Author Archives: David Whisnant

Every Marriage Is Two Marriages: John Whisnant and Mary Neal Rudisill Whisnant’s Early Years Together, 1934-1940

Every marriage is two marriages: his and hers. Jessie Bernard, The Future of Marriage (1973)1 After a short train ride north from Asheville in late August 1934, John Whisnant and Mary Neal Rudisill walked into the Madison County Justice of … Continue reading

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Maybe Down the Road Somewhere: A Working-Class Valedictorian in Depression-era Asheville

I used to think that well, maybe, someday I could still go, you know. I thought well, maybe down the road somewhere I could still go. Mary Neal Rudisill Whisnant, on her long-cherished hope to go to college. Recorded interview … Continue reading

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“Calling CQ”: An Amateur Radio Geek in the 1920s and Beyond

As the Titanic was sinking on the night of April 15, 1912, the distress signal its telegraph operators tapped out was not (as in popular myth) SOS, but its predecessor CQD (CQ=”stop transmitting and pay attention”; D=distress).  Though that through-the-airwaves transmission proved … Continue reading

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Moving on Up to Pisgah Heights: The Whisnants in West Asheville

This is the story of a street railway operator and his family moving from a small rented house (their home for 16 years) on an in-town estate in downtown Asheville (see previous post: Working Class Family Behind the Big House: Asbury, … Continue reading

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The Down Side of the Land of the Sky: The Rudisills in Asheville and West Asheville, 1922-1951

This post is lovingly and admiringly dedicated to my father-in-law Frank Joseph Mitchell (February 12, 1927 – July 25, 2017).  Lifelong student, prodigious reader, indefatigable writer, fearless preacher and unforgettable teacher.  Eager, thoughtful and valued reader of this blog.  Always … Continue reading

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The Several Lives of West Asheville, Part III: Edwin Carrier in West Asheville

Quick Take on the Early Years: Incorporation, De-/Re-incorporation, Annexation, and Mini-Boom, 1889-1925 When West Asheville–already on the way toward development and modernization–was incorporated on February 9, 1889, the language of the Act had the quaint, old-fashioned flavor of an early … Continue reading

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