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Om Billy the Goat's Tales of Two Towns
Between the years 1949 and 1976, Luther David Ralph (son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, farmer, carpenter, storyteller, journalist) wrote over 800 columns entitled "Billy the Goat's Tales of Two Towns By L.D.R." for the GOODLETTSVILLE GAZETTE. In his first column he wrote, "This column will start in Shackle Island (TN) and eventually wind up in Goodlettsville (TN)......we will endeavor to mingle news of the past as handed down for posterity with amusing events of today. " During those 27 years he did write about current events; memories of life on Long Hollow; stories of adventures in The West; and, occasionally family events. Mr. Ralph's reminiscences. and observations provide a glimpse into the life in rural Sumner County, Tennessee between the towns Goodlettsville (actually just over the line in Davidson County, TN) and Shackle Island along the Long Hollow he called home for the nine decades of his life (1890-1979). Granddaughter Annelle Ralph Hawkins Huggins has located many of the original columns saved by family members and readers over the years and additional ones in the holdings of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. She has chosen 91 representative columns for this compilation. Ms. Huggins has been an academic librarian for 41 years and currently serves as Associate Professor / Associate Dean of University Libraries at the University of Memphis. She continues to seek additional writings by her grandfather and to transcribe all findings into electronic format to be "handed down for posterity."