Tuesday, October 24, 2006

West By God Virginia

Take me home ... country roads. It's a song near and dear to my ole' hillbilly heart. Sunday started early. At the crack of daylight, Michael and I headed for peak season--Fall color in the mountains of West Virginia, and the West Virginia Book Festival.

The weather grew colder leaving our blessed Carolina sunshine. But the breathtaking landscape around Fancy Gap, Wytheville, and Bland, Virginia on the way to the rugged Appalachian mountains of WV is something to behold. The color was magnificent. In my mind, I saw my dad as a young man with his red and black plaid wool coat, his hunting cap, and his rifle by the door. He was ready to hunt a few deer, maybe snag a squirrel or two ... "Good eatin', " he'd say. My blood warms every time I travel back to the land of my birth.

There's something about it. Something that draws me. As much as I love North Carolina and have no plans to ever leave it, the hills of West Virginia bring me much comfort. Autumn being my favorite season, it was a great reason to head to Charleston.

The best part of the book festival was meeting Rhonda White and Ross Ballard. Two great WV writers. Their love of words and books mirrored my own. Rhonda writes medical thrillers and Ross? Well, Ross is a man of many talents. He is also an actor and producer, I think I may be seeing Ross in the future about putting my book on tape/audio/cd. Rhonda, if I didn't know better, I'd say she was my long-lost sister ... I'm sure we'll meet again. Maybe for a tall, cold one. What do you think, Rhonda?

I sat at the West Virginia Writers table for a couple hours, signing books, greeting passersby, and speaking to other writers about the writing process and my book. A satisfying and relaxing trip, I'm looking forward to coming back in December and my speech at the Vandalia Rotary in Charleston.

My cousins popped in later in the day, they were a sight for tired eyes! I loved seeing them again. Mick and Donna, Charlie, Denise, and Debbie ... a great time with the kinfolk, and dinner at a fabulous Charleston Italian Restaurant. The Samples family has been a great supporter of me and my work ... I am ever grateful to them.

Traveling back home Monday morning, we stopped at Tamarack. Look it up. It's a great tourist stopping point on 77 South. They're carrying my book! Southern Fried Women can be purchased at Tamarack! Thrilled, I dubbed the short mini-trip to WV ... a total success!

If you ever get the notion to really see the beauty of the East Coast Mountain ranges ... they can be found in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, and West, by God, Virginia ... because it is ... a mountain range made by the hand of God. I know they're not the Rockies. But the Appalachian mountains have their own unique appeal, climate, and people.

And, by God, I'll go every chance I get.

Blessings to you and yours.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

It was great to finally meet you in person, Pam. Thank you for your graciousness and encouragement for my 12-year-old, KellyJo. By the end of the day on Sunday, she felt confident enough to haul my son across the room and introduce HIM to Ross! What a difference a few hours can make.

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip. Hope to see you another time when I'm not so exhausted. We'll have to sit down and chew the fat about growing up female in West Virginia. That should be a conversation!

Ginger Hamilton Caudill
aka Clara Chandler