Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 06/07/12

Thursday, June 7, 2012

NATIONAL HOLLERIN' CONTEST FROM SPIVEY'S CORNER!!




The Lost Art of Hollerin’

    Hollerin’ is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans. It is a traditional form of communication used in rural areas before the days of telecommunications to convey long-distance messages. Evidence of hollerin’, or derivations thereof such as yodeling or hunting cries, exists worldwide among many early peoples and is still be practiced in certain societies of the modern world. In one form or another, the holler has been found to exist in Europe, Africa and Asia as well as the US. Each culture used or uses hollers differently, although almost all cultures have specific hollers meant to convey warning or distress. Otherwise hollers exist for virtually any communicative purpose imaginable -- greetings, general information, pleasure, work, etc. The hollers featured at the National Hollerin’ Contest typically fall into one of four categories: distress, functional, communicative or pleasure.







    Within the US, particularly the Southeast, folklore researchers have found the practice of hollerin’ to be present primarily among traditionally black communities. Although hollerin’ is rarely found to have survived in white communities, many folklorist believe it to have once been widespread throughout the region and practiced by both whites and blacks alike. Oddly, in Sampson County, North Carolina, the reverse of the norm is true; while hollerin’ has continued to live on in white localities, there is little or no evidence of its existence among the black population.






    Although similarities abound -- particularly in sound, hollerin’ as defined by the Spivey’s Corner contest, is not the same thing as yodeling or other farm or hunting calling. Rather, it is viewed, at least by Sampson County natives, as an art form to be taken seriously. Its roots, however, can be traced back to the men working on rafts in the 1700s, when logs were transported from Sampson County via its many rivers and streams to Wilmington. The loggers operating the rafts hollered back and forth to one another about their rafts so that they wouldn’t run into each other, or so that if stuck, others would come to their aid. The tradition has survived since its colonial origins.
    The “trademark” holler of Sampson County, NC is one considered unique because of its virtuoso rendering. This holler “consists primarily of rapid shifts between natural and falsetto voice within a limited gapped scale” and the typical melodic movement “consists simply of alterations between the first, third and fifth of the scale” so that the voice is “employed almost as a musical instrument.”







Types of Hollers

    The hollers native to Sampson County can be classified in one of the following groups:

Distress hollers: In many ways, hollers were essential in rural communities; they notified others within hearing range of imminent danger or brought assistance to otherwise isolated farmers when needed. In the past, locals say, hollers have helped locate lost children, saved drowning men, and even ended house fires. “There was just as much a need of hollerin’ as there was of eatin’ at that day and time,” says 1971 Hollerin’ Champion, Leonard Emanuel. Distress hollers are typified by a falsetto tone and sense of urgency.







Functional hollers: These are the hollers used in day-to-day life on the farm or in the field. Each farmer or rancher had his own distinctive hollers to bring in this hogs, cattle, sheep or dogs. This was particularly useful when farmers’ animals grazed common land. A farmer could round up his hogs with his unique holler without disturbing any of his neighbors’ hogs. This is also the type of holler used each morning to let nearby farmers know that one was up and about, as well as by women to call home their families from the fields at the end of the day.








Examples of The Different Types of Hollers'

Communicative hollers: “Howdy neighbor” is the main purpose of these cries. Ermon Godwin explains: “A man working alone in a field might holler just to hear a reassuring answer from his neighbor in the next field a mile or two away” . Women also frequently used this form of holler.

Expressive hollers: Some hollers are voiced purely for pleasure’s sake -- they are known as expressive hollers. Often, this is a hollered version of a popular tune or melody and serves no purpose other than of entertainment. Many of the contest champions have won using expressive hollers, particularly in recent years. Even North Carolina's Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham gets into the act with a hollerin' impression of a mule. You won't believe the Duet, but my favorite is the Quartet rendition of "Amazing Grace."







