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Title: Oral History Interview with Darhyl Boone, December 5, 2000. Interview K-0246. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Boone, Darhyl, interviewee
Interview conducted by Amberg, Rob
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Kristin Shaffer
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2004
Size of electronic edition: 224 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2004.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Wanda Gunther and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-12-08, Kristin Shaffer finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Darhyl Boone, December 5, 2000. Interview K-0246. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0246)
Author: Rob Amberg
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Darhyl Boone, December 5, 2000. Interview K-0246. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series K. Southern Communities. Southern Oral History Program Collection (K-0246)
Author: Darhyl Boone
Description: 223 Mb
Description: 63 p.
Note: Interview conducted on December 5, 2000, by Rob Amberg; recorded in Mars Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by L. Altizer.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series K. Southern Communities, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Darhyl Boone, December 5, 2000.
Interview K-0246. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Boone, Darhyl, interviewee


Interview Participants

    DARHYL BOONE, interviewee
    ROB AMBERG, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ROB AMBERG:
I'm with the town manager from Mars Hill, North Carolina. Darhyl could you just introduce yourself to me and I want to make sure we're getting you on—
DARHYL BOONE:
Sure. Rob, I'm Darhyl Boone and as you said, I'm a lifelong resident of Madison County and lived here all my life. I guess that's in a nutshell all I need to say.
ROB AMBERG:
How old are you Darhyl?
DARHYL BOONE:
I'm forty-five, be forty-six here in just about two days.
ROB AMBERG:
So Darhyl we were just talking about your family restaurant, and I wanted to just relay quickly just for the tape that your grandmother and grandfather I believe both ran the Little Creek Café out on Highway Twenty-three which is just below Sam's Gap.
DARHYL BOONE:
Right.
ROB AMBERG:
And that has been there since 1951, I think.
DARHYL BOONE:
'51 yeah. They actually moved there before '51. Grandma, my grandmother was from Arkansas, and my grandfather was from New Mexico.
ROB AMBERG:
Is that right? Wow!
DARHYL BOONE:
He met her in Arkansas. Of course, they had kinfolk here. Some of his kinfolk had moved here. They lived right back here, Earl Boone, a fellow Frank Boone. He owned the gas station right here where the flag poles are at. It used to be a gas station, one of the most unique gas stations. I wished it had never been torn down. It had an awning out over it, and you pull up under that awning and get you gas. It was really unique. But anyhow, yeah, they moved here in the '40s, I think. They moved here

Page 2
because of Grandpa's health, temperature was too hot in that part of the country, and they told him to find a cooler climate. They came here.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
He was a country doctor. I don't know if you knew—
ROB AMBERG:
No, now this would be Shelby Boone?
DARHYL BOONE:
No, Shelby is my grandmother's second husband.
ROB AMBERG:
Okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
Her first husband was Laddie Boone. Of course I was named after him. I'm Laddie Darhyl Boone. I was named after him. He was the first doctor in this area. He was an old country doctor,delivered the majority of the kids. I mean I found his old documents when Grandma died. I went back through some of his, and I found people I knew that live here now who he delivered. He delivered my two brothers. I was the only one he didn't deliver.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
Every time I run into some old timers as I call around here, they say, 'Yeah, Doc Boone delivered all my young 'uns.' Grandma'd go with him. His health was poor. Grandma would go with him to carry his medical bag. They'd go back into these hollows, and he'd deliver babies, and that's what she had to do. So when they first moved here, they weren't actually running a restaurant. He had his office upstairs.
ROB AMBERG:
But that building was there.
DARHYL BOONE:
Umm. They built the building. He actually built it.
ROB AMBERG:
They built it as a house and a doctor's office.
DARHYL BOONE:
As a house and office, yeah.

Page 3
ROB AMBERG:
What about that.
DARHYL BOONE:
They went from that, of course, Grandpa died with a heart attack. There Grandma was.
ROB AMBERG:
Do you know about how old she would've been about that time?
DARHYL BOONE:
About the time he died?
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah.
DARHYL BOONE:
No, I've never sat back and calculated that out. I was thinking the other day when I was born, Grandma was about my age.
ROB AMBERG:
Okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
I got to thinking about that, and so Grandpa, she probably would've been thirtyish when Grandpa died, and she was left with two boys. She had to raise those boys. So she was there and ran a café and raised grand-young 'uns, myself, my two brothers, two cousins because her sons died real early.
ROB AMBERG:
Both of them?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. One—
ROB AMBERG:
So your father died.
DARHYL BOONE:
My father, my uncle Berlin died at thirty-four and my daddy died two years after that at thirty-eight.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
We were all, that's why that café is special to me because that café raised us young 'uns. We were all raised out of that café. She fed us, and she not only ran that café, but when they built that—let me give you this before I forget it.
ROB AMBERG:
Please do.

Page 4
DARHYL BOONE:
When they built that road through here, the first road, the one we're traveling on now.
ROB AMBERG:
Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
I remember that road being built. I remember the construction of that road going on.
ROB AMBERG:
So the two lane, what is now Twenty-three—
DARHYL BOONE:
Twenty-three.
ROB AMBERG:
Before that it was just a—
DARHYL BOONE:
It was just a real remote road. I mean, it was—you can still see some of the signs of the old road if you get—I still know where some of it is at and can see it.
ROB AMBERG:
But it was off the track of where it is now.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. It just went around the ridges, and it would just wind and went all over the place.
ROB AMBERG:
Was it paved?
DARHYL BOONE:
No.
ROB AMBERG:
Okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
It didn't have any paved. It was real unique. But when they were building that road, I don't know it just came to mind. Grandma and all ran that café, had five grandchildren right under her heels, trying to help raise us. She kept workers that were building the road in the basement of the café. She had the upstairs. She lived upstairs back there where they dine now, she had a bed and all back there. She kept these fellows downstairs and fed them three meals a day and housed them to get extra money.
ROB AMBERG:
Man, oh man.

Page 5
DARHYL BOONE:
She was a work Trojan. I mean, just a horse. And not only that, I can still remember her making me shirts. She'd fix me shirts. Phew, I'll get emotional here if I'm not careful. Man. I'm sorry.
ROB AMBERG:
No, that's okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
She'd fix me, phew, man, I don't know why that came back so close. She'd fix me winter coats and sew those coats. Man. I'm sorry. I apologize for this.
ROB AMBERG:
Now, were your, when your daddy and your uncle died, where were your mothers, your cousins' mother and your mother?
DARHYL BOONE:
My Aunt Betty who worked the café with her. She worked here for years. Of course, my mother when my daddy died, she had to go to work. So she was working in the factories here in Asheville, in sewing factories. Of course, that sort of put us with Grandma. That was the hub. That was where we went. It was just a unique place because—
ROB AMBERG:
That's not so much in a way, an unusual situation.
DARHYL BOONE:
Not at all.
ROB AMBERG:
For around here.
DARHYL BOONE:
As a kid, that was a congregating place. I know when I was a boy, it was a pretty large community over there then, especially younger. Of course, we had a school over there, Epps Chapel School was where I went to elementary school. They had the school bus. We congregated there at the café, all the kids would ride around that immediate area. There'd be as many as twenty or twenty-five kids there in the morning to meet the school bus. So I'll start giving you all these memories and stuff.
ROB AMBERG:
No, that's exactly what I want. We'll hopefully, this will cover a whole lot

Page 6
of ground like that because this is again fascinating for me I think. Now was the church there?
DARHYL BOONE:
The church right beside the café?
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, I've seen that church there. They've added on and remodeled and bricked over the years. I remember when that church was there, it was much smaller before they added on and had little wood siding on it and all. They had two outside toilets there. That, that's what they had. They didn't have running water. They had outside toilets there. I don't know, that just popped into my head. I can remember those days.
ROB AMBERG:
Now were you and your brother and your mom, were you living right there also?
DARHYL BOONE:
Right where the café sits right now, they have a, if you go by there sometime look. There's a dumpster sitting there right—there was a block house that sat there, and that's where we were raised, in that little block shack house is what it was. We liked to froze to death, but we survived it. Didn't have any running water, and we had what they called the pee pot. You had your pot by the bed, and if we needed to go to the bathroom, we'd go to the café. So there again, that was the hub where everything was—we ate out there most of the time, the biggest part of the time. We ate out there. We were out there eating. Times at that time, well I'll never forget this were struggling. She was doing everything; we were doing everything to survive, which we weren't unique. That's what the whole community did over there. Everybody was just surviving barely. She'd let us kids, five grandkids, we were only allowed one soda a week, and we got that soda on Sunday. That's the only day you got a soda because she just couldn't afford to do that,

Page 7
and we ate whatever she had cooked. I know I broke a storm window after my cousin Teresa, and she had made me mad about something. She had run in the door, and when she did I was trying to hit her and busted the storm window out. I was all worried about how I was going to pay for it. I told her that I just wouldn't have my drinks on Sunday until I got that paid for. I was going to pay her back.
ROB AMBERG:
Well, that's a pretty good little swap to make there. That's—
DARHYL BOONE:
She was a good one. She'd teach you how to work.
ROB AMBERG:
She taught you how to work I guess.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
What were your chores when you were growing up? What did you do when you came home from school?
DARHYL BOONE:
If you came home from school with her, she'd put you to washing pots and pans. You'd sweep the floor. She kept the driveway out there where the cars were parked, we kept that swept, just getting in wood, doing this, doing that.
ROB AMBERG:
Were you heating with wood and?
DARHYL BOONE:
We were heating with wood. She finally got an oil-fired furnace. I forget when that came in. We still, until I was in college, I was actually living over there in the basement of the café when I went Mars Hill. They were still heating with wood then. They had the furnace plus wood but to save money you were using wood and heating the café really with a wood stove.
ROB AMBERG:
Now, what was the, was the café busy? I'm thinking it was opened in '51 or so, and the road like you were saying wasn't completed even until mid-fifties or something like that. Was there a lot of traffic? Was it a—

Page 8
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, you had a pretty good volume of traffic traveling that road, amazingly so, really. There for a while, they stayed open—that was when my father was alive. I can barely remember this. They stayed open at night. They had a twenty-four hour. They were up all night.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
So apparently it must've been a pretty good flow of traffic going through there, picking up a lot of truckers. I worked out of South Carolina when I got out of college for about a year and a half. The truckers even down there when they'd come in—I worked for a textile company. They would, we'd get to talking, and I'd ask them if they ever traveled Twenty-three. They'd say, 'Oh yeah.' I'd say, 'You ever stop at Little Creek Café.' Oh man they'd say, 'We'd look that one out when we were going.' So she is known by the truckers everywhere because they could get a country-cooked meal. We're talking, people today, my wife says I've been spoiled. But they don't know how to cook country cooking. She knew how to do that. That style of cooking dies with the person because it's hard for them to hand it down for somebody to pick up. I picked up a little bit on her biscuit making. I'm getting better with that, but nothing like that.
ROB AMBERG:
That's really true what you're saying. I think it is passed down and unless a person is there all of the time watching and studying and just picking up things. Then, now a days too, it just seems like we just don't even have the ingredients that people had for the food back then.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's different.
ROB AMBERG:
Did they, did your Grandma basically prepare her own meats and things like that? Did she butcher hogs and cows, things like that?

