The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - March, 1991

Issue: March, 1991

Dear Readers,
The Mountain Laurel has been experiencing financial difficulties and we had to suspend printing for the October, November, December 1990, and the January and February 1991, issues.

We experienced vehicle troubles that put us behind about two thousand dollars. When we work on a tight budget anyway, an amount like that can be devastating.

We are about to get out from under though, and can see glimmers of sunlight at the end of the tunnel. We appreciate and love everyone of you for your patience and encouragement. Everyone will still get all twelve issues of their subscriptions, even though late, until we catch up.

It hasn't been easy, but we have been trying to do what almost everyone who has called about their subscription said, "Just don't stop printing that little paper!"

We hope you will enjoy this March, 1991, issue. It is the eighth anniversary of the founding of The Mountain Laurel.

We are sorry to report that the price of a subscription has gone up. We held it down as long as we could, through two postal increases. We had been subsidizing The Mountain Laurel with our own money earned from outside jobs, but are no longer able to keep doing that. If the increase presents a problem to anyone on a fixed income, call us and we will see what we can do so you can still keep getting The Mountain Laurel.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Susan Thigpen, Editor,
After depending upon my brother's copy of The Mountain Laurel for X number of years, I think the time has come to subscribe personally.

I have thoroughly enjoyed The Mountain Laurel, mainly because I can relate to so much many people have written about.

I am a nurse, RN, and have 62 years of active practice. Now, at 82 (almost 83), I would go back to work in a minute.

We lived and went to school in the north because of Dad's work, but as soon as school was finished for the summer, Mom took my brother, two sisters and me back to Carroll, to Grandad's.

Those summers have never been forgotten. Just like the written accounts I read in The Mountain Laurel, we can never forget those wonderful summers.

Thank you,
A.H. Rosasco

Dear Readers,
I grew up on a big farm, 325 acres, in Trap Hill District of Raleigh County, West Virginia. My father was considered a good provider and my mother the best cook for miles around.

Many times we ate cornbread and milk, cornmeal mush and thickened milk for supper. When we had this we made the mush and thicken milk on the fireplace instead of on the cook stove.

It was very common to dip bread in coffee after breakfast was eaten. In the evening meal most everyone would finish the meal with cornbread and milk.

Now what I would like to know is how do you make thickened milk? I haven't found anyone who knows how, or had ever heard of it. All I can remember is that you put milk in a pot and add butter, salt, pepper and flour.

I will renew my subscription to "The Mountain Laurel" after the first of the year. I enjoy "Mountain Laurel" and always look forward to it at the first of the month. I love to read the "Mail Box."

R.F. Allen
Beckley, West Virginia

Dear Readers,
If anyone of you knows this recipe, send it to us and we will print it for all the readers to enjoy. My grandmother made "Clabber Milk," but I don't think it was what Mr. Allen is referring to. I grew up eating cornbread broken up in a glass of homemade buttermilk and it was good hot or cold. Other people I know prefer sweet milk with their cornbread. One thing is for certain, you can tell if a person is country or from the mountains by their love of cornbread alone!

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Susan Thigpen, Editor:
My sincerest thanks for running my genealogy request in the August issue of The Mountain Laurel. It has reunited me with my first cousin in Roanoke, Virginia that I had not seen since 1934. I visited with her on the first of November and renewed family ties, as well as family updates.

To date I have also received letters from Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. I thank each of these people for taking the time to respond to my request. You have a vast readership of caring and sharing people.

As to Foster James Woods, he remains a mystery but I am sure that with the help like I have received from your readers, his background will be discovered.

J. A. Woods
Hyde Park, New York

The Editor:
I want to thank you and everyone with The Mountain Laurel for bringing back to me memories of my mountain home.

I came from the coal region of Virginia from a little coal community in Wise County, Dorchester, Virginia. My community no longer exists, as the coal operators stripped the land of trees, grass, laurels, homes and friends. They hauled it away in a coal train. The saying "you can never go home" is especially true for me and countless others who loved the place. So memories are all that remains. I share the stories of country living with those who write and many times with a tear.

J. Baker
Ocala, Florida

[Dear Editor,]
What happened to my good friends Bob and Edith Winn (Wynn) Waldrop? They were married in 1947-49 in Columbia, SC. Bob was working in one of the banks? Edith's family was from the section of Columbia known as Eau Claire. Bob may be deceased as a result of WWII injuries. I've sought these friends for the last 35 years. Can anyone help me?

Billy Gilbert
c/o W.F. Blackman
3229 Murphy Mill Road
Dothan, Alabama 36303

Dear Readers,
We are really sad to inform you of the tragic death of a lady that has written several articles for The Mountain Laurel throughout the years, Nancy Kessler of Princeton, West Virginia.

On the night of November 21, 1990, she and her husband were crossing the road from their house to their neighbors when they were both struck by an automobile. Henry Kessler was killed outright and Nancy lived about ten hours after the accident. The driver of the car didn't see them because it was dark and both had on dark clothing.

Nancy's writings and reminiscences will be remembered by us all and our deepest sympathy goes out to all of the Kessler's loved ones.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Susan:
Although me and the wife have never lived in the mountain country, we do love your little paper. The stories and poems are just great.

I am searching for something one of your subscribers might help me find; a formula whereby you can determine the exact day of the week something happened - if you know the exact date. I used to have this formula but am unable to find it now.

Thank you and best wishes as you continue with The Mountain Laurel.

J.D. Burton
318 Savannah St.
Calhoun Falls, SC 29628