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LovieThe Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship$
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Lisa Yarger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630052

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

I’m a Legend Down Here!

I’m a Legend Down Here!

(p.5) 1 I’m a Legend Down Here!

Lisa Yarger

University of North Carolina Press

A thumbnail sketch of Lovie Beard Shelton, a self-styled legend from Beaufort County, North Carolina, who was the first nurse-midwife to practice in the state. The reader meets a woman so taken by the central birth story of the Christian gospels that she keeps a mule in her son’s back yard to remind her of the story of Mary riding on a donkey into Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus; Lovie also speculates that a midwife was present at Jesus’s birth but that the Bible “forgot to put [her] in there.” In 1996 folklorist and narrator Lisa Yarger meets Lovie for the first time while working on the exhibit, “Health and Healing Experiences in North Carolina,” for the North Carolina Museum of History. When Yarger arrives at Shelton’s home in the town of Washington, NC for their first interview, the reader glimpses the mix of fascination and unease that characterizes the relationship between the two women throughout the book.

Keywords:   Lovie Beard Shelton, midwife, nurse-midwife, legend, Washington NC, Beaufort County, North Carolina Museum of History, Lisa Yarger, mule

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