Welcome to Southern Sunday, a place where you can sit back and enjoy the heartwarming stories of the South. Today Alle Wells is giving us a bit of insight into the people she met on the research road to her forthcoming novel MILL PEOPLE. Enjoy her story and when y’all have a moment, swing by and visit her book review blog. Take the shortcut and CLICK HERE
SOUTHERN SUNDAY by Alle Wells
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a local hero at the Textile Heritage Concert & Festival in the former mill town of Cooleemee, North Carolina. His name is Joey Shore. I call Joey a local hero because I witnessed admiration in the eyes of people who flocked to the booth to buy his books. Standing to the side, I watched as Joey’s lifelong friends and neighbors referred to him as a celebrity and pressured him for an autograph. Joey’s story is one of success, the mill town boy who graduated from college, traveled the world, and then decided to come back home. Not only did Joey move back to his beloved mill village, he came back ready to serve.
Multitalented, and driven to preserve the disappearing mill town heritage, Joey used his knowledge in communications and musical talent to produce a CD of beloved, colloquial folk songs. He went on to compile an impressive DVD collection called “Good Times in Old Cooleemee” portraying an eye-opening look at mill town life during the boom years of the 1940s. Most recently, Joey revealed his talent for storytelling in the first of three adventuresome tales of local folklore.
The idea for this lovely series came to the author while sharing folktales from his childhood with his two sons around a campfire. This beautifully illustrated children’s book is the story of how a local landmark, “The Riverpark at Cooleemee Falls” or “The Bull Hole,” got its name. It all started with the ancient Kulami Indian tribe that settled along the Little Yadkin River (known today as the South Yadkin River). Broken Twig is a young Indian boy who ventures into the forest of the dark pines to restore the flow of the river to his people. In that forest, he is befriended by a wise, old owl and confronted by terrifying, mystical creatures that will entertain the socks off of children of all ages.
Branches of local history are intertwined into Broken Twig’s story. In the end, the young warrior becomes a local hero, like the storyteller. Today, the river park, affectionately called “The Bull Hole,” is a spectacular site that can only be found in these wonderful foothills I now call home. The cascading waters are as timeless as the heroic tales that have been spun around them. I look forward to reading the second book in this fun, historical series entitled, “The Forbidden Forest of the Thorny Locust.”
Copies of “The Incredible Adventures of Broken Twig” are $10. They can be purchased from the author at this address: PO Box 1049 – Cooleemee, NC 27014 or through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“One time I went with Mama to Richmond to visit her folks. I stayed awake all night waiting to hear the steady rush of water from Whispering Falls that sings me to sleep. Since then, I’ve always known that I could never live anywhere but here.”
–Mill People, Release date: January 1, 2013