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Grist for the Mill

Lisa Pepin

Carolina Photojournalism Workshop 2010 - Little Switzerland Stories
Somehow by the grace of whatever or whomever, I ended up here and I look out
my window every single morning and I pinch myself and I tell myself this is real.
She'll grow up like one of us. She'll be a tomboy, she'll have to be.
When you don't have any brothers and sisters you've got
to have a friend. Dad was my best friend, and he still is.
It's actually hard for me to stay in the kitchen because I like being out
where I can talk to the people. It's just like sayin' hello to them everyday.
A horse will never lie to you. If they have an issue they're gonna let you know, in a hurry.
Once music gets in your soul it’s there ‘till you’re gone; there’s no stoppin’ it
I am often asked if Crossnore children and youth are orphans
and I always answer absolutely yes, they are society's orphans.
From the congregation, to the man out here on a bike that’s never
heard about salvation. Whos willing to listen, I’ll tell em about it.
There is something mystical about it. It sucks you back.
There’s nobody alive today that can remember there not
being a Woody’s Chair Shop. There’s always been one.
It's a dual struggle. I'm an immigrant and the mother of a disabled son.
They really want me to quit because I'm getting older. But if I quit it just
seems like I give everything up. I do it, I love it, and it's been my dream.
What I enjoy about it is making it, selling it, delivering it, meeting people, seeing that it's got a good home.
These are like my children, you know. They're not just something that's thrown out there and left to the wind.
Sometimes I would get overloaded with the everyday things and I would come to
the mountains and look over the mountains, and suddenly, it was so small.
Just watching that old waterwheel turn, you can sense that something important went on here.
Becoming a glass maker has helped connect me to my family.
We call it saving the good stuff...there should be a few places where the beauty of the place and the values
of the old communities that have been here before can be identified and preserved to the extent possible.
As madre, they can trust me to negotiate whatever the problem may be.
I’m not always successful, and it’s not about success. It’s about being there.
I think it's a lot to do with the south, and then it's here in the
mountains too, we take a lot of pride in ... our loaferin' time.
  • 1
  • At Home With the Quirks
  • 2
  • One of the Boys
  • 3
  • Forged in Faith
  • 4
  • A Cook, Not a Chef
  • 5
  • Joined by the Saddle
  • 6
  • Music of Old
  • 7
  • Society's Orphans
  • 8
  • Road to Redemption
  • 9
  • Intentionally Together
  • 10
  • Filling the Seat
  • 11
  • Living for Alan
  • 12
  • Not My Last Rodeo
  • 13
  • Grandfather's Clocks
  • 14
  • The Mountain Perspective
  • 15
  • Grist for the Mill
  • 16
  • What Binds Us?
  • 17
  • The Core of the Community
  • 18
  • Madre of Mercy
  • 19
  • Loggin' and Loaferin'
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Grist for the Mill

by Lisa Pepin

After working for 38 years as a rocket scientist, Jack Dellinger, a fourth-generation miller from Bakersville, N.C returned home to the peace of the Appalachians.

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