I was reading in Ripples this morning where David was discussing a conference on Sustainable Development held in Abingdon, Va. The following quote really jumped of the screen at me…
Ripples: post-corporate adventures: Sustainable Economic Development for Southwest Virginia?: “Governor Kaine emphasized this point near the end of his speech. ‘Success goes to those who tell their story to the marketplace.’ In a sense, that was the underlying theme of the entire conference, telling the story about the regions assets in a way that would attract tourists and investment.”
That says it all about the organizations and businesses that have managed to involve me to the point of being a walking evangelist for them. It was the story that first brought me to try them, it was the reality of their living the story that keeps me going back, and it’s the belief in the philosophy that created the story that I seem to connect with.
One of the very first “stories” that brought me to the area of the Blue Ridge Mountains we now call ours, was the story of the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. I stumbled on their website and read the history long before I planned that family trip to North Carolina. It was their story that set the location for our first visit. And it was the daily stops to sit on the porch and sip a ginger beer that helped make the stay a success.
During the planning for that trip, I first read the story of Grandfather Mountain and the love of one man for a “place” and the transformation that love brought to a mountain over the life of the man…which is why the recent death of a man I hadn’t ever met was like losing a member of the family. May you rest peacefully on the mountain, Hugh Morton.
And it was the story behind the rescue of the Orchard at Altapass (and speaking of serendipity, as I started writing this paragraph Bill Carson’s “Story of Altapass” popped up on my computers MP3 player) that led me to make the trip to visit that institution on the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway, where Bill piled me into his vehicle to run down the road to visit the graves of the McKinney’s who first settled there.
It isn’t just the stories though that makes these places special, it’s the people involved in living the stories today. And to all of you who are involved with these groups, I want to say thanks for being so very neighborly…It’s what keeps us coming back and keeps our “North Carolina Mountain Dreams” alive.
p.s. Just as an explanation of what makes the fact that Bill Carson’s “Story of Altapass” playing at the exact time I was typing the paragraph about the Orchard such a coincidence, my MP3 player is set to shuffle and has a playlist that contains over 5000 pieces.