1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



The Call of the Faraway Hills

Herman King - September 3, 2012

Every autumn my nostalgia runs rampant, longing for my native West Virginia Hills. (Or Northern Virginia, as it would still be called if it hadn't been for Lincoln's ghastly genocidal war against the South). The foliage in the Fall (especially the sugar maples) cannot be described in less than hyperbolic terms. The adjective reigns supreme. No human artist could match nature's hues.

Vermeer is too delicate, Van Gogh too chaotic. No mere mortal (even a genius) can improve on nature. I am old and too decrepit now to venture the journey to my mountain land but I might just try one of these days. My mother sleeps in Alderson overlooking some of those hills of youthful memory. Heaven could scarcely be more beautiful.

My oldest niece may take me one of these days. She was a lovely little tot when I led her by the hand through Lewisburg. As an octogenarian (me, not her) she led me by the hand through the confusing streets of Washington, D.C. during a recent Cherry Blossom Festival. Good thing too. I never could have made it up and down all those escalators by myself.  

I hope Lewisburg still has its sugar maples adorning the streets. If they ever disappear the city won't be worth visiting. When savoring the glory of autumn in West Virginia, I always think of the once popular song: "The old master painter from the faraway hills "  I think it was sung by Frankie Laine, but am not sure. What I am sure of is that the colors of autumn resonate in my mind like some wistful melody the airs of earth are composing to enchant our memory and give balm to our soul.

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