges and valleys as impassable (yeah, these roads can be treacherous, but it’s an afterthought). To me, it’s just the way home. It’s more than a holiday like Thanksgiving that brings us together, it’s satisfying our need or want to belong.”

“After this election, family events like Thanksgiving are even more awkward. But I still go. Coming together seems more important today, than in many years past. We are stronger together, when we reach across the lines to try and understand each other.

Sometimes that means crossing political party lines and sometimes it just means crossing the dinner table. Folks around my Thanksgiving dinner table have changed. It’s not the same as it used to be and that’s a little sad, a little scary, and leaves me a little nostalgic.

But I’m not just going to abandon my people because we disagree or it’s hard to understand each other. I’ll stick with my tribe, and venture across the mountain to make it back home.”

What’s in a Name Game

Do you know the town in Appalachia that got its name from one man’s obsession with a particular dessert?

Is it…

A) Pie, West Virginia

B) Fudge, North Carolina

C) Strudel, Pennsylvania

Listen to the show to find out.

What’s your favorite turkey memory? Do you prefer just to eat them? Join the conversation on twitter and let us know how you remember Thanksgivings of the past and whether Turkey hunting or turkey farming are a part of your family’s story. Find us at @InAppalachia

We had help producing Inside Appalachia this week from The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and The Allegheny Front. Music in today’s show was provided by Andy Agnew Jr., Ben Townsend, Dinosaur Burps, and Anna and Elizabeth, Our What’s in a Name theme music is by Marteka and William with “Johnson Ridge Special” from their Album Songs of a Tradition. Our Appetite Appalachia theme music is by the Carolina Sunshine Trio.

Our producer is Roxy Todd. Our editor is Jesse Wright. Our audio mixer is Zander Aloi. We’d love to hear from you. You can e-mail us at Find us on Twitter @InAppalachia or @JessicaYLilly.