Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 11

Club members kept the scrapbook a
secret from Helen McKinney - barely.
From left: Judy Kitchen, Aldina NashHampe and Emily Cena.

their lives, taught reading from those,
helped them master a little basic arithmetic. That pretty much describes the
arc of my teaching. I didn't have much
idea of what I was doing, but we had a
good time doing it.
That summer was my first extended
stay outside my native New England. I
had no inkling that I'd taken my first
step toward saying goodbye forever to
my homeland. Something about Kiah's
Creek - the people, their turn of
phrase, the enfolding hills - took deep
hold of me, despite the outhouse and
the fact I didn't get to wash very often.

Walking home from the schoolhouse
one afternoon toward the end of my
time there, I looked up at the hills and
realized, with a stricken feeling, that
I'd never once, that whole summer, left
the road to blaze a trail less traveled. It
wasn't surprising, and wouldn't have
been encouraged. The place was full
of cautionary tales about people getting copperhead bit. Still, about to
leave the place forever, I felt the loss of
that missed opportunity.
THAT SUMMER was two thirds of a
lifetime ago. For most of the time
since then I've lived in one small cabin
in one small western North Carolina
community. In my time here, I have
climbed to the top of the ridges that
form Bandana's eastern horizon and
have descended to walk the tracks
beside the river that traces our western border. But mostly it's the roads
I've stuck to, roads that, most of the
time, led me to work elsewhere. Only
in the last decade have I established
more than passing acquaintance with
my neighbors.
In my last column, I wrote about the
get-togethers we hold on winter
Thursday evenings. On January 23, we
celebrated our 10th anniversary with a
party and a presentation, to our host
Helen, of a scrapbook I had spent the
three previous weeks assembling, with
the help of my neighbor Meg, an artist, and our other Bandana Club members. It was filled with hundreds of
photos; recipes from our potlucks; and
"what Bandana Club means to me"
testimonials from all the regulars. Meg
painted the covers with Bandana
scenes; she and I assembled it on my
kitchen counter, snow sparkling outside, sun pouring in the window.
Miraculously, we managed to keep the
scrapbook a secret from Helen, though
just barely. Unfortunately, the date set
to give it to her coincided with cold
weather and enough snow to cancel
an ordinary meeting. Imagine Helen's
surprise when, calling around that
morning, nearly everyone insisted the
weather wouldn't keep them from

coming. We had a wonderful time.
Judy brought a cake; Brenda supplied
mulled cider and finger food. We told
stories, paged through the scrapbook,
and made it home safely.
I had thought that, with the scrapbook behind me, I would want to
turn my attention elsewhere. Instead,
I found it had focused my attention.
Just as, that afternoon in Kiah's
Creek, I realized I'd neglected to
climb to the top of a single hill, so I
saw what my Bandana life, so rich
and full, was lacking: a coherent
understanding of how my community
had come into being. Where did the
Gouges, Howells, Silvers, Thomases,
Buchanans, Grindstaffs and Burlesons
come from? What, on the Bandana
stage, had been their order of
appearance? How had they peopled
this landscape? Who intermarried
and who didn't? Who left for
Arkansas, Oregon or Kentucky? (And
what of the Cherokee and Catawba
who hunted here and hewed blocks
of shining mica from our hillsides
prior to white settlement? My neighbors' collections of arrow- and axeheads turned up in spring plowing
attest to their presence.)
Many in my community have a
remarkably clear understanding of
their own family histories. They know
this foot, that trunk, this flapping,
papery ear intimately. Still, our sense
of the Bandana elephant is fragmentary. Bits of tusk and trunk, skin and
bone, guts and gristle lie everywhere:
notations in family Bibles; old deeds,
church and cemetery records; lists of
Civil War enlistments and desertions;
early road and railroad maps; stories
passed down through generations;
genealogical researches. With my
neighbors' help, I want to piece
together an honest, comprehensive
narrative: the story of one small community wedged between one line of
ridges and one winding river. I want
to assemble the elephant so we can
see it whole, can come close, stroke
its torn and dusty flank, and feel its
warm breath. 
MAY/JUNE 2014 | 11



Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014

Letters / You Said It
From the Editor
From the Farm
BRC Unlocked
Mountain Report
Creasture Feature
Great Buys in the Mountains
The Hike
Festivals and Events
Country Roads
It’s Weird, It’s Wonderful, It’s Asheville!
Photoessay: The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina
Mountain Adventure: Where to Play, Where to Stay
One Day on the Parkway, 1987
Little Zoos, Big Fun
Mountain Garden
Flavors
Cabin in the Woods: The Farms Cabins and Cottages
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Letters / You Said It
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - BRC Unlocked
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Creasture Feature
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Great Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Festivals and Events
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - It’s Weird, It’s Wonderful, It’s Asheville!
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Photoessay: The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Adventure: Where to Play, Where to Stay
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - One Day on the Parkway, 1987
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Little Zoos, Big Fun
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Flavors
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: The Farms Cabins and Cottages
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_11_12
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2020_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2019_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2018_0102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_1112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_2017_0304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20170102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20150102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20140102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/leisure/brc_20130708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com