Thomas Burton. Beech Mountain Man: The Memoirs of Ronda Lee Hicks. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2009. $32.95 cloth.
Danielle E. Quales
In this book, Burton presents the life stories of western North Carolina native Ronda Lee Hicks on a wide variety of subjects, all of which are equally informative and engaging. Hicks narrates stories about his days in the army and in prison, the importance of his home and family on Beech Mountain, and his many encounters with less than amicable characters. Hicks is a member of the renowned Hicks-Harmon storytelling family, who are well known and studied for their centuries as keepers of Jack Tales and other traditional European folktale forms. Ronda Lee Hicks, the member of the family presented in Burton’s book, however, tells stories about his own life and the people and places he knows best, rather than the traditional stories for which his extended family is known. Continue reading “Thomas Burton. Beech Mountain Man: The Memoirs of Ronda Lee Hicks.”