Thornton Chaney Reveals Folk Stories Re-Told in New Book
Thornton W. Chaney is a compelling story-teller. Although he has lived his 90 years within a one mile area, he has many adventures to relate. When he entered the Navy in World War II, he had been a sheltered farm boy. His Christian upbringing definitely influenced his life as he sailed the seven seas and was introduced to the ways of the world. The Life of a Country Boy is a compilation of adventures and escapades while in the Navy, but the greater part is devoted to "Store Experiences."
After Chaney's WWII term in the US Navy, he established and ran a country store in the VA community of Mountain Hill, formerly known as Yak. Farmers bought all their groceries, gas and farm supplies from Chaney's Store and then gathered around the pot-bellied stove on winter days weaving tales-true or not true. (In 1988, he retired after 40 years of running a country store.) Thornton Chaney is always a figure in these stories-setting a new, surprising narrative quality to autobiographies. Cannily, Adkins lets her uncle tell his story through stories she heard about him in the store and the stories Chaney himself told.
The Life of a Country Boy is a gathering of stories, some funny, some serious, some full of irony, that are the Thornton's life story as told to author Janet W. Adkins. Through them readers will realize how love and kindness are basic to having a good, prosperous life. She has tried to tell these stories as nearly as possible in his own words, southern colloquialism s ringing through. His daughter-in-law said she could just hear him talking while she was reading it. When people in the stories are in negative situations, their names have been changed. The real names of others are used as a means of honoring them.