The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - August, 1987

Issue: August, 1987

Herewith is my check for a years subscription. All because someone sent me a complimentary copy. The handwriting I can not identify, but it looks like that of any two or three female cousins who live in Virginia, and of the Wilcher Bowman clan. My thanks to whomever sent it.

I was especially delighted with the article about my grandparents, Wilcher and Rhoda Bowman. I knew them well. In the photograph on page 18, February, 1987 issue, I can identify two of my [his] daughters. From left to right, standing, number two was my aunt Dalene Jackson and number three was my mother, Clementine Vass.

Incidentally, I was born in the McAlexander house, about two miles west of the Meadows of Dan post office, the house that was sold, torn down and hauled away about five years ago. My great aunt, Fannie McAlexander named me after some English writer and James Otis, and I have been stuck with it ever since 1900 A.D.

I was in Meadows of Dan [VA] last October with a group of relatives, and we had lunch at the Mill [Mabry Mill]. The first bread I ever ate was baked from meal ground in that mill. I went into a store to ask the shortest route to Mt. Airy, and in the process met another relative I had never seen before, Curtis Cox, Jr. His father I once knew in as much as he was a cousin to my mother.

Thanks again to whoever sent me the February issue of The Mountain Laurel.


O.E. Vass
Littleton, Colorado

Dear Susan,
I want to thank you for your lovely newspaper. I enjoy and wait anxiously for it each month. Also I can keep up with things going on around my son's new home in Woolwine, Va.

I hope we can make some of the Backroad trips sometime in the near future when I am visiting my son when he isn't too busy fixing and building.


J.E. Melillo
Norfolk, Virginia

Dear Susan Thigpen,
I picked up one of your "Mountain Laurel's" a year ago at the Mountain Surf Restaurant outside of Sparta, N.C. and enjoyed it so much, I sent for a subscription. My husband started reading it also. We can hardly wait for it to arrive each month. We have laughed and cried at some of the articles and since we are in our late 60's, can share with a lot of articles the memories they bring back. Having been born in the N.C. mountains and Virginia mountains, we love everything connected with them. Keep up the good work. We are not selfish with the "Laurel." It is read by family members and neighbors. This months issue has already gone through the family, one dear southern lady in her 80's and today my husband is taking it to an 85 year old gentleman born in the N.C. mountains, so you see it gets around.

Mrs. D. Cox
Felton, Pennsylvania

Dear Ms. Thigpen,
I started reading The Mountain Laurel when I went to work for a man and his wife who were subscribers. I fell in love with it and couldn't wait for the next issue to come out.

Today I received my first copy of The Mountain Laurel which was a gift from the people I worked for. After reading past issues I would send them to my father in Kingsport, Tennessee. He is originally from Dickerson County and enjoyed The Mountain Laurel so much that I decided to send him a years subscription for Father's Day.

Being a father that was always hard to buy gifts for, The Mountain Laurel is a perfect gift for anyone for any occasion.

Thanks for printing a truly wonderful journal of mountain life and for bringing back some wonderful memories.


Ms. L. A. Hodge
Richmond, Virginia

Dear Sirs,
Please accept our subscription to your wonderful little paper. We came upon it at the Armstrong Motel in Staunton. Never have enjoyed a newspaper more.

Please advise the cost of putting inquires for genealogical purposes in your paper. My husband's people all come from the Virginia, Kentucky and Carolina's.

We are in Cumberland Falls for a Bedford family reunion and have made wonderful connections through a newspaper ad in the London Times. One of our kin is with us from Northern Ireland.

Keep up the good work!


Mrs. R. Bradford
Des Moines, Iowa

Dear Mrs. Bradford,
We place items in our genealogy section free of charge on a basis of space available.