The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - June, 1987

Issue: June, 1987

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
It is with deep gratitude that I write to thank you for the lovely and touching article (March 1987) on my precious Grandpa, the late Matt Burnett. You succeeded in capturing the spirit of the man who touched so many lives. He was an ideal Grandpa to his grandchildren, a source of strength for his children, a loving husband to Grandma for 60 years and nothing less than an "unforgettable character" to his many friends and acquaintances. He enriched all of our lives and his memory will live on in our hearts.

Thank you for dedicating your 4th anniversary issue to him. It was beautifully written.


L. B. McKenzie
Collinsville, Virginia

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
I have been reading The Mountain Laurel since it was first published. My mother read it at her sisters in Laurel Fork and became a subscriber. I have continued to take it since her death two years ago.

May you have continued success with your paper. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Carroll County hold many fond memories for me as I spent all my summers with my grandparents, near Laurel Fork.


Mrs. A.C. Thomasson
Huntersville, North Carolina

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
Enclosed is payment for the renewal of my subscription to "The Mountain Laurel" which was first established last year as a Father's Day gift to me from my daughter. After thoroughly enjoying all of the issues that I have received since then, I would not dare let it expire!

My wife and I grew up in Galax, Virginia in the 1930's and 40's, and lived in Independence from 1950 until 1956, when we came to Roanoke for me to begin a most satisfying career with the Norfolk and Western Railway. I am retired now, with more time to reflect upon the earlier years which we enjoyed in your part of the state.

As a young boy, in the early and mid 1930's, I can remember going with my father (L.S. Rudolph) to some of the most remote parts of Grayson and Carroll Counties where he sold Singer Sewing Machines. We traveled in a 1927 Dodge four door sedan, which Dad had modified so that he could carry two treadle type sewing machines in the area behind the front seat.

Most of the customers were farmers, those folks who were almost self sufficient in a time when it was necessary to be so. The Great Depression was coming to an end, and money was not universally plentiful. If some of the ladies had the talent to make their own clothes, Dad seized the opportunity to sell them a sewing machine!

Since my Dad was raised on a farm around the turn of the century, he had a rapport with those wonderful folks, and would engage with them as they related stories of the type you publish in "The Mountain Laurel." I would listen, with typical boyish fascination as they talked.

Dad had some customers in Meadows of Dan. Maybe there is an old singer or two still making clothes after all these years, which my Dad and I delivered!

Your paper is certainly a most refreshing journal of times that all of us (at my age) like to remember. Keep up the good work!


R. L. Rudolph
Roanoke, Virginia

I am a subscriber of The Mountain Laurel, and enjoy every issue very much. I have visited Meadows of Dan several times, and hope to return some time.

Please send me Collection No. 2, "The Special Mountain Memories". Enclosed is postage and handling and price of the magazine.


P. Page
Spring Hill, Tennessee

Dear Charlotte,
I am requesting two back issues of The Mountain Laurel, as I keep all copies on file for visitors to our state, who wish to travel and visit the [Blue Ridge] valley. I am missing and have not received the March and April 1987 copies. We here at the AAA of Virginia office in Fredericksburg, enjoy reading your publication. It is also of great value, in that it has the detailed maps, thereby allowing our members and non–members to better understand and see the [Blue Ridge] valley. Thank you for your attention and time.


Jeffery A Gossman, Branch Manager
AAA of Virginia
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Dear Susan Thigpen, Editor
For at least six months, I have been receiving "The Mountain Laurel." I was given a one year subscription from a friend in Richmond, Virginia. Since I lived in Virginia until the age of 18, I really enjoy your paper. After reading it, I always pass it on to my family in Danville, Virginia.

Thank you very much,

L.N. Reed
Cockeyville, Maryland

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
I want to say how much I enjoy The Mountain Laurel. I can hardly wait from month to month to get it. It reminds me of my younger days. Keep up the good work!


L. Cox
Ennice, North Carolina

Dear Susan Thigpen,
My husband and I stopped in Virginia on the way back from Florida in February and we picked up a copy of The Mountain Laurel at a Johnny Appleseed Restaurant.

I was delighted with it and decided to subscribe to it. Please send me two copies of Mountain Memories. I want to have one for myself and one for a gift.

If I lived in your area, I surely would love to explore the back roads.

Thank You,

Mrs. R. Rickenbaugh
McAlisterville, Pennsylvania