...and through the tunnel to Marion, Virginia. There are actually two tunnels on the way to southwestern Virginia. The Smyth County area is beautiful, with rolling farmland and mountains similar to those of southeastern West Virginia.
The Sherwood Anderson Short Story Contest winners were treated to a day of exploration and celebration. They learned about the author for whom the contest is named, traveled to his home, Ripshin, and gravesite, watched a film about his life and then enjoyed lunch at the historic in the Lincoln Ball Room and beautifully restored General Francis Marion Hotel, named for the renowned Revolutionary War hero also known as the "Swamp Fox." (Remember the TV show of that name? You'll date yourself if you do! Click here for the lyrics to the theme song.)
After lunch the mayor of Marion made a few remarks, I made my presentation, Mr. Francis made a few comments on each winning story and the writers received their awards. It was a well-planned, thoughtful event, enjoying its 33rd year. I found it interesting that one of the past winners was Sharyn McCrumb, writer of the ballad series of novels set in the southwestern Virginia/eastern Tennessee area. Even the famous start somewhere, and winning this contest might be a stepping stone for this year's group of writers.
A view up the main street in Marion; on the right is the restored Lincoln Theatre, and at the top of the photo, beside the theatre is the General Francis Marion Hotel.
I liked these history tiles along the sidewalks. It was easy to learn a bit about the history of the town just by walking around the streets. I'd like to see my town of Ripley do something like this.
We left at 2pm, and drove to our next stop, the FOOTMAD Fall Festival near Fayetteville, WV. And t