Sacred Sites for Secular Times:
50 Commemorative Experiences in Western North Carolina
by Rob Neufeld
Among the many sites dedicated to history, there are some—both overbooked and overlooked—that provide full and moving experiences. They involve a physical component, connecting to landscape; an imaginative one, entering other times and minds; and an interactive one, maintaining relevance.
The entries in this book help create full experiences through descriptive references and dream journeys. They’re fun to read. They’re fun to read aloud. They’re fun to read aloud while at the sites.
Perhaps booksellers will have trouble knowing where to place the book. Should it go with “Travel Guides,” or in “Story Collections”? Each entry in the guide is a story, and the order of stories is also a narrative, which you, the reader, determine through multiple choice decisions along the way.
If you start on page 1, you’ll begin with Clingman’s Dome—or, as the Cherokee called it, Shakonige. Your mind will be dwelling on Cherokees and bears. Then, you will select the next path and be referred to another page. The general format is:
1) Continue the main theme
2) Find the closest next stop on the map
3) Follow a secondary theme
Play how you like. But first, stay in touch with the project as it develops. It now includes 12 completed site experiences, and counting. Publication and distribution methods are forthcoming. Contact me in this forum; or email RNeufeld@charter.net.
Rob Neufeld is the author of six books; the long-time regional history writer and book reviewer for the Asheville Citizen-Times; and a public speaker.