At the time of his death (August 31, 1996), Arthur Lee "Tommie" Bass, age 88, was probably the most well-known herbalist in the United States. The subject of scholarly and popular books, television features, a front-page essay in the Wall Street Journal, and numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, Tommie Bass lived his entire life in the Ridge and Valley region of Alabama. Through a combination of folk knowledge about many subjects, an endless inventory of jokes and humor, and an encyclopedic acquaintance with native plants and their medicinal uses, Tommie devoted himself to "trying to give ease" to the many people who sought his advice. The video documentary "Tommie Bass: A Life in the Ridge and Valley Country" is a biographical study of Mr. Bass, told almost entirely in his own words.
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