Playwrite Gary Carden writes....
Blow the Tannery Whistle is my story about growing up in
Appalachia. Since I was blessed—and afflicted—with a graphic memory, my tales are based on actual events. My father was a mountain musician who was killed by a local drunk when I was two years old. My mother left me on the front porch of my grandfather’s house and caught the bus for Knoxville. I was brought up by my grandparents in a house filled with the past. I listened to Grady Cole and Renfrow Valley on the radio while my grandfather tuned musical instruments and sang hymns from a shape-note songbook. There was always a great deal of foolishness about bad blood and black Irish curses.
I grew up with June Apple trees, cows, comic books, the Farmers’ Federation and Saturday movies. I told my first stories to white leghorn chickens in a dark chicken-house when I was six years old. My audience wasn’t attentive and tended to get hysterical during the dramatic parts.