|About the Book|
Secrecy and surprise await cousins, Glenda and Janice, as they spend a week in Northeast Tennessee in 2006 learning about their elderly Uncle Jimmy’s background. Jimmy married their rebel Aunt Marilyn in the mid-twentieth century and had a son GaryMoreSecrecy and surprise await cousins, Glenda and Janice, as they spend a week in Northeast Tennessee in 2006 learning about their elderly Uncle Jimmy’s background. Jimmy married their rebel Aunt Marilyn in the mid-twentieth century and had a son Gary who later became a successful heart doctor. The little family lived in Lake City, Tennessee and remained estranged from Marilyn’s clannish Clayburn family in Central Tennessee.No one, including his wife and son, knew where Jimmy McParton came from or anything about his family. Glenda, who resembles Marilyn, and Janice began their search with very little cooperation from Jimmy and Marilyn. They started by searching census, land records, newspaper accounts and by visiting area people. This led them to connect Jimmy to a group of four families who established a reclusive community high on Cross Mountain in 1933. This mountain has a colorful history involving some mine disasters and a mine war near the turn of the twentieth century. The ghosts of these calamities are rumored to still haunt the mountain.The four families were upset with the Tennessee Valley Authority for taking their means of support when the land was flooded by the Norris Lake. They chose to go into hiding on Cross Mountain away from other people and the government. Their plan worked as they lived off the land there until cholera killed most of them in 1952. Red-headed Jimmy had already been sent off the mountain in 1947 when another couple there had a baby girl born with red hair. Jimmy had promised the mountain families he would never tell about the hidden settlement, but he finally reveals the story of his years there when Glenda and Janice find some of the answers. He also reveals the reasons for not telling his story earlier.As the cousins continue their week of research, they discover that a little red-haired five-year-old girl, Georgia Beth, had been rescued by road workers from the mountain in 1952. Glenda and Janice locate her in a nearby town, and she is introduced to the aged Jimmy. Jimmy shares with her the stories of her family and the proof of her parentage. With the help of Glenda and Janice, both survivors of the mountain families find distant family members in the area. The only two remaining articles from the mountain settlement, a diary and a Bible, are found in a local museum. They are further proof of what happened on the mountain.Over the week of meddling, as Aunt Marilyn called it, Glenda and Janice break through the resentment their aunt has held against her family since she was sixteen. Uncle Jimmy enjoys his remaining days with his haunting secret revealed.