We welcomed Mr. Jonathan Fisher as a guest speaker on July 21, 2019. He comes from Ashville, North Carolina and is teaching English as a lecturer at Akifuchu High School. The title of his presentation was “A Trip to Appalachia.”
Before getting into the main issue, he gave his self-introduction. He has “many hobbies”and has loved hiking and camping since he was a child. He was very active as a Boy Scouts member. He tries to go hiking or camping if there is time. He talked about his experiences on Mt Fuji, Yakushima, Miyajima, Mt Noro, and so on.
Returning to the topic, the presenter showed the states Appalachia covers, using a few maps. Appalachia stretches from New York to Alabama and Georgia, but in his presentation he described the Appalachia he knows near his home town. He explained the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and so on. Pictures on the slides showed a series of beautiful scenes. He also introduced the Biltmore Estate, the largest home in the USA.
The speaker mentioned the relation between settlers and Native Americans. The Cherokee lived in an area of the Southeastern United States now covered by Appalachia. But when the Indian Removal Act was enacted, most Cherokee people were forced to leave their homes in the 1830s. Then he played the folk music of Appalachia on the violin. The audience was fascinated by his performance.
Mr. Fisher’s presentation provided a precious opportunity for us to know the culture and history of Appalachia we are not familiar with. Through this opportunity, we have come to want to learn more about Appalachia.