[John Fox, Jr., Festival – Panel Discussion on Preserving Cultural Heritage]

A discussion of the preservation of cultural history from the John Fox, Jr., Festival in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

00:02Copy video clip URL Discussion joined mid-conversation, briefly interrupted by a clip of a broadcast TV show. Three people sit at a table and are cut off abruptly as the tape cuts to a meeting.

00:47Copy video clip URL Set-up for a meeting. 

01:38Copy video clip URL Man introduces the fourth and final session of the John Fox, Jr., Festival,  a panel discussion featuring community leaders relating the value of cultural institutions to the preservation and promotion of their heritage. Participants are John Fisher; Ann Gregory, editor of the Clinch Valley Times; Ronnie Montgomery, attorney from Lee County; Mary Southerland, Lonesome Pine Regional Library Board; Barbara Polley, Wise Country Citizen of the Year.

07:30Copy video clip URL John Fisher begins the discussion, presenting a “free enterprise outlook system as a part of our cultural heritage” and the business side of cultural heritage. 

09:15Copy video clip URL The economic impact of the Trail of the Lonesome Pine on the region. “Perhaps it is true that OPEC might have had more to do with our local economy than the Lonesome Pine Arts and Crafts. But we who’ve been associated with it through these last 15 years like to think that the drama The Trail of the Lonesome Pine have all materially contributed to our economic resurgence.” He discusses restaurants and other accommodations that have arisen to cater to tourists, the number of jobs that it has created, and the money that it has brought into the area. 

15:50Copy video clip URL Mary Southerland discusses the region’s cultural history, and the diversity of people who came to Big Stone Gap in search of mining work. That includes both fancy gentlemen’s clubs and high cultural events as well as folk music. Lonesome Pine Arts and Crafts’ contributions to Wise County and Big Stone Gap. Also discussed are the impact of the drama The Trail of the Lonesome Pine and the John Fox, Jr., House museum, as well as various musical and cultural festivals and the large number of clubs and organizations supporting arts and culture in the area. 

24:45Copy video clip URL Ronnie Montgomery speaks about the role of law and government in preserving cultural heritage. He characterizes John Fox, Jr.’s novel The Trail of the Lonesome Pine and the theatrical adaptation that is staged every summer as in large part a history of Southwest Virginia’s “allegiance to the law.” He offers a history of contemporary law that reaches back to medieval England. 

30:06Copy video clip URL The importance of adherence to the law of pioneers in Southwest Virginia, and the way that impacted Fox’s novel. The lack of lynch laws in the area as “evidence of a strong moral fiber” in the area that can be traced back to England and English common law. 

33:05Copy video clip URL End of tape. Montgomery is cut off mid-sentence. 



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