Moatsville Stories: An Appalachian Upbringing by David Ball
The author of Ground Hog Dinner has done it again by bringing new life to a collection of humorous short stories about life in his beloved Moatsville, West Virginia. He has resurrected stories that ooze from memories of long ago in writing Moatsville Stories: An Appalachian Upbringing. It provides a window to the past and gives a peek of what life was like around the village of Moatsville where its sons and daughters did their part to make this a great nation. The stories are painted by words and cover an array of subjects. Anyone who grew up in the Allegheny Mountains owns a piece of their unique culture. These stories, and many others, help us to better understand our values, our beliefs, and our desires. The lives of the people have not been touched up in these stories to make them appear different than who they really were. Purity of the events and people has been maintained to show what life was like growing up in Appalachia. The stories are humorous, intriguing, informative, and true. They are about real people and real life. It was a time in history when pride, patriotism, and the moral fabric of society were held in high esteem. It was before tattoos captured beautiful bodies and drugs destroyed young lives. It was before big government owned your wallet and yuppies took control of society and wasted what had taken numerous generations to build. It was a time when life was not so complicated and most people in rural America were self-sufficient. Business was done with a handshake and your word was your bond. We are not charged with the burden of proof or challenged to pass judgment on the people in the stories. Their experience was real to them and all we have to do is enjoy our journey as we walk in their footsteps of yesterday. Each day is a short story in our travel through life and it is important to not let them be forgotten or thrown away. Most people would not be remembered if it was not for their part in a story. Greatness does not mean that one must possess huge material wealth, or hold numerous degrees, or be famous, or have super-natural powers; Greatness is what we leave in the minds of others. The men, women, children, and dogs identified in this collection of short stories left lasting impressions and therefore achieved their own greatness. The folks around Moatsville, Arden, Clemtown, Nestorville, and Tacy, West Virginia, filled the bill of being great friends, great neighbors, great characters, and ones who left wonderful memories. Their legacy is our treasure. Those who had the good fortune of being exposed to life in the Allegheny Mountains were blessed to have known real heroes.
Parsons, WV: McClain, 2014