Monday, February 21, 2011

Pilot Mountain School Opens for Visitors

If you rebuild it, they will come.

They did...last Saturday, when Tom and Judy Brittain hosted an open house at the newly remodeled Pilot Mountain School facility. By "they" I'm referring not only to former students and teachers, but to many others who have driven past the school the last few years, observing the reconstruction efforts. "They" took the time to stop in and see the final product. "They" were thrilled. As was I.

I visited with now grown children who once marched in a line down these halls. I visited with retired teachers who started their careers in these classrooms. I taped a few stories that will add yet another level of richness to an already wealthy manuscript.

I've always been one to get the cart before the horse. Saturday I got the crowd before the book. I have completed the manuscript, rough though it be, and now I'm in the process of hosing off all the excess muck I dumped into its thirteen chapters. Soon I'll chisel away the last few chips, maybe add a few new comments from the interviews I'm doing this week, and this amazing story will emerge. I can't wait to share it with you.

There was one more group in the "they" list that came to Pilot Mountain School last Saturday. My SOUP Critique Group. We have supported each other for several years now through all our various projects. They have invested time and energy to make me a better writer. They have challenged me beyond what I ever imagined I could accomplish. They have rejoiced with me in my accomplishments and consoled me through my rejections. Best of all, they were with me on Saturday. Teresa, Sandra and Debbie!

Every author should be as fortunate as I am.

Catch of the day,



  1. What an awesome time to take a step back in the pages of time to rekindle memories gone by. We must hold on to the history we have and share it with others. It's amazing to walk through an old church, house, or school and recall our childhood. I love history and I think the time and effort that is put into remodeling old structures for the public to enjoy is wonderful. Let's not ever forget our history, because without it, the future will look mighty dim. Thanks Gretchen for sharing your ventures and insights! You are an amazing lady! ~Vanessa

  2. This was an "Awww.." post. I loved how you talked about your ms, about the crowd that came, and about your own personal support group. Now get back to chiseling, my friend!