Local author speaks at senior center

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Feb 27, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone

Louise Nelson, local author of "Country Folklore" and many books about Haywood County will speak for four weeks beginning at 2 p.m. Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8 at the Senior Resource Center, 81 Elmwood Way, Waynesville. Call 452-2370.

Nelson, who has lived in Haywood County all 86 years of her life, has written nine books since 1997. Most of the books detail history in the county dating back to 1880 and the others are cook books.

On Feb. 22, Nelson spoke to a small crowd at the senior center about industries in Haywood dating back to the 1800s. Her audience cackled as she recounted the prices in 1873: 15 cents for a whole chicken, 15 cents for a dozen eggs, 50 cents for a pound of wool and 50 cents for a bushel of potatoes.

Nelson also talked about her upbringing on a tenant farm during the Great Depression. She detailed how her mother used to make clothes for her and her siblings out of feed and flour sacks.

"Small farmers didn't have any money, therefore, they didn't lose any money during the Depression," she said. "And we had plenty of food to eat."

Nelson said she has lived through three big stages in history: electricity coming to Haywood, the invention of television and now she lives in the computer/Internet age. Nelson has an interesting perspective on the TV age since her husband Floyd Nelson owned one of the first TV repair shops in town.

She shared several humorous instances of people coming to Floyd with their technical problems when the TV first became popular. People didn't understand how the new technology functioned and often did some funny things in an attempt to get better signals. However, that is how tin foil became a popular strategy for improving the picture.

For more stories from Nelson, visit the senior center at 2 p.m. March 1 and March 8. She welcomes others to share their memories of Haywood with the group as well.

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