Page 9
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, we kept hogs right across the road there. We had a field there, raised tobacco in some of it and the other parts we raised beans, corn and potatoes, and then right down in the corner of the field, we always kept a couple of hogs over there and killed those hogs.
ROB AMBERG:
Those went into the restaurant.
DARHYL BOONE:
She'd sell that, and we'd cook that. The family would eat, we would get the opportunity. I always enjoyed that time just because we'd get to eat the tenderloin. She'd have tenderloin biscuits until all the tenderloin was eaten. Man, I could eat six biscuits with that gravy and tenderloin.
ROB AMBERG:
Fresh tenderloin is pretty hard to beat.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's good, fresh. Yeah, we did that, raised gardens. She had a, down in the basement, may still be down there, had big potato bins on one side of the basement. On the other side, you had the shelves that canned beans, corn, and all those canned goods. See, that's what she served. No wonder people loved it. You're talking about fresh green beans when they're in. When you're picking them out of the garden, serving them. Fresh corn out of the garden over there, which is a huge garden.
ROB AMBERG:
Then canned stuff.
DARHYL BOONE:
Then we'd can that. My goodness. She'd get apples. She never wasted anything. I remember watching her peel peelings, I mean, peel peaches and some of the best jelly you've ever eaten in your life. She'd take those peelings, and she'd cook those peelings and make peach preserves out of those peelings.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
Because she wouldn't waste anything. You didn't waste anything. People

Page 10
asked for that. That's what they wanted. They wanted jelly, they wanted to know if she had any of that peach.
ROB AMBERG:
She was not only running a restaurant, she was also running a farm in a sense that was producing everything for the restaurant, not everything, but a good bit of it.
DARHYL BOONE:
A big part of it. Especially when she was younger and able to do more. Yeah, she'd make us and I hated it. Gosh, I hated stringing and breaking those beans. But when she got through, see she'd get up and be in the café by about four thirty in the morning and did that until she died. She was there at four-thirty making biscuits and gravy. Then she'd work the breakfast, and then get the lunch worked. Lunch would be over by around two or three, and she'd get, when we were there, we'd be sweeping and help her do that. Then she'd sit down, and we'd start stringing and breaking beans. So she had to get ready for the next day preparing, so she was unique.
ROB AMBERG:
Did she take a day off?
DARHYL BOONE:
Uh uh.
ROB AMBERG:
So y'all were open on Sunday's too.
DARHYL BOONE:
She'd work a seven-day week. We'd ask her, we'd say, we'd ask her, 'Grandma, why don't you at least shut down on Sundays?' She said, 'Well I don't know how these people are going to eat. Where are they going to go to eat?' She wouldn't shut down. I'll never forget her, she got up in years and there was an old fellow who lived down on Laurel. If you know where Laurel is, right there, you cut left. His name was Lawrence Whitt. He was a single fellow, never did get married and lived with his mother. His mother died, and he was just by himself. She was in the café one day, and I

Page 11
came by and I've got a picture. She was just exhausted just sitting there. I said, 'Grandma, why don't you go on down there to the trailer.' She'd bought her a trailer out there. 'Why don't you go on down there to the trailer and just rest? You need to go on down and get out of here.' She said, 'Well I will here in just a little bit,' She said, 'But now I've got to wait and see if Lawrence comes by. He might not have any supper. So he needs something to eat.' So she'd stay there and make sure. She knew about what time he'd come in. He came in about five-thirty, six o'clock. Once he'd come by, and she got him fed, then she'd go on down and rest. But she wouldn't leave. When she died, we went to the funeral home. People after people would come up and say, 'She fed me meals and never charged me. Fed me this. Done this for me, kept me.' One of the people came up to me and say, 'She kept me. We got stranded over there in the snow, she kept me.' She would do that. She wasn't afraid of anything.
ROB AMBERG:
That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
She. Unique woman.
ROB AMBERG:
What a wonderful legacy too that is to leave.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
That's a great thing, God.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
So y'all were raising tobacco too.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, raised tobacco there in that field, just everything that you could do to survive. We had, even out there by my little blockhouse, we had a small tobacco patch there plus more garden area. We'd raise potatoes over there. We'd raised the best potatoes in the world. As a matter of fact, I may go raise some over there this year.

Page 12
They're different than any you'd taste. Just does something to them, that soil. We just, every little spot of ground you could, you'd raise something on it. I was thinking about that here a while back talking to my wife. My wife don't relate to, she came up differently than I did.
ROB AMBERG:
Is she from this community?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, she lived, she was raised right here in Mars Hill. Her father was a professor at Mars Hill College.
ROB AMBERG:
Who was that?
DARHYL BOONE:
Arthur Wood, a physics professor.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
He's still, he's a fine man. I was telling her, we all over there, we didn't have anything. We were just barely living, but the rest of the community was just about the same way, there was nobody that had anything. We didn't know we were poor. We were eating, and we had clothes on our back. We felt pretty fortunate.
ROB AMBERG:
Well, there wasn't really a whole lot of money in the community period. Just, I've had other people tell me, the real big influx of any kind of cash seemed to be like mid-sixties when the Federal programs started coming in and pumping some money in.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's the first time you started seeing any money. So I don't want to get off of that one.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, so your, was your mother from this community also?
DARHYL BOONE:
My mother actually was from Alexander up here. My father, I don't know exactly how they met. I've forgotten right now. That doesn't come back to me how they

Page 13
met. They got married real young. Mom was only sixteen when they got married. I think she had my oldest brother Larry when she was probably sixteen, sixteen, seventeen and went from there.
ROB AMBERG:
But she, it sounds like she maybe had, I mean, was her family a farm family do you think, your mom's? Was it—
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, they farmed and did just survival farm and raise enough to eat and live. Her daddy worked a sawmill. He worked a saw mill job. I remember that. I can't remember what Grandma did. She made, yeah she made quilts. She made quilts.
ROB AMBERG:
And sold them?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. They quilted a lot, her mother and her sister made a lot of.
ROB AMBERG:
Do you think that would've been over in Alexander, that was a pretty heavily trafficked road through there at one time.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, they lived right over in the Alexander area there. They moved from, well they moved from Weaverville, Alexander. They were in the Weaverville area and then Alexander. So that's the approximate area. I forget how they came in contact with each other and met.
ROB AMBERG:
You're saying when you were younger, and there'd be twenty of you waiting for the school bus out there. That was a small road but there was traffic because again, that route, that's what we're seeing now is really I don't know, I've read where that route has been trafficked since Native American times. Its been a commercial trade route for that long. But there was not so much traffic there that you all felt, it's not like it is out there now.
DARHYL BOONE:
It wasn't as bad.

Page 14
ROB AMBERG:
You can't even set foot out on the road.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's funny how you get used to it. When we're living right there at it, the trucks were pretty heavy. But you get so used to that that you don't even pay them any attention. They go by, and you just sort of get used to it. Pretty good volume of traffic, but as the years went by the traffic got more and more and more. You got much more volume.
ROB AMBERG:
You were saying you remember when it was paved and when it was changed and rerouted and all that.
DARHYL BOONE:
I remember when some of the road on toward the Sam's Gap they were still working on that road that I can still recollect because I remember back in behind the café there where the trailer and mobile home and all is, that originally wasn't in there. There was a pond, they had a lake back there right behind—
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, had a lake. I've got some pictures, some old pictures of the café, and they had a lake back there. That water that comes off the hills, there's two areas there where you have tributaries that come into it, and they just build a lake there for that water to come in. They had fish. I remember that lake. I remember it well. So when the road, when they started finishing that road on toward Sam's Gap they had excess dirt, just like they're trying to find places now for dirt and rock and all. Well, Grandma decided to go ahead and drain that lake because she just didn't see the need of having it anymore. She drained the lake, and they filled that area in for her.
ROB AMBERG:
Okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
And did away with the lake.

Page 15
ROB AMBERG:
The trailers were put in and the mobile home.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, I can still remember the lake being there, just a little point there.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, we all gathered. Of course there were a lot of young 'uns. You had the White young 'uns right over, their mother and daddy still live right near the café. They had two, three, four children. Then we had the Englishes. There were two or three of those. The Sheltons right there, I mean, you're talking another two or three. The Whites on down the road. I mean, you can just keep naming. The Cartrettes up here. There were a lot of young 'uns, a lot of kids. It was a big bunch of us around. We'd just sort of congregate there for the bus stop.
ROB AMBERG:
When you were, you were saying you went to school at Epps Chapel, where did you as a family go if you needed to go shopping or if you needed to, if you wanted entertainment or things like that. Where did you—?
DARHYL BOONE:
Shopping, we would come to Mars Hill and didn't go a whole lot, didn't have an opportunity. I know my entertainment when I was a boy mostly, Grandma'd come out here once a week or whatever to the beauty shop, and it's still up here. She'd get her hair fixed, and I'd come with her and just come browsing down into town.
ROB AMBERG:
You'd roam around town.
DARHYL BOONE:
Roam around town, and we knew one of her friends that lived right below the beauty shop, I mean just a house or two down below it. We were good friends with her, and we'd go down and see her, and she'd feed us. We'd visit her, and then we'd browse on down here and check things out. But every once in a while when I got on up eight, nine years old somewhere in that neighborhood, we'd every once in a while go to a

