The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Laurel Foundation - January, 1987

By Bob Heafner © 1987

Issue: January, 1987

Here it is January and the New Year, 1987 has begun. As we look forward to the goals of The Laurel Foundation, that of preserving on film the heritage of our mountain people, places and way of life, we see so much before us. Alas, we also see that the old year, 1986 is already in the past. An old school house near us was struck by lightening and burned to the ground in 1986. We don't have a single photograph of it. It is now only pictured in the minds of the people in the local community. Many younger members of the community probably didn't even realize its significance. It was lost to time.

How many other parts of our heritage were lost in 1986 that we didn't even realize, can never regain? We mourn the loss of every one of our older citizens because when they pass, a vast store house of knowledge goes with them, never to be regained.

The goal of the Laurel Foundation is to waste as little time as possible capturing those memories. Photojournalist, Jim Waters has agreed to accept a substantial reduction in pay, from his current position with WFMY-TV in Greensboro, North Carolina, in order to travel throughout the Blue Ridge recording the memories of this generation on film. The broadcast quality video equipment we will purchase, as soon as we can get the funding, will be the voice of generations past speaking to the eyes and ears of countless generations to come.

The historical question, "Who passed this way?", has been asked. The answer is I did and you did and our parents and grandparents and their parents. They built their homes and their lives on the rocky soil, but more than that, they built the future. They built the bridge for us as we will be the bridge for the next generation. We want our contribution to these mountains, our bridge, to be a monument to those who came before us, a glimpse of their way of life. A chance to see the values they learned in one room schools and simple country churches. A tradition worthy of being preserved so that some day parents watching these videos with their children can proudly say, "This is your heritage."

We would sincerely like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Laurel Foundation, who share these hopes and dreams. Our goal is $30,000.00. Our base is now $2402.00.

Ms. Nellie Newkirk *
Hampton, Va.

Ms. Frances Lockwood
Hersey, Mi.

Ms. Mary Ann Hedgecock
Winston-Salem, N.C.

Martinsville, Va.

Mr. L.G.Martin
Richmond, Va.

Martinsville, Va.

Mr. & Mrs. John Augustson
Virginia Beach, Va.

"A friend of the Blue Ridge"
Patrick County, Va.

Mr. Harold H. Via
St. Petersburg, Fl.

Ms. Catherine Brown
Bristolville, Oh.

Mrs. Jeanette Trabosh
Clifton Heights, Pa.

Mr. & Mrs. Norman S. McKinney
Glen Bournie, Md.

Mrs. Lillie A. Emery
Troy, Mo.

Mr. Samuel V. Moschler
Burlington, N.C.

Ms. Paula A. Kerns *
Westerville, Oh.

Ms. Norma G. Cole
Monticello, Ky.

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph S. Evans,Jr.
Statesville, N.C.

Mrs. Clovis M. Brill
Roanoke, Va.

Mr. & Mrs. Henry A. Eysenbach, Jr.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Ms. Catherine J. Barton
New York, New York

Freeman Cockram
Cockram's General Store
Floyd, Virginia

Ms. Barbara A. Applegate
Toms River, New Jersey

Mr. John H. Yeatts
Prattville, Alabama

Ms. Virginia Webb/Mitchell
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Mrs. Rachel Vernon
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Mr. James A. Black, Jr.
Asheville, North Carolina

Mr. Vernon Harris
Floyd, Virginia

Mr. George G. Martin
Floyd, Virginia

Mr. Ray Harman
Willis, Virginia

Mr. James T. Craig
Sharpsburg, Ga.

* The folks with an asterisk by their name have made more than one contribution.

Thank each of you for making a commitment to tomorrow.