Monday, October 06, 2008

PSSSST! You Can Go Home Again

Today's post is from Laura Healy, writer, southerner and friend.

“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken” Thomas Wolfe quotes (American short story writer and novelist, 1900-1938)


This summer I lingered several days in Asheville, North Carolina, re-acquainting myself with this sublime town of dreamers and artists in the hilly western part of the state. Pubs and eclectic restaurants, music spots, galleries, antique shops and bookstores abound. It is still a quiet place, surrounded by the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Number One on my list of attractions was the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, a museum set in Wolfe’s childhood home, a former boarding house his mother ran and which he immortalized in his autobiographical novels LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL and OF TIME AND THE RIVER.

Tourists swarm to the chateau-like Biltmore Estate south of town, but I enjoyed taking the $1 tour at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, expertly led by a knowledgeable young man. The house nearly succumbed to an arsonist’s torch a few years ago but was restored and now boasts an elegant Visitors Center with screening room, shop, and exhibitions. As our small group visited each room and heard its stories, a summer school group of children sat on the front steps doing a writing workshop.

To see the angel sculpture that features in LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL, visit the very quiet Oaklawn Cemetery in Hendersonville, NC, just down the less traveled Highway 25 from Asheville, and stop for cool shopping at the Mast General Store on Hendersonville’s Main Street and have an ice cream across the street.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial
52 North Market Street
Asheville NC 28801
(828) 253-8304

For great barbecue: TWELVE BONES, in the river arts district of town.

Photo credit: Laura Healy

1 comment:

  1. And for Students, the entry price is 50 cents!