~ Memories of living in NASCAR Country ~
NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was clocked on an Iredell County road doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone. Good thing he was famous because those North Carolina deputies don't usually take too kindly to folks being that reckless on their back roads.
This article caught my attention because we lived in Iredell County, which surrounds Statesville, NC, for about 12 years. Located about an hour north of Charlotte, the location of my husband's business, both my kids were born there. We left many home school friends when we moved back 15 years ago ... and the kids' friends from those days have since grown up.
Little known fact about Statesville: It's the location where Tom Dooley, made famous by the Kingston Trio song, was hanged. Hang down your head, Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry/Hang down your head, Tom Dooley, poor boy, you're gonna die.
Iredell County is beautiful. It encompasses parts of Lake Norman and the Brushy Mountains that are the foothills to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it's a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Blowing Rock, Boone, and the ski areas of northwestern NC.
It's also known as NASCAR country because so many drivers live in and around the area due to its close proximity to Charlotte. From our home north of Statesville, we were not far from Junior Johnson's house in nearby Wilkes County during the days when Bill Elliott was one of NASCAR's biggest stars, and the long, red race car tractor-trailers would park behind Junior's house. Those were the days when he was still married to his high school sweetheart, Flossie, and lived at Ingle Hollow. They later divorced and he built a huge new home -- we saw it as it was being built ... maybe on Rt. 421? -- remarried, had children, and then I lost track after leaving NC.
Once I was standing in line in the Statesville Post Office and turned around to find Dale Earnhardt behind me, signature sunglasses and all. The guy who worked on our farm would sometimes have to deliver things to Earnhardt's farm in nearby Kannapolis.
I'm not really a NASCAR fan but, living in the midst of it all, it was easy to know who the drivers were and their numbers, and we were surrounded by fans who traveled to many of the events. That was back in the days when they still raced at North Wilkesboro so we'd watch the teams pass on the road heading to that racing venue.
After being back home in Virginia for 15 years, it was kind of fun to read something about Iredell County, the place I spent more than a decade, where my children spent their early years, and where we have fond memories of living on a working cattle farm, and then living on the side of one of the Brushy Mountain foothills ... a traipse down memory lane....