Page 16
movie, and we'd go to the drive-in in Asheville. We'd drive up to a drive-in movie. That was not very often, but we got to do that.
ROB AMBERG:
Occasionally you did.
DARHYL BOONE:
Occasionally we would drive in. That was mostly the entertainment. Every once in a while you'd get to drive the parkway. We'd get in an old car and ride along the parkway.
ROB AMBERG:
[Unclear.]. Jeez.
DARHYL BOONE:
Some fond memories.
ROB AMBERG:
It's interesting to me that you'd come into town with your Grandma, and she'd be in one place, and you'd be roaming around town, and she felt obviously comfortable enough to let you kind of do that. Just as a young child you know 'Well he's not going to get hit by a car or he's not going, or somebody's not going to kidnap him or-'
DARHYL BOONE:
You didn't have to worry about it back then. You just didn't, you never locked your houses. You never locked your car doors. Back then, you didn't even take the keys out of your car. That was just something that never thought of it. That was, never came into mind. I don't ever remember locking our doors when I was a boy, never.
ROB AMBERG:
Even living right out there on the road.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. Living right by the road, never had any problems. I don't recall. I'm sure there were, but I don't recall stealing. No sort. I just don't. Lot of respect. I remember I'd look and see—I don't know why I'm getting into this but my wife teaches school, and I see the difference in the youth now. I was saying there was a lot of respect for adults, respect for Christian beliefs, and respect for the church. I see such a change in

Page 17
that now from my generation to this generation now. I see my wife teaching in the high school. It's astounding.
ROB AMBERG:
Is she at Madison High?
DARHYL BOONE:
No, she's at North Buncombe, just out here right in Buncombe County. I think that's the one thing that I notice that I think we've missed. Maybe we have come a long ways in our material possessions. We have more. But I think we've missed the mark there somewhere in maybe time with the family is staying together. Mothers and fathers—I don't know why I got off on this. Mothers and fathers, I see these kids now that she's teaching, it's unreal. Since I was there and I haven't been out. Well, I've been out thirty years here in 2002. She's having to deal with things that I would've never dreamed of as a teacher.
ROB AMBERG:
I see the same thing, and I wonder how much of it is, what that's all about. I, some of it to me it seems like would be, I'm not really sure. I think times have just gotten, are so different then when we were growing up. I grew up outside of DC. It was in the suburbs. It was a fairly fast place even back then. It was certainly much slower than it is now, but it was still faster than ever was going to be around here. I grew up the same way though with really good manners and respect for things, respect for people and all that kind of stuff. It's not that my children don't do that, but you can tell that just the whole atmosphere is different. I—
DARHYL BOONE:
I don't know. It's just real strange though in just that short a period of time how it could get—I don't know. I didn't mean to get off there.
ROB AMBERG:
No, that's fine that we did. That's okay because I think, I wonder partially one of the things that I really wonder about is like the affects say of the I-26 corridor

Page 18
when that comes in. Is that going to magnify those kinds of effects? Is it going to be even more different after that's done? Will things get faster and faster? Will we—
DARHYL BOONE:
I've seen a lot of change in the community in my time, but time does change things. It does. Its been a whole different, the pace of living is faster. The crime, we're seeing things here now that we didn't used to see. A lot of this is brought on by the traffic. The motel down here now, it breeds some things we didn't used to see. I think as you get more and more traffic especially off an interstate like that, you're going to have things that we didn't. You'll have robberies and other things. But the crime rate has gotten up somewhat, not panic level. You're going to get things. You've got more people, more people coming through.
ROB AMBERG:
I guess that's more, well, more people. I mean, I was talking to Sam this morning. We were talking about the fact, I've been in the community twenty-eight years now. There was a time when I moved here when you, Sam and I were both saying, when you not only knew everybody's truck but you knew the sound of everybody's truck. It didn't matter—
DARHYL BOONE:
That's pretty good.
ROB AMBERG:
What time of night, you knew that that's so and so coming through.
DARHYL BOONE:
You do.
ROB AMBERG:
Oh, yeah that's John coming home or whatever, that kind of thing. Now like you were just saying, there's such an increase in traffic, an increase in people and new people constantly moving into the community.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's not the same, never will be, and can't be. What I still like about, I'm still real partial over there in that area. I still go to church over there at Upper Laurel, still

Page 19
over there. That's just where I brought my boys up over there. But I just like those people in that community. You lose some of this. I'm not saying that people that move in here, they're bad. That's not what I'm getting at. But you lose some of the what there was when I was a boy, so and so got down and got sick, you went and pull his tobacco up. The community's still got that over there. That's one of the unique things about it. You go in there, one church helping another church and one family doing something for another family. That, we've lost some of that over the years. My grandmother again, the Whites that lived out from her, still do as a matter of fact, they were just real good friends. I wondered why they were always so close. But didn't find this out until just a few years ago, their house burned down. They lost everything they had. They had, I guess they had their oldest son Terry. Might not have had Margaret, but when their house burned down, they didn't have anywhere to go so Grandma, she came over here and lived with us. So she just took them in, and they stayed with her until they got another house put back together. They lived with her in the basement of that café somehow. I don't know how.
ROB AMBERG:
That's remarkable.
DARHYL BOONE:
I got to talking to June and Clyde White about that, and Clyde said something one night at church or something. Just talking about you don't realize you, he said, 'I thought I had everything in the world and I didn't need anybody.' Then he said, 'And then my house burned down, and I didn't have anything.' He said, 'Then I realized how bad I did need people.' He said, 'It was amazing how that community came to me.' Then he said something about my grandmother taking them in. Then other people, people bring you this and somebody'd hand you money and somebody'd bring you

Page 20
clothes and dishes and all that. That's still over there in that community to a great degree.
ROB AMBERG:
You know, I think, I wonder, it seems to me it's like that in a lot of the smaller communities. I know when you get over to—I live over on Little Pine area and have lived on Big Pine. I know how it's basically the same over there.
DARHYL BOONE:
I think your smaller communities, well you know everybody.
ROB AMBERG:
Exactly. It's still—.
DARHYL BOONE:
You just get to, well, you get close to them is what happens.
ROB AMBERG:
Well you're always throwing your hand up, or you're stopping and visiting and things like that. It's one of the things I love around here is just the sense of people coming over to see you and visiting. People are very open that way here I think.
DARHYL BOONE:
We don't seem to have time to do that like we used to when I was a boy. Of course that was your entertainment a whole lot though when you were younger. You'd visit. That was, we were talking about entertainment earlier. That was your entertainment. You went and visited people and see people and talk to them. That was the entertainment. Play with their kids' kids, and so that was your bulk of your entertainment because it didn't cost anything.
ROB AMBERG:
It was close at hand too.
DARHYL BOONE:
It was close.
ROB AMBERG:
You didn't have to travel a lot into Asheville or something like that. Well, people just couldn't travel back in those days. It was a long way.
DARHYL BOONE:
It took you so long. I remember when we had the car, and we'd go to Asheville. Good gosh. From over there it was over an hour to get to Asheville on a

Page 21
winding road. It'd take you an hour to get into Asheville. So it was a big ordeal to leave out.
ROB AMBERG:
I have a clear memory of when I first moved here, and it was still two-lane all the way from Asheville on out. The old road was still there past [Unclear.], and it was a long way just [Unclear.] because I was teaching at the college then for a couple of years. It was a long way to get out there just to get to work it seemed like to me.
DARHYL BOONE:
It was a pretty big hassle wasn't it then?
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah. Just that old winding, windy road. Then they put the four-lane in; it must have been '77 or so.
DARHYL BOONE:
I believe they were working on that—
ROB AMBERG:
'76
DARHYL BOONE:
In '75, '76ish somewhere around there they put the four-lane in.
ROB AMBERG:
That was a big change I think. It really—
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh, that was real big yeah. That was real big. We're seeing a lot of people that are moving to this area, and I think we're going to see that a lot more. They're working in Asheville and these areas, but they like living because they like the style of lifestyle here. They like what you and I were talking about, what we like. They'll sacrifice driving thirty or forty minutes to work to be able to have that lifestyle.
ROB AMBERG:
It's interesting. I think one of the things that a good road brings is not only brings people in, but it gives people who are already in the access to get out and work someplace else. That changes the relationship of that person to where they live. So if you live on Upper Laurel or something or out there on Foster Creek or somewhere, but if you're working in town, if you're just hopping on the interstate now and getting into

Page 22
town, it changes your relationship with your place because you're not there as much. You're not around. You're not in the community. You're involved in another place for work or something, and it's just, you're just not there.
DARHYL BOONE:
I think we're seeing a lot more of that. I mean, where I live, which is out on Gable's Creek, just right out here. I don't see anybody out on Gabriel's Creek. I mean, I just don't. I come to work, and I get home in the evenings, and I've got my chores to do and get those done, and I don't visit. That's just what you do. You don't seem to have time. We entertain ourselves now with other things, TV and other stuff instead of visiting.
ROB AMBERG:
That's stuff we didn't have back in the '40s and the '50s, things like that. [Unclear.]
DARHYL BOONE:
Sure is. Sure is.
ROB AMBERG:
I wonder what effect this new highway is going to have on all that. How that is going to, what the effect of that will be on all these things. Like all the things that we were talking about earlier to me are kind of cultural things that we're really—. Like you were saying, everybody in the community was poor and kind of did this. How then does something like an interstate coming in affect those cultural values, affect those cultural traditions?
DARHYL BOONE:
I'd say you have a hard time hanging on to a lot of that. I think you're going to lose a lot of it because probably the ones coming in, they don't know anything about those cultural values, and it doesn't mean anything to them. Some of the things that means something to me, that's close to my heart about the things that I value, doesn't mean a whole lot to them unless they would really be interested in finding out. It's not, so you're going to, like you say some of these old people they die out, not only do they,

Page 23
you lose a person, but you lose a part of that culture. That's just the way it is. You can't help it. You lose it. I've seen some of the old timers over there—. I know another lady over there, Big Mama we called her. Big Mama. She could cook, boy. She was another one of those country, all her and her husband did was farm all her life, and she'd cook for the farm hands. Boy she could lay it out there, cooked on that wood stove, cook them biscuits on that wood stove, and I'm telling you. She'd have four or five meats and table, big table, just stuff all around it. Of course when you're a boy you remember all that foodstuff.
ROB AMBERG:
Yes.
DARHYL BOONE:
Well, you'd worked like a dog and then come in and get that, and boy that'd get you through the rest of the day.
ROB AMBERG:
Some of the time, well I've worked a lot of tobacco when I first moved here. It was a similar kind of experience. When you work for somebody, and you're out with a crew of people working, cutting and hanging [Unclear.] and that kind of thing. It's time for dinner, and you go in, and you've been kind of wondering where the guy's wife has been all day, and then you go back to the house, and you find out.
DARHYL BOONE:
Found out that she's been preparing a lot of food.
ROB AMBERG:
She hasn't been sitting down watching the stories. She's been doing something else.
DARHYL BOONE:
I guess we lose some of that. But not always all those good old days are, not all that's good old days either. There are some of the good old times back there that I'd just as soon not have anymore.
ROB AMBERG:
Like what? Give me a sense of examples.

