FOR MANY YEARS the Clinch Valley Times featured Mrs. Kelly Sloan’s weekly open letters addressed to her numerous friends and acquaintances. Today, these articles are a reminder of a more courteous time when letter-writing was still common. Social media has replaced this custom, along with other more carefully-considered forms of interaction. Clearly, there are both positive and negatives to “instant communication.” The following is an example of Mrs. Sloan’s letters, and some of us will recognize the names she mentions.
AN OPEN LETTER TO MRS. STELLA JACOBS, CASTLEWOOD, VA , JULY 12, 1979
My Dear Mrs. Jacobs:
I’m so very thankful you are able to be home now, surely hope you are feeling well these days. I’ve really missed my visits with you at Russell County Medical Center.
I just say you are one of the sweetest and most gentle ladies I have ever known. Really did enjoy our chats during your stay in the hospital. Wish I could have met you many years ago.
Your great faith, patience, love, and your sharing the wonderful love for our Supreme Maker was truly an inspiration to me.
If there were more people like you, this world would be a much better place to live. I’m so happy to add you to my list of real friends.
Give your fine husband my regards. My meeting him was also a great joy.
Now, you take good care. I’m hoping to see you in the near future.
Your roommate at the RCMC, Jerusha Nichols, is also one of my special friends. She’s another precious lady I met while working at the hospital.
I’ve known Mrs. Nichols for many months, she and I have enjoyed happy times together.
During the eleven years I’ve worked at the RCMC, I have met many wonderful friends and this is another reason I’ve enjoyed the work there so very much.
We had a great week in Bible School at Clinchfield Baptist with an average of fifty-eight daily, extra good for a small country church.
Lois Rasnake, Director, did an excellent job. Not only did she direct the school, she also made all preparations for our picnic on Friday. She purchased, cooked, and served the food. Her homemade chili made our hot dogs all the more delicious, also potato chips, slaw, cupcakes, lemonade, and watermelon. It was a fine time.
I’ve mentioned the natural now, let’s speak of the most important, the Spiritual. Four of our fine young people received Christ as their personal savior. This, of course, brought great joy to our hearts. The entire school memorized many Bible verses.
Our program Friday evening was simply beautiful. The pupils performed wonderfully well, very sweet and impressive. Everyone received a certificate and a ribbon.
Listen to this! Lois, the director, presented the teacher a Thank You card in her very own handwriting. From her heart was written a very sentimental note of her love and appreciation for us.
Knowing Lois as we do, this was deeply appreciated. As the old saying goes, this lady says what she means and means what she speaks.
As a matter of fact, her note meant so very much to us it will forever be a keepsake we shall forever cherish. Guess we will just simply frame it.
My husband and I really did appreciate and enjoy so very much working with all our teachers.
These are those who made our school a success: Primary – Sheila Rasnake, Chris Rasnake, and Bonnie Sizemore. Juniors – Carie Smith, Tammy Rasnake, and Sylvia Rhea. Intermediate – Jean Breeding, Sharon Sizemore, Rita Sizemore, and Joyce Duty. Helpers – Johnny Bailey and Teddy Francisco.
Oh, I do wish you could have seen their handiwork. All kinds of pretty things, keepsakes parents will forever cherish.
We’re already looking forward to our work with the Bible School next year. We love our children. I wish that his hands had been placed on my heard. His arms thrown around me, and that I might have seen His kind look when he said, “Let the little ones come to me.”
Take good care and see you soon,