Back in the Time:Medicine, Education and Life in the IsolationOf Western North Carolina’s Spring Creek
Authors Jasper. B. Reese and Gretchen Griffith take the reader to the time when nothing was more important to the isolated Madison County, North Carolina mountain family than individuality, self-confidence, a self-sustaining life style, and pride in the ability to go it alone if necessary. Spring Creek was more than a location. It was a way of life passed to each generation from back in the time when survival meant hard work and determination. Being isolated in the mountain culture presented challenges to all of those who were fortunate enough to call this spot on earth home. The book tells of a time when a man’s word was his bond, and a handshake as good as a written contract, when the value of honesty, discipline and respect for God and our fellow men was passed down through generations.
Front Cover Picture
That’s the co-author at ten years of age riding a homemade wagon down a major thoroughfare, Bluff Mountain Road, and his closest neighbor, Charles Henderson watching. Jasper used gears from an old cotton mill for the wheels and later installed a steering wheel.
Jasper Reese, the son of a country doctor, reveals true stories of extreme hardships and joyful successes. The authors show a togetherness of mountain families, a cohesive force necessitated by conditions back in the time that brought out the best in people who were self-sufficient, innovative and industrious.
Jasper Reese as a young child with his father, Dr. Bernie Reese
The book is written in present tense to draw the reader into becoming a part of the story as it unfolds. It begins with a description of the mountains and the creeks that defined the civilization developing around them. Chapters about the Reese and Plemmons family continue the narrative and include stories from the life of Dr. Bernie Reese. Originally author Jasper Reese set out to write this as a gift to his family, but soon realized these stories needed to be shared with everyone. The resulting book is an in-depth view of his family and his community that gives the reader an understanding of what it means to be a North Carolina “mountain man.” The author tells of his own life and challenges of growing up in the small communities isolated in the deep coves of this area of the state. The final chapter follows the development of the school system there that centered around Spring Creek School.
Back Cover Picture
Spring Creek School, built in 1929, is now a community center
Although co-author Gretchen Griffith is not from the Spring Creek Community, her heart has now found a special place to love and appreciate. Originally from the mountains of western Pennsylvania, she grew up in the North Carolina Piedmont town of Winston-Salem, but found her way back to the mountains as a student at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.