Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sweet Potato Cobbler

Jilda worked for Wallace State Community College in the PR department in 1986. She got a call one day from Clarke Stallworth. He was a journalist that worked for the Birmingham Post Herald and Birmingham News. He covered some of the big stories during the civil rights era. He was famous among journalists...and he was an old friend.

He asked Jilda if she could put him in touch with Harlan Moon. Harlan was a legend himself with musicians. He was a guitar whisperer. He made and repaired fine instruments.  It was not uncommon to see the tour buses of world-famous artists in his front yard. They'd stop over at his house in Holley Pond to have him repair an ailing guitar. He was a master and the music world knew it.

Jilda has always been a master networker. A few phone calls later, and we were invited to their house for the interview. Clarke was thrilled.

We arrived mid-morning and Clarke and Harlan sat out on the porch and talked a spell. He was wrapping up and we were about to head out when Harlan's wife said, "Y'all ain't leavin' yet are you? It's lunchtime."

She made cornbread from cornmeal they'd ground in their barn. We had butterbeans, cabbage, fresh squash, and some of the best fried chicken I've ever put in my mouth. For dessert, Mrs. Moon made a sweet potato cobbler. She made sweet tea in a gallon jar with water from their well. It was an amazing meal.

Before we left, I snapped a picture of the group. Had I been really clever, I would have packed a tripod and been in the picture, but hindsight is always 20/20.

Harlan is picking the banjo, Clarke is standing behind him. Mrs. Moon was giving Clarke the news. Jilda is second from between thier daugher and son-in-law.


  1. Sigh on the hindsight thing - but precious memories ooze from that photo anyway.

  2. OMGosh! You can beat a country meal like that anywhere!!!

  3. Now I have to find out how to make sweet potato cobbler, never even heard of it before. I'm not very musically inclined, but I do love to hear the banjo!

  4. I've never tasted butterbeans or sweet potato cobbler ... but special mealtime memories are always worth preserving.

  5. Dear Rick, thanks so much for sharing this special time with those two men who must bring back so many memories to you and Jilda. And what a special meal--I've never had sweet potato cobbler. It sounds yummy! We humans are truly social animals and when we get together the stories flow and the food and the remembrances. Peace.

  6. Anonymous3:08 PM

    I've never had sweet potato cobbler, but this recipe sounds mighty good:

  7. You had to dredge up a memory. My mama was legendary for Sweet Potato Cobbler. Loved it.
    Lately I have met an instrument (guitar and fiddles) builder and repairman these people are AMAZING. Just lately he worked on a 1952 Gibson taking it apart, put it back together for Jim Arp, he sold it for $4500. Jim is our next door neighbor when in NC.
    The man, his wife and the meal sound fantastic. Great visit to your place.


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required