The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

The Mail Box - June, 1985

Issue: June, 1985

Howdy folks,

Just finished my first issue of The Mountain Laurel. I saw on page 27 the ad for Collection # 1 of BACRKOAD TOURS. Please send us one before they "git gone". Wish you folks success in keeping on pleasing us with The Mountain Laurel. We all need roots and a sense of belonging. How about some articles on present and earlier bluegrass bands from the Blue Ridge?

Bill Lewis
Belleville, PA.

Dear Mr. Lewis,

We already had an article about an old time musician planned for this issue when we got your letter. We hope you and all the readers enjoy meeting Abe Horton.

Susan Thigpen, Editor

Dear Mt. Laurel,

My husband and I were driving the Blue Ridge Parkway from Wintergreen, VA to Brevard, NC to visit family and stopped at a country store. We discovered your paper there. We had the "best" time reading it and can't wait for the next issue.

Enclosed is a check for two subscriptions.

Keep up the good work,

S. Cox
Waynesboro, VA

Dear Mountain Laurel,

A friend gave me a copy of your paper and I enjoyed it very much. I would like to subscribe to it.

I work for a telephone company and I meet a lot of elderly people and they tell me stories about when they grew up and things that went on back then. It makes my work day go a lot faster when I have an old story to think about. Have a good day.

Yours truly,

M. McClure
Crumpler, N.C.

Sirs –

Enclosed is a check for one year's subscription to your delightful paper. I read mine from cover to cover.

The couple to whom I want the paper [subscription] sent grew up in Peterstown and Union, West Virginia. I know they will enjoy the paper.


S.M. Bixler
Fort Mill, South Carolina

Dear Susan,

Thank you so very much for printing "Where Have All The Hobos Gone" in the May issue of The Mountain Laurel.

King Leopold III ascended the Belgium throne in the spring of 1934 at the age of 33. He scheduled a meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the summer of 1935 in Washington, D.C.

King Leopold's royal yacht docked in Houston, Texas in early 1935 and the King disappeared.

Twenty-seven days later, just two days before the King was to meet with the President, the royal yacht anchored in Chesapeake Bay and a road weary King Leopold was taken aboard.

King Leopold wrote a book about his travel with the American Knights of the Road. He had hoboed from Houston to Washington, D.C.

Perhaps he went through Waynesboro. He could have been with the hobos I heard singing under the bluffs by the South River north of Waynesboro [VA].

I agree the hobos of yesterday are a far cry from those riding the rails today. I have seen young mothers clutching small children as they sit in the doorways of the boxcars heading west while a dejected father stands over them.

Just a bit of trivia I thought you might be interested in.


Russel E. Pangle
Lafayette, LA

Dear Mountain Laurel,

My husband and I enjoy every copy of your heartwarming paper! The picture of Mabry Mill on the front page brings back many pleasant memories. Our four children always enjoyed camping at Rocky Knob, and the outing was never complete until we visited Mabry Mill. Even though they are now married and have children of their own, we still enjoy gathering for a picnic there.

Please send a gift subscription to our brother for his birthday. I hope he enjoys it as much as we do. Also send a copy of Backroad Tours to me.

It must be rewarding to publish your paper as it obviously gives so many people pleasure as your letters to the editor indicate. Keep up the good work! Memories are precious and The Mountain Laurel not only stirs our memories, but helps keep alive our link with the past.


O.K. Chappell
Martinsville, VA

Dear Ms. Thigpen,

I would like to order two copies of BACKROADS TOURS.

Several of my friends and I are planning to vacation at my parents' farmhouse just off the [Blue Ridge] Parkway. We are flying our touring bicycles with us from Austin and want to plan our "Backroads Tours" to take in as much of the mountain charm as possible.

If you have any special suggestions for bicycle touring, please let us know. We will be glad to reciprocate with information and elevations after our tours.

I enjoy your publication. It's a wonderful "bit of home" here in the city.

I am anxious to get back to the mountains. I am looking forward to "showing them off" to my native Texas friends who think the Rockies are the only mountains.


C.L. Woody
Austin, Texas

Dear Editors,

My daughter and son-in-law subscribed to your wonderful Mountain Laurel for me. I read every line and then look forward to your next issue. Your paper shows the care and time you put into it.

E.M. McGurk
Red Hook, New York

Dear Editor,

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Mountain Laurel for the past two years. I read it from cover to cover and can't wait for the next issue. I was disappointed to find that the vendor from which I purchase The Mountain Laurel had sold out. So please find my check enclosed for a three year subscription. This way I won't have to miss a single issue of your wonderful publication. It is so refreshing to be able to sit down for pleasure reading and learn so much about history and our heritage at the same time.  Keep up the good work!

H.W. Edmiston
Lenoir, N.C.

Dear Readers,

We'd like to say thank you for all your wonderful letters of encouragement. We appreciate them.

Susan Thigpen, Editor