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From Appalachia to the Coastside

Half Moon Bay Review and Pescadero Pebble (Half Moon Bay, CA) , November 17, 2004


A slice of Americana, rich in folklore, tradition and values, will unfold at the San Gregorio Store Saturday when Jerry Harmon tells stories and sings songs. A deep-rooted native of the mountains of western North Carolina, Harmon's words are full of wit and wisdom through a thick mountain drawl.

"As a boy, I remember setting by the fireplace listening to my grandfather tell tales," he said. "The things he instilled in me were priceless. Morals of honesty, fairness, compassion, treating people fairly. Things that really, really matter."

Harmon's great-great-great-grandfather, Council Harmon, came to America from England in the early 1800s and brought "Jack" stories. Centered on a prankish figure named Jack who survives on his wits, they formed a template for Appalachian storytelling. "Jack and the Beanstalk" comes from these stories, which Council was among the first to introduce to America.

Subjects Covered: education

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