The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - May, 1988

Issue: May, 1988

Dear Susan,
I was late in reading the December Backroads, but I must tell you how much I enjoyed it. It was almost as good as a trip back to my beloved Grayson County, Virginia. We can now make the trip from Princeton to Wytheville in a very short time, since the two tunnels were built through the East River Mountain and Big Walker Mountain. The places you mention are so familiar to me; Galax, Hillsville and Woodlawn. A trip to the big city of Galax was a big event in a small child's life. The bridge crossing the New River was a vast improvement to the ferry that crossed the river. Well do I remember getting out of the car with my younger sister and sitting on the edge of the ferry, taking our shoes and socks off and dangling our feet in the water.

Of course Independence was closer to home and being the county seat was visited often, many times by horse and buggy.

The communities of Bridle Creek and Flat Ridge brings back memories as does Comers Rock Campground and Comer's Rock. In later years we had many family get-togethers there and we crossed Iron Mountain each time we returned to Grayson County.

Cripple Creek and Crockett too take me back some 50 and more years; also Ivanhoe going to Fries to play basketball in their indoor court was another big event as the high school I attended then only had an outdoor court.

I'm sorry you didn't get to drive from Comer's Rock community to Route 21 via the Elk Creek community and see the beautiful Elk Creek Valley; you can then continue on Route 21 to Wytheville and Speedwell in Wythe County. This valley in Elk Creek is indeed a vision of beauty.

I will stop my tour here and hope come summer, I can take this Backroads Tour in person. It was a pleasure. Thank you for letting me join you. Continue your wonderful tours and continued good luck with The Mountain Laurel.

Mrs. N. C. Kessler
Princeton, West Virginia

Dear Editor,
I was recently on vacation in Boone, North Carolina with a group from our church when I picked up the January-February issue of The Mountain Laurel and fell completely in love with it!

Even though I am only 29 years old and originally from New Hampshire, I found each story sincerely interesting and heartwarming, making me almost desire to live back in those times!

I especially look forward to receiving future editions of The Mountain Laurel and will share it with others, whom I am sure will equally love it as I do!

Thank you,
Ms. S. Stetson
Vero Beach, Florida

Dear Susan,
I collect cream pitchers and I have 785. I would like to get in touch with someone who also collects them.

Mary J. Amos
6610 S. Indian Grave Rd.
Boones Mill, VA 24065

Dear Mountain Laurel,
I just finished reading the January-February issue of you paper, given to me by a neighbor. My feeling is a strong sense of regret, that I have missed all the copies that came before simply because I was unaware of your existence.

I love true stories, especially ones told by older people, also I have dabbled in genealogy and almost all lines of my and my husbands ancestry trace back to Floyd and Patrick Counties, Virginia. In fact just reading this one edition of your paper I found five references to names in my genealogy line.

I am sending a three year subscription to your paper and looking forward to next month.

Thank you,
Mrs. V. Wood
Lester, West Virginia

Dear Susan,
Thank you for being so gracious in doing such a wonderful job for everyone and I'm sure a lot of folks join me in appreciation of what you and the other staff members do in such interesting items and stories published about the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Florida is the "melting pot" for folk from everywhere. The folks up there are families that stay together through years that have come and years that go by. I was hatched in the mountains and grew up there so I am well acquainted with places or items and most of all the nice and wonderful people that are contributing their life styles and stories for those of us that now live elsewhere. May God bless you all.

Thank you,
E. L. Eagleton
Punta Gorda, Florida

Dear Editor,
This is our second year of receiving The Mountain Laurel. We enjoy it very much.

Although we live about four hours from your Backroads Tour in the January-February issue, we decided to drive down on Valentines Day. We found accommodations at the Knob Hill Motor Lodge in Hillsville, Virginia and started our tour at 7:30 in the morning after a 5:00 am breakfast at Hardee's. It was a beautiful morning with smoke rising straight up from the chimneys. As the sun came up the meadows were sparkling like diamonds with the sun on the frozen crystals of dew.

We enjoyed the early morning tour tremendously. An extra added attraction was a two year old Belgium horse on a farm next to the road just before reaching State Road 753, and being able to stop right in the road and enjoy the scenery. The only traffic was a blue pick-up truck. The man driving threw up his hand in greeting and we felt right at home.

Sincerely yours,
The Richardsons
Timberville, Virginia

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
Since issue 1, I have been an avid fan of The Mountain Laurel. For years I have traveled any leisure time I have in this area and everything you print about the area I can somewhat relate to although I do not live in the area. I do keep back issues and reread them. Just last weekend I took a Backroad Tour from September 1986 along the New River. There was snow on the river, the scene was awe inspiring. Friends I have in Ferrum, Virginia are usually with me on these excursions and we all really enjoy them. We have been on top of Buffalo Mountain and naturally read the book, "THE MAN WHO MOVED A MOUNTAIN."

Recently I read of another minister of another time in Southwest Virginia, "The Saint Of The Wilderness." Hopefully you will read this book and include some of Brother Sheffey's trips on your Backroads Tour.

One of these days I have to meet you fine folks. Although we don't know each other, it's for sure that we do have something in common, the love of the mountains and all the treasures they hold.

Thanks so much for the countless hours of entertainment you have provided for me.

R. Young
High Point, North Carolina