"Hi Nancy: I am the Program Chair for the Blue Ridge Bookfest and would like to make contact with you in order to invite you to be one of our 2013 speakers. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Best wishes. Jim Loy"
I've been sitting here responding to your latest comments, and my letter has grown so long that I'm not sure I want to post it here. I would prefer to send it to an email account for the sake of privacy. If you care to read it, write to me at:
and I will send it on.
I shall read your books with great interest, especially now that I know you are indeed that very teacher who influenced me so strongly. It is incredible to think of how self-centered I was as a seventeen-year-old high school senior. It never occurred to me to consider you as anything other than a teacher, that you were an adult with a life outside of those school walls, a woman with a college degree and interests beyond the mob of disinterested teenagers in her classroom. After a number of years I began to wonder about you and the handful of other educators who had shaped my thinking. I was not at all surprised when I typed your name into a search engine recently and book titles began to pop-up. How pleased I am to know that the teacher who so carefully encouraged me to write (and then patiently waded through that gush of adolescent language looking for the one sentence or phrase she might hope to praise) was herself, in the quiet evenings and sacred weekends away from the classroom, composing her own poetry and spinning her own tales. I should have known. I should have known!
I just found your books on Amazon and have ordered them. If you are the Nancy Dillingham I suspect you might be, I can only say that you will never know the impact you have had on me for decades. I had a journalism teacher in high school (AC Reynolds--Class of '76) whose unstinting encouragement and red pencil transformed me from a scribbler into a writer. My debt of gratitude to her is great. If you are that Nancy Dillingham from thirty-five years ago, there is no language to thank you for the influence you had on me everytime I rolled a sheet of paper into my typewriter or opened a Word document in my computer and began writing. I look forward to reading your books and getting a peek at that beloved and never-forgotten educator from the past. With the utmost sincerity, Scott Dockery / Knoxville Tennessee
Nancy-thank you for the insights on the vocabulary test. I have heard aye God and most of the others you mentions. Aye doggies-I've heard that all my life but never thought to connect it to the others. Thats a duh moment for sure.
I'm almost finished with your book-and I just love love it. I'm going to tell you my favorite parts once I'm done. You are very talented!
Nancy and Tipper,
Regarding trolls, native language, and gender, my niece Angela Wallace, a first-grade teacher at Cartoogechaye School in Macon County, says that a favorite activity of her students is extemporaneously acting out folk tales, nursery rhymes and such, and that the results are always creative. One little girl was playing the role of a troll under the bridge (guarding it) when three little boys playing the three Billy Goats Gruff wanted to cross. "We're going to cross over this bridge," the goats declared quite arrogantly, "to reach the good pasture on the other side." Whereupon, the little girl (troll) balled up her fists on her hips and in her meanest voice replied, "Oh, no, you'uns ain't!"
Nancy-thank you for the thoughtful comment you left me. I agree fatalism results from a hard way of living and isolation in Appalachia. I'll be looking forward to reading your book-thank you for mentioning it! I am a huge fan of Fred Chappell too.