Retrace Western North Carolina's cultural and natural history with one of its most beloved storytellers and folklorists, John Parris. This second collection of Parris' work has been repackaged with an updated cover and is back in print for the first time in decades, and includes the complete original text and illustrations.
For nearly four decades, John Parris' brief yet illuminating non-fiction essays comprised his popular Asheville-Citizen-Times column, "Roaming the Mountains." When Parris' columns were first published as books in 1955, they became instant regional classics.
Parris writes with the crispness of Hemingway and the grace of Thomas Wolfe. Indeed, he was a war correspondent like Hemingway and a decorated hero for his work with the Belgian underground during World War II.
But the enduring legacy of John Parris is his work to document the culture and lives of Appalachian people. He was the last writer to capture many of the first person accounts recorded in this book. With every word, Parris links past to present in loving tribute to his Western North Carolina home, its mountains, and its people.
About the Author
John Parris was a Sylva, North Carolina native. He was a true newspaper man from the tender age of 13 when he began writing for the local weekly, The Jackson County Journal, and as a correspondent for the Asheville Citizen-Times. In 1936 he moved to New York and became a bylined feature writer, then was sent by the United Press to London in 1941 where he covered the diplomatic run until 1944. He took a brief time out from his work in London to cover the North African invasion where he landed with the GIs at Arzew. Shortly thereafter he joined the Associated Press in London, holding the post of diplomatic correspondent until 1946 when AP transferred him New York to cover the United Nations. For his work with the Belgian underground he was decorated with the order of Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II. By 1947, Parris was ready to return to his beloved mountains in Sylva, NC, devoting the rest of his life to creative writing. In 1951, he became director of public relations of the Cherokee Historical Association and in February, 1955, began his beloved Roaming the Mountains column for The Asheville Citizen and the Citizen-Times. He co-authored two books, Springboard to Berlin and Deadline Delayed. Parris' writing and his subsequent collection of books, based on his newspaper column Roaming The Mountains with John Parris, is one of the last remaining true testaments to old newspaper style reporting. Parris traveled the mountains, detailing the life, culture and history of Western North Carolina from old timers that were still living and who shared with Parris their first hand experience of what life was like for early settlers and the generations that followed.