Page 24
DARHYL BOONE:
Well, what I was telling you there about only cold water running in the house. A pot by the bed, the cold house, not being able to go to and fro like you'd like. It's things like that you'd just as soon, getting wood in all the time. It's things like that that today the lifestyle is a lot better. There's—
ROB AMBERG:
So you as a person kind of raised and born up here, you can appreciate being able to get into Asheville now.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
As quickly as you can.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh yeah. You've got to admit, it's nice. There's some disadvantages, yes. I mean, I'm sure there's disadvantages, but there are a lot of advantages too. So it maybe it's a weigh here, you weigh it out with the good and the bad. There will be change. There has been. When I really started seeing a change I think around here was when Wolf Laurel started developing. You saw the cost of your land starts skyrocketing. Used to you could buy a huge farm around here for a reasonable price. Once they came in and started paying the prices they did for some of the land, that value just really started getting up there quickly. Since Wolf Laurel—
ROB AMBERG:
That would've kind of been early, mid-seventies I guess Wolf Laurel.
DARHYL BOONE:
Let's see. I worked up at the restaurant in at Wolf Laurel when I was about fourteen. I bussed tables and cleaned, I guess it was about fourteen. So that would've been in the '60s. That was when they first started just really cranking up pretty good. Used to have a restaurant up there, built a restaurant.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, Sam was telling me I guess there was an unpaved road for part of the way up there and, then you got up to it, and it was this little thing going on. It was just

Page 25
starting.
DARHYL BOONE:
It was just going good. Yeah it was, a part of it was gravel and a part of it was paved. I can't even remember how far it was. I mean, that's not important. But that's when I started really noticing the change. You have a lot more people coming in then. Of course lot more money started coming in then too.
ROB AMBERG:
Does that seem kind of amazing to you that growing up here, working the restaurant, bussing the tables, stuff like that, and it's kind of like gosh who are these people up here out in the middle of nowhere on top of this mountain.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, it was quite different because I remember going up there when I was a boy, and good gosh that was remote. My goodness, go up there. We'd go camping up there on top of that. That was another entertainment we did, camping. We'd go over to Twin Springs there and camp out up there at the Bald Mountain. Man, you couldn't get back in there. It was so remote. Yeah, that was quite different for a fellow of my age seeing those people. You'd see people that actually had money. Boy, they had some money. You didn't see that, and there's a lot of work that started happening then. A lot of people were working and building houses. I'd say some of those fellows over there in that community now that are heavy equipment operators. Wolf Laurel is probably where they got their start. They've done real well. Some of them have made real well with it. Without that they would've been struggling.
ROB AMBERG:
Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
They'd have been hurting. So there again, there's some good from all this too. Yeah, you do lose some of your culture. You lose that. But there's some good out of it too.

Page 26
ROB AMBERG:
What, how would you, I know we're seeing—
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]


Page 27
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
ROB AMBERG:
There was a demographic shift from [Unclear.] . How would you characterize the people that you're seeing move into the Mars Hill, Upper Laurel kind of community? Just, who's moving in here? Who's—
DARHYL BOONE:
You see a little mix of everything. We're seeing some families coming in. We're seeing a lot of people that have already made their living per se and coming in. They've probably sold their house or whatever and are coming. I'm seeing quite a bit of that. They don't have to worry about employment very much. They're coming in. We're not getting as many families. This one here is a little nerve. We're not getting as many families coming in here. Our, the setup on our school system, this is running that away. We're seeing that in the Mars Hill area here.
ROB AMBERG:
So a decrease kind of in the number of students or you're getting—
DARHYL BOONE:
No, what I was getting at was families with children of school age, they're not locating here in this area like they would had we a better school system. Now I don't say our school system as far as the education, I think we're doing decent. But the way we've got our school system set up is the parents come in here and they say, 'Well, my kid's going to go over here to Mars Hill K Five. Then it's going to go down yonder for six, seventh and eighth.' What we're seeing happen is instead of locating here and staying here, they're just easing out here into Buncombe County.
ROB AMBERG:
Into North Buncombe or something.
DARHYL BOONE:
North Buncombe because they've got pretty much the same thing. They're paying a little bit more for land than house out there but not too much more. Yet they've got a school system that's compact. They can send their kids right here K Five, and they

Page 28
can send them within just a few miles. We're talking not two miles, send them for sixth, seventh, eighth and high school about another two miles over here. So they're right in a nucleus here just, and we're losing them. They're going out there. We didn't do in our school system, I guess we did as well, maybe I'll say, as we could have when we consolidated. Financially I guess we had to consolidate, but I don't know how much we accomplished. I'm afraid we didn't get what we wanted really.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, it doesn't seem to be, I think the high school that just opened maybe when I moved here I remember. The thing that's so unique about this county is it's so spread out geographically. I mean, think about going from Laurel, Upper Laurel out by the café out all the way over on the other side of Spring Creek up Meadow Fork or something.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's so spread out. Like I say—well, I guess there's no use elaborating on that one, but we, the committee that was formed to study this consolidation. There again dollars have a lot to do with what you do. They recommended we do a two-school set up, lower upper. I guess ideally that's probably what should've been done. Then I think you probably would've had a better growth on both ends.
ROB AMBERG:
On both ends.
DARHYL BOONE:
I think you would've had. Whereas now we may have hurt ourselves as far as if we're looking for some growth of business, industry because a lot of that tails right into your schools because these industries are not going to come if you don't have schools here for their children. If you have to bus all the children like that you think, then it's easy to shift over here. That could be good, and that could be bad. Like I say there's a way out there. Industry has some good but it also has some negatives. Oh well.

Page 29
ROB AMBERG:
Mars Hills, seemingly there's the new retirement center that's opening in town or opened in town. So you're seeing older people too, retirees and Wolf Laurel, the set up initially kind of is second homes and retiree types. There's more families moving up there, aren't there than there used to be?
DARHYL BOONE:
You're seeing some more of that. You're seeing, still don't see too many families. You see a little, you are seeing some as I say instead of second homes; you're seeing people that have gotten their children out of the home. They can live there, and they are. We're seeing more of that now. We're seeing more full-time people up there.
ROB AMBERG:
Permanent residents and—
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, you're seeing more permanent residents up there than we had.
ROB AMBERG:
Still seems out in the middle of nowhere.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, it is. I'll tell you. It's a different world over there. Totally. I was raised over in that area. It's a whole different world, I mean, weatherwise and all that. It's rough especially if you've got to go out, and I've done it and go to work. It's a little rough getting over those mountains.
ROB AMBERG:
Well it's so high up there. It's just, Wolf Laurel itself is what, forty-five hundred feet or something like that. It's—
DARHYL BOONE:
I'd hate to be in there and have to come out. A lot of people don't. A lot of ones that are staying in there I don't know what their employment is. But not many I would think are having to travel in and out of there everyday. I think you're seeing more of that. It's the full-time people. Then there are some people in there that are full-time that probably aren't working mid-age, and they've apparently financially—
ROB AMBERG:
Like you say maybe they've made some money elsewhere.

Page 30
DARHYL BOONE:
I think so. I think so.
ROB AMBERG:
I wonder if, it's almost, it seems like that's happening too in a lot of the county. I know a number of people over on the other side of the county in those kind of situations too. A lot of people too are running business; you're able to run a business out of your home if you're on the Internet and things like that.
DARHYL BOONE:
I'm sure we'll see more of that as years go on. That'll increase. I'll have to tell you this funny because this came to me, and I'll forget it. This is priceless. I tell it when I can think of it. My grandmother, they always called her Miss Boone. I mean, everybody called her Miss Boone. But she married Shelby Hamlin her second husband. Some people called her Miss Hamlin but not many. When they got married, they hadn't been married too awful long, there was a little bootlegger that he used to have a, he bootlegged liquor and all up at the top right when you started to cross into Tennessee. He had a little mobile home there, and he lived in it. He had beer and liquor, and you normally weren't supposed to have it. He had had it. The fellows would get up there, and they would gamble around a little and drink. Shelby, he liked to drink a little. He got up there, and he apparently got drunk. He could do that every once in a while. He couldn't drive home. Clindon, Clindon Honeycutt's a fellow. Clindon called, he called down there at the café, and he got hold of my grandma and he said, 'Edna,' He said, 'Shelby's up here, and he's so drunk.' He said, 'There ain't no way he can drive home. You're going to have to come get him.' She goes up, and I'm sure she's a little hot. She's goes up and gets him, and they're coming down the road. Well, right before you get to grandmother's there's a two unit apartment complex up there now. That used to be a country store, a gas station and all. Jasper Jenkins ran that. Jasper Jenkins.

Page 31
ROB AMBERG:
He told me about that.
DARHYL BOONE:
Old Jasper's a good one. They were coming back down, and they got right there, and Shelby and this is what I've been told. He was sitting there. And he would, his head would get to bobbing when he'd get drunk, and his head's a bobbing down there. He saw where he was at, and he looked over there and he saw he was about at Jasper's and was getting close to the café. He was so drunk that he looked over and he said, 'If you don't mind there, you can drop me off down there at Miss Boone's.' He said—
ROB AMBERG:
[Laugh]
DARHYL BOONE:
He didn't know who had him. He was just talking.
ROB AMBERG:
She was driving. That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
You can just drop me off. And he called her Miss Boone too. She'd married him then, Hamlin. 'Just drop me off down there at Miss Boone's.' I don't know why that one came to me. Oh goodness.
ROB AMBERG:
That must've been a really wonderful thing for her though to find Mr. Hamlin, Shelby and just be married again and just be able to do that. I would think that's—
DARHYL BOONE:
I'm sure it was. I'm sure it was a lot of help to her over the years. He was. He took us in. He and I got real close. We were close out in the field working with him, I'd follow him around, and we got real close.
ROB AMBERG:
Was he from this community?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. Yeah, he's actually raised in this area right here. So—
ROB AMBERG:
Farmed most of his life.
DARHYL BOONE:
Farmed. He worked with an electric company here for a few years, but I

Page 32
think he off and on farmed most of his life.
ROB AMBERG:
Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
Worked a few years with the electric company though. That was probably on up when he was in his fifties I guess.
ROB AMBERG:
You probably always had power over there from when you remember I would guess.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yes. I remember as long, as far back as I remember we had power. I do remember when the phones first came in. I can remember that. We had those old party lines. That was something. Had eight or ten houses on one line. You'd pick it up and see if anybody was on there and use it. You'd get on, and they'd pick up and listen to you.
ROB AMBERG:
Finding out things.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh yeah. That was priceless. I can remember that. That was fun.
ROB AMBERG:
That must've been a real—I've always thought that telephones coming in around here probably were as a significant a change as anything because it allowed people to talk on the phone instead of making that walk down the road to go visit somebody. You could call. I would think that that was a really big change.
DARHYL BOONE:
It was big I'm sure to be able to call I mean Mars Hill.
ROB AMBERG:
Exactly.
DARHYL BOONE:
That was a big thing to be able to call out here. Yeah, that was a big one. I still remember, I still remember our first TV set. I can still see that thing. I remember those days. Of course, we were probably behind a lot of the area on things like that. I'm sure we were a few years behind.

