Directed by: Anthony Slone and Angelyn DeBord
Running Time: 28:00
Florida Slone is a singer and storyteller who lives in Knott County in eastern Kentucky. As a child, she contracted typhoid fever. The doctor told her mother that the illness would damage Florida’s brain and that she would never be able to speak plainly. Because of the doctor’s prediction, Florida’s mother kept her out of school to help with family crops. These early years of isolation, cut off from spoken communication with even the closest members of her family, prompted Florida to develop a keen sense of observation. Later, she was able to learn to speak, and she celebrated this accomplishment by creating stories and songs of everything around her.
This documentary includes Florida’s remembrances of her early years of struggle. She is shown imitating bird and animal sound, and singing songs she has made up about the natural world around her. She tells stories about witches who lived near her as a girl, and speaks of the visions and premonitions that guided her as she raised six children.
Now that her children are grown, and her husband has died, Florida has had to become more independent. She returned to school, learned to read and write, and got her driver’s license.
“… a wonderful video about a fascinating women.” – Ron Mason, Urban Appalachian Council, Cincinnati, Ohio
“Excellent portrayal of a way of life.” – Marie Parson, English Department, Prestonsburg Community College
“Thank you for capturing the storytelling of a very articulate woman.” – Jim McGee, Folklore Curriculum, UNC, North American Folk Alliance
“How lucky we are to have a permanent record of this unique person.” – Margo Blevin, Augusta Heritage Center, Davis and Elkins College
“A powerful and scary film.” – Anne Radford Phillips, Coop Extension Services, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Screenings & Festivals
Appalachian Studies Conference – Screening
Kentucky Educational Television
Chandler Medical Center: Summer series of Aging – Screening
SECA National Broadcast