A book that has been eight years in the making is a labor of love, although not necessarily on the part of the author. Numerous acts of generosity and kindness, performed over nearly a decade by friends from New York State to Alabama from 1985 to 1993 have made possible my completion of this biography.
Foremost among those whose personal kindness must be acknowledged are the members of the Rash family of the Carolinas, who for generations have provided their neighbors across the southern Appalachian Mountains with their gifts of religious faith, their talents at storytelling, at literature, and at the visual arts, and with their willingness to provide a bed and a place at their supper table to literary friends in need. Particularly, I wish to thank Ron and Ann Rash of Pendleton, South Carolina, and Tom and Susan Rash of Buncombe County, North Carolina.
Others to whom I am personally indebted include Professor Harvey Strum of the Sage Colleges of Albany and Troy, New York. During the two years when I was completing research for this book at the FDR Library at Hyde Park, New York, and when I felt like a stranger in a strange land, Harvey provided me with both friendship and intellectual challenge.
It was my great privilege during this book's preparation to talk several