Verna Mae Slone, a quilter and doll maker from Knott County, very aptly titled her 1979 memoir. It is apparent from the books preface, a letter to her grandchildren, that Slones intention was to let readers into her heartthe heart of a mountain person, a grandmother, a wife, and a devoted daughter. The book is written in the stark, conversational voice of someone who deeply loves a place and the traditions and stories surrounding it. But this memoir is also part love letterits most vivid character is not Slone herself, but her father, Isom B. Kitteneye Slone, whose birth and death bracket the narrativeand part historical record. Slones writing moves beyond anecdotes and colorful characters to set the reader down within a community and a time that have since all but vanished into the great American mainstream. Writing for young people who have lost things they never even knew they had, she includes detailed explanations of food preparations, songs, photos, and chores, preserving a way of life and the memory of a strong and honorable people.
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Love is shaped just like a lizard. It twirls its tail around your heart and nibbles at your gizzards.
Verna Mae Slone