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I am a simple country girl who loves life and lives it to the fullest. I cook for one of the greatest families ever. Cooking is my passion and I consider it as well to be my gift.

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Friday, June 11, 2010


By: Adele Forbes

LOVE LETTERS 1914-1924

Apr. 23rd, 1920-Akron, Ohio-Firestone Park Station

"My dear little girl, never before have I been so impressed with the thoughts of being with you. Sometimes when all is still and the mountains look cold and Blue I am then thinking of you in the mountains. But sweet to think of meeting again. When I see you then can I tell you more than can be expressed in cold letters. Wish to God I could come to you just now. Come to feel that touch of your pulsing heart near mine. To touch your sweet little lips and feel that mirror of two souls in one. So never can I tell you how great is the Emotion of my heart. Your Big Boy, Paul"

My maternal grandparents, Paul Madison Vance, and Effie Joe Wright, led an incredible life over all, but the most meaningful years to them may well have been the early years from 1914 to 1924 before they were married on Dec. 8th, 1925.
What is the most wonderful part of it to me, their youngest grand child, who was raised in their home in Newland, NC; was the legacy that was left by them in the form of letters, all with either 1, 2, or 3 cent stamps and post marks from at least 10 states.

I recently acquired these letters which were in my older sisters (Nan Daniels Trice) possession. There is a story here that transgresses not only a fascinating history of the United States but a love story like no other I have ever read or known before.

My grandfather, who we all called "Buddy", was a handsome, tall, and stately man who commanded attention where ever he went, and amongst whom ever he was with. He was strict yet loving, hard but kind. Over this 10 year period he traveled all over the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast, working many different jobs along the way.

One letter, post marked, New Orleans-Jan. 30, 1922, found him on a train on his way to the oil fields of Texas. He wrote: "Joe I have never been lonesome before to what I am tonight. I guess it is because I am so tired and sleepy. I would give lots if I had little Joe to talk me to sleep as it would only take a few words and I know I could sleep better if I dropped off to dream land with a smile on my face. Little dear I must go to bed. I will write to you again when I stop I will be in Houston Texas this time tomorrow night if I have good luck. Good night little Joe-Paul M"

My grandmother, Effie Susan Wright, always went by the name Joe, or Little Joe or Mama Joe, as she was the first born amongst her sibling's and her daddy's name was Joe and he was expecting a boy child which would carry his name. When this did not happen, he still insisted on calling her Joe and the name stuck with her for the rest of her life. She attended Lees McRae College in Banner Elk in 1914 and 1915 and studied medicine at the prompting of Dr's Eustace and Mary Sloop whom she rode horseback with over the remote hill regions all over Avery County. Her father was originally from Alabama and decided to move back to his native home and Little Joe went with him and finished her schooling there, receiving an RN certificate. She remained there until 1925 when she returned home to her native North Carolina to marry Big Paul.

Sept. 6, 1921, Guntersville, Ala. to Mr. Paul Vance, 405 East Holston Ave., Johnson City, Tn.

"My dear Big Paul, How have you enjoyed this hot-day! Hot! golly bum I thought July and Aug. was hot but-this is hotter hottest. Paul I believe if I was on Grandfather Mt. I could touch the sun with a broom handle, its pretty close to us down here in the valley's. The little old lizzards have to stay under a log all day to keep from scortching them selves as they run over the hot sand."-E.J.W.

There is no way that I can make anyone understand how overwhelming these letters have been to my heart and soul. It would take years to go through them all, and each new one that I have read has carried me away not only to another time, but they have given me a rare and sacred glimpse into the people whose blood runs through my veins. As a child I had no idea of what they both had been through to get to that point in their lives. These letters hold the key to not only their souls, but mine as well.
Adele Forbes

"The first time ever I saw your face, I thought the sun rose in your eyes, the moon and the stars were the gift that you gave to the dark and endless sky my love. To the dark and empty sky's.~Ewan MacColl 1957

Be sure to look for Part 2 in the Fall/Winter issue in the next edition of Carolina Mountain Life Magazine



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