The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - December, 1987

Issue: December, 1987

Dear Readers,
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have gotten a few days behind in our work schedules. This combined with the heavy holiday mail flow through the Post Office will probably mean that you are getting the December issue later than usual.

To catch up our schedule, the next issue we print will be a combined January/February issue. You will receive it a little later than you would normally receive the January issue, but much earlier than you would normally receive the February issue. You will receive the March issue about the last week in February and we will be back on schedule.

This will not change the total number of issues you will receive. You will still receive twelve issues a year for your subscription. The date at the top of the mailing label on your paper is your renewal date.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you change your address. When "address correction requested" appears on a mailing piece the Post Office is supposed to notify us of changes but it sometimes takes 30 to 60 days for the Post Office to send corrections. That could mean missing as much as two issues.

If you have trouble receiving your subscription, call us collect at xxx-xxx-xxxx. We will check to see if we have entered it wrong on our computers. If our information is correct, then we will attempt to trace the trouble through the postal system.

We apologize for being late and hope you'll bear with us until we get our schedule back on track. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

All of us here join together in hoping that you have the most enjoyable holiday season ever and a very prosperous New Year.

Susan, Charlotte & Bob

Dear Editor,
My husband and I spent some time traveling in Virginia during September. It was one of the delights of our vacation. I enjoyed the September issue of The Mountain Laurel very much and I am sending for a years subscription.

We plan to be in Virginia again next year and we are already looking forward to it.

J. Kelly
Liberal, Kansas

Dear Susan,
We enjoy the paper so much and want to read more now that we have returned to Nebraska.

The area around Floyd and Willis, Virginia was just beautiful when we were there this fall. Pictures or words can't describe it - one must visit themselves. We do hope to return again.

B. Hedman
Omaha, Nebraska

Dear Susan,
I went on an Excaliber Tour through the New England states. I had a wonderful time which I will always remember, sure glad I picked up The Mountain Laurel, some interesting reading. This world has changed since I was born 73 years ago (September 14, 1914).

"I can remember when" neighbors were neighbors for miles around. Dad and Mom would hitch the mules to the wagon and load us kids in and drive as far as five miles or more to spend the day with a neighbor or relative (didn't have a phone to call ahead like you do today).

When we arrived the kids stayed out in the yard or a shed building playhouses with rocks, boxes, planks, anything we could find. While the women went to the kitchen to prepare the meal. Leave the men to do the (gossiping) talk about their crops or whatever. When dinner which is lunch now was over the women would join their husbands, the kids would wash, dry and put the dishes away and back in the yard we would go til Dad said it was time to go home. We didn't know what the parents talked about.

I can remember when we kids took sick it was castor oil, turpentine, lard, lamp oil (Kerosene today) and Vicks Salve. Either to rub on, swallow or make a poultice, home remedies always done the job. Now if you sneeze you think of a doctor. He calls it some big name, gives a shot, writes a prescription and charges an outrageous price.

And when a neighbor got sick in bed the neighbors flocked in to help any way they could. The women tended the kids, cooked meals and cleaned house. The men done the outside chores such as plow the crops, cut wood. Yes we had to cut wood in the summer, we cooked on a wood stove. If the person was sick enough to have a doctor, he came to the house. Yes, there were hospitals, but they were miles and miles away and these people were the less fortunate ones. Neighbors took turns sitting up at night with the sick.

If there was a death the undertaker came to the home with the casket. The neighbors already had the body ready to place in the casket. The body never left home til time for their funeral. The neighbors sat the night out while the family tried to rest and sleep. This is a glad beginning, but a sad ending but there is one thing in common

"No big I" and "Little You" (six feet of earth make us all the same size).

Mrs. B. Tate
Lafayette, Georgia

Editors Note

Happy Birthday (December 23) to Wayne Banks whose story, "A Trip Back To My First School," we printed in our September 1987 issue. We printed his age wrong and he is actually five years younger!

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Mountain Laurel People,
We enjoy the paper so very much, My husband is a Georgia born "cracker" but he loves the old stories so much - he even reads it more than I do. He has a lot of stories of his own that have happened to him and his family. Some day I want to have time to write some of these down. He's such a good story teller and remembers the old times and old ways which should be preserved.

Mrs. C. F. Lee, Jr.
Kingston, Georgia

Mountain Laurel,
My first exposure to your magazine was a month ago while working the Hillsville, Galax areas. It was every bit as informative and entertaining as I've read.

And three cheers for the Cascade Inn. Reading The Mountain Laurel in such surroundings was the icing on the cake. Betty really makes you feel right at home with AAA accommodations and home cooked meals.

Thank you both,
D. Osterhaus
Roanoke, Virginia