The literal-mindedness of Dark Corner folks

Published 5:28 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Many an unsuspecting visitor in Dark Corner environs and surrounding cities and towns have witnessed a unique characteristic of these native, mountain people literal-mindedness.

Far different than the sensation-minded medias description of Dark Cornerites as sinister, suspicious souls, the vast majority are fairly uncomplicated individuals who want to believe that the words they hear from someones mouth are truthful in nature. Or, they quite honestly assume that what a person says is what they mean.

Occasionally, however, the mountain man or woman forgets that the English language can sometime be interpreted six ways from Sunday using the same exact words.

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Therein lies the circumstances under which a number of humorous incidents have occurred over the years involving the good-hearted souls of Dark Corner.

Take, for example, the experience of two young, adult men from Dark Corner who decided to spend some of their moonshine money at a carnival down in Greenville early in the last century.

They gawked and gazed at a number of tented attractions, but became extremely interested in a pitted exhibition. A pit, dug about three feet deep in the ground, was filled with poisonous snakes. They paid the 25 cents admission and watched a barefoot man with his britches rolled up to his knees walk around among the snakes.

Members of the audience cringed, shook with excitement, or simply looked away.

The Dark Corner fellows, instead, noticed that the snakes in the pit were much smaller than the timber rattlers from up in the mountains.

The very next day, they went hunting and found four of the biggest timber rattlers they could find and put them together in a big, burlap bag. That night, they returned to the carnival.

They waited for the man to climb into the pit, then they untied the bag and emptied the mountain rattlers into it, saying, Tiptoe around amongst some real snakes for a while and see how you make out!

All witnesses at the event agreed that the pit man became airborne at that moment!

Next, consider the farmer who was renting a parcel of land and had been ordered not to remove any manure from the property.

The manure was not where he wanted it, so he hauled it to the stream that flowed across the property and dumped it.

When confronted, he contended that he did NOT remove the manure from the property.

The water did!

Lastly, in early 1950, one of the well-known mountain men of the Corner was turning 70 years of age in just a few days.

A reporter from a Greenville newspaper, who had written several features about the Dark Corner in days past, came to interview him. After asking numerous questions about his background and family, the reporter asked, Have you lived in the Dark Corner all your life?

No, replied the oldster.

Where did you live before you came here?

No place. This is the only place I ever lived.

But, how can you say you havent lived here all your life? the reporter insisted.

Easy, son. I aint DEAD yet!


A new Dark Corner exhibit will open at the relocated Greer Heritage Museum at 106 South Main Street on Friday, May 7, and will run through Saturday, June 26. The museum is open Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be special guest experts giving one- or two-hour presentations on Saturdays. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. For information, call 864-877-3377, or e-mail