There is an interesting story about a sock company, Renfro Sock Corporation of Mt. Airy, N.C, that is just down the mountain from where we lived part-time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. As we took the narrow road that snaked down the mountain from Virginia into North Carolina, we often noticed their building near one of our favorite “mom and pop’s” eating places. Renfro, it turns out, is now producing masks by the thousands!
Our hats are off to this company and others that are helping out people in need during this pandemic. As people cover their faces, the Coronavirus will be slowed down considerably.
“Renfro Corp., a sock manufacturer based in Mount Airy, North Carolina has produced a mask to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. Around 60,000 masks will be provided at no cost to low-income residents through faith-based organizations in and around Winston-Salem.” (from
SHORT VIDEO ON RENFRO Turn up sound:
As seen in this video, Renfro’s emphasis on MADE IN AMERICA, is most important if we are to have the medicines and equipment needed without dependence upon other countries. We have the know-how, so let’s do it!
Boyer Writes is taking a deep breath from blogging/listening to continuous news coverage and will relax the next few days. Hopefully, you will do the same, but we would like to share one more thing with you before signing off.
Companies, like Renfro, are patriotic and family oriented. We found, while living in this area that patriotism is strong in the Blue Ridge. Renfro is reaching out to the community. People in America pull together.
Those who left the mountains to serve our country were patriots as well. It is our privilege to share with you a musical story from the mountains that may have been typical of many in the N.C. and VA areas in the Blue Ridge. (Home Free – Go Rest High On That Mountain – Vince Gill )
Boyer Writes honors all Veterans
THANK YOU for your service to our country!
While living part-time in Virginia, my husband and I were honored to interview a number of veterans of the Blue Ridge Mountain area. Many had never been interviewed about their service and were happy to finally tell their stories. This led to the writing of our book entitled Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge.
Their stories were amazing. We were honored to meet Sharon Plichta and her husband who served in Vietnam. Sharon was a military nurse who earned the Bronze Star for her bravery caring for the wounded under fire.
The veteran that I’d like to share with you from this book is Myron Cardward Harold of M.C., as he was called. He served in Korea with the U.S. Army’s 40th Division, 22nd Regiment. He was 21 years old as he fought across Heartbreak Ridge.
Here is a part of the chapter featuring this soldier of Valor in Korea:
Myron C. Harold, better known as “MC” has an amazing story of bravery when he served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a Staff Sergeant who almost lost both his legs. The fighting had been so terrible in the middle of winter on what is known as Heartbreak Ridge and they were walking and fighting at night through the mountains. His legs were beginning to freeze and he was picked up in a truck and taken to a field hospital at the Yalu River.
When he arrived at a medic station, the soles of his shoes were worn out and flapping. By this time, both legs had frozen. The surgeons said, “We must take these legs off now. It can’t wait. We must do it now.” MC was prepared to face whatever he had to in order to live.
He says he does not remember getting to the medics. Now they were about to remove his legs and send him back to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they had large fruit orchards that his father had started years before.
The surgeon that day in Korea wanted to help MC stand on his legs one more time before performing the operation. When he did, MC recalls with tears in his eyes, “It felt like a shot had gone all through my body.” Immediately the surgeon recognized that the blood had started flowing throughout MC’s legs. Removing the legs would not be necessary. “That was my miracle,” MC said with tears in his eyes.
After returning from Korea, MC and his son grew many acres of apples in the Blue Ridge. Today, as an elderly man, he is a resident at the V.A. hospital in Virginia. He had survived to tell his story of God’s miracle in a land far away.
Other veterans of the Blue Ridge interviewed served in Vietnam, Korea, and World War II. They stand proud with all their comrades in arms who have faithfully served.
- Rob Redus ( In submarines…Vietnam)
- Dr. Tom Whartenby (Vietnam)
- Clinton Moles (World War II)
- Leonard Marshall (Survived the sinking of the USS Gambier by the Japanese)
- Troy Davis (World War II and recently passed away in Spain)
- Elmo McAlexander as an Army Medic during the Cold War
- Frank and Sharan Plichta (Vietnam)
- Paul Childress (World War II under Patton and guarded Dachau prisoner)
- Tommy Ellis (Served in the Marines and regularly is in an Honor Guard for those veterans who pass away.) Roy McAlexander also has served hundreds of the fallen at funerals.
