Addressed to her grandchildren, Verna Mae Slone's paean to her Appalachian heritage is a patchy, artless recollection of mountain manners and ritual economies. The clannish, Baptist Slones (Sloan is middle-class, Sloane upper-class) have lived in Kentucky for about two hundred years, their names recorded in the family Bible and registered in handed-down anecdotes: her own father, born prematurely to an unattended mother, was named Kitteneye because of his size, and many folks had similar spur-of-the-moment nicknames. Mountain epople saved their ""stronger than the law"" shoes for specific occasions, browned eggshells and fed them to hens, roasted onions for vegetables or used them as medicine. They told bugger tales for entertainment, lived without calendars, and Considered moonshine, unlike alcohol, quite acceptable--hence the traditional contempt for revenuers. Slone's recall is detailed enough--dried-apple pie techniques and nasty-stepmother stories--and she corrects the Beverly Hillbilly distortions, but there's no tone to the telling: such unique memories need a more stylish presentation. Despite the flatness, though, it's a sturdy documentation from a woman whose mother's literacy was limited to the letter ""O.