The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mailbox - January, 1985

Issue: January, 1985

Dear Editors:

On a recent trip to Meadows of Dan, we ran into a truly unique individual in one Mr. Tommy Cockram. After meeting at a small fruit stand. Mr. Cockram spent the day with us, total strangers, and took us on a complete tour of the area. We walked the reservoir, took in the view at "Lover's Leap", and got caught up in the discussion at the [Mayberry] Trading Post.

Meeting Tommy was indeed the highlight of our trip. He also introduced us to The Mountain Laurel for which a subscription is enclosed. Your area is fortunate to have such a distinct character as Tommy Cockram.

C. Simpson/L. Barnett
Baltimore, Md.


We're living on a mountaintop pretty far from home. I guess receiving your Mountain Laurel each month would be pretty good medicine for home sickness. We look forward to returning soon to God's country. Thank you kindly.

J. Elsner Smithers,
British Columbia, Canada

Dear Mountain Laurel,

This is a cold rainy evening here in the state of Ohio, most of the leaves in our area have fallen and what hasn't has turned black since the last heavy frost.

Yet that is not the reason for my writing. When I came to the state of Ohio back in 1943 I had been given a recipe for lye soap, the kind you make without cooking. During the war, this recipe came in handy, but during the years it has been misplaced. I wonder if some of the readers of The Mountain Laurel might know what this is and would they send it to me. I would gladly pay postage or would you print it in your paper.

Your articles about Addie Wood interest me, for Addie Wood is my great aunt.


Frances L. Mollett
10986 Mech. Catawba Rd.
Mechanicsburg, Ohio 43044

Dear Readers,

There is, a recipe for the "cold" method of making lye soap on the can of Red Devil Lye, which may be purchased at most grocery stores. If any of you know of a different recipe, we would like to see it.

We appreciate your exchange of information with our readers. When you ask about particular things that were a part of life in days gone by but, unfortunately are lost to today's world, we try to search for information about it. A lot of times the information is only to be found in the memories of our oldest citizens or their families.

We'd like to say thank you to all our readers who share both their questions and answers, making up missing pieces and helping put together the whole picture of what life used to be like. In doing this, we all gain more knowledge and an insight of our heritage.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Editor,

My very best Christmas gift of 1983 was The Mountain Laurel. I read it cover to cover. I don't want to miss the rest of Elizabeth's Journal so am renewing my subscription for another year. I was raised in the Brown Hill section of Franklin County, Virginia between Henry and Ferrum. My husband is from Callaway and his family still lives there. Keep those old timey stories coming. I love them.

Mrs. C. Feazelle
Stanfield, N.C.

Dear Mountain Laurel,

I received a copy of this neat little paper when visiting Ferrum Folklife Festival. It was so interesting I want to send a subscription to my father for a Christmas gift. He grew up in Franklin County and loves the mountains very much. I am a Methodist minister in Harrisonburg at present time, also attending Eastern Mennonite College, so you can see I too love the beautiful mountains here.

Many thanks,

Rev. D.L. Franklin

Dear Mountain Laurel,

I enjoy The Mountain Laurel so very much! I look forward to reading it every month. It is like getting a surprise gift and not being able to wait to open it to see what is inside. I love it. Keep up the good work!

A Friend,

V.K. Delk
Asheboro, N.C.

Dear Mountain Laurel,

Enclosed is a check for a two year subscription. I have bought copies and enjoyed each and every one of them. We purchased a lot for a summer place this past summer at Meadows of Dan and your paper has helped us to get to know the area and some of the background of this part of Virginia.

I also wish to purchase a copy of your Backroads tours as we hope to be able to take some of them in the future and not get too lost.

Thank you for hours of enjoyment that I have received from reading your paper.

Mrs. L.E. Sawyer
Moyock, N.C.

Dear Mountain Laurel,

Enclosed is check for renewal of your paper.

My husband and I look forward each month to The Mountain Laurel. I grew up in the mountains of N.C.; therefore many of the articles written by the old timers of your area carry me back to my childhood memories of the good ole days. Thanks for a great paper.


S. Merrill
Arlington, Va.

Dear Sirs,

Just recently I returned from a frequent trip in your area. I think Mountain Laurel is a wonderful paper. I enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to more enjoyable reading. I wish you much success.

Thank you,

N. Rogers
Newark, Ohio

Dear Mountain Laurel,

We would like to send a Christmas Gift subscription. We were given a subscription as a gift and feel it was one of the best gifts we have ever received.


K. and E. Bernatz
Hacienda Heights, Ca.

Dear Sir or Madam,

We love the mountains and go up there every chance we get. We always stop at Mabry Mill, Meadows of Dan, Floyd and all around there. Wish we lived there. We are thinking of selling out and joining you all.

We really enjoy your paper. It is fantastic. Please send me a year's subscription.

Thank you,

K. and D. Adams
Apex, N.C.