Elf School Grand Opening

What a fun afternoon at the Elf School in Clay County, North Carolina! Kanute Rarey, founder of the Mountain Area Storytellers, invited three local authors to read some of our works during the Grand Opening celebration at the Elf School of the Arts, an artist residency focusing on photography, printmaking, jewelry, weaving, book arts, painting, music, and writing.

I read the short, but startling, Chapter 1 from My Mother's Keeper, and a preview of my soon-to-be-released collection of my father's letters home from World War II.

Brenda Kay Ledford, a Hayesville native, performed at this venue in her senior play a few decades ago. She read a poem about that experience, as well as several others.

Mary Ricketson read poetry from her books, including Stutters, Lira, and Precious the Mule. 

The historic school opened in 1928, burned in 1937, and was rebuilt. In the early 1940s, the Tennessee Valley Authority began construction on the dam that now forms Lake Chatuge, which would put most of the Elf community underwater, although not the school, which was renovated in the 1950s and served students until its closure in 1967. The building has since been occupied by various businesses, and the latest renovations are nearly complete. It's a lovely building, in a beautiful setting.

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