"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Poole had other ways of stopping the show. He would shout down audience members who interrupted the band: "Did you people come here to talk or to listen?" Barely literate, Poole was nonetheless wickedly articulate. Locals knew better than to try matching wits with a man they said could insult a statue. ("I thought a damn polecat was the only thing that throwed a scent," Poole once told a man who put a penny in the musicians’ kitty.)
Although he had a preference for slicked-down haircuts ending inches above his jug handle ears, accentuating his eager, boyish appearance, Poole never played up the country bumpkin look. No hayseed he. Pictures of the North Carolina Ramblers always show them in dressy dark suits, sporting natty bow ties and looking for all the world like Rotarians with instruments.
Poole was no civic model, however. Fiddler Posey Rorer’s grandnephew Kinney tells of the time Poole was playing a gin mill that was raided by police:
"One of the officers nabbed Poole. ‘Consider yourself under arrest,’ he told him. Never having been one to run from a fight, Poole replied, ‘Consider, hell!’ and came down across the officer’s head with his banjo, the instrument neck hanging down his front like a necktie. Another policeman pulled a revolver on Poole, who grabbed it as the two wrestled across the floor. The officer managed to get the barrel of the pistol in Charlie’s ear but as he pulled the trigger to kill him, Poole shoved the gun away so that it went off near his mouth. The explosion chipped his front teeth and left his lips bloodied and badly burned."
Charlie Poole was "Outlaw Country" fifty years before the term existed. #