Our day in the mountains
My sister, Blondell Self (now Overcash), is on the right, and I am on the left, Ramona “Ronnie” Self (now Stone).
I remember my first sight of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the early 1940s. We lived in the Piedmont and had no car, but our neighbors the Kisers did. They invited us—Daddy, Mother, my older sister Blondie, and me—to drive with them to the mountains for the day.
The roads were all gravel, and our A-Model Ford seemed to be the only car on the road. At a fish hatchery, two friendly men in uniform showed us around and warned us to stay clear of several caged and threatening rattlesnakes. We walked onto a small swinging bridge over a clear mountain stream, and Mother pointed out speckled trout, just released from the hatchery and flashing in the water below. Daddy, a great tease, couldn't resist shaking the bridge from where he stood on solid ground, and I hurried back to shore.
When we stopped for our picnic lunch, Mrs. Kiser took a picture of Blondie and me under a blossoming rhododendron. I was a bit disappointed when Little Switzerland did not look like a scene from my favorite book "Heidi," but there were no other disappointments in that wonderful day. Perhaps my greatest surprise was discovering that the Blue Ridge Mountains really are blue.