Chapter Twenty-Seven: An Accounting of the TVA At Vine

Editor’s Note: The years after the outbreak were difficult years in Vine. The residents couldn’t know it, but the Great Depression affected them, too. Being cut off from the rest of the world does not mean you don’t exist in the world. The Tennessee Valley Authority, of course, changed life for all Tennesseans; I’d bet a bottle of good whiskey that no resident of Vine outside of the Elders has heard of the TVA. Since I don’t have a plan for addressing the TVA, Jonah has offered some unsourced conspiracy theories. 

Jonah’s Note: Jonah here. Everyone says I’m a crank for this, but so what? Their best friends aren’t writing a book about Vine. I’ve talked my way into 500 words here. Who knows what’ll be left when Mr. “Dropped Out Of Seminary To Do REAL History” gets around to citing sources, but I’m typing this up, and he says he’ll at least do due diligence. 

Roddy Butler (I call the Congressman “Roddy”) brought the TVA to Vine, and it had a massive, profound effect that no one ever talks about. It’s not really part of Roddy’s legacy because no one likes to talk about Roddy’s legacy. Anyway, not only did Wilson Dam give everyone in the state electricity—

(sidebar: did people in 1930s Vine think an Angel of the Lord installed electrical wiring in their homes under the cover of night?)

Anyway, a lot of that reforestation and agriculture development had effects on Vine, because even if the people of Vine don’t like to admit it, the world is fucking interconnected. One thing I believe but can’t prove—it’s never been researched because no one in Vine thinks the outside world affects them—is that something the TVA did caused a bunch of the pollution we saw in the 70s. Maybe damming caused enough of the ecosystem to die that that’s how the lake eventually got the way it got when Jeremy the Fisherman discovered pollution. And that pollution got in people’s brains, too, like something got in the water, and that’s how people got the way they were in the 80s. And that’s usually when they start calling me a crank and a conspiracy theorist. 

Of course—try finding an actual rigorous scientific study on the ecosystems of Vine. 

Anyway I think Roddy and a lot of that stuff he was doing in the 20s laid the groundwork for the TVA coming to Vine. The Wilson Dam was begun in World War I, Hoover killed it because he hated Big Government, but I think Roddy had some deals in place. Did some stuff for a whole “Modernization Of The South” thing—you’ll find that phrase in his personal diaries sometimes. Modernization Of The South. Who knows if that was a good thing. The witches sure don’t think so. Getting off topic—Roddy laid the groundwork for the TVA. The TVA was effective enough that a backwoods place like Vine full of its hillbilly religious freaks could benefit without even knowing it. State Representative Roderick J. “Roddy” Butler deserves at least a mention for that. 

Even if everyone else will tell you I’m a crank for saying so. 

Under 500 words. Told y’all. 

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