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By Marshall McClung
Several persons have expressed the opinion that the only time Graham County makes the news is when something bad has happened, or it is about something that casts Graham County in a bad light Well, this article is about some people doing good things.
In earlier days in Graham County, it was not uncommon for people to come together and have a "working" for someone who was in need of help due to illness, injury, or whatever the reason. A large number of people would show up at the home of the persons in need and "work out" crops, harvest crops, have barn or house raisings, cut heating wood, or just whatever needed doing.
This custom has all but disappeared in large cities and urban areas where people don't even know their neighbor, let alone be concerned about their welfare. The custom of helping one another seems to be more prevalent in rural areas where people are more close knit, especially in the South.
On August 6, there was a barn raising at the home of Carl and Denise Patterson on Atoah Creek. Nineteen people were involved in helping construct a 28x48 tobacco barn and a 14x48 adjoining shed for the Pattersons: Arnold Buchanan, Earl Robinson, Brad Wiggins, Arlyn Jenkins, Eldon Crisp, Cecil Patterson, Adam Patterson, Lyle Grindstaff, Dalton Adams, Fred Hacker, Cleve Patterson, Sammy Shaf fer, Mickey Stewart, Harvey Hyde, Ray Adams, David Cody, Conway Patterson, and Chad Patterson. Gary Gregory had helped get timber out of the woods for the barn poles prior to the day of the barn raising. In addition a large amount of delicious food was prepared for the workers by Denise Patterson, Lavada Crisp, Crystal Cody, Hazel Buchanan, and Angie Patterson.
Arnold Buchanan who helped organize the barn raising said he had helped do things like house and barn raisings, working out crops, bean stringing, corn shucking and the like many times in his younger days. The last barn raising he recalled helping with was on Mountain Creek many years ago. Usually the workings were for someone who was sick or had been seriously injured usually in a work related accident and were unable to help themselves.
I recall my father talking about similar events when he was a young man. He told of one time when an entire family was sick and all their crops needed plowing and hoeing. There was a large cornfield several acres in size. There were so many people showed up to work that one round through the cornfield worked it out completely. As was the usual case, several women in the community showed up with large amounts of food to feed the workers. There are many other instances of good things like this being done to help people, that most of the time goes unnoticed by most. A lot of this is because the people who do these things don't do them for a show or a name, they do it because they care and want to help.
Churches in Graham County are involved in such things as growing potatoes and canning fruits and vegetables for children's homes in North Carolina. Our rescue squads and fire departments are all operated by volunteers. You have only to listen to a scanner to know how much time these volunteers put in answering fire calls, backing up our county emergency management services, hunting lost persons, rescuing injured persons from the woods, etc. Many of our workers in area care centers and rest homes go far beyond what they are paid to do in caring for our elderly. The Robbinsville Lions Club does a great job in providing eye care, hearing aids, and Christmas gifts to needy children among other projects. The chamber of commerce is operated by volunteers. Volunteers worked countless hours under extreme conditions during our recent blizzard, and no doubt saved lives at the risk of their own lives. The list could go on and on, but I think by now that you see the point - there are a lot of good things going on in Graham County.
Things have changed a lot during the years and will continue to change. A lot of our old traditions and customs have or will become a thing of the past. One part of our heritage that has been handed down to us by past generations that I hope we never lose, is our tradition of caring for and helping one another.
The Bible in speaking of Christ in Acts 10:38 says simply that "He went about doing good." Could any higher compliment be paid to any of us?
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These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
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This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina