“Harder than rocket science”

My dad and uncle on local television about old traditions. See the news item for context.

(Darcel:) As the fall colors appear.. And the temperatures drop.. Some of us long for the comforts of years gone by.

(Frank:) A group of men gathers in Buncombe County to warm-up to their mountain heritage. News 13’s John Le explains.

(John Le reporting) No matter what the season.. The backdrop seems timeless. And it’s a familiar cast of characters that make you forget time is passing. Important if you start cooking at 5:30 am.

(Olin) “I’m a retired aeronautics engineer.. (Is this rocket science?) I think it’s tougher ha”

This is not exactly the melting pot of America. It’s a 50 gallon pot of apple butter that’s slowly cooking toward completion. They’ll heat up about 720 pints in two days.. To be given out for the holiday season.

(Junior Amos) “The main thing is to not let it burn.. Keep a good rhythm going.”

For about twelve hours they take turns stirring the pot.. As much with their conversation as anything else. It’s become a fall tradition. Forrest Jarrett is the ringleader.

(Forrest ) “I just wanted to get up here and act important.. I ain’t been important all my life.”

If their technique seems “old school”.. Well, it is. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Olin) “This is part of our celebration of heritage.”

(John Standup) “Some allege that this is some sort of timeshare arrangement. The more time you spend stirring.. The more pints you get. But this is less about splitting the pot.. And more about friendship.”

In this microwave generation.. This is a very different approach. Here.. There is no counter.. And no beep to signify the end. It’l be done when it’s ready. A simple truth that keeps the mountain lifestyle in their memories.. And in their hearts. In Leicester.. John Le, News 13.