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Memories of our lives are like tiny swatches of fabric, patchwork pieces trimmed and tucked away for a quilt. Vividly colorful squares, triangles, rectangles, and diamonds do not always fit together into sensible patterns. Yet, all lie there just waiting to be set into certain configurations. Blessed is the person with a great quilter in one's life -- someone able to fit the pieces together beautifully so that all makes sense in the grand design with each piece complimenting and affecting the others. Such memories are set together meaningfully into patchwork quilts. I thank God for Mama, a beautiful product of the Knobs. Besides her many handmade quilts, she was the quilter of my life -- influencing me, making me remember, and leading me to understand relationships, causes, effects, and outcomes. She patched the pieces together for me.

Here you will find my patchwork pieces -- vignettes, anecdotes, short stories, legends, biographies, etc. Some selections are my own personal experiences; others are stories of ancestors and relatives as told me by various kinfolks. I will always be grateful for their taking time to share these stories with me. Some selections were written by distant cousins scattered far and wide across this country. Other articles below represent many years of personal research and a compilation of data found in numerous widespread sources. Pull up a chair at Granny's quilting frame, and rest a spell. Hear a web of stories spun and threaded together for you.
"Across the Unakas, Hitched to Buck and Baldy" by Sandra Ratledge

"Bonnie Lass by the Well" by Sandra Ratledge

"Chief's Car" by Sandra Ratledge

"Cold Saturday" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Corpse That Grew a Beard" by Shane Ratledge

"Courting in a Tin Lizzie" by Sandra Ratledge

"Eerie Light in the Knobs" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Face in the Well" by Sandra Ratledge

"Granddaddy's Search for Sassafras" by Sandra Ratledge

"How Aunt Pet Got a Nickname and Lost an Eye" by Sandra Ratledge ~ photo! ~ second revision

"In the Shade of Starr Mountain" by Sandra Ratledge ~ with photo! ~

"The James and Jemima McDonald Story" by Sandra Ratledge ~ with photo! ~

"The John Cobb Welch Story" by Irene (Williams) Welch

"The Jonathan A. McDonald Family" by Sandra Ratledge

"Joyce Discovers the Dockerys of Dixie" by Morris Burkett

"A Kerchief and a Corncob Pipe" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Louis and Mary Jane (Ervin) Rhea Story" by David Stiles

"Medicine in the Saddlebags" by Sandra Ratledge

"My Mom and the Christmas of 1937" by "Aunt Billie" Brite (aged 11; her school photo)

"The Person I Most Admire" by Shane Ratledge ~ with photo! ~

"The Night the Stars All Fell" by Sandra Ratledge

"A Rich Heritage" by Harley Hampton

"Standing My Watch" by Tommy Nipper ~ with photo! ~

"Summer with Granny" by Anthony Wilson

"Sweet Cheerio" by Sandra Ratledge ~ with photo! ~

"The Wesley Avans Story" by Mike Avans

"Where's Sister Ide?" by Sandra Ratledge ~ with photo! ~

"Wild Times in Martin's Creek" by J. Kurt Matheson

"The William Marcus McDonald Story" by Sandra Ratledge

"The William Marion McDonald Story" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Wrist Watch" by Sandra Ratledge

W A N T    M O R E    S T O R I E S ?    C L I C K    L I N K S    B E L O W .

Appalachian Pioneers, (stories about my husband's ancestors and relatives)

School Days, Golden Rule Days -- Stories & School Group Photos

~ F O R T H C O M I N G ~    C H E C K    B A C K    F O R    M O R E !

"Annie Blythe, Story of a Wildcrafter" by Sandra Ratledge

"Aunt Polly Casteel's Last Sweet Tater" by Sandra Ratledge

"Betty" or "Betsy" Blye, Heroine of Judge Strange's Romance Story, "Yonaguska"

"Boots and Leghorns" by Sandra Ratledge

"Buckeyes in Boxes" by Sandra Ratledge

"Emmer's Carnival Glass Pitcher" by Sandra Ratledge

"The First Funeral That I Remember" by Sandra Ratledge

"Grandpa George McKeehan's Christmas of 1858" by Sandra Ratledge, great-great-great-granddaughter

"How F. B. Nipper Got His Name" by Sandra (Nipper) Ratledge

"Jonathan Blythe's Amazing Life" by Sandra Ratledge

"John B. Welch's Story" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Last Soap Making in North Athens" (with photos) by Sandra Ratledge

"Living at the Chatsworth Hotel" (with photos) by Sandra Ratledge

"Love Blossoms in the Knobs for Joe and Azilee Cline" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Mark" by Sandra Ratledge

"The Milkman Cometh and the Iceman Scareth" by Sandra Ratledge

"Old Dan Burchfield's Bear Trap Snares Revenue Agent" by Sandra Ratledge

"Poke Salad Hunting" (with photos) by Sandra Ratledge

"Susie Stares Down the Barrel of a Twenty-two" by Sandra Ratledge

"Uncle Bun's Idea of Fun in the Knobs" by Sandra Ratledge



©1999-2015 Sandra N. Ratledge. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any reproduction or inclusion of this website's contents in publication whether online or in print is prohibited. Do NOT copy photographs and upload on Find a Grave or any other internet websites, blogs, attach to family trees, or print in publications. Do NOT copy stories, articles, documents, sketches, anecdotes, letters, obituaries, content data, etc. and attach to family trees or upload on other websites of any kind.

Sandra Ratledge

This site is dedicated to the memory of my mother,
Beulah Cline Nipper, a beautiful product of the Knobs.