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Faye Walser Yarbrough may not feel like shes my best friend. After all, weve never met.
But I feel like I must have known her most of my life because weve talked so much on the telephone.
Well, not all that much, but some.
She called first to tell me that the last name of Lindsay Yarbrough, that sheriffs deputy who was shot and killed in May 1927, has been misspelled in the Post files since he died and before.
Does that mean it could be spelled wrong on a national monument?
Not if his surviving family in Kingsport, Tenn., including Faye, the wife of Lindsay Yarbroughs nephew, can do something about it.
After all, she knows how to spell his name its Yarbrough, not Yarborough and she knows Salisbury and Rowan County and the Salisbury Post.
My mother, Mary Patrick Walser, she told me in a telephone call, died at 92, and all her life she took the Salisbury Post.
And she sent articles about Ruben Walser to the family and about Yadkin Village, which was kin and neighbor of the North Carolina Finishing Co., which was on the shores of the Yadkin River.
The village is dying, she said. Thats where I was born, and that house thats being moved right now is a house we lived in. And the church is still there. Thats the only thing thats left of the mill village.
And of all the houses that we all lived in, thats the only thing thats left. They have a reunion at United Methodist Church at Yadkin every September, and we come back for it every year if we can. The last time I was able to go back to take my children to visit the cemetery the Smith Grove Cemetery in Davidson County.
And my high school class that I graduated from in Spencer in 1948 has reunions, too, and Im sure there will be plenty in the Salisbury Post about it.
And shell read it all and pass all the news she can find about it to everybody else in the family.
In the meantime, shes put me on her list and I got a big white envelope packed so full of things she thought somebody around here might want to know about that she had to pay $18.80 postage to get it to me.
First was that wonderful picture of the bridge over the Yadkin back in its early days.
Ive enclosed articles on the Yadkin and my father which you do not need, she wrote, so throw it in the trash. It is my heritage and Im very proud of my community and the way I was raised.
Hope the articles will be helpful. I did not mean to open a can of worms. Just wanted to get the name spelled correctly.
And it was signed Faye. We were on a first name basis for sure by then, and I read it all.
In the picture of the bridge, the man in the white shirt on the right was her uncle John Thomas Yarbrough standing in front of his store.
The man on the left was a customer whod just come across the bridge.
Back then, she added, people understood the Yadkin bridge to be one of the longest toll bridges in the United States when it was in operation.
And on copies of five or six pages were stories that had appeared in the Post.
One was about Jim Krider, the sheriff who had to shoot fast, the headline said, in 1927 to get the killer of his deputy. The deputy whod been killed , Lindsay Yarbrough, lived at Yadkin.
The story on the next page was about Amanda Yarbrough of Yadkin. She said the Civil War excitement was nothing compared to a great-grandchild.
Her husband, John T. Yarbrough, had charge of the toll bridge during the entire period that the toll was charged, and he was the same man who owned the store.
The next sheet carried a story about Ruben W. Walser, who began chopping down green corn near the banks of the Yadkin River in 1916 where the North Carolina Finishing Co. was later built.The next a full page was about Rowans Most Colorful Industry, which was, of course, North Carolina Finishing Co. that could wrap the world in cloth if it needed to.
Next was a full page story headlined, Once a big, happy family, mill town of Yadkin is dying.
And the last full page carried a picture of a long-closed school at Yadkin and another of Lewis West showing off the garden in back of his house there.
But the headline told the real story.
As wages grew, it said, people moved from the village.
One by one, 50 of the original houses have disappeared, and grass and weeds hide the hint of once carefully cultivated garden plots.
So it will stay a while yet.
But Yadkins time is past.
And even those who weep a little as each house is moved, as the weeds grow taller around porches where people once rocked on summer evenings, know that tears wont bring back those other days, those other friends.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven …. And Yadkin village is only a well-loved memory now.
But memories dont die quickly.

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