The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - April, 1984

Issue: April, 1984


Enclosed is a check for $12.00 for two gift subscriptions to Mountain Laurel. I seem to be your unofficial circulation booster around here - which is my pleasure!

Margie Ratcliff
Charlotte, N.C.

Dear Margie,

You don't know how much we appreciate it. From now on, you can be our official circulation booster!


The Mountain Laurel

Dear Editor:

Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate and enjoy your unique little publication.

My wife and I have enjoyed the summer breezes and relaxed life in the Blue Ridge mountains for the past 23 years, the past 8 spent in the little unhurried community of Mayberry.

You can take the old man out of the mountain but you can't take the mountain out of the, old man.

Keep up the good work and I hope to see you this summer.


J.J. Bailey
Montgomery, Ala.

Dear Mountain Laurel:

My husband bought your paper while on a trip in your area - for me - as he knows I love reading about past lifestyles of the mountaineers. Well, little did he know that he too would enjoy it so much!

Plus, in reading about your area we have driven to your area just to soak in its beauty. So now it's a trip we make as often as possible.

Keep up the good work! We dearly enjoy your paper.

A Hearty Thanks,

Mr. & Mrs. C.B. Cox
Concord, N.C.

Dear Mt. Laurel,

Just must tell you how very much I enjoyed my first copy of your monthly paper.

It was given to me by my good friend, Lucille H. Shepard, also of Christiansburg. Now I will be keeping all my copies for I have lots of house guests in the course of a year. They will love it. Also, I really like the story of Caleb and Henry.

Looking forward to my Mountain Laurel. Thank you.


E.V. Pugh
Christiansburg, Va.

Dear Fditor and Staff,

The very first copy I ever read of your paper was picked up by my mother. When I read it I was thrilled to find such a paper and fell in love with it. Life is so rush-rush, hurry-hurry and busy-busy and this takes you back to a more leisurely time in life. Your little paper is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise weary world. Thank you so much. You are doing a wonderful job.


N. Franklin
Bassett, Va.

Dear Mt. Laurel,

Your little paper is a jewel. It takes us older folks back to happier times of our childhood. I thought I was the only one who thought of days gone by, but it is so nice to know so many others think and write about happy times of their past.

Please keep up the good work.


S.O. Bailey
Salisbury, Md.

Dear Mt. Laurel,

My family and I have truly enjoyed the Jan. and Feb. 1984 issues of the Journal of Mountain Life! Here's our subscription order!

Both my wife and I were raised in small towns by down-to-earth, real people; my wife from Bedford and myself from Kenbridge, Va. We both enjoyed reading good news and look forward to future issues!

Please print more about the Sidna Allen 1912 shootout at Hillsville. The continuing story of the Tale About Bootlegging was fantastic. Laughed till I cried.

Your new friends,

D. & P. Gee
Ringgold, Va.

P.S. There is an old mountain saying that I've been unable to find that deals with telling the weather by the way the smoke comes out of the chimney and goes straight up or up the holler ("and bad weather will follow") or to the ground and something about falling weather in 24 hour's time. Please see if you can find this poetic note. The part about smoke to the ground and falling weather in 24 hours has proved itself to me time and time again to be correct.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Gee,

I'm not familiar with that old weather poem. Perhaps one of our readers knows how it goes. If anyone does, just send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will print it for all to share.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Readers,

You are confirming our suspicions that there are a lot of good people out there. Last month we did an article about Tommy Cockram and mentioned his birthday. Tommy received lots of cards and good wishes and it really made his day. There were also two birthday cakes baked for him and delivered to the Mountain House Restaurant.

The letter below is one of the ones Tommy received on his birthday. Tommy handed it to us to print, along with his thanks to all of you.

Dear Tommy,

Happy Birthday. It is nice to be 68 years old. I know. I and my wife are 68 also, although I am one week older than she.

I thought you might like to know how much I enjoyed the story that was published in the March issue of The Mountain Laurel about you and the things you do for your many friends whom you perhaps don't know. (Ecclesiastes 11:1) You are a real hero, and we hope you have many more birthdays to celebrate.

Like so many other people I happened to see my first copy of The Mountain Laurel last January at Peoples Drug store in Staunton, Va. I read it with great interest. I subscribed to it myself and as a gift for six of my friends. We all look forward to it each month. I have no criticism whatsoever but if I did, it would be that I have to wait 30 days more for my next issue.

My wife was born and raised at Baywood, Va., near Galax. I met her in 1935 and we were married in 1937. We have two sons. We would often, several times each year, travel (highway) 221 through Floyd and Hillsville going to visit her family. So we know of many places and people they speak about in The Mountain Laurel. My wife's maiden name was Melba Hampton, her mother, Mrs. Eula Hampton now lives at Independence, Va. She is 87 years old.

We plan to travel that road again and if we do we will watch for you between your home and the restaurant.

With all good wishes,

Irvin and Melba Rosen
Middlebrook, Va.

Mrs. Thigpen,

One of the best things to happen to me in a long time was seeing you on the Good Morning Show with Lee Kinard last spring. By "following your instructions" and sending $6.00, I opened up a whole year of the most pleasant reading I have ever experienced and some of the nicest day trips I have ever taken. Yours is a unique paper that brings back such happy memories and helps one to forget all the war and poverty featured in our everyday papers.

Again I am "following instructions" and enclosing a check for my renewal and also one to cover a gift subscription for a friend.

Keep up the good work and I'll keep "following instructions".


Mrs. E.L. Lewis
Danville, Va.