By Pam Dudding
Craig County is a small place, and so is our neighboring Catawba Valley. Therefore, people really enjoy getting to know one another.
On Sunday afternoons, at 4 p.m. at the New Castle Firehouse, “bookworms and all others are welcome to come and enjoy local artists share their individual stories.” The first event will be Sunday, May 15 as local author Ted Carroll shares true stories from his series of books about growing up in Catawba and Craig in the 1930s through the 1950s.
Not only will you hear some of the stories, but Ted will also tell the backstory of authoring his four-book series Echoes From Catawba, which includes Growing Up in Catawba Valley Appalachia, Granny Taylor of Possum Holler: 103 Years of Primitive Living, A Silent Killer Comes to Catawba and The Catawba Sanatorium is Born, and The Other Side of the Mountain.
Carroll shared that the “amazing journey Echoes has taken me on has allowed me to reconnect with kin, make new friends and share the love of Catawba.” He will convey his experiences and the process of gathering material, interviews and research as well as how he underestimated the scope of the project and amount of time it took to bring it all together to produce one book per year for four years.
“My passion to preserve and pass on the history of growing up in the Appalachians during a different time foreign to today’s generation and the encouragement and interest from others has kept it going,” he said. “The success and widespread acceptance of the books have been unexpected and the partnership Echoes From Catawba has with the Salem Museum has sparked opportunities for presentations about local history to be made to schools in the area.”
He added that he is grateful for The Emporium General Store in New Castle and the Salem Museum and Historical Society for providing an avenue for him to get the books out to people as “they have helped us distribute hundreds of copies of Echoes and they have been vital to its success.”
Ted Carroll is a native of Catawba and a graduate of Virginia Tech. After an early retirement from Virginia Tech’s extension faculty, he studied at Southeastern Seminary Extension in Greensboro, North Carolina and served as a Pastor of a church for 14 years. He and his wife Tina now make their home in Salem, where Ted spends much of his time writing about Catawba’s history and speaking.
His first book shares his recollection of his first-grade teacher telling him that he was the person to write about Catawba and the Garmans, the family of his mother, who had 16 siblings. Through his “guilt” he turned to God, who assured him that it was not too late to start. So, in 2018, he started writing, being one of 66 grandchildren. His wife Tina took on the typing and marketing for this wonderful series.
Volume II tells his story of his dad becoming ill, diagnosed with tuberculosis. Carroll was only four, though having to grow up quickly, becoming the “man of the house.” Stories of cousins and incidents you don’t want to miss.
Volume III was written during the Coronavirus pandemic and contains 12 articles of interesting people and a variety of subjects, especially the Catawba Sanatorium. Also, there are stories of Craig County.
Volume IV has more stories that touch the heart and all books are currently at The Emporium General Store on Main Street for purchase, both in hard back and soft.
To learn more about Echoes From Catawba, visit www.echoesfromcatawba.com
Additional authors are scheduled for:
- June 26 (4pm) Marian McConnell – Murder Hole, a caving experience and a new children’s book
- July 10 (4pm) Tom Perry – numerous and very interesting books on Virginia and North Carolina history
Feel free to attend these wonderful Sunday afternoon story times and get to know our local authors.