Picks and Pans Review: Runnin' on Rims

updated 09/15/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/15/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Jock Lauterer

The bright text and photographs profiling 34 rough-hewn residents of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains are by a former University of North Carolina journalism professor who now does promotion work for a public radio station in Chapel Hill. As a photographer he excels; as an interviewer he is most successful when he restrains from injecting himself into the text and allows his subjects to speak in their own rhythms. Here, for example, is Joe Henson, a veteran Christmas tree grower: "This land, no matter how rocky, it'll still grow fine Christmas trees. And I'm happy my kids—and now these grandboys will be comin' along—and I hope growin' trees on this same land when I'm gone. That's why I'm gonna hang onto this land if I can. Folks say, 'Shoot, Joe. You oughta sell that land for condominiums and make a bundle.' But hello! I'll not do it." Visually Lauterer has portrayed the people of the mountains ("my people," he calls them, unfortunately) with a sensitivity that eludes his prose. Nearly all the black-and-white pictures in this book are uniformly arresting. (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $24.95)

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