History ofThe National Hollerin’ Contest (1969-present)

    Every year, on the third Saturday of June, in an otherwise sleepy borough of southeastern North Carolina known as Spivey’s Corner (population 49), some 5,000-10,000 folks gather from far and wide to take part in the festivities and entertainment in the day-long extravaganza known as the National Hollerin’ Contest.
    You may have heard of the contest -- since its inception in 1969, the contest has garnered attention and fame throughout both the country and the world. The contest and its winners have been featured on television shows such as The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman, in magazines with worldwide circulations such as Stars and Stripes and Sports Illustrated, and have even been the subject of documentary films, featured on The Voice of America, and mentioned in television sports commentaries.







    Responsible for the publicity surrounding the unique event is one of the contest’s founders and self- described “master promoter,” Ermon H. Godwin. The contest began almost 30 years ago in 1969, when on a weekly radio broadcast with fellow contest founder and area resident John Thomas, Godwin jokingly suggested reviving the “lost art” of hollerin’ by holding a contest, the proceeds from which would benefit the Spivey’s Corner Volunteer Fire Department. The first contest flooded the town (then population 48) with participants and observers, including the mainstream press. The day’s events featured not only the promised hollerin’ contest, but other contests, pageants and games as well, such as a biggest bell pepper contest, a watermelon roll and a square-dancing jamboree. Over the years the publicity efforts surrounding the contest have been unusual, if not down-right wacky: past invitees to the contest include former US president Ronald Reagan, the Shah of Iran, the 1984 Olympic Festival, the 1985 Super Bowl, and the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.






    Since the first contest, the annual event has become a summer ritual for many. Contestants convene in Spivey’s Corner on the Midway High School football field from around the world, although only one hollerin’ champion has hailed from outside Sampson County (H.H. Oliver, ‘70 champion, who hails from neighboring Wayne County). Currently, the day’s events feature five contests: the Whistlin’ Contest, the Conch Shell and Fox Horn Blowin’ Contest, the Junior Hollerin’ Contest, the Ladies Callin’ Contest and, of course, the National Hollerin’ Contest. (A separate “calling contest” [wives called their husbands in from the fields] was created for women hollerers in 1976 so the main contest is a men-only event.)


So When Is the Hollerin' Contest?
   The National Hollerin' Contest traditionally takes place the third Saturday in June. The definitive source for current Hollerin' Contest information is at http://www.hollerincontest.com/scvfd/

RULES AND TIPS TO SURVIVE A CLASSIC HORROR MOVIE MONSTER ATTACK!!!




    I love to watch old horror movies. The new one are most of the times a little on the gory side, but the old ones are still fun to watch. The people in these movies have no common sense. If they had, they would all survive their little escapades with hitchhikers, vampires, zombies and any monster in the local vicinity. So, I submit for your reading pleasure:  Rules To Survive Scary Encounters.

  1. When the old lady or gentleman in the inn or tavern tells you to avoid a certain place, DO IT! The locals generally know what they are talking about.
  2. Despite how late it is, drive on through. Ignore your travelling partner's yawns, snores, and protests of fatigue and keep on going.
  3. NEVER! stay at Mom and Pop hotels. The kids have been known to harbor homicidal tendencies.
  4. If, for some unforeseen reason, the car inexplicably breaks down in the middle of the night, DO NOT leave it's shelter. Stay put! Lock the doors, and if one is available, put our cell phone to good use. But then, if you had a cell phone.....well, that's another story.
  5. DO NOT attempt to hide away in deserted mansions, castles, shacks, inns, caves, or anywhere else that looks like familiar monster grounds. (Sub-rule A: Ignore that person who insists such questionable places are surely safe.)
  6. If, for some unforeseen reason, you find yourself in one of the aforementioned mansions, castles, shacks, inns, caves, etc., resist the urge to wander off on your own to explore. Camp out in an open place, and stick together! Better yet, STAY IN YOUR CAR!!!
  7. The man in the tux with the sharp teeth is a vampire. Do not look him in the eyes. (I wear my sunglasses at night!). You will become a member of the living dead shortly after. For preparedness, see Rule 10.
  8. Should you happen to run into a man in a hockey mask with a chainsaw, axe, household butcher knife. DO NOT lock yourself into the farthest room down the hallway, and stand next to the opposite wall. He, she, or it will still find you eventually. They, are not, after all, THAT STUPID!!!
  9. Learn to recognize the signs of a zombie; vacant eyes, drool, indistinct groans. Should one of your friends show these signs, back away and find the sharpest implement available to put him down!!
  10. Carry an assortment of implements designed to fend off the so called "monsters". Garlic, crucifixes, wooden stakes, sharp swords, and guns loaded with silver bullets are very useful. It is advisable to wear the garlic and carry a concealed weapon of some sort.
    I hope these rules, whilenot complete, will give you some guidelines on the common sense you should employ when on an adventure. Use common sense! (or if you want to use uncommon sense instead) Stay safe! And be sure to laugh loudly at the people in these movies making these errors in judgement.