Page 33
ROB AMBERG:
Although I remember, I'm a little bit older than you are. I remember certainly party lines even in the DC area. I remember having those as a kid for a few years and thinking that that was pretty funny too. If you were a mean kid, you could really get yourself into a fix on those things.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh boy yeah. My brother stayed in a little bit of trouble on those party lines. He was all the time into something.
ROB AMBERG:
Is that Larry?
DARHYL BOONE:
No, no. It was the middle one. Larry wasn't too bad. Bruce, he was into stuff. He was all the time doing something.
ROB AMBERG:
Now did you go to high school at Mars Hill?
DARHYL BOONE:
Um hmm.
ROB AMBERG:
Okay.
DARHYL BOONE:
We moved, see we had K-7. Well you didn't have K then, but we had one through seven and then eighth grade we came out here. So we transported from over there out here to eighth. We went eighth through twelfth over here. This was a K-12.
ROB AMBERG:
That must've been a pretty good little bus ride in and of itself.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, it was not a lot of fun. It wasn't great going over those mountains and all. But I can imagine now, some of those kids like I say down on the Foster and some of those areas going all the way down here to Brush Creek.
ROB AMBERG:
Right. Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
Man, that's a haul.
ROB AMBERG:
Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
I can't imagine.

Page 34
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, we have some friends that are way almost on the Yancey County line. They've homeschooled for years, but their oldest daughter decided she wanted to go to the middle school, and it's close to an hour for her to get out to the middle school.
DARHYL BOONE:
There's some of those kids over at Ebbs Chapel way, some of them have got as much as a two hour, a two hour morning and evening.
ROB AMBERG:
I can't imagine that.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's a ten-hour day. For a kid, that's tough.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, it is tough.
DARHYL BOONE:
You've seen, as I say, you don't see too many people locating with school aged children over in an area like that. They won't do it. They'll move into an area.
ROB AMBERG:
Unless they're determined to homeschool or something like that.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, they won't do it. A majority won't.
ROB AMBERG:
I have a nine-year-old. She goes to Walnut. We generally, we carpool in the morning with a couple of neighbors and take them out, and they all ride the bus back together in the evening. That works out pretty well.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's not bad. That's not too bad.
ROB AMBERG:
We're fifteen or twenty minutes from the school. It's splitting it three ways; it's not bad at all.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's not bad. If they just have to hop on it for either a morning or evening run, that's not bad. They can handle that. Have some good, really, back when I was going through, you had some pretty good social time on the bus.
ROB AMBERG:
Exactly.
DARHYL BOONE:
It wasn't bad.

Page 35
ROB AMBERG:
It's a real education in itself, really I think.
DARHYL BOONE:
It really is. You learn to deal with a lot of things.
ROB AMBERG:
That's one thing about this new highway. You get out on Twenty-three the way it is now and increase traffic that's out there. Just, I was talking to Stan Hyatt last week, and he was telling me it's ten thousand vehicles out there.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's unreal. That's where I go. I go to church. I just sort of mentally as the years went by, I sort of kept a mental track, and my wife and I were just talking about how the traffic has increased. Goodness gracious. It's unreal. I mean, I know it's tripled. It has to.
ROB AMBERG:
You think about kids on the school bus. There are still busses out on that road. There's a lot of elderly people using that road and—
DARHYL BOONE:
The interstate had to happen. I mean, it just had to be. I don't see any way around it. It just had to come.
ROB AMBERG:
Do you remember as a child hearing talk that one day there was going to be a big new road going through there?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
Do you?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, I remember it well. When I was a little boy, I remember just crawling the mountains and finding some of the old survey stakes. They had survey, I mean when I was a boy. They'd done some surveying apparently deciding where this road. It was back over. I guess it was back near the Sam's Gap area that I remember finding some of the old stakes. I remember talking about a road going to come through there ever since I was a little boy. It took a heck of a long time.

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ROB AMBERG:
And people were ready for that even back then.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh yeah. I think so. I think they realized that these roads are hard to travel especially when you traveling them day by day. I have some friends, a lot of friends that live over in the Ebbs Chapel area. They'll, I know, they'll be pleased. I know there are some repercussions from this, but they'll be pleased to be able to hop and get on that road and be in Asheville, they'll probably be in Asheville in twenty minutes.
ROB AMBERG:
Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
Probably without any trouble once they hit the road. So that's, I think they're looking forward to that.
ROB AMBERG:
Do you think, did you spend a lot of time in the woods when you were growing up?
DARHYL BOONE:
Quite a bit.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. Just being like a boy, just roaming the mountains riding a stick horse and all that stuff. We wandered, just wandered around. EA: That's got to be a real kind of shock for you then to see just that area again right across from where you grew up and what's, what has become now with the road.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, it's totally different. That's one thing. That's a little different then when I grew up. Used to you could, I never did hunt a whole lot, never cared for it, still don't, but I like to roam the mountains and still do. I still like getting out. There's a certain serenity to it. But back when I was a boy, nobody cared. You could go across their land. That's changed. That's not the same. That's not because of, I don't necessarily think, of different people moving in here. I think probably some of this got

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brought on by some people abusing, going across people's land and abusing it. But lot of people don't want you. That's a change of the time. They don't want you on their land. Of course, when I was a boy, you could just roam it all. It didn't matter, but that's changed a little bit. We did, we roamed the mountains. I picked blackberries. I can get back again reminiscing about what we did. We'd go over those mountains right across from the café, and there are some real blackberry fields over there. We'd pick blackberries, and we'd sell them blackberries. We'd set us up a little blackberry stand there in front of the café. We'd sell them blackberries so much a gallon.
ROB AMBERG:
That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
Pick those until I got sick of picking them. Boy that—
ROB AMBERG:
Sicker eating them probably. You can only eat so many blackberries. I'm sure your grandmother probably put some of those up to or pies.
DARHYL BOONE:
She'd buy some from us just to—we'd go out and pick them, and she'd buy them just to put up. She made a, she'd call me up here, call me here at work, and she'd say, 'I'm making a Blackberry Drop Dumpling Cobbler.' Man I'm telling you. She'd say, 'If you can get over here today for lunch, I'll save you some.' I'd say, 'Well, I'll try to get there.' I did usually. It was rare. Boy it was good, especially if you could get wild ones. My goodness.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah. There's a real different taste to them.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's totally different. She'd make jelly out of those too and jam. Unreal.
ROB AMBERG:
You were brought up, you were brought up working. You—
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
You were brought up with a kind of work ethic it sounds like to me. At least

Page 38
as a kid it sounds like you were always kind of doing things or scheming things or coming up with something to—
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, we worked mostly farming and just whatever in the café, washing and cleaning and doing that sort of stuff. Grandma made sure we learned to do that. She taught us to do all that stuff. I knew how to wash my clothes and all that stuff. She said, 'I'm going to teach you boys how to cook.' My wife loves for me to cook. I like to cook and I can. I cook some like Grandma cooked. I can do some of that. I learned some of it, not all of it. My wife, she loves for me to cook. She taught us to do, she said, 'You guys, you've got to learn to take care of yourself.' She made sure we learned how to cook and clean. She'd say, 'You've got to learn to clean house and all this stuff.'
ROB AMBERG:
That's pretty, for this area that we live in, that's pretty unusual.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
I mean, there are not too many local men that cook, and there are fewer still that'll clean house or wash clothes I'd say. I find that to be pretty unique. I mean, that's how I've raised my son too, doing the same thing. That's how my father was, but I always considered him to be a real oddball because he would be cleaning the house on Saturday morning.
DARHYL BOONE:
Well, I met my wife, I actually started dating her back in high school. We met I guess, I may have been a freshman in high school. I actually met her I guess it was. Yeah. Freshman in high school. We started dating some. I couldn't believe, I'd watch her father. Of course, I was raised most of my life without a father. He died when I was about eleven. I'd get to watching him, and I'd see him in there cooking in the kitchen, and he was doing this cleaning, doing all this stuff. You didn't see that. I mean, Shelby

Page 39
didn't do that stuff. But yet Grandma taught us that we had to learn to do this. I'd see him doing that. Man, so you do do that stuff. It, so I did the same thing with my boys. Hey, you need to learn to do this. Of course they didn't seem to be as apt to learn it as good as I felt like I did. I don't think they had to.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, it just hasn't been pushed on them I think. My son's a pretty good cook. He does pretty well with that stuff.
DARHYL BOONE:
Mine do pretty well too. They went off to college. When they did, it was good they knew how to do. They learned a lot. I'm sure they were glad they learned what they learned. A unique thing, I'll pop this out. I don't mean this as a brag or anything like that, but both my boys, I think I was working in South Carolina near Columbia when my wife got pregnant with my first son. I had just gotten out of Mars Hill here and I landed a job. And landed a job and I never will forget, I was planning on going one more year of college and a company, Milliken and Company, came in and interviewed. One of my professors asked me if I wanted to interview with them. I told him, 'Not really because I wasn't planning on getting out of school. So I wasn't looking for a job right now.' I funded myself through school, paid all my schooling, roofed houses, helped pay for that, drove trucks. But they came and interviewed me and offered me a job. So I went to two semesters of summer school to get out of college early to go to work. Anyhow I moved down there, and my wife got pregnant with my first son. When she got pregnant, I told her, 'Well, this is not where I want to live to raise children. I want to come back here and I want to raise my boys—boy, I didn't know whether it was a boy or a girl. I said, 'I want to raise my children here. This is where I want to raise them, whatever it takes.' We did that and brought them up here in his community, and I think

