Sunday, October 14, 2012

Appalachian Heritage Days

The American Pen Women, of which I am a member, helped sponsor The Salem Museum and Historical Society Appalachian Heritage Days on Oct. 12-13, 2012.

The featured speaker Friday evening, Sharyn McCrumb, drew a packed house.  Sharyn is an award-winning Southern writer, best know for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels and one of Roanoke's best kept secrets.  

On a crisp, sunny fall Saturday there was a steady flow of people who enjoyed the museum's display of long rifles, traditional Appalachian toys, artifacts, quilts, and local exhibits.  Appalachian harp and dulcimer music enticed our ears as did the country songs.  You had a chance to  meet area authors including our own Peggy Shifflett, Becky Mushko and Ethel Born.   Another member, Gail Lambert, who helped write  "Notable Women West of the Blue Ridge 1850-1950" also had that book available. Our very own Margaret Dubois was the featured artist.  There were pony rides, ham biscuits, Hilda Shifflett's fabulous apple dumplings, a retired revenue agent discussing the history of moonshing and home grown stories from Warnie Shifflett and Charles Lytton.  Stories about Appalachian Trail hikers were told by me, Beth Ann Rossi. 

If you didn't make it this year, add it to your 2013 calendar.  You don't want to miss it.

"The Appalachian trail was in my back yard for thirty years while I lived in Blue Ridge, Virginia.  It's 2,100 miles long from Springer, GA  to Mount Katahdin, Maine and takes about 5 million steps."  Beth Ann Rossi
Becky Mushko (l) selling her book to a happy customer.

Sharyn McCrumb talking to Ethel Born about research and writing.
Margaret DuBois (r) helping a customer choose and explaining her techniques.
Author Scottie Pritchard (l) gets a private reading from her former thesis advisor, Peggy Shifflett (r) from Peggy's recently published book, "On the Way to Toe Town."
Sharyn McCrumb (l) and Beth Ann Rossi (r) enjoying the Appalachian Heritage Day.
—contributed by Beth Rossi, president of the Roanoke Valley Branch of the National League of American Pen Women