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Past inspires new book

Evelyn Davis King has lived in and around Erwin for much of her life. As she grew up, King heard all sorts of sayings, superstitions, Bible verses and even old medical remedies – though many of the remedies she would not recommend for current times.
King recently self-published a book, “Just Reminiscing,” which chronicles many of those experiences. With the help of her mother, Gaynell Davis, King has put together a complete compilation of stories from a time long gone.
“I started making notes before my father died,” said King. “One of my school teachers said that I should write all these things down.”
King began working very closely with her mother, in order to document all sorts of old stories and tales from the 19th and 20th centuries, some of which go as far back as the Civil War. For King, it was important to be able to document many of her mother’s stories before it was too late.
“The book is kind of like a glimpse into the old Appalachian lifestyle,” said King. “There are some old home remedies, some old superstitions and things.
“Some of these remedies I don’t recommend, but it’s just a preservation of things we used to do,” said King with a chuckle.
The book also contains older sayings, many of which originate from the region. King said that “Just Reminiscing” contains over 3,000 old expressions. One of the more special parts of putting the book together, from King’s standpoint, was the time she got to spend with her mother.
“Just being with my mom and gathering all those stories I had heard all my life,” said King. “I was glad for the time with her and glad she was there to keep me on the right track.”
King also hopes that the book inspires people to put together similar compilations on their own. King said that it is important for people to gather the stories and memories of their older loved ones while they still have the chance.
“I think what I really want to do with this is inspire others to gather old stories as I did,” said King. “My mom and dad’s stories are in there for their descendants to read … I really hope people don’t put it off; get out there and get those stories from our older folks.”
Limited copies of the book are for sale at The Erwin Record. Those who are interested in obtaining a copy may also do so by emailing King at [email protected]