Tuesday, September 10, 2013

White Rock Church and the Poet

On Saturday when the Shelton Laurel folks were showing me around and answering my questions, I asked about what churches people would have attended  back in Civil War times. 

They surprised me by saying Presbyterian -- and then took me to see the White Rock Church -- an old  (not Civil War era but around a hundred years old) Presbyterian church that's now privately owned. (Church of God is the most common denomination in Shelton Laurel nowadays, they said -- though not the snake-handling kind.)

So we wound around the roads and they showed me where the church has been before it was moved and then we drove right up to it in its new location.  Patricia, undaunted by the unfriendly reception we'd received earlier at the site of the graves, marched up to the door and rang the bell.

And a great big, long-haired fellow came out. "Hi, Vicki," he said and suddenly I remembered why the name White Rock Church had sounded so familiar. I know this fella. Keith and I were on the same program about four years ago and we've run into each other now and then at literary events. 

Plus his mama was librarian at my son's school when I was a library volunteer. And then, as Patricia and her dad got to talking, it turned into a kind of old home week -- Patricia's mother-in law and Keith's mother are good friends and on it went, discovering shared connections.

Keith Flynn is a Madison County boy, a musician, and a well-known poet. He and his wife are restoring the church as their home and as a performance space. I had kinda known about this but somehow it didn't connect as Patrica and her dad were talking about White Rock Church.

It's White Rock Hall now and Keith graciously showed us around even though we'd interrupted him in the midst of editing the next Asheville Poetry Review .

You never know what all you'll find back in these hills.  

Here's a video of Keith in   performance.

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Ms. A said...

Were you shocked when someone answered the door and said, "Hi, Vicki". That is so awesome!

Martin Hodges said...

Great to see the old church being looked after by such a creative soul.

Brian Miller said...

pretty cool to see the old church but also get to meet the poet. ha he gave you a bit of a surprise...smiles.

Frances said...

Vicki, what beautiful views in those vistas with the mountains in the far distance and those little white edifices tucked in amongst the green hills.

And a poet, too! Well, two poets Vicki...you were there also!


Anonymous said...

One of the best things about living in this sparsely-settled area is how easy it is to run into people you know. This is an especially good example of that phenomenon!
I heart WNC!

Deana the queena

Glenda Beall said...

Presbyterians were the first churches in these hills and my church, Hayesville Presbyterian, in Hayesville NC, is the oldest church in this county with a long history. It is the smallest church here now, I think, but is a lovely little place.
Love your photos in this post.