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Diane Lauver's Legacy Plant

Resilient Reba: A bittersweet story from Diane Lauver

During a health fair in the 70s, I stayed with a couple in Elgin, TN: Reba and Bud Smithers. Another health fair worker, Angela stayed with me at their home. A few experiences with this couple left me with strong … Continued

One of the Best Days Ever

Contributed by Rosalie Hammond, December 2015 During the summer of 1971, I spent a good deal of time on health fair follow-up.  We had always been committed to doing more than just identify clinical problems at the health fairs.  As … Continued

Tom John in brevis

An video clip of an interview with Dr. Tom John, speaking about his experiences with the Student Health Coalition and the Center for Health Services. Recorded by Margaret Ecker, 2013.

“It isn’t easy to catch a pig, not even in the confines of the back of a truck.”

[Contributed by Pat Kalmans] The whole bee thing with Bill started in Nashville on the Vanderbilt campus. Bill had been wanting to raise bees for a while, but didn’t want to necessarily mail order the suckers.  One day, literally out … Continued

“I don’t think I could have made up the memory of crawling through barbed wire with 40 pounds of squealing, snapping, struggling pig in my arms”

[Contributed by Neil McBride] OK, I’ll join with two stories that suggest that Bill’s conversion from radical mountain agitator to organic farmer was not as sudden and distinct as some might think. They also address the sense that when Bill … Continued

“Not a nanosecond of time was allowed for the corn to begin to lose its sweetness between stalk and pot.”

[Story contributed by Trip Van Noppen] In 1975, I began working for SOCM and moved into the Ponderosa, the really old farmhouse outside of Lake City that Bill had somehow obtained for general housing needs. Jimmy Dean and Granny Loomis … Continued

“We lived with a coal burning stove and kept our provisions in gallon glass jugs against the mice.”

[Story contributed by Margaret Ecker] Sometime around 1975, local friends in Lake City offered us newly minted community organizers this abandoned house for a dwelling. We lived communally, our numbers fluctuating with the season. We lived with a coal burning … Continued

“For several years after that episode, the family sent me a card on their daughter’s birthday, thanking me for saving her life.”

[Story contributed by Margaret Ecker] My first job as a nurse practitioner began around 1975, in Briceville, Tennsessee, in a community-run clinic housed in a trailer and managed by a local board chaired by the venerable Byrd Duncan. A handful … Continued

The Story Behind the Photograph

[This story was contributed by Richard Davidson, M.D.] After an initial scouting year in the summer of 1969, the Student Health Coalition began health fairs and community organizing in Appalachia in the summer of 1970. After several months of hard … Continued