"Heartwood" is dedicated
to the memory of Ronald Perkins.
Master of wood, teller of tales - my Appalachian mentor.
Ronald Perkins, my Great Uncle, was one of the kindest souls I've encountered.
Uncle Ronald was a sage of Eastern Kentucky folklore, but always had a boyish twinkle in his eyes.
As he told me stories in his deliberate Southern drawl, I would hang on every word.
I believed he knew everything. Still do.
Much of who I am came from his tutelage.
And, of course, when I was a young boy, he let me drive his tractor!
His departure during Christmas
of 2003 left a hole in our hearts that no wood filler could repair.
But I'm sure the woodwork in heaven has never looked better.
Sleep in heavenly peace.