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Act 5, Scene 1: Irene's Twilight Zone

Act 5, Scene 1: Irene’s Twilight Zone See whole poem, "The Main Show," and index of scenes.  (Spotlight opens on the lobby of the theater.  Characters who remain in the lobby enter the theater, which remains dark.  Joan the nurse tells the tour guide to also go in, and the narrator hangs back awhile.) Joan: Go ahead in. I’ll stay with my patient.Anyway, this is a family…See More
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Julia Nunnally Duncan at Little Switzerland Books and Beans

August 30, 2019 from 3pm to 6pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be a featured author at Little Switzerland Books and Beans on Friday, August 30, from 3-5. A book signing will follow. Julia will read from her latest books A Neighborhood Changes, A Part of Me, and A Place That Was Home.See More
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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 at Black Mountain Library

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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
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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

In the early 80's an old homeplace beside a TVA Lake was purchased by the Stines Family. Historical details of the house:

*Built in 1882 by the Patton family
*Holt Patton was 6 mos. old when the house was built by his parents
*Holt was raised in the house
*Holt married Luola Penland-and they raised their family in the house
*After the death of her husband, Patience Mahalia Moore Penland (Luola's mother) came to live with the Pattons
*Holt died in 1983 at the age of 101

When the Stines purchased the old homeplace the house was in severe disrepair. As they began the arduous task of making the house inhabitable-Mrs. Stines discovered an old pillowcase full of letters in the attic. The letters were written by W.C. Penland. He was the son of Patience Mahalia Moore Penland-and the brother of Luola Penland Patton.

I'd like to share the letters with you-let you hear his first person account of a horrible war-let you learn W.C. Penland's story-a story that was hidden for close to a 100 years in the attic of the old house.

Knoxville Tennessee October the 12 1862

Dear Father and Mother I take the present oppornituity to inform that I am as well at the present time as I ever was hoping that these few lines will find you all enjoying the same like blessing all of the boys from Clay County are tolerable well James Crawford has come up and is well Joab Crawford has had the mumps but is well William Waldrupe is agoing to take my saddles home Zoro will please take them home and pay him one dollar for hauling them it has been raining here for two or three days and is a getting tolerable muddy it was the dustyest time when we first got here that I ever saw they have been running soldiers here for several days that is ever since we have been here they are breckinridgees men going to Kentucky there is a great many soldiers about this place everything is the highest here that I ever saw sweet potatoes are worth five dollars per bushel everything else in proportion onions are bringing ten dollars per bushel we are getting tolerable plenty for ourselves and horses to eat but some of them are a ganting up tolerable bad my horse doing about as well as any of them Uncle Wiley Moore has come he got here late Tuesday I heard from Aunt Margaret Mantooth yesterday she is well we do not know when we will leave here but I expect before very long there was a battle at Corinth last week we whipped them on Friday and Saturday but they whipped us on Sunday but we retreated in good order the report that we lost about four thousand in the engagement there was a great many of the wounded passed up the yesterday evenings train tell Mr. Sherman that John is well tell Mary to write me I helpt to take some deserters to jail yesterday they had went home without leave but come and the colonel sent them to jail to give others warning be sure and write for I would be glad to hear from home every day be sure to have those boots made for me for shoes are worth $10 dollars per pair and boots $9 dollars I have not wrote much of interest as I did not have any thing to write give my compliments to all inquiring friends so no more but remains your affectionate son until death

W C Penland

P O Address Ft Knoxville Tenn 7 Battalion N C Calvery Co A in care of Capt W P Moore

Can you imagine how Mrs. Stines must have felt-I would have been beyond elated. To hold in your hand letters written home by a young Civil War Soldier-amazing. And to think of Mrs. Penland-keeping her sons letters throughout the many years after the war.

I find W.C.'s writing ability fascinating. He left for war in 1862-he was 18 years old. To say he lived in a rural area-would be an understatement. Clay County was made a county at about the same time he went to war. Makes me wonder-where he went to school or if he was taught at home?

There are about 14 letters in all-they tell a story-more than a story a first hand historical account of a young soldier boy. I'll share the rest of the letters with you as time goes by-it really is a peek into the past. And the whole scenario of finding them in the old house is a perfect example of how walls can talk.

To read more about the heritage and history of western NC visit the Blind Pig & The Acorn


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Comment by terrell garren on May 29, 2009 at 10:50pm
Hello Tipper,

I am most impressed with the letter you posted. I also look forward to future postings of these letters. I was most courious regarding his mention of the battle at Corinth. It appears that these mountain men were with Nathan Bedford Forrest's command at that time? I've been away for a week but I'll look into that further when I get time.

Thanks for sharing it with us.
Terrell Garren
Comment by Carroll Jones on May 26, 2009 at 1:30pm
Tipper - I look forward to reading the rest of W.C. Penland's letters. Thanks for posting them.

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