Category Archives: 20th Century

The Grandmother I Never Knew

I know only wisps of my grandmother’s life, those parts that came to me in stories told by my mother, or from the occasional times our family made the 3,000 mile trip from Southern California to the Virginia farm where she spent … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Blue Ridge Mountains, Collier, Meadows, Merica, Old Photos, Shenandoah | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Echos of My Blue Ridge Ancestors

October is peak tourist season in Shenandoah National Park, when the forest puts on a dazzling show that never fails to delight. The trees are decked out in their royal colors: crimson, gold, and purple, a palette of shimmering color that stretches from far horizon … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal”

The following is a review of Sue Eisenfeld’s new book about the hearty mountaineers who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains before creation of Shenandoah National Park, and who were evicted and moved from their homes to make way for the … Continue reading

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Born to Run

I’m on a work project with no time to write, so I am posting this oldie but goodie. Enjoy! I have lots of photos of my father’s mother. Portraits of her as a child. Portraits of her as a young … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Berryman, Old Photos | Tagged , | 5 Comments

At the Wheel: The Life of Jessie Merica, Part 1

I don’t know if Jessie Thomas Merica was a horse-obsessed boy, but even if he was, I bet he soon forgot ole’ Pet the family equine once the automobile came into his life. Jessie was born in 1916, which was … Continue reading

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I Never Loved Her More

Snow came the night we reached Shenandoah in late December of 1968 after driving night and day from Southern California to make it while there was still time. It lay shining on the fields in the light of a full moon, glistening on … Continue reading

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Thomas Austin Merica: Not Long a Boy

Thomas Austin Merica was a handsome man with a gentle wit. He had thick auburn hair, a symmetrical oval face, prominent brows, a good straight gaze, finely proportioned nose, slightly bowed lips, straight but relaxed shoulders, and the look of … Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century, 20th Century, Blue Ridge Mountains, Merica | 7 Comments