Pam Dudding Contributing writer
Citizens from every county enjoy hearing stories that others have put together of ‘times past’ from their eras.
Ted Carroll, author of the non-fiction book series, Echoes From Catawba, will speak at the New Castle Firehouse meeting room at 6:30 pm on October 21. Carroll is a native of Catawba and published his first book in November 2018, which was Echoes From Catawba Volume 1. The Firehouse is located behind The Commons on Route 311 in New Castle.
“Over the years as I served as an Extension Agent and later, a pastor, I spoke to civic clubs and churches, utilizing in my talks about my experiences growing up in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and the lifelong lessons I learned that molded me into the person I have become,” Carroll said. “I’ve always had the desire to tell about growing up in Catawba, and after retiring, I no longer had an outlet to keep it alive. In March of 2018 my wife Tina told me (rather emphatically) to write about my experiences growing up in Catawba.”
After Carroll published his first book in November 2018, the following Spring they made the decision to move back to Virginia and now live in Salem and “have easy access to Catawba and its people.”
This is his compilation of stories about people, places and events of Catawba Valley that occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Carroll shared that he loved growing up and living during those times and still does. “I want to preserve and share with folks the way things were 50 to 100 years ago. The families and places of Catawba are very special,” he said before adding, “No books have ever been written about Catawba and the way things were in the early to mid-1900s, so I chose to record it by telling true stories and sharing history about Catawba.”
Carroll said that one of his favorite enjoyments was to sit in someone’s home and interview them. “That encompasses many, many hours but it gives me an unbelievable feeling of the purest joy to hear them recount the olden days,” he said. “I am not worthy as a writer to find the words that would explain my feelings hearing mountain-living history come alive.”
When Carroll was asked if he had a favorite, he noted, “All of the volumes I write will end up being one long story about Catawba, and that in essence could be the answer to my favorite. However, out of the compilation of stories in Volume 1, I would choose the story ‘The Homeplace Was Once the Morgan Farm.’ The Morgan Farm is rich in history and I worked there from 11 to 22. I loved farming.”
Carroll is also a graduate of Virginia Tech. After an early retirement from school’s extension faculty, he studied at Southeastern Seminary Extension in Greensboro, North Carolina, and served as a Pastor of a church for 14 years.
After writing the first book in 2018 Echoes From Catawba Volume 1: Growing up in Catawba Valley, Appalachia, he said that he learned immediately that there were many people and places to write about. “So, I decided to write a series of volumes for as long as the Lord gives me the physical and mental capacity,” he noted.
Carroll explained that many Craig citizens have purchased Volume one for three reasons: They can relate to the stories of Catawba since Craig stories are almost identical, albeit people’s names are different. Secondly, Craig people know personally about the Catawba people in many cases, since the two areas are “joined at the hip.” Lastly, volume three, to be released in 2020 has significant stories about Craig County and Paint Bank.
Volume two is a biography about Granny Taylor of Possum Holler who lived 103 years in a primitive manner. She married a Craig County man, and lived in Upper Craig’s Creek for two years.
To learn more about Echoes From Catawba, visit www.echoesfromcatawba.com or the local Emporium General Store to purchase the book.
On October 21, Carroll will share the purpose and motivation for his writings, including Volume 2, which will be a biography of Granny Taylor of Possum Holler to be released in November 2019. He will share his plans for future books, including stories about Catawba and Craig County.
The speaking engagement is open to the public and encouraged to hear Carroll who has a love for this part of the country.