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Jane Y. Wilson, Author and Storyteller

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MeeMa's Memory Quilt

North Carolina History BooksMeeMa's Memory Quilt
Treasured Stories of Watauga County History
by
Jane Wilson and Michaele Haas


1999, 32 pp., ISBN: 1-887905-18-9, Hardcover. $16.95.

MeeMa's Memory Quilt is about a grandmother who tells her grandson, Ryan about the history of Watauga County using a quilt to illustrate her stories. Ryan is the name of Jane's first born grandson. He has taken his copy of the book to show and tell at school. The other children thought he was a hero!

MeeMa's Memory Quilt was sponsored by the Boone Service League to commemorate Watauga County's 150th brithday. Watauga children from public, private and home schools drew the illustrations. This included Appalachian University. The royalties from MeeMa's Memory Quilt went to the Seby B. Jones Cancer Center at Watauga Medical Center.

MeeMa's Memory Quilt received the Book of the Year award from The North Carolins Society of Historians and from the High Country Writers.

 

"I was thinking about the quilt square under your hand," MeeMa said, still amused.

"Are those turkeys?" Ryan asked, studing the picture.

"Yes. Those are turkeys and they are on a turkey drive," MeeMa said. "You've heard of cattle drives, but could you imagine trying to herd a bunch of long, floppy-necked turkeys anywhere?  When my friends and I were told this story, we knew it had to be included on our quilt.  Partly because it is history but mostly because it's so funny!"

"Where did they take the turkeys, MeeMa?" Ryan wanted to know.

"Well, Mr. Clyde A. Mast would buy turkeys from the local farmers right before Thanksgiving and then herd them all the way to Tennessee to sell. Sometimes, he had as many as six hundred!  Someone had to walk in front and every now and then, drop a little corn for them to eat.  A couple of men walked on either side, to keep them going in the right direction, and a wagon usually brought up the rear." 

"Why did they take a wagon?" asked Ryan. "Why didn't they ride a horse?"

"The wagon carried food for both men and turkeys," MeeMa said, amused. "It was  a long, cold trip to Tennessee and if a turkey got tired, it got to ride in the wagon until it was rested."

Ryan began to laugh. He could imagine that must have been to see!  Giving a turkey a ride!

"MeeMa's Memory Quilt is a charming way to learn about the history of Watauga County nestled in the Appalachians of North Carolina."  Maggie Bishop, Deep Gap, NC


Jane Y. Wilson, Author and Storyteller
Mountain Born & Fed, an Appalachian Cookbook
Jane Tales, Appalachian stories
MeeMa's Memory Quilt, local history