It’s the story of a journey — a journey that began and ended at Little Sam Mountain. Charles Fletcher tells the story in his two books about Little Sam Mountain.
The journey takes a soldier from the mountains of North Carolina to Europe during World War II. This is the undercurrent of the life of John Dowdy as he searches for his dream of a life beyond the “soldier boy” years. From his experiences of hope and disappointment, a man of maturity emerges, who keeps his values intact as he finds himself in a strange world.
But in that strange world, he discovers friends and comrades, who also battle life as it changes during the war years. Loves are lost and found, families either grow close or are divided.
The author gives an honest picture of life in the Army, at the same time linking it to those who are waiting back home ... or not.
As soon as John is old enough, he enlists and his first stop is Fort Bragg, N.C., where he becomes friends with another inductee. The two of them make a mark for themselves at the base, earning for both promotions and recognition from those over them.
It seems everything is working for the two friends, as they are shipped to Europe for combat duty. But his friend is killed in action and John finds himself in a hospital.
When the war ends, John goes back home, hoping he can carry out his plans for the girl he left behind — Sarah. (They had even picked out a spot for a house.) But when he found Sarah, she was a married woman — she had given up hope he would return. (Keep reading — Sarah’s not out of the picture.)
You’ll find other surprises, too, in Fletcher’s sequel, “Little Sam Mountain — The Journey,” a continuation of “Little Sam Mountain.”
So John made the decision to go on another journey — this time not as a “soldier boy,” but a man who needed to relive memories, retrace his steps and find old friends.
Go on this trek with him in “Little Sam Mountain — The Journey,” and share unexpected detours that eventually lead back to his beginnings.
Get to know John Dowdy, his dreams and disappointments, his family and friends, his virtues and even his favorite food — hot dogs and big orange drinks.
It’s like sitting on his front porch of that house on the mountain looking toward Canton, N.C., as the story is told from treasured memories with no detail left out. There’ll be hot dogs for certain and, close at hand, a big orange drink. He’s home on “Little Sam Mountain.”
Fletcher began writing and published his first book at age 84 in 2005 after the death of his wife. “Little Sam Mountain — The Journey” is his sixth book written after age 90.
All his books are written from the perspective of the Appalachian region of Western North Carolina where Fletcher was born and where he grew up. He says this will not be his last book.
The North Carolina native writes articles, also, for the National Museum located in Edinburgh, Va.
Other books by Fletcher include “Out West and Back” and “The Panther on Cold Mountain.” His books are available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble, as well as major book stores.
“Little Sam Mountain” was published by Fletcher Books, 2310 Harris Circle N.W., Cleveland, TN 37311.