Page 40
we instilled some moral values in them that are worth more than any money we could've ever made. I look back on it now; I can do that now. It was the best sacrifice we ever made. Both my boys did this. I was pleased. A parent will be bad to brag he isn't careful. My oldest son has been off at Carolina, Chapel Hill. He's getting ready to graduate. He's got one more semester. He'd been there, starting on his second semester, I guess. Old Madison County boy come and there he is. He wrote us a letter. I saved the letter. Both of them did this. He wrote me a letter and he said, 'I just want to thank you 'uns for the way you raised me.' He explained what we did to him, and we had stuck together. Mom and Dad loved each other, and we had been a family. I guess when he got down there, and he saw kids that didn't go home when they had break and all this stuff, I think it probably came home to him what was really important. You can look back on that now as I'm sure. Boy, that's worth, that's worth its weight in gold.
ROB AMBERG:
It really is.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's worth something.
ROB AMBERG:
What was important to you about raising your children here? Why did you feel so strongly about that?
DARHYL BOONE:
Well I felt like raising my children and I see this now, in this community raising them around people like my grandmother, being exposed to that, I think grandparents from what I've seen and great grandparents have a profound impact on a child. My wife's parents, we wanted to be near family. That was just something we wanted to do. As I say I think the values they were brought up in. I think their beliefs that were instilled in them, by no means forced on them, but I believe their belief system and their faith. I felt like they got good rearing in that area, and something they've got to

Page 41
carry with them from now on. That was the thing. I think there again we didn't have a whole lot of things. We probably sacrificed some money and things and a bigger house and stuff like that to do this thing. I don't know, it was just something about this area. Maybe it was just me. It could just be me. She and I both wanted to come back here and be close to family, rear them in this area. They may not stay around here. They may not feel the same way we did. They may go off and do whatever, but we think we did the right move by bringing them here. There again, emphasize, I think the people in this area. There's just something about it. Again that's just maybe me. But it's unique.
ROB AMBERG:
I'm hearing you, yeah, it's almost like you're, I'm hearing you say a little bit, it's not, you're saying it's you, but in a way you're also saying that the community has helped to raise your children.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, that's probably what I'm getting at. That's probably true because with the community and being exposed to that there's something about this area. It, maybe the whole, well, Madison County's unique.
ROB AMBERG:
That's true.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's unique. That was where I wanted to be. Mars Hill's where I came. Madison County in a whole is unique. I think it's still got something that, even you just drop off into Buncombe County.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, that's real different.
DARHYL BOONE:
And you don't have it. Dr. Underwood, historian here. She says it best in one of her books. Madison County, its greatest asset is its people. I think we've still got that. I think we've still got, you go down into where you live. You go over here into Ebbs Chapel. You go over into Shelton Laurel. You go back over here into Beech Glen.

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Just keep naming them, and by golly it's unique. It's the people. That's what I really wanted. It wasn't the same where I went back in '77. I really didn't like, I was living outside of Columbia, in a small town, Saluda, South Carolina. Right near Columbia. Man, it wasn't the same. It was a smaller town, and everybody knew everybody. But it just wasn't the same. Yeah, you're right. The community helped raise them. For instance, my boys youth ball coaches and stuff, they helped instill in those boys some things that I mean, it goes for a lifetime.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, we've found, my wife and I just the whole—and again, we've both been in the community for over twenty years now so—
DARHYL BOONE:
You're one of us when you stay here that long.
ROB AMBERG:
Does that mean that? It depends on who you talk to.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
That's for sure. I feel like this is home for sure. I know my wife feels the same way, but we have been just kind of, the experience of having our daughter up at Walnut School and just the community surrounding that very small hundred kids or so elementary or something like that.
DARHYL BOONE:
What age is she?
ROB AMBERG:
She's in fourth grade this year, so she'll be ten in May. She plays soccer and comes up here to do martial arts at Dance Dimensions. So there's, but it's like that in all these different places.
DARHYL BOONE:
It not just Mars Hill. You've got it in Marshall. You've got it over here in Ebbs Chapel. That's how I say, it's just, but boy it's unique in this county.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, we feel like we can kind of, we feel very comfortable letting her do

Page 43
things, letting her, if you get to Marshall, and she wants to roam somewhere it's just no big deal even in Marshall's—well, I was about to say it's real busy, but it's not. But we feel comfortable there. How long have you been town manager?
DARHYL BOONE:
Nineteen and a half years.
ROB AMBERG:
Oh my. That's a long time.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's a long time.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow. I guess I never would've guessed that long.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, I've been here nineteen and a half years, almost twenty. Long time, never thought, never anticipated being here that long. I've seen a lot of changes over the years. But I don't think I've seen what we'll see in the next twenty.
ROB AMBERG:
What do you think your greatest challenges both as a town official but also as a town resident, as a community members? What are your greatest challenges going to be, do you think? What's coming up over the next little bit here?
DARHYL BOONE:
You mean in my position? Are you talking about my position or me just as a resident?
ROB AMBERG:
Well both, I think. I guess just more as a town official. I mean, what do you think are going to be the toughest things you're going to have to deal with?
DARHYL BOONE:
The toughest challenges. The toughest challenges probably are dealing with some of the growth factors that we'll have. We're not unique probably. I think we'll see some growth in residential, more commercial, some industrial. We've got to figure out how to bring infrastructure into some of, and improve infrastructure for some of this that will come in here. That's probably one of the biggest challenges is infrastructure, water for this new growth that's coming. That's going to be a big challenge for Marshall.

Page 44
ROB AMBERG:
Oh yeah.
DARHYL BOONE:
They've got, we've got a problem here that will have to be addressed. We've been fortunate over the years with the water supply we've had. It's been adequate. It will be for a few more years, but we've got time right now to just get another source on line, whatever it is. But those challenges are big. The reason is that you've got a small customer base, and it's hard to fund those kinds of things.
ROB AMBERG:
Exactly, so finding the money to produce those.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's so hard. It's been that way ever since I've been here. It's just scrape and scrounge and try to fund these projects. We did, we sewered the town back in '84 after I got here. I hadn't been here but a few years, and we got some funds to do and that was big, but it is hard to operate these things on a small customer base. It really is. I don't think anybody realizes it and to keep the rates down at a level where the residents can afford it. It's a tough matter.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, Ray, [Unclear.] was talking about how the Two-thirteen corridor is just going to kind of grow more and more, and Marshall of course has kind of perpetual water problems. It seems like to me.
DARHYL BOONE:
Those are going [to be] big problems and growth is a problem in itself, the right kind of growth. It's hard because you don't, one, I've been here all these years and I guess the biggest challenge is dealing with people and having a job like this because everybody knows you, and you know everybody. God, it's hard. When you're in a big system where the manager, he doesn't even communicate out here in public, just per se. It's a whole different ball game. But I mean, I'm accessible. They'll just walk right in here and here they are. These people, God these people, you talk about a challenge, you

Page 45
talk about people that I've known since, good God down here, and you look at them and say you can't build that over there. The ordinance won't allow it. God, they just look at you like, 'What?' That's hard. That is hard. That just goes along with, like I tell my boys, there are things that when you have a job that goes along with it. That's why they call it a job.
ROB AMBERG:
That's got to be, something like that has got to be especially hard because for me honestly one of the things I loved about this county when I first moved here was the fact that you can do any damned thing you wanted to especially on your property. You could do that, and it was kind of that was respected, and everybody understood that, and everybody respected that. Now with growth come ordinances, come whether there are sign ordinances or building ordinances or that kind of thing. That really starts to—
DARHYL BOONE:
It starts to take away from some of that individual freedom. Really. It really does. I can see the pros and cons of it.
ROB AMBERG:
Well, of course. The fact of the matter is it probably is not great that you can do everything that you want to do on your property. I'm not sure that's the right attitude to have now as I get older. But at the same time it was a, boy that certainly was the way it was here, and a lot of people still think it is.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, it's hard to tell people.
ROB AMBERG:
Especially if you're local and were raised here. They know you understand what they're talking about.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah and it pulls at your heartstrings too. God because you know, I know where they're coming from. That's one of the hardest things as far as just dealing with your job. That's a tough one.

Page 46
ROB AMBERG:
What about as a community member, what about as a just a kind of Darhyl Boone that lives over on Gabriel's Creek. Just what do you feel like are things that are going to be hard for you to deal with personally I guess? Again challenging for you to deal with.
DARHYL BOONE:
You mean as a person.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, again as a community member, as a person who's lived here all your life. Just—
DARHYL BOONE:
I never thought about it. That's interesting. Well, that's interesting. I've never sat down and thought about me as a future challenge. Me per se, as a community as a whole, right? Huh. That's interesting. Never thought of it. Of course I don't know why. Why I'm drawing a blank.
ROB AMBERG:
Okay, that's fine. Yeah.
DARHYL BOONE:
Let me mull that a minute. Oh I think, there again this is something I don't know why I keep harping on this one, but our county [Unclear.] our school is something we've got to address. That one's going to keep biting us throughout this county if we don't jump on that one or do something. We ironically, you've been here twenty years. But we've still got a, I don't know what you'd call it. I guess it goes back plum into when we had all these schools around here. You've still got a friction in the county.
ROB AMBERG:
Oh yeah.
DARHYL BOONE:
I mean to tell you. It's still here.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah there are a little individual communities. It's almost like they were competitive with each other years ago. I talk to people who went to the more community schools and maybe played basketball for one place, and then they get to the high school

Page 47
and they're playing basketball again, and they had to play on the same team with somebody from Mars Hill, and that was a real problem.
DARHYL BOONE:
Real problem. You'd think that would die out.
ROB AMBERG:
Right.
DARHYL BOONE:
But boy it hasn't. All the years there have been consolidated schools, and you've still got that community resentment.
ROB AMBERG:
Right. There's still that and do you sense that there is much, maybe not resentment, but that friction. I feel like the struggle between again maybe native born people as opposed to people who are newcomers. That there are different levels of expectation. That there are kind of different motives at play, kind of different ideas. Sometimes I sense that that's where the real struggle will be, where the real friction would come from.
DARHYL BOONE:
Very well may but with new people coming in you've got new ideas, and they see things differently, and it's not always wrong. Just because they're new and they're different people doesn't mean that their ideas are all bad. I tell you the thing to people because you've been here long enough to know that now. The people, what they really resent here is, the old mountain people, is somebody moving in and telling them that they didn't do it that way back over here. In essence you're stupid because y'all do it this way. That really, that burns—
ROB AMBERG:
You learn that pretty quickly around here.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, you learn that pretty quickly.
ROB AMBERG:
Or you don't last in a sense. You learn that real, real fast. It's just a basic respect I think for people, but also especially people who know a place as well as the

Page 48
people who are raised around here do. It's, Sam and I were talking about this morning, just talking about moving in here and kind of being adopted by families. It's what happens I think when you're really open to living in a new place and you're really not kind of setting yourself above people. People adopted each of us. If it weren't for then, I'd still be trying to burn black gum or something like that or make posts out of something that was going to rot in a year or two, all those kind of little basic things that if you're going to try to make it around here and live—. We still heat with wood and have gravity flow water—
DARHYL BOONE:
I still do that too. I still heat with wood. I love it.
ROB AMBERG:
I love it too. I was out cutting wood yesterday, it gets harder the older I get.
DARHYL BOONE:
I do too.
ROB AMBERG:
I admit that, and I keep asking myself, how much longer?
DARHYL BOONE:
I do too.
ROB AMBERG:
Do I want to be out there with this chainsaw and just knowing that I'm not as strong and not as quick as I used to be, that kind of thing, but I love the fact that I do that. I love being in control of that.
DARHYL BOONE:
I do too.
ROB AMBERG:
But if it weren't for these local people around here, I wouldn't have a clue about how to do any of that, how to plant a garden, how to can a tomato.
DARHYL BOONE:
I guess there's different levels of IQ and all, but these people in this county over the years maybe have been considered ignorant, but you get to know them, and some of these people can't even read that I've known, man alive they're smart. What they know and what they can do, I mean they're [Unclear.] .

