By Paula Walter
Nancy Lucas, a newcomer to Shady Valley, has written a book on the life of Darrell Brinkley, whose family has lived in our mountains for six generations. The Life and Times of Darrell Brinkley is full of Brinkley’s memories, photographs, stories, history and life adventures in this part of the Appalachian Mountains we call home. As he began to talk and share stories of his life with Lucas, she began to write his memories.
Brinkley, often referred to as Mr. Shady Valley, has lived in the valley all of his life. He has farmed tobacco, hay, corn and cattle. He also owned and operated D.D. Brinkley Company from 1963 to 2010. His father, William Wesley Brinkley, was born in 1872 and worked as a blacksmith, gristmill operator and farmer, but spent much of his life logging and saw milling. His mother, Metta Genelia Bumgarner Brinkley, took care of the home front and enjoyed both farming and gardening. She was born in 1886 near Rich Mountain, North Carolina. Brinkley believes his parents may have met when his father was delivering mail.
Brinkley not only shares stories of his life, but he vividly recalls memories that have been passed on through the generations. His grandmother, Mattie Bumgarner, also lived on Rich Mountain. Her family grew tobacco. He tells the story of how a 14 year-old Mattie was in charge of keeping the farm horses quiet and moving them if necessary when soldiers, from both the North and the South during the Civil War, came to the family farm.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.
A book signing is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21st from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Johnson County Public Library.