Sunday, September 9, 2012

More Stories

Well, it’s happened already and the book is not yet out…

The thing I sort of anticipated, yet dreaded…

The disadvantage of structuring my book as I did…


On Saturday I was doing some advance publicity for the upcoming, soon to be released (September 25)

Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School.

The scene was the Historic Burke Festival and there I was, at the old courthouse, greeting people at my table, handing them a business card and writing the launch date (September 25) on the back.

The “where were you a year ago when I was doing my interviews?” phenomena started. Former students, those who flew far below my radar during my interview stage, stopped to chat. They had read the newspaper announcement about the book and were full of their own wonderful stories. Make that Wonderful with a capital W, stories I could have used, stories that would have found a spot in my soon to be available (September 25) three hundred and seven text pages. Alas! Not to be.

Those stories I shall share here, starting with one about the horse on campus.
In my book, I use a quote from a girl who states the obvious, that this was a farm community. She said the fact that the janitor rode his horse to work and tied it to a post behind the school was nothing more notable than teachers who drove their cars to work and parked in the makeshift parking lot.

True, but Saturday I heard more to that version. Yes, horses were no big deal, yet being from a rural background, these children had learned compassion for all things farm. They took care of that horse that was tied up all day long while its owner swept the floors and stoked the furnace.

Behind the school, not all that far from this horse, were apple trees, the same ones that found a prominent part in the story from the 1940’s. But children of the late 1960’s generation, in addition to climbing the trees to pick the apples to eat or to throw at each other, were now picking the apples to feed the horse. It was their mission, tending the horse.

It has been my mission for the past three years to present this school to the public, recording memories, researching to fill in the gaps. Phase one is complete. Phase two starts with the launch (September 25 in case you didn’t catch the date). Then phase three starts, collecting more stories and posting them here.

I can’t wait.

Catch of the day,


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