Page 49
ROB AMBERG:
I spent a lot of time over in Sodom when I first came here with Delly Norton, the old ballad singer that lived over there. She taught me as much about living around here as anything. It was kind of interesting. The way that I could feel useful for her was she used to go out and sing a fair amount in her later years, and she was scared to death. Now she wasn't scared to death about being in a city but trying to get there. The fact that I knew how to drive and get into a place and could get her to a place was something she really valued. It was—and she knew that that would be difficult not only for her but even for her children, it would've been hard to just drive down to Raleigh or some thing like that. That was going to be tough. I found that those kinds of things worked out real well, those little swaps that you could do.
DARHYL BOONE:
Sure. Oh yeah. You learn quickly. It's good that you do.
ROB AMBERG:
Yes.
DARHYL BOONE:
[Unclear.] a lot faster.
ROB AMBERG:
Well, Darhyl I think we're. Well actually that tape's going to run out—
[END OF TAPE ONE, SIDE B.]

[TAPE2, SIDE A]


Page 50
[START OF TAPE TWO, SIDE A.]
ROB AMBERG:
Anyway go ahead with what you were going to say.
DARHYL BOONE:
Well, no one I don't think can project what kind of changes that we're going to see with this. You can't. We could have the interstate through here, and all we get is traffic. That could very well happen. I don't think that's what will happen. I think we'll definitely get some other things from that, but it will change us. When you, I think the remoteness and the rural of this county that we've had over the years is one of the biggest plusses we've had. If we say double or triple in our population here, then I think you're going to lose some of that. Just I know I like just out where I live. I just like not being real close to people. I've got a house on each side of me. Her family owned the farm there, and it's vacant in front of me, and they've handed that down. It's been handed down through the generations, and we plan to hand it on down to the next one. So we could enjoy that. Our kids could live in that. I don't want to be, I'm not a city fellow. I couldn't, I couldn't handle it. I lived in Asheville when I got right out of high school. I found out real quick, I didn't like that. So it will, if we get double, triple the population here, it's going to change us. It can't help it.
ROB AMBERG:
It's interesting that the thing that draws people in, that rural quality, the country quality of this place is the thing that will be changed by more people coming in.
DARHYL BOONE:
It will.
ROB AMBERG:
That's a, just a, I mean, I don't know how you deal with it.
DARHYL BOONE:
I don't know how you deal with it either. But I think that's a fact of what happens to places.
DARHYL BOONE:
You look around here, just here in the last few years, these subdivisions. It's

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just been the last three, four, five years. You're starting to see subdivisions pop, pop, pop. That's not Madison County.
ROB AMBERG:
It isn't. No, that's where I was raised. It was in a subdivision. I have very clear memories as a child. We had a kind of a, the community that I lived in was outside of DC, and it was built on a, what used to be an old southern plantation. This is in Maryland, a couple thousand acres, really beautiful rolling farmland. After World War II all that started changing and getting built up and that kind of thing. This old farmhouse was still there when we moved there and still had a really nice creek running through it and a really nice piece of woods. As a child I spent with my friends a lot of time in those woods. What I remember wanting more than anything else was I wanted to be able to get lost in those woods because you always came out on another housing development or a superhighway or something like that. Sooner or later you were going to, you could walk and feel like you were in the woods but then before too long, you came on something. So moving here for me was kind of the answer of that childhood memory, that childhood desire to have a place where you could certainly get lost around here still.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's still easy.
ROB AMBERG:
But that's what I fear most is are we going to lose that kind of wildness kind of around here that I think makes Madison County?
DARHYL BOONE:
I think you'll lose some of that. I don't see how you can keep from it. With that you lose some of Madison County. As I say now, not all that's bad. There's some good from it I'm sure. There'll be more people working. There'll be more money as far as that's concerned, probably an easier life style. But you sure lose some good stuff too. You really do. That's going to happen the best we can do. I don't know what degree

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that's going to occur, but it's going to happen.
ROB AMBERG:
We were just talking a minute ago about firewood, and you were saying that you still burn wood. I'm kind of curious why. You were just saying you liked it. But why do you like that?
DARHYL BOONE:
I don't know. A lot of my friends used to do it and I go visit them now. One, he burned a lot more wood than I ever burned. He's got away from that. He's gone with some new technology, the kerosene heaters. No, what are those called—
ROB AMBERG:
Monitors.
DARHYL BOONE:
Monitors. He's gone with that. He's got those in where he used to have a wood stove. Another friend, he's got in his house instead of a wood stove, well, he's got a woodstove in the basement that he never uses though. He's got gas fire logs and all. He just doesn't. It's because there again, it's a time factor. It takes your time to get out there as you know and get that wood. Some of these fellows are so busy they don't have time. It does squeeze you. I like it. Of course I wouldn't probably go out and buy my wood and burn it. I can still get wood without having to—it probably wouldn't be economical if you had to go out and buy it. I don't know.
ROB AMBERG:
I think that's true.
DARHYL BOONE:
But I still like it. I don't know. I like the heat of it. I've always been around a wood stove, and I like being able to back up to one and heat. There's just something about it. I don't know what there is. It's hard to explain. I'm like you. I got out here this summer and didn't get much, got a little bit of wood and was cutting it. I said, 'Man I can't do this like I used to.' And I hadn't gotten it in four or five years. I've got a wood shed back behind the house and cleared out an area about five years ago for

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my wife's sister to build a garage, and I had wood from five or six years there. I didn't need any. It's been a while since I got any. I said, 'Man, this is crazy.' But there I was sawing wood and getting ready to split it and all that. I still, there's something there about that. I still like to get out and try to split that wood. There you go again. I think it's something that just sort of gets in you.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, it does. It's certainly a learned pleasure from my point of view. From everything that you've said has been something that I feel like. I mean, just the image of backing up to a wood stove. There is nothing quite like that to be able to go and get just as warm as you want to get and then just kind of move farther away from it. Being able to do that, I just love that.
DARHYL BOONE:
There's something about it.
ROB AMBERG:
Then again being out in the woods and getting that wood. We've got enough acreage, where we, I don't cut any green wood. For the most part it's all downed stuff and windfall. I just love being out gathering it, doing it.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh, I do too. There's something about it. I don't know what it is. Like I say, it's sort of crazy. But I still do it, and I'll probably continue. I like the heat. There's no heat like it. It's warm. I did break down, I did break down two years ago and bought me a propane heater for a living area I've got.
ROB AMBERG:
Well, now I'll admit, we did the same. We've got one of those monitors too in the back part of the house. The wood heat just, the thing is, it's going to concentrate in that one area, and it doesn't filter through to the back part of our house.
DARHYL BOONE:
We did that, but I tell you, the blizzard of '93. You talk about being glad I had a wood stove. My gosh. We had to bring the kinfolk over in the other house over to

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live with us during that time because they didn't have any heat. We cooked off my woodstove and stayed just as comfortable as could be.
ROB AMBERG:
We gave up the wood cookstove a couple of years ago. I'll tell you, keeping cook stove wood is a, talk about a full-time job. I couldn't do that all the time. But when the blizzard came like you, we were heating with wood, gravity flow water. My wife always keeps oil lamps and batteries and stuff like that around. We were great. People a mile down the road from us in their all electric house.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh man.
ROB AMBERG:
I mean, these were elderly people who didn't have the first stick of firewood. We got down to him on day two. I waded snow chest high to get down there just to carry him four gallons of water.
DARHYL BOONE:
Goodness.
ROB AMBERG:
His wife had diabetes, was in a wheelchair and it was like my God. I thought she was—I got down to the house, and it looked like she was sitting in the fireplace. It—he was in there burning cut up once inch pine planking. That's what he had to burn. I said to myself, 'My God. If I learn anything from this, I'll learn to keep that stuff handy and keep it available for me.' I might not use it all the time, but I want to be able to know that I can. We pulled stuff out—. We started eating stuff out of the freezer by just throwing it right on the wood heater stove. Pots of soup or whatever. We had a ball. We had a good time. Just closed off the back part of the house.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's what we, we did fine. Fared well. No problem at all. But I've got a, my father in law talked me into when I built the house. I built a passive solar, and I also did along with that the underground. I did the north side of my house all underground,

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birmed it up to, up to about that far from the roof. I birmed it.
ROB AMBERG:
That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
My gosh. I don't burn much wood.
ROB AMBERG:
No, I would say not.
DARHYL BOONE:
Most of the time, I heat with just the sun. I'll supplement with wood. That's how come I still do that with a little propane stove. We, that's fun. I enjoy that. I've been it twenty years, and it's been comfortable.
ROB AMBERG:
That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's been really nice.
ROB AMBERG:
So this is, I mean, that's real new technology.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh, that was really new. It was really unique. He couldn't, let's say he was a physics professor down there at the college, and this was just when solar was coming around and just starting to learn. That stuff scared me, and he was teaching some solar. He's studied it and was teaching it and had a class down there I think on solar energy. He kept telling me, I've got some of these books and started reading. It started making sense. We were wanting to build, I wanted to build a log home back in the woods where—that's what I wanted to do and my wife did too. We kept reading that. I said, 'Boy that makes sense. That just makes sense to do that. We had a lot that was perfect for it. It was perfect to do it. Kept reading it and got convinced and went up and a professor at UNCA had built an all underground house, roof and all and just had one front that was open. We went up and saw it. I didn't want all underground. I didn't like that, but I did like some of the things that I saw from. We got a few ideas from it. We talked to a local architect here, Wayne Roberts, and told him what we were thinking. We wanted a house but we

