Remembering Verna Mae Slone

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Friends and family remembered 94-year-old Verna Mae Slone in Knott County. Slone was a famous quilt maker and wrote several books about appalachian life. She was known to most and "The Moses of the Mountains" or simply Granny Mae.

Verna Mae Slone's family looked at her funeral as a going away party.

Her son Orbin Slone says, "We'll miss her, you know, but she left so much, so many memories. And you can see mom in all the homes here, in each one of our homes."

Slone's hand made quilts and dolls lined the walls. Family members say these items as well as her many books showed her pride in eastern Kentucky. Her granddaughter says Slone did not like the way some people thought about appalachian living.

"It upset her to the point that she wrote the books to try to explain to people just how we are. That we weren't backward dumb hillbillies, that we're not dumb, but that if we are, so what?" says Sherri Slone, her granddaughter.

"She said god sent his bravest strongest, sturdiest, people into the mountains to live. She said if they hadn't been they would have left or died or gone crazy," says Orbin Slone.

Sherri Slone says her grandmother was always looking to share her mountain stories with someone new. "Before she got ready to tell you one, she would say, 'Well I know you've hear this before'. I said, 'Yeah, about a million times, but I want to hear it again'."

Sherry Slone says her granny now has a whole new audience for her stories.

Sherri Slone has decorated her home with many of her grandmother's keepsakes. She says she wants to keep Granny Mae's memory alive for future generations.

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  • by Mavis Huff Johnson Location: Somerset on Aug 15, 2009 at 09:07 AM
    Verna Mae was a very special person to many people. What a legacy!!
  • by Evetta Smallwood Location: Wheelwright on Jan 12, 2009 at 03:42 PM
    I am and "old regular babitist". I visited the nursing home where Veramae was. She caught my attention as I passed by her door. I considered it a blessing from God. She told me some of her poems and told stories about her socks dolls "hillbilly andy and hillbilly Annie". She showed some of her pictures.I could of stayed all day with her if time would of permitted. I go to church with one of her relatives. I hope to get copies of her writings.If you have any information on where I might get copies of her work, please post back.
  • by Kimberly Owens Location: Northern California on Jan 10, 2009 at 01:06 AM
    I think Verna Mae and her her father were two of my dad's favorite relatives. When I read her books as an adult, it was as if I'd found my way back home to the place I lived as a child. What a comfort for a transplanted Eastern Kentuckian with Knott County roots! And, even out here on the west coast, our thoughts and hearts are with the family.
  • by Norma Boyd Location: Harold, KY on Jan 8, 2009 at 06:44 PM
    Thank you for running this story on Vernie Mae Slone.
  • by Sara Location: Highland Heights, KY on Jan 8, 2009 at 02:45 PM
    I had the privilege of reading "What My Heart Wants to Tell" when I attended Prestonsburg Community College. My English teacher emphasized Kentucky authors and I appreciate him greatly for that. Ms. Slone will always be a wonderful ambassador for Kentucky. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.


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