Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Nov 06, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone Jane Alexander reads from her book 'The View from Tom's Stand' at a book release party held by her good friend Margaret Roberts of Waynesville.

Though I’ve been living here in Haywood County for nine months now, I still feel like a tourist. Last Saturday my mom and I stopped at Barber’s Fruit Stand to grab some cider and an apple turnover before taking a leisurely drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

I figured it might be my last chance before all the wind and rain knocks the color off of the trees. For a moment it was sunny. Then the clouds covered us and all of a sudden sleet was hitting the windshield as we reached higher elevations. That hot cider was coming in handy.

We stopped at the Yellow Face lookover at 5,588 feet to take a picture. Seeing a family with a Florida license plate trying to take a photo of themselves and the view, I offered to take their photo for them.

They were from Jacksonville, Florida, and they were just enamored with the surroundings. They asked where we were from. “We live here in Waynesville,” I said.

“You’re so lucky,” the mom replied.

Yep — we really are lucky. To give them hope, I told them just a year ago I was lamenting in the Florida sun daydreaming about being back in the mountains and having a job I love to go to everyday. And here I am, exactly where I’m supposed to be — buying sweet potatoes from a local roadside stand and wondering what I will write about in my column this week.

Not sure when I’ll stop feeling like a tourist in my own town but I hope I don’t. I hope I continue to be amazed at the beauty of autumn around me each year.


New Generation

The Guide contains a new feature this week that I am pretty excited about — Next Generation. Our newspaper advisory committee member Susanna Barbee had a great idea while brainstorming ways to reach more people in Haywood County. As a young mother herself, Susanna wanted to do something just for parents and kids in The Guide.

The Next Generation center section will appear in the first issue of each month to give parents all the information they need to make the most of each month with their children. Simply remove the center four pages of the Guide and stick it in your purse or on the fridge for future reference.

The section will include a feature article and a parenting/education column from Susanna, a local event calendar and more. For example, this month’s feature has a child’s book review and a list of the hottest toys for Christmas 2013. We hope you enjoy the new feature and will give us suggestions for Next Generation.

Let us know what you think and submit calendar items to


Jane Alexander

Once you pull out the Next Gen section, I hope you take a few minutes to read about Jane Alexander’s book “The View from Tom’s Stand.” After her husband Tom’s death in 2005, Jane was encouraged to write down the stories that made up their 44 years together. And what incredible stories they are — some funny and others that will bring tears to your eyes.

They were both journalists working for Life magazine when they met. For me, there is nothing more romantic than two ambitious, smart and stubborn writers falling in love. I also love that Tom retired early, moved back to his family land at Cataloochee and built a log cabin where Jane still lives today.

From the moment I stepped into the house to interview Jane, I felt at home. And I have no doubt that from the moment you pick up the book, you’ll want to keep reading the individual stories that together form the Alexanders’ lives. Jane will be reading and signing copies of her book at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at Blue Ridge Books. You don’t want to miss that.

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