Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Voices of Franklin County

Books about regional history have been popular at Mountain Spirits since its beginning. For the Oct. 4, 2014, "Meet the Authors" event in the Franklin County, genealogist and local historian Beverly Merritt will have her new book, Voices from Franklin County 1861–1865.



The book is a collection of snippets of area Civil War history gleamed from private letters, newspaper articles, court records, and other sources. In the introduction, the authors state: " This book is an attempt to tell the story of the impact the Civil War had on families in Franklin County, Virginia. It is not meant to be a reference book but a guide for future research." Because the index contains numerous names of county residents, the book could be very helpful to those researching their families.

 The back of the book:


Especially interesting are the letters written by individuals to members of their family.

Franklin County was spared destruction during the Civil War, but rumors abounded nonetheless. On page 116, a June 20, 1864, letter from Mary A. Angle of Union Hall to "Stumpy Angle" in Henry addresses some of the rumors about Yankee destruction in the area.


While Voices of Franklin County, Virginia is a book that you'll want to look at, Beverly Merritt will have several other books, too.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Michael Abraham: Fiction and Non-Fiction


Blacksburg-based author Michael Abraham has released a new novel set in the southern West Virginia coal fields. WAR, WV is the story of a quest for justice following a mining tragedy. 



Michael will have WAR, WV at our Mountain Spirits Series along with his other two novels, Union, WV and Providence, VA, and his non-fiction The Spine of the Virginias and Harmonic Highways, his travelogue of the Crooked Road.




 Come visit Michael on Oct. 4 from 8:30 AM until noon in the upstairs meeting room at the Franklin County Library in Rocky Mount, VA.






Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NASCAR Pioneers

If you're a NASCAR fan, you might want to get a copy of Teena Peters' Clarence Martin's Boys at the  Mountain Spirits "Meet the Author" event from 8:30 AM until noon on October 4 in the Franklin County Library.




A photo from the book:

Clarence and Delia Setliff Martin
with their children, Irene Martin Ross
and Otis Mason Martin.
West Virginia,  1918.
 An excerpt from the book:


The author at the Franklin County Library in April 2014.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Music Preview

Even though the first event in the Oct. 4 Mountain Spirits Series at the Franklin County Library is an author event, two acoustic musicians—Marian McConnell and Dean Smith—will be entertaining visitors.


Marian McConnell, who attended the 2014 festival, will again have her books Murder Hole and Emergence with her, but she'll also have some of her music CDs.


Murder Hole is a collection of legends and history of early explorers, and people who survived accidents in the cave in Catawba. Marian and her husband Dan own the property where the famous cave is located. A Roanoke Times Review of the book is here.

Here's a preview of her music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5SihL5lxH0

Dean Smith is a local singer and songwriter who teaches at Downtown Music in Rocky Mount. This will be his first appearance at a Mountain Spirits event, but he's widely known in Franklin County and beyond. He'll likely have some of his CDs with him, such as this one:


Here's a preview of his music: http://youtu.be/5QT6LlKH4SY.

Come for the books and also enjoy the music at the author event in the new Mountain Spirits Series on Oct. 4 from 8:30 AM until noon.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Floyd and Franklin County History

Jean Schaeffer will once again have her late father's wonderful 250-year history of the Franklin, Floyd, and Patrick border area. The book is based on the oral history that he heard from his elders while he was growing up.


On the back cover, author Max Thomas explains why he wrote the book:


This year, Jean will have her own history book—collection of columns she wrote over a couple decades. The book includes many pictures and mentions many families.


Her words, from the back cover:


Both of these books are excellent additions to a collection of regional history. For more information bout them, visit the Harvestwood Press website.
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Who's There on Oct. 4th?


The Mountain Spirits Festival has evolved from a one-day event into a series of events. Instead of one large festival, several smaller events will be held periodically at the Franklin County Library.

On October 4 from 8:30 AM until noon in the library’s upstairs meeting room, the first Mountain Spirits Series will showcase regional authors.

A few of the non-fiction books available on Oct. 4

Which authors will be there?
Michael Abraham, Lisa Chitwood, Rodger Doss, Ibby Greer, Dwight Hayes, Tom Howell, Shea LeMone, Louise Majeski, Marian McConnell, Beverly Merritt, Jim Morrison, Becky Mushko, Tina Peters, Jean Shaeffer, and Morris Stephenson will have books to sell and sign. Plus they'll be delighted to chat with any visitors. Tina Hanlon, who maintains the Ferrum College AppLit website, will have an exhibit of Appalachian literature. 

A few of the fiction books available on Oct. 4.

What else is happening at this first event in the series?
Also at the library on Oct. 4, Friends of the Library will hold their monthly used book sale.
Also, other creative arts will be featured, including author/guitarist Marian McConnell and Dean Smith who teaches at Downtown Music. Their acoustic music is sure to entertain visitors. 


Soap-maker Sherrie Mitchell will have her hand-made soap and artist Carol Yopp will have her note-cards and wildlife art. Photographers Dwight Hayes and Bill Mitchell will exhibit some of their work. Dwight Hayes’ old-fashioned camera was a big hit last year, so it will be back to provide hands-on experience for those who want to see what photography used to be like. Bill Mitchell will also have T-shirts with a Franklin county theme, art,and other creative stuff.

Marian McConnell at last year's festival.

Bill Mitchell, Dwight Hayes, and Dwight's big camera
 at last year's festival.

 This first event in the Mountain Spirits Series is a great opportunity to visit with creative people and talk to them about their creations. With books, music CDs, and art for sale, it’s also an opportunity to buy early Christmas presents. 
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

WW II History and Fiction


At the Rocky Mount Library’s “Mountain Spirits Series” on Oct. 4 from 8:30 AM until noon, Jim Morrison will have two books about World War II, one fiction and one non-fiction. Both are based on Bedford County history.


Morrison’s popular Bedford Goes to War is now in its third edition. To write Bedford Goes to War, Morrison did extensive research in Bedford County's library, museum, and courthouse; and and he interviewed over 30 veterans or their families. The book tells what happened during WWII to residents of Bedford County, both those who served in the military and those who remained on the home front. Originally published in hardback by Warwick House, the third edition is a paperback that Morrison self-published via Createspace in 2013.


Morrison’s historical novel, Class of 1940: Coming of Age in World War II (Createspace, March 2014), is set in the fictional Halesford, which closely resemble Bedford County. When WWII veteran Jeb Fletcher’s grandson and great-grandson pay him a visit, the three go to the National D-Day Memorial. When his visitors ask him about his own war experiences, Jeb tells them in a series of flashbacks that chronicle his teenage years in Virginia and his WWII service in Britain and France. His wife Ginny was an army nurse; her story, which parallels Jeb’s, is also told. “It is a story of adventure, service, heroism, sacrifice, and love.”

A Roanoke Times article about the book is here
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