Blue Mountain Highway Home by Wayne H. Drumheller
CreateSpace Publishing Platform
Fiction: Historical / General
Available from your local bookstore
A young, talented, Blue Ridge Mountain poet, country folk singer-song writer, knows she has a year to live, due to a traumatic near-death accident, when she was nine. It still causes pain and nightmares. She has been in counseling at a local university clinic since the childhood experience happened. She hopes and prays to the stars, and dreams about a sign that will help her stop the nightmares and thoughts of suicide. She meets a young, soon-to-be soldier, traveling on a bus to the Roanoke, Virginia, U.S. Army Recruitment and Deployment Center in 1963.
She tells him a dark secret. He makes her a promise. They form an instant bond, and begin an ill-fated romance, a musical adventure, and a love affair that takes them to Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the California Monterey Jazz Musical Festival, before her sad return to her Rockfish River Valley home in Virginia, in 1964.
From the Author
Author Wayne Drumheller creates an alter ego character, Wade Dhamner, from the rural community of Wintergreen, Virginia, who narrates this historical romance book, Blue Mountain Highway Home, where he meets a young folk country singer, named Jamie, on a Trailway Bus in the summer of 1963. They form an instant bond. She has a year to live due to a traumatic near death accident when she was nine. She is riding to her weekly therapy session at the university hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia; he is on his way to the US Army Induction Center in Roanoke.
An ill-fated romance and love affair begins, when in answer to her prayer for a sign that will end her plan to commit suicide, he asked her about the heart shaped tattoo on her neck and the S-shaped scar on her face. She responds, “No body ask, they just stare and eventually turn away in shame. Kinda pretty, ain’t it,” She says, as she draws his hand to the side of her face, traces the scar line with his index finger, and sings him a song about a butterfly with a busted wing. She keeps talking on the bus which is not like the shy, introverted and angry person she has become.
Without telling him her terminal diagnosis, she writes him a note where she tells him part of her story and asks him not to forget her. He reads the notes on the bus as it leaves Charlottesville, and travels on the Recruitment Center. He is not sure what he thinks of her, or the letter, but promises himself, that he will write to her once he is settled at his army base at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and eventually, Fort Ord, Monterey, California.
So begins an ill-fated love story that takes the reader on a journey between the Rockfish River Valley of Virginia and Fort Ord, Monterey, California. The author narrates Jamie’s story in personal notes, poems and songs by her, while describing his early 1960’s military aerial reconnaissance and surveillance experience as a precursor to the Viet Nam conflict. Their lives together in 1963 to 1964, combined with her magical effect on those she meets, and his promises to love and make her happy ‘no matter what she says or does’ produces the substance of the book and what she eventually proclaims as "the best year" of her life.
Wayne Drumheller is a Burlington, North Carolina based writing consultant, photojournalist, book editor, photographer and publicist. His work is recognized by collectors of fine photography for his creative approach and commitment to the finished print.
To pursue his life-long dream of helping others write their stories and books, he became Editor and Founder for the Carolinas/Virginia Short Book Writers Project in 2010. Through partial gifts in kind support for editing, layout, design and printing, he offers free monthly workshops to interested writers and writers groups. Since 2010, he has helped over sixty writers publish their biographies, children's books, memoirs, collections of prose/poetry and full length nonfiction historical novels. All net proceeds from his consulting, editing, workshops, books, photography illustrations and cover designs go to the Carolinas/Virginia Short Book Writers Project.
He received his Bachelor Degree from California State University at Sonoma and his Master of Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is an active member of the North Carolina Writers' Network, Burlington Writers Club, Alamance Photography Club, Burlington Artists League Gallery and the Photography Society of America.