The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - February, 1984

Issue: February, 1984

Dear Readers,

This month The Mountain Laurel received a package. It was a book, The National Geographic Society's "Giants From The Past", sent to us by Elizabeth Spangler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. D.P. Spangler of Gainesville, Florida. The Instructions inside were for us to take the book to the Meadows of Dan Elementary School library.

Elizabeth and her school class are featured in the book on pages 92-97, going on a "dig". Both sets of her grandparents, Hon. and Mrs. Charles L. Spangler and Mr. and Mrs. Alex Anderson were from Meadows of Dan.

Thank you for the book, Elizabeth. I'm sure the children at Meadows of Dan will enjoy it. I think it was a wonderful idea to donate the book to the library. The book was dedicated in Elizabeth's own handwriting on the inside cover to the memory of her grandparents. It's nice to know that people remember and keep in touch with their roots in the Heart of the Blue Ridge.

Susan M. Thigpen, Editor

More about the man who fell out of his cornfield.
By Flora R. Conner

That man was my grandfather, William (Bill) Trent. He lived at the foot of the Winding Stair road. He was an old soldier and fought in the Civil War. At that time he was a single man, at the time of the accident, he had a big collie dog with him. This dog went to the house and persuaded some of the family to go back with him to Grandpa. The neighbors carried Grandpa out of the mountain. He lived several years after that and died July 2, 1902. My mother inherited part of the estate. Her father inherited part of the estate. She and my father bought the rest. My father was W.N. (Reubin) Rorrer. After father died, the place grew up in timber. We sold it October 30, 1976 to Alvis Bowling. The Trent-Rorrer Estate is now the Bowling and Harris Estate.

Dear Mrs. Conner,

Thank you for this additional information. We have also heard from a man who said he is a descendant and has a photograph of Bill Trent. We hope to be able to publish it soon. Mrs. Doris A. Fulcher wrote to us and wants to get four pounds of dried apples and a Guddel Apple Peeler. She said that she grew up in Amherst, Va. and moved to Alexandria, Va. in 1965. She plans to move back when she retires in 1986. If any of you know where she can get the dried apples or the apple peeler, you can write to her at:

D. A. Fulcher
8506 Skyview Dr. # 202
Alexandria, Va. 22309

Dear Friend,

Enclosed is a check in the amount of $10.00, for which please renew my subscription for two years. I would like to ask you to send a complimentary copy of your January issue to Mrs. Odell Clifton, Collinsville, Va. Mrs. Clifton is the former Myrtle Shelor, who is pictured in the photograph of the old Meadows of Dan School.

Thank you and keep up the good work,

R.B. Thomas
Fieldale, Va.

P.S. On your article about Hillsville, it read, "the Sidna Allen gang". It should have read the Allen and Edwards family....There was no gang unless the court house gang.

Dear Sirs:

My daughter received a complimentary copy, a January issue, of The Mountain Laurel last week. Can you imagine our heart-warming pride in reading of Grandfather Austin Light's help in founding the Mayberry Presbyterian Church, by John Hassell Yeatts? My husband, John W. Lynch, Jr. was christened in the little two room school house in Mayberry, by Robert W. Childress, Sr. His mother, sisters, and many dear friends still attend the Mayberry Presbyterian Church.

Please mail me a year's subscription of The Mountain Laurel and an extra copy of the January issue for my daughter in West Virginia. And thank Mr. John Hassell Yeatts for reviving some very happy memories.


Mrs. J.W. Lynch, Jr.
Christiansburg, Va.

Dear Editor,

Enclosed is a check for a 1 year subscription. In September of this year we spent 11 days at the Rocky Knob Cabins celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary (Sept. 23). We met a lady by the name of Catherine Boyd and she gave me a copy of The Mountain Laurel. We think it is a wonderful paper and enjoyed every word of it.

We dearly love the Blue Ridge, especially around Meadows of Dan, Vesta, Mabry Mill and Mayberry Trading Post. We had a wonderful time. We have met and made a lot of friends on the mountain. There is no word to describe the beauty there. We have been there many times and hope to come many, more times.


Mr. & Mrs. E.C. Booth
Eden, N.C.

Dear Editor,

Please note my check for a subscription to Mountain Laurel.

My father was born around Meadows of Dan 100 years ago, come June of this year. He was the third child of William Henry and Crelda Boyd Hurd.

I was born and raised on Rock Castle Creek on the old Dillon place.

My great aunt, Sarah Brammer married Billy Shelor who was a Baptist preacher around Meadows of Dan a good many years ago.

Emma B. Fadness
El Paso, Texas

Hi Neighbors,

Have just read my mother's copy of "The Mountain Laurel" from front to back and am as much in love with it as I am your area of the mountains. Please enter our name for a subscription.

Just yesterday, we rode up to Indian Valley after church and talked a "spell" with Mr. Easley Duncan while looking over his much loved horses. This was our first visit to this particular community and we can't wait till spring to cover the same roads (787 and 799) when the pastures are green again. Maybe next Sunday afternoon we'll take your "Backroads" tour of Tory Creek. We whole heartedly agree with you to, "never take the main roads"! We love traveling the Backroads. Though we are just past 40, we are old enough to long for the simpler life - before TV and computers. Perhaps the reason for our longing is that we each grew up on a foothills tobacco farm.

I would love to be involved in gathering the interviews for your paper. If we don't talk to older people to hear their stories, we really lose a lot.

I have a tape recording I made of my 91 year old Grandmother in 1977. She was reminiscing about her childhood and the births of her children as well as the brother she lost to the flu epidemic. She was born in Danbury, North Carolina and my Granddaddy was born in Patrick Springs, Virginia. They were Jettie Young Fulcher and Charlie T. Fulcher. Both were born in 1886. I believe we're fast losing the art of passing on the past to our children because we let TV entertain them when we could entertain them with stories of our lives.

Thank you for filling this role so well.

Mr. & Mrs. L. Puckett
Stoneville, N.C.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Puckett,

Thank you for such a nice letter. We love to hear from our readers and would be happy for you to submit stories from interviews. We know that we can never reach as many people as we would like to reach to interview ourselves for lack of time. We invite all our readers to send in any good "old-time" stories they have to share. We, like you, hate the thoughts of a one of them lost to time.

Susan Thigpen, Editor