The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

Letter: ​Western N.C. held a wealth of memories

Editor’s Note: David McKnight, a frequent letter-writer to the DTH, died on Tuesday. His passion for writing about the North Carolina he loved will be missed. In his memory, we are reprinting one of his recent letters.


Two counties of Western North Carolina made for a wonderful experience on learning about part of that end of the Tar Heel state during my times of youth as an early lifelong resident of a family growing up in Charlotte.

One experience in the summer after the fifth grade at Charlotte’s Midwood Election School in 1959 was at the Western Carolina summer school in Cullowhee, in the Western N.C. mountain county of Jackson.

Then four years later, right after my ninth grade school year at Eastway Junior High School in the summer of 1963, came a summer camp at the Brevard Music Center in the county of Transylvania in the Western N.C. county south of Asheville.

For the longest time I didn’t pay any attention to the geographic fact that the Jackson and Transylvania experiences I enjoyed in my summers of youth were actually neighboring geographic counties in the Westerns of North Carolina!

In Jackson County after the fifth grade I learned a lot about education in Western Carolina in 1959. Then four years later I learned about classical music development at the Brevard Music Center in Transylvania County, just east of Jackson County.

Take a nice look of a Western N.C. map showing both Jackson and Transylvania counties!

How many folks in the Piedmont or the East realize that these two counties are geographic neighbors out West?

David McKnight

Writer and musician

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