“Folks up here know what they got”

by Katie Crumpler

My husband and I had the pleasure of bringing the newest member of the NCCF family into the world last August.

Our daughter was born at Mission Hospital in Asheville. She’s traveled back and forth to her grandparents house in Linville Falls, she’s visited many of the counties in the western region and has even attended an affiliate board meeting.

She is, I’m proud to say, a mountain girl.

There are a lot of characteristics that unite us as North Carolinians: good food, beautiful scenery, and a distrust of anyone who mispronounces Appalachian.

But there are things that distinguish our regions, as well. Accents and barbeque preferences aside, there’s a difference between mountain folks and flatlanders.

There’s a fierce pride that people from western North Carolina have in being from the mountains, in our culture and in our heritage.

I love to hear stories about our fundholders helping their neighbors and preserving mountain traditions, both today and for future generations.

The Macon County Historical Society has an endowment with us to support their work. Macon County has a rich history and unlike many western North Carolina counties, most of the records have survived. The fund goes to help the Society care for their historical museum, conduct genealogy of local families, provide education for young and old alike and even entertain through ghost tours!

The Clay County Communities Revitalization Association Endowment supports the stimulation of economic growth, promotion of County assets and preservation of the heritage of Clay County. They saved and restored their local courthouse (circa 1888) as a community center, developed and maintain Cherokee heritage sites and protect and promote hiking and walking trails. Small, but mighty, Clay County has a strong community that looks toward growth and improvement, while preserving what’s important to them.

The Joey Parker Memorial Fund was created to preserve the memory of an Eastern Band of Cherokees enrolled member, Joey Parker. An annual ATV ride and fundraising event occurs for addressing needs in Cherokee. Funds are currently supporting a playground for special needs students at Cherokee Central Schools and will be named in Joey’s honor. A friend to many, including the elk roaming the Oconaluftee River Valley, his family says Joey will always be remembered by the smile on his face and his enthusiasm for every day of his life.

As Loretta Lynn sang, “folks up here know what they got,” and are working hard to grow and preserve it for future mountain boys and girls.

I’m glad to be a part of that.