Letters to the Editor

South Carolina man in search of “The Country Cousins”

Dear Editor:

In 1954 a group of students at Johnson County High School formed a country/ bluegrass band. We called ourselves “The Country Cousins.” The band consisted of Joe Wilson, Junior Ward, Ray Berry, Stanley Stout, Brian Adams, Jack Swift, Conrad Ward, and female vocalist Virginia Simcox.

We did numerous shows at assembly in high school; did personal appearances in Johnson County and Virginia, and had a radio program on WATA radio in Boone, NC every Saturday morning. We did country and bluegrass because we enjoyed doing it. We didn’t try to put on a big show like some do now. We played from the heart, and I think the people who saw and heard us could see that’s why we performed. I hope some of the people in Johnson County and Boone still remember us.

Out of the eight original members, five have passed away. First to die was Stanley Stout, then Ray Berry, Junior Ward, Brian Adams, and just last month we lost our announcer, Joe Wilson. I always said Joe was the best announcer I ever knew. He did a great work in promoting folk music throughout the world.

Now there are only three of the original eight left alive: Jack Swift, Conrad Ward, and Virginia Simcox. I would like to say to those who have passed on and those still alive - Thank you for letting me be a member of “The Country Cousins.” It was an honor.

Conrad Ward
Surfside Beach, SC


Local business owner voices concerns about ATV use in city

Dear Editor:

Thank you Karla Prudhomme! Finally someone that cares about our small town and how it looks. Keep up the good work. Thank you Vice Mayor Crosswhite. Do we really a town full of ATVs? That’s what Doe Mountain is for. Has anyone taken the time to ask the residents and all business owners of Mountain City what they think and want for our town? No!

Mayor Keeble, you and some aldermen said no to the Farmers Market in our city park because the parking lot couldn’t accommodate the overflow of parking. Really? But you jump right in and build “another” ball field. How are you going to handle all the parking for that?

Back to the ATVs, we will all probably need one sooner or later. Since closed bridges are not being fixed or replaced and the entrances to apartments and businesses has become nothing but rock piles and pot holes! It has become harder to get in and out of areas inside the city. So, Mr. Mayor how about taking care of existing problems in “our city” before starting something else?

How about some more covered picnic areas, in the park for “our citizens”? Some new playground equipment for “our kids”? How about taking care of Mountain City! How about doing things for the good of our town!

Janie Ward