Brooker, Lena Epps. “The blessings of Boone.” Appalachian Life 62 (December/January 2003): 24-25, 29.
In this interestingly written and detailed account, Brooker shares heartfelt appreciation for the social acceptance and positive experiences she had in Boone, North Carolina in 1952. At age 10, Brooker went to Boone with her mother, who was enrolled for graduate classes at Appalachian State Teachers’ College. Before leaving for Boone, Brooker attended Magnolia School, where her father was principal. In 1952, Brooker’s mother wanted to obtain a masters in education but knew of no other college in the state that offered graduate degrees and would admit Indians.Other than one discriminating remark on her first day of school—which was quickly squelched by the principal of Boone Demonstration School—Brooker found complete acceptance wherever she went. She relates fond memories of being a member of her school’s Safety Patrol, going to Boone Drug Store to recap the day and plan the evening, attending the Baptist Church, and spending time at her “special place,” the Appalachian College Library. She concludes, “I loved my life in Boone. It was an unexpected gift of freedom to be myself as I was. I, an American Indian girl child, could enjoy the little things in life without fear of scorn or shame” (p. 29).