by A. Giovanni
(This article is reprinted here with the permission of the author, A. Giovanni.)
Most people who have seen the old television comedy “The Beverly Hillbillies” have no idea about some of the little grains of truth in the show. The show’s creator, Paul Henning, was a native Missourian who was clearly very familiar with the area and the people of the Ozark Mountain region. On the show, the Clampetts make visits to such locations as Silver Dollar City, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri.
What most people who have watched the show never guess is that Granny was more than just Elly May’s grandmother. Granny, who once says she comes from Taney County, which is the southwestern Missouri county where Branson is located, is a “granny woman” which is an old Ozark term for conjure woman. The word “medicine” is another word for potion among old-timers.
The term “hillbilly”…
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