BADWATER ULTRAMARATHON FROM DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA!!




    The Badwater Ultra marathon describes itself as "the world's toughest foot race". It is a 135-mile course starting at 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California's Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet at Whitney Portal, the trail head to Mount Whitney. It takes place annually in mid-July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120 °F, even in the shade, are not uncommon. Consequently, very few people—even among ultramarathoners—are capable of finishing this grueling race.




Course

    Originally, the run was conceived as being between the lowest and the highest points in the contiguous United States: Badwater, Death Valley (−282 ft) and Mt. Whitney's summit (14,505 ft). The two are only eighty miles apart on the map, but the land route between the two points is substantially longer, 146 miles, because of detours around lakebeds and over mountain ranges. Additionally, since the finish-line is 11 miles from the nearest trailhead, anyone who competes over the 146-mile race-distance must be capable of a total physical effort of 157 miles. Due to the two mountain ranges that must be crossed between Badwater and Whitney, the course's cumulative elevation gain exceeds 19,000 feet.
    In later years, as the United States Forest Service required summit permits to climb Mt. Whitney, the official course was shortened to end at Whitney Portal. The Badwater-to-Portal course is 135 miles long, with 13,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. Forest Service regulations do not allow competitive events in the John Muir Wilderness; however, many runners choose to continue tradition and complete the ascent to Mount Whitney's summit on their own.





Early History

    The hike between Badwater and Mount Whitney (via the treacherous salt flats in Death Valley) was first made in 1969 by Stan Rodefer and Jim Burnworth of San Diego.
    Al Arnold first attempted running the route in 1974 but was pulled off the course after eighteen miles with severe dehydration. After vigorous sauna-training and desert-acclimatization, he attempted the run again in 1975. This time, a knee injury aborted the run at fifty miles. In 1976, training injuries kept him from even beginning his annual attempt on the course.
    In 1977 he successfully pioneered running the course, summiting Whitney eighty hours after his start at Badwater. Arnold has never returned to the course, except to receive the Badwater Hall of Fame Award.
    The second Badwater-to-Whitney running was completed in 1981, by Jay Birmingham.





    In 1987, the crossing became an official, organized footrace. Five runners competed the first year. During the early years of the race, no particular route between Badwater and Whitney was specified and runners attempted various "shortcuts" between the start and finish. Adrian Crane, one of the competitors in the inaugural race, even used cross-country skis to cross the salt-flats at Badwater.
    AdventureCORPS manages the competitive race from Badwater to Whitney Portal. The course route is specified, and the race is held annually. The field is invitation-only and limited in size. Demand to participate in the race usually far exceeds available spots. Rules have changed somewhat over the years: afternoon starts have been discontinued; the use of intravenous fluids now disqualifies a runner.





    Course support is not provided. Each runner must arrange for his or her own support crew and vehicle. The crew provides their runner with his or her needs, including water, ice, food, gear, pacing, and first aid.
    Runners who complete the course in sixty hours receive a commemorative medal; runners who complete the course in forty-eight hours receive a belt buckle. No prize money is awarded.
    The record for the 146-mile race was set in 1991 by Marshall Ulrich: 33 hours and 54 minutes. Records for the current 135-mile course are 22 hours 51 minutes 29 seconds (men), set by Valmir Nunes, and 26 hours 51 minutes 33 seconds (women), set by Jamie Donaldson.
    In the last few years, 70 to 80 people have competed in each race, with 20–40% failing to reach the finish line. There have been no fatalities.






