The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - April, 1990

Issue: April, 1990

Dear Susan Thigpen,
There isn't much more a person could add to the editorial you gave "Hazel Parker Hedrick" on her book "The Talking Hills - you said it all!

I'll just add my two-cents worth in saying I'm very glad she wrote that book and I'm very glad you made it possible for me to find it in The Mountain Laurel. I add it to my shelf of North Carolina books with the greatest of pleasure.

The genius of this book "The Talking Hills" is its rare simplicity. Thank you.

Mrs. M.L. Brownsberger
Waynesville, North Carolina

Dear Readers,
All of our readers love to read and The Mountain Laurel is happy to introduce you to other books and publications written in that same vein. (See the book list in this issue available from the Historic Crab Orchard Museum.)

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Sir:
I just read your very unique and interesting newspaper at my father and mother's home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Our daughter recently graduated from Wake Forest University and we travelled your way many times on our journeys to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During the four years of her "Wake" experience we came to love your area and hope to retire in that general vicinity in a few years.

We wish to subscribe to The Mountain Laurel so that we don't have to share the Gettysburg copy.

C.R. Freed
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Dear Mt. Laurel,
Please renew my sub. to Mountain Laurel paper. I've been much too long in renewing my sub. The paper's like a shot of spring air - So clean - refreshing and makes me thankful to be able to read such a good publication.

B. Hedman
Omaha, Nebraska

Susan Thigpen, Editor,
Thank you so much for the beautiful job you are doing. I want to especially thank you for the February issue with the picture of Bethel United Methodist Church, as that was my church when I lived in Wytheville. My oldest son also attended that church before we moved to New Market, Virginia, so please send your paper to him. He enjoys it very much.

Thank you and keep up the good work.

Mrs. V. Edmonds
New Market, Virginia

Dear Friends,
Your publication is a delight that we look forward to. Often I see things reflected in one of the articles that sounds like a bit from my journal. It is refreshing to read of the memories of others who lived the "old times" that we lived too.

I am interested in the Genealogy section as I am a researcher in our county. My daughter says I eat, sleep and live genealogy. What else can a seventy-five year young lady do? (Except sewing, knitting, quilting and rocking, and I do them all in addition to regular household chores.) I have had cancer twice and I am crippled in knees and feet with arthritis, but who has time to think about such things. Shucks! Life is too short. I can never get all done I want to do. Enough about me.

Do writers of those good stories, etc. submit their work to you free lance or do you contact them? I write a weekly column for our local paper on genealogy and how it's done. I used to write children's stories and poetry but do not have time now. I never had any of my work published. Just enjoy writing. Keep up the good work and we will be watching the mail.

L. and J. Crosby
Gretna, Virginia

Dear Sirs,
I enjoy reading the Laurel very much and want to renew it for a three year period. I'm 63 years old and was born and raised here in Maryland, but my parents were from Alleghany County, Sparta, North Carolina, so I still have some relatives there. I have made several trips there myself over the years and I must say, I love the people there and also the mountains. Please renew my subscription and keep up the good work.

W. Crouse
Bel Air, Maryland

Dear Susan Thigpen,
I am enclosing a check to renew the subscription that was in the name of Hugh Barrow Slaydon. Mr. Slaydon went home to be with Jesus February 11, 1989. Mr. Slaydon read The Mountain Laurel from "Kiver to Kiver" as soon as it hit the mail box. His Barrow descendants held a family reunion at Meadows of Dan for years near Cockram's Mill Pond.

I am from the NC/VA section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. My country home was 17 miles from Galax, Virginia, three miles from Mouth of Wilson, on the Alleghany Ashe North Carolina line. I attended the Virginia Carolina High School and was a member of the graduation class of 1933. Mr. F.C. Nye was professor and Leonard Halsey was his assistant. Both were very dear to our hearts.

I would love to hear from anyone who attended the Virginia Carolina School in the late 1920's or anytime thereafter, most especially Francis Parsons Stovall or if anyone could tell me of her present home.

Marie S. Slaydon
111 Mimosa Rd
Portsmouth, Virginia 23701

Dear Readers,
Here is a letter Addie Wood at Mayberry Trading Post shared with us, sent with a book order.

Dear Addie,
I am the daughter of your cousin, Dewey Kyle Hylton. I saw you many years ago and still remember what a delightful time my brother Denny and I had. I was recently home visiting mother, Clance Hylton She gave me the latest copy of The Mountain Laurel. That started us talking about you.

My brothers and I decided we would do our best to be at the next family reunion the first Sunday after labor Day. I have lived in Florida since 1971 but still miss these beautiful mountains.

F. Skipark

Dear Friends,
That is who you are to so many, as well as myself, for your wonderful magazine about the good old days. I am so thankful I got to enjoy so many of those bygone days when people really loved each other and would help one another through the dark depression years. You seldom ever heard of crime in the little mining town I was brought up in with very caring but strict father and mother.

Thank God for the wonderful memories of your wonderful magazine. There are so many elderly like myself that don't drive, so we are more or less confined to our homes. I really enjoy reading good clean inspiring material.

May God bless you and you will keep up the good memories of so many lonely people.

B.A. Peck
Ansted, West Virginia

Dear Susan,
I am sending my 2 year renewal subscription to The Mountain Laurel. I am 62 years old and can relate to most all your stories of growing up as poor folks.

I was wondering how many of your readers have eaten corn meal gravy for breakfast. I was working with a friend spreading top soil in a construction type wheel barrow and questioned him if he had ever eaten corn meal gravy. He replied the wheel barrow would not hold the gravy he had eaten. Someone may ask why corn meal gravy and not flour gravy. I was raised on an old hillside farm here in West Virginia and we always raised corn for meal and to feed livestock. There wasn't always money for flour but there was always a gristmill to grind corn in the community.

My ancestors are buried at Wood's Gap in Floyd County. Grandfather Richard Wood had four wives to whom was born 19 children by three of them. The second wife had no children. I took my family to visit the cemetery in 1983. I think "Richard" was my grandson's 5th great-grandfather.

I love to visit Mabry Mill for the clog dancing. I went there five times one summer. I really enjoy your paper and read it completely through when it arrives. Keep up the good work. Thanks a lot.

A.V. Wood
Crab Orchard, West Virginia