The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:23 am Thursday, February 13, 2020

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“Ball of Yarn”

By Shari Keller

One of my favorite books and movies, “A Perfect Storm,” draws the reader into reality at its rawest. It slaps you in the face with an intensity of emotion that grips you, and does not let go. You FEEL the laughter and good times, the frustrations and anxiety, the love and the hate, the longing for what will never be. If you do not feel passionate about something, your words are humdrum. I think really good writing has to be elicited from the gut, knowing it may be painful at times but necessary. Every day each of us is exposed to something new, an idea, a person, a thought or a different way of looking at something. What we do with all that stored information makes us individual in our perspectives, and in what we put on paper. We challenge our feelings, we search out answers to questions, we work daily, whether we are writing or not, clipping information and storing it away either in a box, a computer file, or the card catalogue in our mind. Through all of this, many times I realize that my fear to begin is the mountain to overcome. Where do you begin? The answer is different for each one of us. We just need to BEGIN, let the ball of yarn unwind with all its unexpected twists and turns, and most importantly, not be afraid to follow an unknown path.

“Goodbye Neighbors”

By Gaye Hoots

I moved to my current address four years ago, and I have lost three close neighbors. Mr. Ed Reichel was the first to go, and his house sits empty, a reminder of a man who lived a full life. He always had a smile and a warm greeting for everyone. Thirty years ago he and his wife looked after my granddaughter Tiffany while her mother worked and went to school. They loved to bake and later opened a bakery in Advance.

Tiffany watched them work with dough and make pie crusts. One day her mother found her in the bathroom, making her version of a pie crust. Tiffany found a glass jar of face power her mother had just bought. She put the commode lid down and sprinkled the powder onto the commode lid. Tiffany took the toilet paper holder apart and used that for a rolling pin. She was happily working with this until she heard her mother coming. Tiffany tried to hide the evidence by putting the empty glass jar into the commode and flushing. The glass jar stopped up the commode and required the services of a plumber.

The plumber spilled the blue water from the commode onto the carpet. We could not get the stains from the blue additive to the water out of the rug. The plumber bill was about a hundred dollars, plus the cost of the face powder. The blue stain was permanent, a pretty expensive baking lesson. Tiffany has fond memories of her time with the Reichel’s.

Our next loss was Ms. Mildred Spry. She was my mother’s next-door neighbor, and she checked on Mother every morning.  Mildred was a great cook. She would share her food with my mom many days. When Mother had trouble walking to the front door to let her in, Mildred would have her raise her bedroom window and hand a meal in through the window. She was the one who alerted my sister when our mother had a stroke.

Mildred had traveled with my sister-in-law Betty Potts. When Betty was in a nursing home, she would tell us how depressed she got looking at the same four walls every day. I would take Mildred to see her. Mildred would bring Betty a ham biscuit. Although Betty’s memory was failing, she always recognized us. Mildred would ask, “Do you remember the time we went to…,” and Betty would laugh and relive their travel adventures.

Mildred often fixed ham biscuits and pintos and invited me over. The last time she did, she told me her brother Doug had to finish cooking the meal because she got too weak. She was lucky to have a sister, Brenda, who lives across the road from her and Doug lives near-by.

On Tuesday, I attended the funeral of Seabon Cornatzer, who lived across the road from me. I knew him all my life. His sister Ruby was also a sister-in-law of mine. He ran the only service station in Advance for many years. My father and others would stop there and exchange stories. It was a gathering place for men equivalent to the beauty shop where women shared their lives.

     Seabon married into the Holder family. Both families were bedrocks of the community. He, like Ed, and Mildred, always greeted you with a broad smile, and he had a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Seabon and his siblings spent most of their lives in the Advance area. He was a good friend of my father’s.

     These neighbors were from the old school. They were friendly to all and offered to help anyone they could. They lived most of their lives in Advance and put down deep roots in this community. We love them and miss them every day.


By Julie Terry Cartner

To flee from this cold and blustery day,

To make the aches and pain of flu go away,

I allow myself to escape with a look,

As I open the pages and submerge in a book.

The flooded basement no longer a thought,

The buffeting winds go away as I’m caught,

In a story of adventure with heroes galore,

And heroines bravely show the strength in their core.

I travel to countries without leaving my house;

I sample new knowledge even fever can’t douse.

Books open doorways to learning sublime,

Books grant escape when escaping is fine.

Books bring me hope; books bring me joy;

Books give us gifts life cannot destroy.

So whenever you’re befuddled and can’t find your way,

Open a book and escape for the day!


By Marie Craig

One of my favorite ways to spend time is to read the old local newspapers that are online on the Davie County Public Library website.  Something that caught my eye was an advertisement in the 25 February 1920 Davie Record for a car company named Dort.  The business slogan was “Quality Goes Clear Through.”

The ad continues “You have observed that we frequently emphasize the accessibility and simplicity of Dort design.  We have good reason to believe that no car on the market is of more simple and accessible construction.    When you desire to ‘tune up’ or ‘dope up,’ or adjust this or that part you can do it yourself easily and at little cost. And of course there’s no need to point out that Dort simplicity means maximum freedom from mechanical trouble.”

Research on the Internet about the Dort automobile gave me these facts. The Dort Motor Car Company of Flint, Michigan, built automobiles from 1915-1924. The company previously began as a carriage manufacturer and then switched to a car company. The carriage company was begun by William C. Durant and J. Dallas Dort. When Durant was no longer an owner, the name changed to Dort. They shipped 9,000 in their first year. In 1917, they offered a closed sedan at $1,065, a convertible sedan at $815, an open tourer at $695, and a Fleur-de-Lys roadster at $695.

In 1920, Dort was the country’s 13th largest automobile producer. They built a huge factory in Flint but then a recession hit which eventually led to the demise of this company. A few Dort cars still exist in museums.

The last lines of the ad were these “T.H. Redmon, Dealer, Davie and Yadkin vounties, Farmington, N.C.”  It was interesting to me that there was a car dealership in Farmington.

On the 1920 U.S. Census for Farmington, there is a Tomas H. Redman, 45, milling at the Roller Mill. His wife, Mabel F. is 36, and his children are Tomas A., 13, Frances C., 9, and Flora E., 4.  His mother is Rachel F., 72. Other official records list him as Thomas Hampton Redmon. I would enjoy knowing if this is the same man, how many cars he sold, and where the dealership was located in Farmington.

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