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Interview with J.F. Parker

J.F. Parker talks about his experience as a teacher with the mountain people living in Old Fort. Although he had never finished high school, he got a job as a teacher. He said: "He was going to send me on to teach school whether I knew anything or not." He talks about the hardships living up there, how school attendance was often very low and the kids brought snakes to the schoolhouse. He says the mountain people were a different breed of folk and they understood that "it takes a certain amount of failure in life to make a person what they should be." They were hardened, but strong and firm.

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Interview with Ethel Burns  [January 5, 1975]

Ethel Burns grew up and eventually took over the Sunshine Inn, an establishment that housed "the summer people" or the upper-class tourists who came to Blowing Rock over the summer for vacation. They housed them and provided three meals a day for fifteen dollars a week. She recalls that everyone felt a sort of reverence for the summer people but her father "still felt his authority and his own individuality in his relationship to them." The tourists didn't have much to do in Blowing Rock in those days, only hiking and walking and spending time with the other residents.

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