The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - September, 1991

Issue: September, 1991

Dear Readers,
You may notice that this month's BACKROADS takes up more space than usual. This isn't because it is longer in mileage, but because through meeting people who live in the area it follows, we learned more of its history than we usually do. This BACKROADS, besides being a beautiful trip to take, has many interesting short stories in it that we just knew you would want to hear. There's the one about the man who fired the first bullet at the battle of Kings Mountain in the Revolutionary War. And how Patrick Henry's sister came to live it Saltville. It goes by the last standing gristmill in Rich Valley, which just happens to be beside the Appalachian Trail and Arten Repass's home. Arten is a burley tobacco farmer and there is that story too. So you can see, this month's BACKROADS is really many stories in one. Even if you can't come here and take this one in person, we're sure you will enjoy just reading about it and the history and wonderful people along the way.

Susan and Bob

(Both of which are responsible for the length of this month's tour.) THIS IS AN EXCEPTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL BACKROADS TOUR! Let us know what you think about this area after you've taken the tour.

Mountain Laurel,
Please send me your Mountain Laurel for a year. I love the paper and have been a subscriber for several years.

Mrs. T. Goad
Hillsville, Virginia

Mountain Laurel,
This note is to tell you I enjoy The Mountain Laurel, and hope you continue. Also to tell you I've changed address. Good luck.

Mrs. E. P. Sowers
Salem, Virginia

Dear Readers,
If you are moving, please let us know. Sometimes the US Post Office is a little s-l-o-w with address changes, and we don't want you to miss getting any of your issues.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Susan M. Thigpen,
Please find enclosed a check for another year subscription for The Mountain Laurel. Don't want to miss a single copy. I sure enjoy the wonderful little paper. The excerpts from "The Little House On The Mountain," by Naomi Dickenson Wells, in the July 1991, issue brought back many memories. In fact, I felt I was reading my own life story.

When I was growing up, as a small child, our survival kit included a cow, a few chickens, a horse and a hog to butcher for our own meat. We ground our own corn on a little hand mill for our corn meal. I remember my mother drying apples, churning milk for our butter, oil cloth on the table (when we could afford it), the old red pie safe that held our dishes and left over food. I have slept many years on a corn shuck mattress, under heavy hand sewn quilts and loved every minute of it. I would love to crawl into a good ole shuck bed and listen to the patter of rain on the roof once again. Thanks Naomi! For bringing back and sharing those wonderful memories with us.

Keep up the good work! God bless you all.

Mrs. D. Ramsey
Barrett, West Virginia

Where can I get dried apples for the fried apple pies? Our supply has dried up. Is there anyone in the area that will do a little mail order of 10 or 15 pounds?

Thank you.

Douglas Dickerson
1485 Pinebrook Dr.
Clearwater, Florida 34615

Dear Readers,
This month we are printing a story about the Rosebud Salve Company. It was an old time product I remember from my childhood. I started wondering what the story was behind it, got in touch with the man who is running it today and found out his grandfather invented Rosebud Salve.

If you enjoy this story and would like for us to hunt the stories of other old time products, just write and let us know the name of the product and the town and state where it was produced. We will need the town and state to know where to start searching for information. You could find this information in old advertisements or on the label of the product. We will try to track it down, find out if it is still available and print it in future issues.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Mountain Laurel,
I am enclosing money order for two copies of Mountain Memories. I enjoy your paper so much and wish you success with your paper. The stories are great.

G. Cooper
Roanoke, Virginia