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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock

"The introduction of my new publication, Guide to Antebellum Flat Rock will be launched on Sept 14 2019 at 1:30 PM at the Henderson County Court House 500 Main Street. A talk and a brief slide show follows with refreshments afterward. …"
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Nancy Werking Poling posted an event

Nancy Werking Poling at Black Mountain Library

June 15, 2019 from 3pm to 4pm
Can women rescue the planet from ecological disaster?Nancy Werking Poling will launch her new novel, WHILE EARTH STILL SPEAKS, set in WNC. She'll tell the stories behind the story: How did Mary (more crone than virgin) get into the narrative? And Mary Surratt, a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth?See More
Jun 10
Caroline McIntyre posted events
Apr 29
Rob Neufeld updated their profile
Apr 13
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Flat Rock history via a road

Travelling back in time on a Flat Rock roadby Rob Neufeld             If you walk the one mile length of North Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, you step nearly 200 years into the past.            At the east end, the 21st century reigns.  Fronting six-lane Spartanburg Highway, a super-Ingles sits above a bog; and a CVS store faces an Octopus Garden smoke shop, a chiropractor, a cell phone provider, and a six-lane avenue to I-26 a mile away .            Neither Ingles nor CVS carries the big…See More
Apr 8
George Ellison left a comment for Renea Winchester
"luv ya Renea ... Kephart bio finally done after 40 years ... free at last ... free at last... great god almighty ... free a last!"
Apr 5
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
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Connie Regan-Blake Storytelling at Hendersonville Public Library at Henderson County Public Library - Main Branch

June 13, 2019 from 6pm to 7pm
Join Connie Regan-Blake for a family oriented evening of stories at the Hendersonville Library.See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake presents A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 6, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Please join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her workshop participants in an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” Here are the tellers for our April 6th “Slice of Life” performance.  Christine Phillips Westfeldt, Kyra Freeman, Steve Tate, Alberta Hipps and more! The event is hosted by the …See More
Apr 1
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake's Taking Your Story to the Stage Workshop at StoryWindow Productions

April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019
The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Set in Connie’s home tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC, this workshop provides a supportive,…See More
Apr 1
Rap Monster posted a blog post

Stealth Hazy - 'Gun Clap'

Stealth Hazy - Gun ClapI got 80 rounds with a beam on it riding dirty I'm smoking chronic top off hear that system pound 808 thats subsonicI double down quadruple upstraight droppin with no cutwilt chamberlain on the reboundand you a fan just starstruckI…See More
Mar 26
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Connie Regan-Blake’s 14th Annual Summer Storytelling Retreat & Adventure at StoryWindow Productions

July 14, 2019 at 10am to July 20, 2019 at 4pm
Come to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville for 7 days of story-listening & story-telling along with coaching, community & supportive exploration. This 14th annual workshop welcomes all levels of expertise, from beginner to experienced teller. Participants discover ways of being in the world that nurture your creative flow while developing skills to: Find, create, learn, and polish storiesEffectively integrate voice with image,…See More
Mar 2
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Feb 8
Sue Diehl posted an event
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Montreat College Friends of the Library Celebrate National Library Week at Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College, Montreat, NC

April 9, 2019 from 3pm to 5pm
Patti Callahan, author of the recent novel Becoming Mrs. Lewis, and Don W. King author of Out of My Bone: the Letters of Joy Davidman, A Naked Tree: Love Sonnets to C. S. Lewis, and Yet One More Spring: a Critical Study of Joy Davidman, will co-present on their works about Joy and her husband C.S. Lewis.  The event is free and open to the public on April 9, 2019 in Graham Chapel, Gaither Hall, Montreat College.Reception and Book signing to followSee More
Feb 8
William Roy Pipes posted a discussion

TWO NEW APPALACHIAN NOVELS

I have, just released two Appalachian Novels.OUT OF THE SHADOWS, begins deep in the Appalachian Mountains of in WNC. It is partly a true story about a young man who ran away from home at the age of fifteen. He meets another runaway, and they fall in love.A journey where he faced adversaries, but also success as he walked, hitchhiked, and made his way across the country.GONE LIKE A CANDLE IN THE WIND, is a story of three young people growing up in a farming community in the Appalachian…See More
Jan 28

Roan Mountain family take: a connection with ancestors 

 

            The awakening in Martha Arrowood Pelc’s new novel, “Love and Mercy up on Roan Mountain,” is not to a brave new world but to a restored old one.

            Twice left at the altar, Jane Arrowood returns to her family’s neglected mountain home to rehabilitate it; and ends up, with the aid of ghosts, also fixing a long-buried, grievous family injustice.

            Pelc’s tale of Appalachian romance and survival contains few surprises, but encompasses, through smooth storytelling, a wonderful catalog of regional motifs. 

            The novel begins, I should note, not with Jane’s story, but with that of one of her ancestors (as we later discover).  A 14-year-old-girl named Ollie, “pert near grown” and ready for marriage, is walking through a downpour to the house of an old woman she helps, when she hears a scream.  Her two little sisters have followed her and drowned in the creek.

            Love and mercy: Life is marked by marriages on the one hand; and tragedies on the other.  The beauty of the environment, the will to survive, and the ties of family are accompanying themes.

            Chapter 2 cuts to Jane.  “’These mountains really are in my blood,’ she thinks, as she looked over the beautiful rolling hills, bathed in color.  ‘Just like my Daddy always told me they were.  I feel at peace here.’”

            Hearing her daddy’s voice is a realistic connection with the dead; as is the lilac scent she smells, reminding her of her grandmother.  We all experience these kinds of things.  But then, Jane sees, in a mirror she’s cleaning, a woman in a high-necked dress who turns out to be Sarah Ellender, her great-great-grandmother, an herb-collecting midwife and persistent angel.

            Other supernatural things happen.  Jane doubts her sanity in a humorous, self-mocking way.  But we readers come to accept the reality of Pelc’s novel, in which dead ancestors are given the ability to even play a record player.

            In Chapter 7, the story switches back to another ancestor, Nancy, left home alone with a baby in 1862 after her husband had to hide out from conscription into the Confederate Army.

            Nancy “knew that David ‘had no dog in this fight,’” Pelc writes.  “The simple mountain folk that lived in the area owned no slaves, and most felt that the war was simply none of their affair.  This war was a rich man’s war, and certainly they were not rich.”

            A journal discovered in the old house helps Jane piece together the rest of Nancy and David’s fate, which turns out to be the crux of the book.  We also get to move through the generations to reach Ollie, Sarah, and Jane, among others,

            Various charming and memorable vignettes emerge from the rush of time.  Ollie’s uncle by marriage, Welzia, a circuit preacher, is welcomed into the modest home of a couple with “a whole passel of stair-step children.” 

            “This man is blessed, indeed,” Welzia thinks, “blessed ever so much more than with just worldly riches.”  Welzia is lifted by “the laughter and smiles exchanged in the tiny, loving home.”

            Piety, simplicity, survival, good mates, and homeplace: these are the things Pelc affirms, having also come back to the mountains from Gastonia to recover her family’s history.

Follow Rob Neufeld on @WNC_chronicler.

 

THE BOOK

Love and Mercy up on Roan Mountain by Martha Arrowood Pelc (CreateSpace trade paper, Sept. 24, 2015, 190 pages).

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