Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Jan 29, 2014
Photo by: File photo People prepare to jump in to the lake last year for the first ever Polar Plunge.

‘This Dark Road to Mercy’

It was too cold Saturday to even get out of bed — except to get more coffee and hot tea. But as the wind howled outside my windows, I was thankful for a day to relax and read a book. Since New York Times best-selling author Wiley Cash will be visiting Blue Ridge Books this Friday, I decided to read (at least some of) his new book “This Dark Road to Mercy.”

Well I ended up reading the entire book in a matter of hours and now I’m excited to go buy his first book. What a great read! The book is set in Gastonia where Cash is from and tells a touching story of two sisters and a wayward father who end up helping each other overcome life’s tragedies.

I appreciated the tale of sisters and the difficulty of trying to bond with a father who wasn’t around when they were young, but the suspense and mystery of the story keeps you flipping the pages. Not to mention the baseball suspense as Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire battle it out to beat the home run record in the background of these characters’ lives.

There’s a lot of sadness in the lives of all the characters, and I was fearful of how it might end. I won’t ruin it for you but I promise you won’t be disappointed. Stop by Blue Ridge Books at noon Friday for a luncheon and a chance to meet this incredible writer.


Polar Plunge

I’m hoping it’s a little warmer this Saturday for the sake of all those people who have committed to jumping into Lake Junaluska. You may think these people are crazy but it’s for a good cause. All the money raised for the second annual Polar Plunge benefits the Haywood Waterways Association’s Kids in the Creek program.

The program allows local eighth-grade students to get hands-on learning about marine biology and water quality while exploring the Pigeon River.

More than 20 people — all decked out in outrageous costumes — jumped in the lake last year but we’re anticipating more this year. I was there to take pictures last year on a mild February morning but I have a feeling that water will be much colder this year.

But the plunge only takes a few minutes and then the participants get to warm up by the fire with a hot bowl of chili afterward. Participants can register up until the event starts so come to the Junaluska beach with a costume on Saturday and take the plunge.

The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and registration costs $25. All plungers get a T-shirt and a free lunch. Even if you don’t want to plunge, I’m sure Haywood Waterways would be happy to accept a donation for the program. See you all there!


What a Friday night!

I just wanted thank everyone who braved the cold Friday night to come out for our show at Frog Level Brewing. Thank you to Becky Seymour with the Tourist Development Authority for recording some of the show for her new project. She is working on a local music scene video and is talking to many of the up and coming musicians playing in Haywood.

Hopefully it will encourage some of the younger generation in town to come out and listen to the different types of music being offered. On any given Friday or Saturday night, I know there are at least five bands playing somewhere in Haywood County.

I think everyone really enjoyed the show Friday and we were able to raise $50 for Relay For Life through tips and CD sales. I hope everyone can find a way to participate in the cause to fight cancer. Form a team at work, at church or form a team in memory of someone you’ve lost to cancer. You will meet some great people while having fun and raising money for cancer research. Visit and sign up now!

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