The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - October, 1991

Issue: October, 1991

Dear Crocheters,
I would love to meet some of you by way of The Mountain Laurel. I was a crocheter for 75 years. Due to blindness I am retired at age 82. I learned to crochet and embroidery at age 7. I made doilies with strawberries and vines, lace edge. I crocheted lace for pillow cases, scarfs, aprons and slips made from white feed sacks washed white with lye soap. We never heard of Clorox them days. We scrubbed on wash boards.

Well, I bought thread by the box wholesale. Friends ran a country store. As the years rolled on, I learned to crochet more and more things. When I was around 11 or 12, my playmate and I learned to crochet baby caps. Day and night we made baby caps, so pretty. Don't know who made the most, but we made a lot. We made doilies of all kinds and never used patterns. Made our own or went by someone else's work. I crocheted ladies garters, men's arm bands, even neck ties.

Then came dresses. I crocheted 26 dresses one summer with a little help on each from a lady that ran a store and sold the dresses for me.

Well, in the 1930's came bed spread craze. I made sweetheart design, Valentine design, star in popcorn stitch, lacy patterns in wheels and squares, shell stitch. Well, at least 50, maybe a lot more, but the prettiest ones of all was Dahlia rose. I only made two - one for Mrs. Clifford Prillaman and one for Miss Maude Turner.

Then later years came roses for pillowcases and what a hit they made - two roses to each pillowcase. I made red, pink, yellow, golden - even blue, green and purple roses, at least 500 pairs. I could still sell all I could make today but can't see that good any more. I never had the money or time to crochet much for self. I had to sell everything I made.

Well, for the past few years I have only made pot holders, towels for refrigerators and cross and star Bible markers and only a few of those, once in a while. Well, I forgot afghans, maybe 100 of those, and rugs, pocketbooks, doll dresses. Only two crochet aprons, collars, curtains, lamp shades, swans and basket towel sets, etc.

I mailed packages to many states. If anyone still has some of my work from way back, I sure would love to hear from you. Well, now my eyes are about gone, heart give out, old age has caught up with me. Just waiting for Jesus to come and call me home, expecting Him just any time.


Olyer Turner
Route 1, Box 1422
Danville, Virginia 24541

Dear Readers,
A few years ago Olyer Turner sent me a Christmas present of one of the cross bookmarks she crocheted. It is just beautiful and sending it to me was such a thoughtful thing for her to do. There are still some wonderful people in the world and Olyer Turner is one of them.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Mt. Laurel,
Thank you for a wonderful paper. I enjoy it so much and am renewing my subscription for another year.

Thanks again,

Mrs. C.H. Connor
Archdale, North Carolina

Dear Sirs:
I have been searching for this newspaper for at least a couple of years. I used to buy it at a grocery store near where I live, but then they quit selling them. I have looked and looked for it, so this year while on vacation, we stopped at the visitor's station and I picked up a paper and there it was. I was really happy to finally find it again. I'm 42 years old and I really enjoy reading your stories.

Thank you,

L. Parker
Louisville, Tennessee

Editor of The Mountain Laurel,
Mr. John Hassell Yeatts' description of the Model T is not entirely correct.

The first Ford car to have the E-U-G-G-A horn was the Model A and the brake band on the Model T was inside the transmission instead of the rear hubs where they would get wet.

The emergency brake was inside the rear brake drums and was never any good wet or dry.

V.R. St Clair
Vinton, Virginia