worked, at one time for a computer company. He and his
wife, Nicole Paavola Penley, are now long distance truck drivers.
They also work with the family in
Our photography has been used by New York Institute of
Photography (in their training
videos) to teach their students the many ways and nuances of
taking excellent nature
photographs. Our nature photographs have also been
featured on the Internet by
Jerry is in the process of writing a photography / travel / trip
mileage book on the local
history and places that can be found in the Blue Ridge /
Appalachian Mountains of
Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Besides being old ridgerunners, we also have a considerable
amount of Cherokee Indian
and Scots-Irish blood flowing through our veins. The
heritage of the Scottish-Irish
highlanders and the heritage of Indian blood can then,
understandably, explain why we
love these mountains so much.
We have fished the backwoods streams and the beautiful lakes,
hunted for squirrel,
rabbit, deer, and grouse in the magnificent forests, and have
done our share of camping
along the way. We have gold-panned in the mountain streams
of North Carolina and
spent more years than I care to think about tracing our family
histories back to
1120 A.D. We have been members of the Tennessee
Archaeological Society for over
thirty years. Today, we do our hunting with our cameras
since we sell our photography.
One of my ancestors, John Walker, born in Scotland, died on the
waters of the Clinch
River in the year 1774 in what is now Scott County, Virginia.
My wife's ancestral history in this area goes back to the 1700s
in southwest Virginia
and western North Carolina. Grist mills and millers figure
prominently into my wife's
ancestry. From as early as 1790, the Dennys have owned
grist mills and operated them.
It is possible that you may see us somewhere on a ridge top, or
on a stream that is
quietly running down through a hollow, or in a ditch beside a
dirt road looking at a
possible photograph. If you do, please be warned; we love
to talk and you may find it
hard to get away because we can "talk yore leg off."
These mountains are part of my wife and I. Our ancestors
blood and sweat have mixed
with the ground. These mountains have nourished us in the
past and today we must
help the mountains maintain their wilderness and pristine beauty
in our world.
I hope that I have showed you why we are so enthusiastic and so
involved with these
mountains. If the spells of these mountains ever get hold
of you, they will hold you
I have one major suggestion to make to you this week that might
help you find some
very good subjects for your photographic hobby.
As Bob Heafner, publisher of the Mountain Laurel Magazine, so
"Never take the main roads, they're the future with their
stores, offices and service
stations. Always travel the backroads. You can see the future
tomorrow but backroads
are the past and someday they may be gone. On backroads you can
see old weathered
barns with wagons and horse drawn hay rakes. There are meadows
fenced with old
chestnut rails and creeks that bubble and cascade over rocks
that have never known
pollution. There's a part of our heritage on our backroads that
no pen or camera will
ever capture. There are cows wading in a creek, sharing a 'deep
hole' with native trout.
You may have to stop occasionally to let a mother grouse herd
her little ones across the
road or a deer might stop grazing in a roadside meadow long
enough to watch you go by.
The old timer you'll pass will throw up his hand and if you've
got time, he'll stop and
talk 'a spell.'
You'll not get anywhere in a hurry on a back road, but only the
future's in a hurry.
Backroads are part of the past and what they offer most is time,
time to enjoy the
present and get a glimpse of times gone by."
We have been into genealogy for 37 years now. Our
genealogy may be found elsewhere
on this web site.
We hope you enjoy our web site as you travel down the corridors
of our web.
I have a thought I would like to leave with you: "God
made the Heavens and the Earth
in six days, and on the seventh day He rested. He rested
in the Blue Ridge and
Appalachian Mountains, because as the Master Builder, He made
them so majestic and