To those who may be interested in the many stories of honor and courage in Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge Click here
Video below: God Bless the USA
Today is a good day! I am looking forward to a new book to hold in my hands and share with others. Over a year ago, my husband, a retired Navy Chaplain, and I started interviewing our American veterans in the Blue Ridge mountains for a new book called, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge. This week I sent it to the publishers. We are excited to share this news with our readers. Stay tuned for a special availability announcement of the book hopefully in the next couple weeks on Amazon.
We think the people whose stories were shared with us will be a real inspiration…and their stories needed to be told. Some are in their 90’s and are in nursing homes. We are losing our American World War II veterans and those of our allies at an alarming rate. Hopefully, there will be many books that share their stories. During the terrible battles to keep freedom alive, hope often seemed dim as the bombs dropped and men and women died. There were many prayers for miracles. Our book covers other men and women who served in Korea and Vietnam. It gives honor to those serving their country in the fight against terrorism in more recent battles.
Below is a video of some beautiful children singing in honor of all World War II veterans as they walk on the very ground where furious battles were fought.
One Voice Children’s Choir, under the direction of Masa Fukuda, performs “When You Believe.” Filmed on-location at Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France. Performed in English, Hebrew and French. This song is dedicated to all the soldiers who fought in World War II, including those who fought at Normandy’s Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches in the D-Day Invasion; and to the millions of Jewish victims who lost their lives during the Nazi Holocaust. (video credit)
We add our appreciation and honor for American and Allied veterans in all wars since WWII.
VIDEO (Turn on sound)
Our home in Virginia, USA, is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have deer strolling throughout our yard at most any time of day. They are beautiful and besides the fact that they eat our day lilies, we love them! Here is a picture of the most recent one. We’re not certain why she has a split ear, but she seems healthy enough Perhaps she got it caught on a barbed wire fence.
We’ve had rabbits, birds and a bear with three cubs during our time here. It is the deer that are graceful that is truly lovely to watch.
I’m sure that should one of them have a fawn in our yard, as did this man, I would not have the patience to see it through to adulthood…but I thought this video might brighten your day. It is somewhat lengthy, but it has a good ending…and worth the watch.
My growing up home place was in the Brushy Mountains outside Wilkesboro and N. Wilkesboro, N.C. Keep this city name in mind for there is a treat at the end of this blog.
After high school, I left with my parents to live in Florida. I never expected that I would one day go back to the mountains. Since Fall is my favorite season and unfortunately, in Florida, we only get a few brown leaves in mid-winter, we have to be in the mountains to enjoy that season. Don’t misunderstand for I’m not complaining about the beautiful green, citrus fruit, or warm weather in Florida. It’s still a great place even with the frequent hurricanes.
Riding just a little further up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, my husband and I felt it was a wonderful place to enjoy at least for a few months of the year. Winter is a little too cold for us “flat-landers”, as we are sometimes called. The time we stayed on after the Fall to see the first snow, we bundled up like we were in Alaska to take our dog, Gracie, out for her final evening bathroom break. She would stand and stare into the woods, sensing the deer were close by. Their eyes would sometimes shine in the dark…and the wind biting at our noses sent us racing back inside the house.
Nevertheless, I think that the “country girl” was still in me. Coming back to Virginia and North Carolina, it was evident that I had a great affinity for the way of life and the people of these mountains.
Why do I say this? I only know that the people have a warm disposition and a sense of humor that I have not found to such a degree anywhere else around the world. I have been fortunate enough to visit or teach in places like Mongolia, Guatemala, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, and Japan. Still, these hills and the valleys, where a person can look deep into a ravine, keep calling me back. Fourteen cousins and my Uncle John still call the VA-N.C. mountains and foothills their home…so it’s probably a genetic “family thing” as well.
The Blue Ridge has it all…steep mountain cliffs and valleys, rolling hills filled with vegetable crops and orchards of delicious fruit.
The bear, deer, rabbits, and other “critters” also make it their place of residence. The humming- birds fly to the sweet-smelling sugar water put out in the gardens and the rabbits help themselves to whatever… wherever. Speaking of bear, one came up to our front porch to push over and have her fill at our feeder. No longer do we provide such a delicacy.
From my window, I can hear the cows, donkeys and lambs in the fields. At night the stars are clear and brilliant. When the moon is full, the coyotes roam about making their distinctive sound while looking for something to bring back to their little ones in the den.
The Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway is filled with wild-flowers and the white and pink rhododendron bushes line the road. Small barns, churches, and family graves stand as a testament to those who have lived here in generations past. Some mountain people with roots back to the Civil War, still proudly fly their Confederate flags and dare anyone to tell them that they can’t. They also just as strongly hold to their “guns and their religion.” They are a proud people, that I have found, will come to one’s help at anytime or any hour.
Someone may ask why I am writing about the Fall when it’s Spring and Summer is just around the corner? Perhaps I’m giving an invitation to make your plans now to see this glorious place. Not so long from now, the leaves will flutter about and turn to a deep orange and red. The pumpkins will lay over acres and acres of the hillsides turning the farms into a special hue of gold. The tractors will slowly make their way from the fields to the barns. Sometimes those same tractors take family or friends on flatbeds to enjoy the countryside. Visitors from far and wide stop and take in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It’s also the Fall that brings the people to these mountains.
Maybe my next book will be for all these visitors who come this way … to give them heads up and a little advice to what it’s like to visit or live in the mountains. I’m thinking it will be titled, “What Everyone Needs to Know Before Visiting or Planning to Live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
This might be a part of this new book.
“Don’t come thinking that you’ll be treated like in New York City…or Paris…or somewhere. You’ll have to slow down, enjoy English laced with a warm, Southern drawl, and be greeted just like you are family. When you go to a small, family-run restaurant, walk right in, greet the people sitting there with “Hey there. How’s everybody? Got anything good to eat in here?” (Not “Hi There”…for it’s N.Y City sounding to their ears..and remember this is “Rebel” territory.)
They’ll know you aren’t from the Blue Ridge, but they’ll be friendly- like and greet you with some jolly response. Don’t worry if someone comes over to your table and asks your name or finds out what brought you to these parts. When you finish eating, look around, wave and tell everyone, “Goodbye…see you next time!” They’ll appreciate it.
When you drive back to where you are staying and a truck rounds the corner giving you a “one finger wave,” (NOT the middle)… just wave back. They aren’t flagging you down…but saying “Hello.”
Want to know more? Be looking for my book title sometime in the near future on the internet. As I close this blog, I think I will let the Kruger Brothers sing what it’s like to be in “Carolina in the Fall”….and I would also add… Virginia. Hope to see “Y’all” up this way someday.
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
When we are in Virginia, we receive an email telling us when the Space Station will be flying over our home and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because we have no street lights, it is quite clear and the Station can be seen moving on the path above our heads.
The video I’m sharing with my readers today shows a working relationship between the U.S., Russia and Japanese astronauts. It is a good thing that they are professionals and want to do their work and experiments without political interruption. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
The tour of the Space Station is given by Sunita Pandya Williams, an American astronaut and U.S. Navy officer of Indo-Slovenian descent. She formerly held the records for total spacewalks by a woman (seven) and most spacewalk time for a woman (50 hours, 40 minutes). Sunita was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expeditions 14 and 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33. (Wikipedia)
Thank you, Sunita Williams, for your great tour. As we watch from the ground, we know better what the crews in the Space Station are experiencing amid the stars. Long live international cooperation!
VIDEO (Turn up sound)
This year has been an exciting one for me. I have had the opportunity to interview many people for my books and actually seeing the books go to print. Today I would like to share with you my 2017 books that followed my books for children in previous years.
(The links are in blue.)
One of my most recent books, SPENCER’S MILL, is fiction set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is a cast of characters with an exciting plot that incorporates the history of the decline and failure of mill industries in North Carolina and Virginia when those businesses went to other countries around the world, leaving people without jobs. It is the story of their strength to carry on and find enriched lives for themselves.
Old Timers of the Blue Ridge is a series of interviews with people who have relatives that go back to the Civil War. The stories they shared are interesting reading and gives insight into the cultures of the mountain people. They tell of what it was like to grow up in the Blue Ridge…their joys and sorrows.
CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTMENTS This book, North and South at the Blue Ridge Mountains, gives a short overview of the Civil War and the leaders from both sides. It explains the Reenactment that takes place yearly in October in the mountains of Virginia, near Ararat, VA. I included a large selection of photographs of the reenactment which gives a beautiful description of this event. Men and women dress the part of the period. The main goal of the Civil War Reenactors is to not forget the history of our country.
