Thursday, October 11, 2012

the SCOOP on Hillbilly Blood, TV show

update: so many people keep reading this post that I feel inclined to let you know about - MY MUSIC for sale, cheap, awesome, original! Please see the store page at this website.  You'll probably like most the album called Brother Wolf by Spencer Ray (that's me).  It's on amazon and iTunes and lots of free lower quality samples on youtube thanks!
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(re: season 1)

The scoop on America’s best TV show ever.  Ha!  Hillbilly Blood.  Well, the whole thing has been fun and well worth it but because of a variety of issues I am compelled to make a short statement on the show.  I, Spencer two dogs Bolejack, am an outdoor enthusiast and have been my whole life.  If you read my background page that’ll get you started but there’s plenty left out.  I’ve taught North Carolina history and my family goes a long way back to the organ builder at Old Salem, NC.  I was approached to do the show because of my expertise on survival and Appalachian history; living history.  These are skills I have both lived with and taught to others at my school in Cruso, NC.  Eugene is one of those fellows that just makes you feel like you're back in school - he's a living library on primitive technology, plants, tools, and has worked as everything from a cook to auto body builder and has mad skills that are creative as they are scientific. 

The TV show was called “Secrets of the Mountain People”, and as a documentary sort-of reality sort-of show, would both show Eugene and I demonstrating a variety of fixes, tips, and skills, as well as showcasing locals from ALL backgrounds doing what they do best – making do.  Appalachia is very diverse.  We have retirees, old family, hippies, transplants, rednecks, radicals, backwoods fellers and smellers, hillbillies, etc. The heart of the show was showing the grit and resourcefulness of Appalachian people, something I’m very proud of.  A secondary goal was to share great information with the growing community of preparedness minded individuals.  A lot of these skills and knowledge are dying out.  Younger generations may act proud of being from some cultural place, but the reality is they are often too busy to actually live by the skills their parents and grandparents had.  Much of the knowledge is being lost.  The show was a way to preserve this knowledge.

We filmed a variety of things which was challenging due to the constraints of 3D technology, conflicting direction, and very limited time.  It turned out suitable enough for the one hour show.
I was bothered by the cuts to a half hour episode which did away with much of the teaching of how things were made and done, but it’s wasn’t terrible.  The name change, however, was completely out of our control and seems to have more to do with gaining an audience than representing our people or the original intent of the show.  And it worked! In the end who cares what the name is, honestly. 

Eugene and I both hope you have enjoyed it enough to get a chuckle, and perhaps were inspired to get more outdoors yourself and see what you can do with both nature and your own hands.  Find out how people live without daily or weekly, or ever, trips to Wal Mart.  Ask questions about how you’d fare if gas was unavailable, food was scarce, or a sudden crisis robbed your wallet. 
If you have any questions regarding the show feel to contact myself or Eugene, we are easily discoverable on Facebook.  Check the links to the right of this post for our public channels, Windrider and Trapper Jack.   You can also email me from my website at www.lotswild.com
Thank you,
Spencer

ps - I'll be doing my thing at the nation's largest living history festival, Hart's Square, near Hickory NC later this month.  You won't be disappointed come check it out.

update 4/25/13 - come support Camp Hope in Cruso NC this weekend.  See post.

update 2/3/15 - search recent blog posts for answers to common questions; things like "Why didn't you roll start a manual transmission?"  Answer: logging roads are often blocked by buried logs, placed vertically to stop vehicle traffic, in our mountains.  The truck was stopped up against a row of these, and the hill behind was steep with huge roots.  I'll do a video on that spot soon just cause so many ppl ask!  Also Hemlock is not poisonous.  Poison Hemlock is poisonous.  Hemlock trees are awesome and useful for so many things! Sadly they are almost all gone now.  Even fewer than when we filmed.