Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I (Heart) NC!
Most of my childhood took place in a suburb of New York City, so I know the slogan is "I (Heart) NY", but in my case I also have a love for North Carolina, namely, the NC mountains. I have many happy memories of time spent with family and friends at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center in Black Mountain, outside of Asheville. Another reason might be that my maternal grandparents were raised in the NC mountains. Not to be worshiping my ancestors or feeling like I'm one with the mountains, but whenever I go across the state line into NC, I just feel happy. I think it must be that NC heritage in my blood!
This past weekend, my friend, Kelly, and I went to visit our friend, Michele, who lives in the mountain town of Jefferson, NC, in the northwest corner of the state. This little town, along with West Jefferson, are in Ashe County, which is where my grandparents grew up. I remember doing a family history report in high school and having my grandmother tell me that she was from Grassy Creek, NC, and that she also counted West Jefferson as "home". My grandfather also grew up in that area, but they didn't meet until they were young adults in Bel Air, Maryland, where they had moved to find work during the Depression.
Today, Grassy Creek is not much more than a wide place in the road (and maybe it wasn't then either) near the North Carolina/Virginia border. We found a Baptist Church and a Methodist Church and a Post Office. I'm sure if we dug around some more, we'd find some cemeteries where my relatives from both sides were buried, and there might still be someone who remembered hearing stories of my great-great grandfather, Dr. Manly Blevins, who doctored in Ashe County, or knew where the Virginia-Carolina School had stood, where my grandmother graduated.
It was a fun weekend, getting to drive up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and spend time in Boone and Blowing Rock. I'm sure I'll go back to visit there someday and who knows, maybe I'll actually live there one day!