Generations of Memories
Heart of the Blue Ridge
By Susan M. Thigpen © 2000
Online: January, 2000
Since 1983 we have found that our readers have the most interesting stories to tell. The best are true stories about the lives of mountain people and the times and places they once knew. Over the years many of our most interesting and cherished stories have come from people in their 80s or 90s, who simply wanted to share their memories of yesterday's Blue Ridge.
Don't worry about whether the spelling is correct. Don't worry if you have never written before. The Mountain Laurel has published many first stories. Some of the most powerful and wonderful stories we've ever published were written by elderly people on lined notebook paper, without margins, paragraph breaks or punctuation. Just write the story as if you were telling it to someone. Computers can do the spell checking, and editors can add the occasional comma, but only you can share your memories.
History books record the big things, but the small, day-to-day events that shaped life in the mountains is often neglected and lost. The only way for future generations to know what the Blue Ridge was really like in those years gone by is to read the personal accounts of everyday life in publications like The Mountain Laurel, and the only ones who can share those stories are the people who lived through those times or those who heard them passed down by family and friends.
If you have a memory about the mountains, perhaps an old time story, passed down through your family, or your personal recollections of mountain life please consider sharing it with our readers. Our primary criteria are that every story must adhere to our founding principal as described in the following paragraph.
We thought for a long time before we named The Mountain Laurel. We named it for its double meaning. Mountain Laurel is a beautiful native blooming shrub that covers our mountainsides in early summer and Laurel, according to Webster's Dictionary, means "Honor and Distinction." This was the way we wanted to portray mountain people - with honor and distinction.
Upon receipt we will send you an authorization to sign and return, along with a certificate for you to keep stating our appreciation for your contribution in preserving the history of the Blue Ridge. You will still own your story. All we ask is the right to include it on this website and perhaps include it in a printed collection in the future.
We'd love to hear your memories.