Multiple Crossings

    In 1989, Tom Crawford and Richard Benyo completed the first double crossing (which became known as the "Death Valley 300"), running from Badwater to Mount Whitney's summit and back to Badwater again.
    In 1994, Scott Weber completed the first Triple Crossing going from the Mount Whitney Summit to Badwater, then returning from Badwater to the Mount Whitney summit, then going from the Mount Whitney summit back to Badwater in 10 days. The first leg of the Triple was also done solo unassisted with Weber pushing an unmodified "baby jogger" cart with his supplies from oasis to oasis spaced from 20 to 30 miles apart. Weber completed the majority of the triple unassisted and solo being met once or twice a day by Ben on the second leg and for 100 miles of the third leg. Faced with the necessity of completing the Triple before August ended, Weber abandoned his cart at mile 390 to be fully crewed by Denise Jones. Completing this Triple and adding the Badwater race from the previous month made Weber the first runner to complete four full crossings of the Badwater-Mount Whitney summit course in a single July-August window. He remains the only runner to have done a multiple crossing with a solo unassisted section of 146 miles or greater.






    In 2001, Marshall Ulrich was the first runner to complete the "Badwater Quad", consisting of two back-to-back Death Valley 300s for a total of four consecutive Badwater/Whitney transits. He completed the course, a distance in excess of twenty-two marathons, in ten days.
    In 2003, Sawyer Manuj became the first Asian-American to complete the Badwater duo.
    Unassisted solo crossingsIn 1994, Scott Weber became the first runner to cross from the summit of Mount Whitney to Badwater course solo without a crew. He did so by pushing a 'baby-jogger' cart with his supplies going oasis to oasis (20-30 miles apart). Weber then continued on to complete 2 additional crossing with minimal support until being crewed full-time for the final 45 miles of this 438+ mile journey.





Unassisted "self-contained" Solo Crossings

    In July 1999, Marshall Ulrich became the first and only runner to complete the 146-mile Badwater-to-Summit course without a crew or resupply, denying himself the use of artificial shade or outside aid of any kind. Starting with 225 lbs of gear and water loaded in a modified baby jogger, he pushed and pulled the cart to the Whitney trail head, then continued on to the summit with a pack. He reached Whitney's summit in seventy seven hours and forty six minutes.





Badwater Solo Ultra Marathon 135/146

    In 2005, in response to the desire of local and non-elite runners to test themselves against the course, Hugh Murphy initiated the Badwater Solo Ultra 135/146. Runners attempt the course during the months of July and August and have their completion verified and published by Murphy. Runners are encouraged to include the Whitney summit as part of their transit, but credit is given for either distance. In compliance with National Park and Forest Service permitting rules, this is not a competitive race but a "solo" crossing with a support crew (as in, "not a part of the official race", which is not to be confused with Weber or Ulrich's use of "solo" to designate an unassisted crossing).
    In 2007, then-19 year old Ben Eakin completed his first solo crossing, having only finished 2 marathons and 1 50K prior to doing so. Eakin completed the solo from Badwater to the summit of Mount Whitney, to become the youngest male to complete the lowest to highest course, as well as the first type-1 diabetic.
    In 2005, Barbara Szeprethy, then 24, is the youngest woman to finish the course, 3 times total, in consecutive years.




Death Valley Cup

    Any competitor who completes both the Badwater Ultramarathon and the Furnace Creek 508 bicycle race (also held in Death Valley) during the same calendar year is awarded the Death Valley Cup.






Badwater World Cup BWWCBadwater World Cup (BWWC) consists of:
  • Badwater ( race in the desert)
  • Brazil 135 Ultramarathon ( race in the mountains)
  • Arrowhead ( race in the snow)
  • Europe 135

.