The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - September, 1990

Issue: September, 1990

Dear Readers,
We have enjoyed hearing from you concerning old sayings that weren't included in our list in the August issue. We are printing some of them and hope you will enjoy them too.

Dear Folks,
My wife and I enjoy The Mountain Laurel and have given several subscriptions to friends. We are both 82 years old, have five children, fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We grew up on farms and can identify with many things in your paper. Have been married sixty years.

I wonder if any of your readers would have any information about my grandmother who was from Floyd County, Virginia.

Her name was Mary Pritchett, born 5-14-1841, married William M. Parrish of Kernersville, North Carolina, buried at Oak Ridge, NC.

Any information will be appreciated.

In reading some of the old sayings where you mentioned someone being raised in a barn, I suppose you heard the joke about that. One man said to another, "Shut the door. Were was you raised, in a barn?" In a few minutes he noticed the man crying and felt bad about what he had said, so he went over and told him he was sorry he said that. The other said between sniffles, "That's all right. The trouble is, I was raised in a barn and every time I hear a jackass bray, I get homesick!"


W.H. Masterson
Rt. 2, Box 148A
Moneta, Virginia 24121

Dear Mr. Masterson,
It's a small world. Kernersville, NC is my old hometown and I knew some fine folks living there by the name of Parrish when I was growing up.

Good luck,

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Editor's Note... Enclosed in a letter from Grace Cash, of Flowery Branch, Georgia, writer of the "Child of the 20's" series of stories, she says:

"I enjoyed your article on Mothers' Sayings.

My mother would say, when we spilled something or broke a dish or any awkward movement: "BILL FREE!"

I don't know who Bill Free was, but it meant something like a bull in a china shop.

Dear Susan Thigpen,
I read the article, "Old Sayings Everyone Heard From Their Mothers." I have a couple of them that I've heard my mother say over the years. The first one is when people talk about someone being pretty, my mom always says, "Pretty is as pretty does." The next one is when things don't always go right, my mom says, "It will all come out in the wash."

My mom is Betty Rose of Odd, West Virginia.

I'm a mother and I have one that I like to use. The one I use on my husband is, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!"

My dad, Bruce Rose says, "Any one who has lots of hair on their legs makes a good hog raiser." He also says, "It's going to snow. I can taste it in the water."


S. Blevins
Odd, West Virginia

Dear Mountain Laurel,
Old Saying - "Sorry as gully dirt" and "Crooked as a barrel of fish hooks."

J. C. Smith
Stoneville, North Carolina

Dear Sir:
Thank you for reminding me to renew my subscription to The Mountain Laurel. I thoroughly enjoy every inch of type printed. When I receive it, there is no putting it down until I read it from cover to cover. Thank you again for all of your efforts.

I am trying to locate a place called Shadow Lake. My father and mother took me there on a picnic with the East End Baptist Church from Roanoke, Virginia, when I was a small girl back on July 4, 1938. It was somewhere in Virginia not too far from Roanoke.

Thank you,

W. Sizer
Roanoke, Virginia

Dear Mountain Laurel,
My husband and I eagerly await each publication and we read every word, cover to cover. We are not from that area, but your journal makes us wish we were.

Thank you for the pleasure you create in our lives each month.

Mrs. C.O. Shirley
Round Rock, Texas

I've been getting The Mountain Laurel for some time now. I enjoy it very much. I'm ordering a year as a gift for my mother-in-law. We share them with our children and her. She is 83 years old and likes to read them, so now I can keep mine.

Thank you,

Mrs. M. Williamson
Statesville, North Carolina

Dear Mountain Laurel,
Having been a "Sandlapper" most of my life, (I'll soon be 77) I have never experienced living in the mountains, but I have always enjoyed visiting the area. (Me and the wife hope to travel up the "Parkway" sometime.. maybe even drop in at "Mountain Laurel Headquarters.")

I came across a poem in my collection recently and I thought perhaps you might have some interest in the contents. I would suppose from the wording that the circumstance portrayed in the poem must have at some time in the past been of particular interest to people in your area... or at least to citizens of Virginia. I thought perhaps you might like to explore the possibility of running something about it in The Mountain Laurel. The author of the poem is not mentioned with my copy, so I have no idea who the author was.

I really do enjoy the Laurel.. and so does the wife.


J.D. Burton
Calhoun Falls, South Carolina

Dear Mr. Burton,
Thank you for the nice letter and the poem, "Claude Allen." It pertains to the Hillsville Courthouse Tragedy of 1912. I'm sorry, but we can only print poems and stories with permission of the authors and we don't know who wrote this poem either. Perhaps one of our readers will know.

Susan Thigpen, Editor