When you come to Randall Glen you’ll travel through the enclaves of the mountain people who are our neighbors, the kindest and most generous people we have ever known, and true Southern Highlanders. They are as fiercely self-reliant as their ancestors, and just as universal in their life skills. Modern ways have been added to traditional ways and go side by side. The crops they grow and the game they shoot still feed them year round. Some of it now goes into a freezer as well as being smoked, canned, or dried, but often it’s still cooked on a wood stove.
They keep bees for honey, and the hive might be a section of a genuine bee tree. They may plow their fields with a horse, but they can repair a tractor-a or even a bulldozer-when it breaks down. They have television and radio, but still play the fiddle and sing in close harmony. Their speech is still filled with the courtly cadences of the 18th century. They can split shingles, shoe a horse, build a house from scratch, make molasses, and run a trackhoe. The family’s hundred-year-old cabin may stand alongside a mobile home that’s heated with a wood fire. An antique church bus houses goats next to a two-hundred-year-old chestnut barn.
These are today’s Southern Highlanders, and knowing them is a gift. If you’re lucky, you may have a chance to meet our neighbors while you’re at Randall Glen. The experience will stay with you always.