ELLEN TAYLOR STINES

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Ellen Taylor Stines was younger than many of Morrison’s interviewees. Taylor Stines and her husband were married in 1964 and were moved out of the Salt Creek Valley soon after. Many of Taylor Stines’ stories had to do with her mother, Dorothy Stogdill Stines, who lived in the Valley her whole life. Taylor Stines’ conversation with Morrison revealed how quickly the traditional ways of life were already changing before Lake Monroe was built:

Taylor Stines: I don’t make biscuits.
Morrison: You don’t?
Taylor Stines: No.
Morrison: Why not?
Taylor Stines: Well, I just never did.
Morrison: Do you make anything that your mom used to make?
Taylor Stines: Well, not really. Because she, well, like I said, she was just such a good cook. And she would make, like, a chicken soup and put all kinds of things in it. But what I really thought was wonderful was I was growing up was things you bought in a store (Ellen laughs)…light bread, pork & beans—
Morrison: Canned?
Taylor Stines: We’d eat everything! I mean, if we had a can of kidney beans we’d eat ’em…If it was store bought, that was just like candy.

Quilting provided another example of changing traditions with the Stines women. Dorothy Stogdill Stines was a prodigious quilter who learned to quilt from her own mother. When Morrison asked where her mother had learned to quilt, Stogdill Stines replied “Well, she had a bunch of sisters, ‘n they all loved, ‘n her mom loved to make quilts and she just picked it up.” Stogdill Stines’ three daughters, including Ellen, did not pick up quilting even though their mother sewed throughout their lives. This breach of folk art tradition cannot be blamed on Lake Monroe, but rather illustrates the overarching danger that changing cultures and technologies pose to traditional crafts.