The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Dear Readers - July, 1986

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1986

Issue: July, 1986

Editor's Note 2012: The "new equipment" in 1986 was an Apple Macintosh Plus an Apple LaserWriter Printer and Microsoft Word and PageMaker software. We were definitely on the forefront of desktop publishing.

Notice something different this month? This is the very first issue of The Mountain Laurel typeset on our new equipment, headlines, ads and all! After three and a half years, our Olivetti typewriter is getting a well deserved rest, and the new equipment is being used.

We hope you like the way it looks. We have left the type as large as it was to be easier to read.

We are just getting used to it and you'll probably still find mistakes we didn't catch. (Any machine is only as foolproof as the fool operating it.)

We're very proud of this issue and hope you like it. You, our readers and advertisers make it all possible, and your approval and understanding is very important to us. When we put together an issue of The Mountain Laurel, it's like we are pulling up a chair into a circle of old friends. When you contribute your own stories to us, we anxiously await printing them to share with the rest of our family of readers.

This month's issue is a collection of bigger than life stories. Have you ever drifted into a conversation, got caught up in a fascinating story someone was telling and walked away wondering whether to believe it or not?

There were and still are people in these mountains that can spin a yarn or tall tale so masterfully that you never will figure out just where the truth ended and the "truth stretching" began   stories so wild or farfetched your reason won't allow you to believe them, yet your mind also won't let go of the possibility it might have been.

Then there is another school of Tale Tellers who build a totally believable story to a climatic ending only to catch you in the last sentence in the sudden realization that the whole story is undoubtedly a fabrication. You know you've been suckered into a good joke, but don't mind because your brain is already rushing through a mental file cabinet of people you intend to pull it on.

A third school of Tale Tellers is one who tells incredible truths. They can document stories (that are so unbelievable they have to be true) with eye witnesses. No amount of imagination could create such stories.

This month's issue is dedicated to the tellers of TALL TALES. Be they true, false, or somewhere in between. We want you to sit back in a cool shady spot, relax, put your feet up and enjoy TALL TALES from some real masters. If I told you which ones were true and which ones weren't, it would spoil all the fun. It's up to you to decide what's believable or not. Either way, they're all entertaining. The art of conversation and tall tales are alive and well in the Blue Ridge, where you are limited only by your imagination and anything you wish can become a reality.