Category: Book Buzz
Published: 28 October 2013
Fiddler of the Mountains – Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull
by Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
The Donning Company Publishers
Fiddler is available in several local bookstores or from the author at:
109 Oklahoma Ave.
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Dr. Eva Nell Mull Wike’s latest book Fiddler of the Mountains – Attuned to the Life and Times of Johnny Mull explores the life of a modest mountain man in a remote hamlet of the Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. In the community of Tusquittee his great grandfather had settled after the Civil War in the rugged mountains and lived in peace among the Cherokee Indians. At about age ten Johnny learned from his father how to play the fiddle. In time he was regarded as "one of the best" in all the mountain area. Like many young men of the 1950’s, he had to leave his home and go north to find employment. Eventually he returned to his beloved parents and spent the rest of his days in the hills of home. All during these years he was in great demand to play his fiddle with several outstanding musicians. In the words of another "one of the best," Mr. Don Byers (Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame, 11-27-2010):
“Johnny Mull played fiddle…played it for the smiles.”
To follow his story and gain insights into the way of life on Tusquittee will help the reader better understand how music made lighter the way of life experienced by hard working yet talented mountain people of the twentieth century. Fiddler is the second in the author’s saga of North Carolina mountain people. Her first book, The Matheson Cove – In the Shadow of the Devil’s Post Office (2006) won the North Carolina Historical Society first place book award in 2007.
Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD, was born on September 9, 1938, in Clay County, North Carolina. She is the seventh child in the family of eleven children born to Joseph David and Martha Jane Wimpey Mull. As an educator, Eva taught physics and mathematics. Throughout her teaching career she trained student teachers at Vanderbilt University as well as other universities in the US. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in the Mathematics and Physics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Also she earned the PhD in Educational Administration at UTK. In 1999 she was chosen as "Physics Teacher of the Year" in Tennessee. One of the highlights of receiving this award was being able to attend a global conference in Atlanta with many Novel Prize winners in the sciences and medicine. Today Eva lives with her husband, James Seymour Wike, Sr., in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Her family history book The Matheson Cove – In the Shadow of the Devil’s Post Office won the North Carolina Historian Society Award in 2007.