The Rural South

11 Apr

Finally back from a trip back to my roots. Had a wonderful time in my hometown Huntsville, AL. The crime writers workshops, book launch party, and library fund raiser went well and I saw many old friends and made some new ones. Even got an invite from NASA to come back early next year and speak at a forensic/CSI event they are planning. Can’t wait. Love those folks at NASA.

Afterward, we headed off on a book research trip across the back roads of the rural south. The third book in my Dub Walker series, which I’m currently working on, will have scenes in Georgia and North Carolina. We traveled only two-lane blacktops, no freeways, through North Alabama and Georgia, and Southwestern North Carolina, ending in Asheville at the Biltmore Inn. Saw some incredible and not exactly unfamiliar sites. Reminded me of my childhood.

Great valleys such as:

The Paint Rock Valley, between Huntsville and Scottsboro, where I hunted and fished with my Dad on many occasions and where Curley Putman wrote the famous song, The Green Green Grass of Home.

And this beautiful valley near Crabtree, NC.

Lakes like Guntersville Lake where I learned to waterski:

And Lake Burton in Georgia:

Cool small towns like Dahlonega, GA:

And Black Mountain, NC:

Interesting people such as an Amish man and his son in Georgia:

Small general stores like this one in Fines Creek, NC:

And those roadside signs that are such a Southern tradition. Some jabbed into the ground and others painted on trucks:


Posted by on April 11, 2010 in Misc, Writing


13 responses to “The Rural South

  1. Bill Sewell

    April 11, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Good stuff. I grew up in Macon, Dublin and Savannah, Georgia. Now in California, I miss grits and honest BBQ.



    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      April 11, 2010 at 10:38 am

      The closest I’ve found to real Q out here on the left coast is Lucilles and Johnny Rebs but it ain’t like home. I’m not big on grits but fried green tomatoes are another story.


  2. Heather Hopkins

    April 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Was so sorry my broken leg prevented me from coming to see you. I am so glad it went well – and I wish all good things for the book!


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      April 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm

      You were missed. Get well and we’ll do it again next year.


  3. Ruby Johnson

    April 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I’ve been in Weaverville, N.C. for the past two weeks and the spring is glorious. I live in Texas now and I get homesick every spring for the carolinas. Though I’m visiting my daughter, my hometown is Charleston, SC. I am glad you got a chance to visit your old stomping grounds. It feels good to get back to your roots occasionally.


  4. Moira Rogers (Donna)

    April 12, 2010 at 5:48 am

    Beautiful stuff, definitely. I’ll be taking a two-lane trip myself up to Guntersville and Scottsboro this weekend. Even when their great-grandmother is gone and we no longer make that drive, I hope my daughters remember it.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      April 12, 2010 at 7:33 am

      Two wonderful small restaurants you should visit if you get a chance–The Blue Willow in Scottsboro and Grandmother’s House in Owens Cross Roads. Both are in old houses and are a little slice of the South.


  5. Margaret Koch

    April 12, 2010 at 6:12 am

    Thanks for a glimpse of home. I’m in Iowa now, but I grew up in Tuscumbia, AL and worked a few years at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. I learned to water ski on Wilson Lake, but often swam at Guntersville, too. When I drive down for a visit to relatives and head south out of Nashville, watching the dirt get redder and redder, it’s hard not to burst into tears. Love those gentle valleys.



    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      April 12, 2010 at 7:31 am

      I know Tuscumbia well. We played Deshler High in football every year. Also have water skied on Wilson Lake.


  6. Con Lehane

    April 12, 2010 at 9:51 am

    This is great, Doug (as is the blog in general). Made me nostalgic, and I grew up in Connecticut.


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      April 12, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Rural is rural regardless of state. We often forget that that is the real America. Those folks that live close to the land are what this country is really all about. The rest is simply flash and convenience.


  7. Tim Powell

    October 7, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Re the “Amish Man in his son in Georgia”, can you tell me what town that picture was taken in?


    • D.P. Lyle, MD

      October 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Not sure but somewhere in the northwest of the state.



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