The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - August, 1986

Issue: August, 1986

Dear Editor,
I just had a call from one of my friends. She had been out and bought The Mountain Laurel and she asked me, since I am from Meadows of Dan Community (rather say Mayberry, Va. My uncle Sephus Scott ran the store and post office.), did I know Coon Spangler. [Story by John H. Yeatts in June issue, "Home In Time For Planting."]

I told her I sure ought to, he was my grandfather on my dad's side, who was Lindsey E. Spangler.

We moved to Danville in the early 1900's. In fact, I think it was either 1913 or 1914. Our house got burnt down. We were living on the Vol Reynolds place and it burnt everything we had, so we moved to Schoolfield, Virginia.

My mother, dad, and oldest sister have gone on to be with the Lord, but there is five of us girls still living, all here in Danville but two.

I was 5 years old when we left Mayberry and I still love up there. I am 79 years old now.

The main reason I'm writing this is I am sending a subscription and if you have a copy of the one with the write up about Coon Spangler, please send me one.

I am very anxious to get one, so keep up the good work. It is so nice to hear from home. I think you all are doing a wonderful thing with The Mountain Laurel.

Very sincerely,

D. Spangler Hooker
Danville, VA.

Dear Mountain Laurel,
Please renew my subscription to your wonderful newspaper. Regretfully I allowed my original subscription to lapse without realizing I would miss my newspaper as much as I have. Also I would appreciate you sending me the July, 1986 issue. I am particularly interested in this issue since my grandmother, Josie Gray Spangler, my great aunt, Liz Cody and my namesake, Empress Spangler were all pictured in one photograph.

I saw the issue at a friend's house and knew I have to begin my subscription at once. The Spanglers are frequently mentioned and I have become acquainted with many relatives whom I barely knew or never had the privilege to meet.

Would it be possible to contact the owner of that particular photograph so that I might obtain a copy of it and therefore have a picture of my deceased grandmother at an early age? If so, please send me any address which might lead me to further information concerning pictures of the Spanglers.

Thank you,

Empress D. Spangler
P.O. Box 813
Toast, N.C. 27049

Dear Ms Spangler,
We have printed your letter and address in the hopes that Spangler relatives out there might contact you.

Good Luck,

Susan Thigpen

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
Just had to tell you how much we enjoy The Mountain Laurel. My husband and I read it from cover to cover. It brings back so many childhood memories.

Somewhere at an antique book store I found an autographed copy of a book of poems titled, "A Bit Of Sunshine" written by James McChesney Prickett of Rural Retreat, Virginia. It's dated Feb. 8th, 1929. I would like to see this lovely book get back to some one who knew the author, or some of his family, or him if he is still among the living.

If you have space in the Mail Box in the near future, please print this. Thank you very much.

Mrs. Eula J. Worley
Blairs, VA.

Dear Mountain Laurel,
I enjoy reading your paper. It takes me back to my childhood. We lived in Grayson County in a place called "Rocky Hollow" (not on the map). We went to a school called "Piny Peak", the only log school house in the state of Virginia.

My sister and I walked, we didn't have busses then. Of course we had fun, sometimes I think more than the children of today.

We went back in the mountains and picked huckleberries, wild strawberries and cherries. We helped make molasses. People ate what they grew, didn't run to the store like today. The Lord was good to the people and they knew it. Sometimes I wish I could go back.

Thank you,

M.A. Kupisch
White Hall, Maryland

Dear Mountain Laurel,
I originally ordered your publication for my mother. She has been sharing with me and I really enjoy it as much as she does. Thank you.

I have a sincere hope that one day there will be time to travel to the Blue Ridge and in looking forward to that, would like to order the Backroads book you are offering.

Mrs. J. Tweedell
Athens, Georgia

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
Enclosed you will find a check for Backroads. We visited the Blue Ridge Parkway for the first time October 1983 and have made a total of six trips since that date. One of the first things we do when we arrive in your area is to buy a copy of The Mountain Laurel to see what the Backroad Tour is. We have spent many pleasant miles on the Backroads.

We subscribed so we would have our copy to enjoy each month. As you can see, we really like the Blue Ridge Mountains. My husband will retire in about two years and would like to make our home there.


Mrs. M.H. Ensor
Bessemer, Alabama

Dear Mountain Laurel,
A correction in the June 1986 issue, Backroads. The old school on the left at 15.1 miles is Turman School, not Dugspur. The first seven years of my education was there.

Welcome to the old neighborhood.

Congratulations on your July issue! It has a new sophistication.

I was delighted and surprised to read the story about my uncle, Claude Rufus Cruise, Sr., on page 17, Mountain Memories. I am sorry he did not live to enjoy the story or the July issue.

There are a few corrections to the story that I feel compelled to make as it does matter to me. His middle name was Rufus, as he was named for his mother's brother, Rufus.

His father's name was Solomon, and his mother's name was Salome which uniquely is the feminine for Solomon. She did prefer to be known as "Mollie", and her twin sister was named Dione.

I have heard my uncle tell of his World War I experiences. He was a messenger in the Argonne Forest in France. Because of his light weight, his commanding officer nicknamed him "Heavy", a name that stuck with him as long as his army buddies lived.

Until his recent demise, he was unusually alert for his 92 years. Following a heart attack on June 21, 1986, he died in his sleep five days later at his home. He would not have had it any other way.

At the present, his wife, Inis Cox Cruise is residing in the Waddell Nursing Home, Galax, Virginia.


J.C. Graybeal
Christiansburg, VA.

Dear Readers,
We received a nice card from Dorie Williams which said, "Congratulations and a happy new home to you too!" Inside was hand written, "I've enjoyed The Mountain Laurel from the beginning. It's an oasis of calm in a sea of trouble for me. Takes me back to childhood days when life was peaceful and I didn't have a care in the world. Keep up the good work."

Thank you so much. We really appreciate the thoughtfulness of our readers.

Susan Thigpen, Editor