James has learned from experience that everyone has a piece of the story and that, like the smallest of clues in a treasure hunt, each of those story pieces has value. Across four decades, he has researched and gathered the stories of the people and communities of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains: stories of good times and difficult times, oft’ told tales of fun and adventure, and stories shared in hushed tones too personal to be repeated.
James is often asked where he finds these stories.
“Oh,” he replies, “living rooms, kitchens, front porches, back porches or leaning against a shelf at the neighborhood store; in hospital rooms, at family reunions, birthday get-togethers, funerals, country auctions, apple butter boilin’s, community potlucks, hymn-sings, church homecomings, or sometimes just riding together to one of these events. The place has never seemed to matter.