THE SEEDS This novel originated from a post on my blog that I wrote in 2010 on Boyer Writes. It was on SS General Hans Kammler and asked the question: “Whatever happened to Gen.Kammler?” After World War II, a number of high-ranking officers fled to places like Argentina. This question seemed to be of great interest to my readers. Some readers wrote emails that they knew where General Kammler had lived. One even said the General was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution. General Kammler, as portrayed in this book is entirely fiction. The accounts of him, however, are based on historical facts. General Kammler, was in fact from 1944, head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project. The enormous interest in General Kammler led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and thus, this novel evolved. All characters are fictional, but many of the places described in the novel, as the World Seed Vault in Norway, sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault” are actual places.
I look forward to 2018 when I plan to complete a Memoirs Book called MY STORY. I will begin with as early as I can remember in my childhood.
My remembrances of my days in boarding school and the courage that I found in my faith in Christ during years of adult hardship will be an honest and open account. My family history and doors that opened for me to travel the world as a Christian teacher and missionary will also be part of the story. The joy that I found when God brought into my life the husband I have loved for over 35 years is a part of “waiting for God” to do wondrous things that we know not of. Looking back I know that the things that happened to me and around me were often most extraordinary.
It is obvious to me that everyone has a story to tell about their life. As I have had the opportunity in the books mentioned above to share many stories told to me by others, it is time to write about my own life.
Merry Christmas to all my readers and to all a wonderful NEW YEAR!
It is my delight to announce my new book, Spencer’s Mill. This last Spring and Summer I began writing this fictional story of the people in the Blue Ridge Mountains who endured the closing of mills both in Virginia and North Carolina. Spencer’s Mill made baby booties and employed many people in the Blue Ridge.
The story is one of suspense and drama, but the setting is of real places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The people that I interviewed were delightful and interesting in their memories of what it was like to have the mills move away to far away places like Honduras for cheaper labor. They endured the trials and found new ways to survive in the mountains. These are strong people and the characters in the story reflect their culture and values.
I hope you will enjoy my new book. SPENCER’S MILL is the 3rd in a series on the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is now available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon
TAKE A LOOK AT THE PAPERBACK and KINDLE VERSION
Ever think to photograph some neat, formation of the simplest of things? Ask someone to guess what it is…and then share with them that it is only the foam in the bottom of your blueberry shake. To their surprise, an abstract is born…and it was fun creating it as I did with my morning drink. Our imagination can create many things, but only God and His wonderful nature can create the beauty shown below. It’s summer and the flowers are showing what they have waited all winter to display…their beauty and elegance.
Today I share with you my photographs taken of flowers from the deck of my home and one of God’s creatures that strolled through my yard. She looked very surprised to see me, but quickly went on her way.
As I looked out over the flowers, the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and Virginia stay true their name… for they are a true -blue ridge.
Look around you today. See all the wonderful things God has made and rejoice.
VIDEO Turn on sound
Many of us have seen Shark Tank, the program where investors interview a person who believes that they have invented something great for the market and the economy. Perhaps this particular program, that I’m sharing with my readers today, will not only share a great idea for all tree farmers but the heart of one man who cares about the hard working people of the world. He wants to produce and afford his product…but also wants the farmer to be able to afford it.
(Below: Florida Orange Trees, Apple Trees, Pecan Trees)
When my husband and I were at our house in VA during the Fall and harvest season, we were greatly impressed with the long…long…hours that the farmers and their workers spent all day and late into the night getting their products to market. Their trucks, laden down with cabbage, pumpkins, broccoli, apples, and much more rolled endlessly down the road. Time was at an essence. If they had survived the weather, they now had to be certain the crops did not rot in the fields. Many of these people went back generations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. Farming is what they know and that hard work has its rewards. Farmers are also concerned about droughts, pests, hurricanes and freezes. Their bottom line is greatly effected by all of these as well as their expense for fertilizers, power, equipment and water to grow their trees and plants.
Now, I am happy to share with you Arcadia, Florida farmer, Johnny Georges’ request for help from the Shark Tank investors to share his water conservation invention, the Tree T-Pee. (and his new partner from Shark Tank, John Paul DeJoria)
Johnny is especially interested in this to be available to the farmers who grow trees of every kind. This is an emotional request that clearly shows his love for the environment, hard-working people and his Father who taught him “Nobody owes you nothing. Life is what you make it.”
Turn on your sound.