The Appalachian Mountains, which parallel America's east coast, are old, worn down by time and the elements into gently rolling, deeply wooded hills and valleys. The people who live in this largely poor region have developed their own music, art and way of life. It's a unique culture that a century-old organization is working hard to preserve and promote.

At the Folk Art Center of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, .) His brooms aren't exactly the typical work-a-day tools of that name; they're a bit more whimsical.

For example, the broom on display in front of Gates' stall has not one, but three sweeping heads, and he explains, with a twinkle in his eye, "That one I call my 'Standing Broom Only.'" He adds that he sometimes calls it his Politician's Broom "because, although it looks really good and it looks like it should do a lot, it really doesn't get much done. It sorta just sits there."