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wanted it to look, convinced him, we wanted a ranch style; we didn't want it to look like something from outer space. He started drawing. He threw us something out and asked us what we thought. We said, 'Well, not bad.' And we started working.
ROB AMBERG:
Tinkering with it.
DARHYL BOONE:
Tinkering with it a little bit. Boy we've loved it. Not big house, fourteen, fifteen hundred square feet. Not much. Man it's, we've loved it. We, that's when the state was trying to promote solar energy. They selected our house as one of the governor's houses, solar houses and let people come. We let people come in and just. It was new and we would show them that you could do solar and not expend any more on the house. So my father in law, he's had some fun with it over the years. He wasn't quite sure how it would work either. When he saw how it did work, he was well pleased.
ROB AMBERG:
That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
He's been real, real tickled over the years with it.
ROB AMBERG:
This is interesting to me because on the one hand talking about growing up in that block house that was always cold and stuff like that, and now forty, forty-five years later, you're in a different situation. It seems like you're a real blend of, kind of the most modern technological things in some ways but yet also really relying on with wood, one of the most ancient forms of heating. It seems like you're, a lot of things in your life are like that. There's a mix of new and old.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, that's one of my problems. You asked me one of the challenges. One of my challenges is for me in the future will be adapting to the new technologies because I'm so blamed old fashioned. I'm so much like Grandmother. I get set in my ways. I like my ways. So one of my challenges will—I don't know why; she was the same way—

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will be changing with all the new things coming. I think we resist those sometimes even though they're good. But we resist them. I'm worse than probably a lot of people.
ROB AMBERG:
But you know at the same time, it seems like you are taking some of those risks and taking those steps. Even your grandmother, gosh it must've been such an amazing challenge for her to accept running that restaurant and adapting it so she could make a living not just for herself but for her children, grandchildren, that kind of thing. Gosh what a—
DARHYL BOONE:
What a challenge. She used to, I don't know why things will pop up and I'll tell you, but she used to make dried fried apple pies. Boy you talk about good. But she'd dry those out. She bought an old Cadillac. I forget where in the world she got it. You know how big those things are. It was one of those old. She would take, cut her apples up. We'd cut them apples. She'd dry them apples. She learned about solar energy. She'd put them apples in that Cadillac in that sun shining in those windows. Son, it would dry those apples out in no time. She had dried apples, and she'd lay them on a sheet and lay them in the back windows and the seats and all and dry those apples in that old Cadillac.
ROB AMBERG:
That's great.
DARHYL BOONE:
Unreal. She'd freeze those and put them up. Stick them in the freezer and—
ROB AMBERG:
Make pies with them later.
DARHYL BOONE:
Man they were good.
ROB AMBERG:
My friend Delly over in Laurel would tell me about drying fruit like that too, but they didn't. She basically had to put it out and sun dry.
DARHYL BOONE:
Sun dry it.

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ROB AMBERG:
Or put it on the roof of your house perhaps, but that's different deal because you've got to pull them in. If you've got any kind of weather, and you've got a real problem.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's a big issue. She got pretty smart about that and just decided to put it in that old Cadillac. But you know those aged people came up when you had to dry foods and salt meats. They didn't have the refrigeration and all this; so they learned to do some unique things. There again, that's why some of that cooking and all that they did. We can't duplicate that. We never will be able to. You can't duplicate that. I can still say I salt pork and go down and slice a big slice of that off and take it upstairs and start cooking that. I still love that. My wife, she says, 'I can't believe you eat that stuff.'
ROB AMBERG:
Cholesterol city.
DARHYL BOONE:
She'll start. I still make her put a big slab of that in before we fix the green beans. I'll put that streak. I call that streaking meat. I'll eat that boy before. She doesn't put any beans in with it because I'll eat. She'll cook the beans in with the grease. She's fried that. You talk about some good green beans. I still garden. I can't get that out of me ever since I've been a boy. I right by the house, I'll raise me a garden. I'll fix green beans and tomatoes and all that stuff.
ROB AMBERG:
Y'all still put up some food then every year.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah we put up fifty, seventy-five quarts of beans and thirty, forty quarts of tomatoes. I don't know why we keep doing that. With the boys off, we don't eat as much in the house, but we still do it. It's still in us. We still, we don't do jellies anymore. We quit doing jellies, more aggravation. That was one of grandma's specialties, jellies and pies. Yeah that gets in you. But like I say, the road will change us. We won't

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ever be the same. We're already seeing it. You've got, you've got people living in this county now that I never thought would be living in some of these areas. I mean I can't believe—go to Spring Creek. Go to Shelton Laurel, back here in the Wolf Laurel area. There are people back in some of the hollows I never dreamed of. We'll get more and more of that. It'll keep coming, keep coming. They'll discover it. Once the people from Ohio start travelling this road, and they start seeing what's here, they'll be moving in here. There'll be people coming in here.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, there'll be more and more travelling, and I think you can almost just depend on a certain percentage of them are going to go, 'Huh. This is the place. This is where we need to be.'
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. Then as I say, once they start mingling with the people here and see how these people are. That draws people.
ROB AMBERG:
That really does.
DARHYL BOONE:
It really draws people. That's what people, they went as much not only did Grandma have good food, but they went over there just to communicate not only with her but other people. They still do that. You can go over there, it isn't like it used to be because you've got different people, but that's changed a whole lot. Of course some of the people have died out, but you used to have some of the old timers hang around there and some unique individuals.
ROB AMBERG:
Sit back there and just sip coffee all morning or something like that on a cold winter morning.
DARHYL BOONE:
Oh, yeah. Had a whole lot more people that farmed than you do now. That's something that we're really. That's one thing that concerns me here is farming is

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going out here in this county. Once that farming starts going out, farms are going to turn into subdivisions.
ROB AMBERG:
Or golf courses or whatever.
DARHYL BOONE:
Whatever else. That just means more people. You get more people. It scares me in one sense because I've always wanted us to sort of stay remote. I guess you want the best of both worlds. You want to have your jobs, and you want the conveniences of, but yet you still want the remoteness too. I reckon you want to just stop the clock and say, 'Let's stay sort of like we are.' That's what all of us would probably like to do. Hey let's just hold back. Let's not jump here and say let's do all this and have all these things even though some of it's good. I always would like to take the scale and weigh is the good worth it or not.
ROB AMBERG:
Yeah, I think especially with this major, with the ending of the Federal tobacco program that's kind of going on right now. We're seeing that get phased out and stuff. The fact that tobacco has been the mainstay of this county for seventy-five or a hundred years or so. There isn't a crop that isn't really going to replace that, and the land here is not really suitable for other crops to replace it. I think you're right. You're going to see, how does that land going to get utilized in the future. It's, I suspect more and more people. The people that are farming, the average age of farmers in this country is fifty-five, fifty-six years old, and it's not going down. It's—there's just no young people getting into it.
DARHYL BOONE:
Well, especially looking at it, looking at it here in the county. There's no money. They can go and make more money selling their land than they can farming it. They'll start selling. That's what we'll see because you've got this older generation

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dying out and the younger generation is not going to farm. So they'll start selling it, and we'll start seeing subdivisions and everything else. It'll change us. That's the thing that scares me. I think, that's one of our biggest challenges.
ROB AMBERG:
But did you, when you were growing up and we won't stay too much longer. It's getting late. But when you were coming up did you ever think that you wanted to farm?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah. Yeah. A few times I thought I did. I didn't mind it. I sort of like getting out. There's a certain. I've always liked being able to work with my hands and see what I've accomplished. I've always enjoyed that. I thought at one time I might venture that way. But it didn't go. I didn't see the future of the livelihood of it. I couldn't see it; so therefore, I pursued other avenues.
ROB AMBERG:
I'm sure that's exactly the same for other people your age and even younger kind of in this county. People whose parents maybe farmed and certainly grandparents. If they were raised in his county, their grandparents farmed and probably their parents. It's a tough way to make a living anymore.
DARHYL BOONE:
It's tough. There again, there are some disadvantages and advantages, but one disadvantage to my being here in the county is probably my kids won't come here because they won't be able to make an income that they want to make to raise their family. That's a disadvantage because as I was telling you earlier, there's a lot a kid gets from being around family. There's a whole lot. But we don't have the opportunity here. That's a disadvantage. Your kid moves off once they get out of college, and they don't come back. So you miss that family.
ROB AMBERG:
At the same time, there's certainly, gosh there are more opportunities here

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than there were twenty years ago when you got married.
DARHYL BOONE:
But not many of them are willing to take the sacrifice that—well, for instance not many people would've taken the sacrifice I took when we left and came here. It took me, I guess I worked ten plus years or more when I moved here before I was ever making what income I was making.
ROB AMBERG:
Is that right?
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah.
ROB AMBERG:
Wow.
DARHYL BOONE:
Yeah, about ten years.
ROB AMBERG:
Man, oh man.
DARHYL BOONE:
But we were willing to sacrifice for that. A few years were a little rough, but it's not here. It's just not here, the income. If you're willing to sacrifice for less income.
ROB AMBERG:
Well, it's the other things that are here [Unclear.] that are far and away more important.
DARHYL BOONE:
That's me. It was even then. It's just not worth it to me. I stay here because of all the other things, and as I say, I think I made a good decision. I still do. I think it was one of the best ones I ever made. I love this place. Whether I'm here with the town another year or another however many years, I'll probably stay in Madison County. I'm willing to sacrifice because I love it. Just I love it. Can't beat it. Can't beat the people.
ROB AMBERG:
I think the town and the whole community I mean is lucky. I think the whole town is really lucky to have you, a person like you, kind of in the position you're in because of your links but also your openness to new things, to people, all those kinds

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of things. I think as a combination of assets that not everybody has I think. I think there's not many people that could fit in this position. Again, I think the town is really fortunate to have you there.
DARHYL BOONE:
Its been some interesting years. I've enjoyed this. I really have. All the years, its never been boring. It really hasn't. Its been challenging but never boring. It's a unique job in a small town. It really is.
ROB AMBERG:
Keep at it and keep up the good work.
END OF INTERVIEW