Growing up Blue Ridge

Born of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Most People who know me now think I have always been living in South Carolina.  My family has been here since before the Revolutionary War.  They would be wrong.  I was born in Western North Carolina in a little town known as Waynesville.  I spent over eight years living there before my family moved to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My father built roads for the federal government for the National Parks and Forests.  He worked for an Agency that I knew through most of my childhood as the Bureau of Public Roads. My three older brothers were all born in South Carolina and spent most of their childhood in the shadow of those mountains.  I was the onliest one that was born of the Blue Ridge in my family.
 
Unlike most people that travel the Blue Ridge Parkway,  I see more than beauty- I see my father Joseph Archer Todd, Sr. (1915-1987) as I go around each curve, and go through each tunnel.  I know that he sometimes loved roads more than anything and that is okay, because he brought me to the mountains to be born.  I also see all the men that worked on building that road and others in the area.  On Saturdays, Da would take us up on the construction site to look at the work from the week before.  So I played in the mud of the road before it was a road.  I so wanted to play with the bulldozers, but that was off limits. 
 
The people of the mountains are some of the most caring people in the world and they were wonderful storytellers.  It is a wonderful thing to grow up around wonderful storytellers.  I was blessed by so many of them.
 
This place helped me to grow into a strong and capable woman.  In our modern world we forget that sometimes.  we need a place to connect our lives to and to say this is where I began.  I began in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I may live miles away, but they are part of who I am.


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