Wheeling native, Don Feenerty has been called a Renaissance man by many but considers himself to be extremely simple. So much so that he is starting a YouTube channel called “The Simple Life with Don Feenerty.” Join us on December 22nd at noon for the Ohio County Public Library’s Lunch with Books Series for “The Simple Life, a Foxfire Christmas from the Meeting House in Historic Mt. Pleasant, Ohio.”
Don claims, while growing up in South Wheeling his life was changed for the better by books. In fourth grade his teacher had him read “My Side of the Mountain” and at the age of twelve, he got his hands on his first “Foxfire” book. Living between the base of the West Virginia hills and the bank of the Ohio River in semi-rural Appalachia the stories in these books rang true and spoke volumes to young Feenerty.
Today he lives on a farm outside of Mt. Pleasant and spends much of his time living what he calls the Simple Life. He enjoys foraging for wild greens and mushrooms, hunting for antlers and arrowheads and making his own, everything. “In rural communities throughout Appalachia people did for themselves. They grew their own food, made their own tools and found entertainment in the simple things life had to offer,” says Feenerty. “And that’s what I like to do in my life.”
Feenerty will not only share his Simple Life ideas with Lunch with Books, he will also share some of his authentic Foxfire collection, items made by Appalachian crafts men and women featured in the Foxfire book series. Included in his Simple Life discussion Feenerty will show us how to brighten up the holidays with an apple, make memorable gifts from a piece of split firewood and how to make collectable gifts showcased in the Foxfire books.
Faire May, the Wheeling-based folk music duo founded by friends Jariel Henthorn and Zac Gordon, who use a variety of well-known acoustic instruments to keep the traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, and the Americas alive and growing, will provide musical entertainment throughout the presentation.
This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's LWB Livestream page. Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for our guests in the comments box.
ABOUT THE FOXFIRE SERIES: Eliot Wigginton, an English teacher at the Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in Georgia (and the son of Wheeling landscape architect Brooks Edward Wigginton), began a writing project based on his students' collecting oral histories from local residents and writing them up. The histories and articles were published in a small magazine format beginning in 1966 with topics covering all manner of folklife practices and customs associated with farming and the rural life of southern Appalachia, as well as the folklore and oral history of local residents. Named Foxfire after a local phosphorescent lichen, the magazine became one of the most beloved publications in American culture. The first anthology of collected Foxfire articles was published in book form in 1972 and was a surprise bestseller that brought Appalachia’s philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers. Since the first volume was published, the Foxfire books have brought the philosophy and wisdom of the mountains to millions, teaching creative self-sufficiency and preserving the stories, crafts, and customs of Southern Appalachia. Inspiring and practical, this classic series has become an American institution.
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"Lunch With Books" is the library’s flagship program for adult patrons. These lunchtime programs feature authors, poets, musicians, historians, and more every Tuesday at noon. Bring your lunch, feed your brain!