Monday, August 2, 2010


Folks, what you are looking at is the interior of Rickman's Store, which is a century-old country store in Macon County, N. C. that has been preserved by the Tennessee Conservancy. Everything in the store is much as it was almost a century ago when the local residents bought everything from clothes, food, hardware and candy here. Last Saturday, it was the site of the play, "Prince of Dark Corners." Rickman's Store managers simply carried in chairs, covered the windows and left Steve Brady and his able assistants (his son and daughter) to work their magic. By turn, Rickman's Store became a jail cell in Asheville and the front porch of Lewis Redmond's home in 1906. I am an advocate for this kind of grassroots theater. I guess it is theater reduced to its simplest form: an empty space and a character-driven story of an Appalachian outlaw. (Please click on the photo!)


  1. We, the Friends of the Rickman Store, will forever be in debt with Steve Brady and you Gary for bringing "The Prince of Dark Corners" to our beloved historic building in Cowee. The setting was great, the performance outstanding, the audience wonderful, and the spirit of community was strongly there. The night was excellent to celebrate the 3rd. Anniversary of the purchase of the Store by the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee. Thank you and come back. Elena Carlson

  2. Elena, This production of "Prince of Dark Corners" was remarkable. I certainly wish I had a performance site like Rickman's Store more often.
    I'm hoping that Bobbie contacts you soon, and as soon as I have a finished script for Mother Jones, I will start looking for someone who can do that part for you as well. Bare in mind that I can always come and tell stories.

  3. That sounds really great! I think a lot of theater events are purposely kept beyond the reach of average folks. It's telling a story and people used to do this kind of thing all the time for anyone that wanted to be part of the experience. That's why I like the Liar's Bench so much as it's a place for people to gather, to share and to listen to others stories and maybe even a play once in a while.

  4. Arkansas Red-Ozark TroubadourNovember 28, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    We used to have a sort of a liar's bench and spit and whittle club in Leslie, Arkansas, in front of a cafe on the main street, but times have changed. The old time whittlers are gone and the new breed is more into iPods, text messaging and such, and could care less about the old traditions. What a shame. Hopefully, there's still somewhere in our fair state where the problems of the world are solved by just sittin' and doin' some serious whittlin'.