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Posted by hub ( on October 11, 2001 at 14:26:44:

In Reply to: well...let's see... posted by Margi on October 11, 2001 at 11:22:54:

Reminds me of a story.
It seems that in Appalachia back in the day, and maybe still today in the nether reaches, that the women folk would get together and have community canning parties.
Now in these communities most of the 'ol girls were related because the family tree didn't have too many branches.
The women would form a large circle out of stools and chairs or whatever was comfortable and sit and snap beans.
They sat spraddle legged so that their dresses would make a basket. Then when they snapped the beans they could just drop them in their lap.
It was usually very hot and humid in the south during canning time because pole beans reach maturity about mid summer. These ladies wore their dresses slightly below the knee and most of the time without panties. Aside from the fact that it was hot and humid, the women couldn't afford underpants anyway.
With all the snapping and perspiring and lack of protection, the gnats and flys would begin to swarm. This was the time that the matriarch of the clan would call for one of the younger women to light up a "gnat smoke". The younger woman would go and fetch some dried cow dung and wood chips and put them in a bucket. Then she would put fire to them causing them to smolder and smoke. She would then place the bucket in the middle of the circle of women to smoke those pesky gnats out of the places that they were not welcome.
I hear they still do that in Canada as well.

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