This piece originally appeared on the now defunct site Gilt Taste, edited by Francis Lam.
There’s a recording I came across one day while browsing the archives of the American Folklife Center. The tape is not old—it was recorded in 1995—but if you didn’t know that, you could guess that it was from any time, really. There’s a slight tape hiss and the West Virginia accents from Kenny and Martha Pettry are thick. They’re talking about berry pies that Kenny’s mother used to make, and he lists them off in a cadence, pausing between each one. “Yea, my mother made pies out of mulberries. Blueberries. Blackberries. Huckleberries.” Then Martha interjects, “I just never did care for no mulberries.” The two talk over each other for a bit until she finally exclaims, “The mulberry’s the worst berry there ever was!”
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