I have found that Brevard, North Carolina is full of amazing and talented people and Janis Allen is just one of these. The community where we have settled, Connestee Falls, has a wonderful assortment of activities and events that we can take advantage of and one such event was a Ladies Luncheon last week featuring author Janis Allen.
A bit of background might be necessary perhaps—Janis Allen has led quite a successful life as a business woman and her business Performance Leadership Consulting has helped many individuals and businesses over the years but my interest in Janis was directed more toward her latest book entitled Stories from a Sandy Mush Girl.
What is a Sandy Mush Girl? Quite simple. A girl from Sandy Mush, North Carolina. Janis Allen is that girl. Her story is simple and entertaining and she is a delightful person in all respects. I was excited to go hear her speak and she definitely did not disappoint me at all as she was very enthusiastic and personable and I was caught up in her stories of growing up in North Carolina.
Janis is passionate about preserving the history of hard working people like her parents, Pauline Ruff Allen and Gattis Ervin Allen as well as her parents-in-law Laurel Crawford McCarthy and John McCarthy. Listening to her stories of her memories of growing up were intriguing and made me know that I wanted to read more about her life.
One of the things that I loved the most was actually hearing the voices of her parents. Janis has actual recordings of her parents’ voices that she has saved from messages as well as an amazing recording that was sent to her mother from her father during WWII. I love that she has the actual “record” that he sent that many years ago as well as many messages left on answering machines from her mother.
My dad had a great habit of leaving a tape recorder on when we were having family meals especially during the holidays. While some of the recorded conversations leave much to be desired what with the clanking of dishes and silverware there are many snippets that are pretty funny to listen to. My mom has those cassettes and Chris has told me that I need to never let her get rid of those because that is a little part of my history and he is right. These came immediately to mind when I was listening to the voices of Janis Allen’s parents the other day. What a treasure.
She shared various audio clips, video clips and pictures of her mother and it was so obvious that there was a lot of love and respect between this mother and daughter. Her mother had a wonderful sense of humor and that comes out in so many ways in the book. Just look at this note from Janis and the response from her mother. (You can click on any picture to enlarge.)
The cover of the book is actually a photograph of a quilt top that Janis’s mother made. I love quilts as you know but this one is so amazing, isn’ t it? Janis shared the backdrop for the book with us and allowed me to take a photograph of it and I focused on one of my favorite verses.
If you are looking for an interesting book to read full of humor, history and the love of family this is definitely the book for you. If your local independent bookstore does not have it (they can usually order books not in stock) a copy can be ordered on Amazon. I was so happy to meet Janis and to read her book relating her life growing up in Sandy Mush, NC.
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