Old Man Rob
The Second Friday Talk on Friday, Nov 9 (8 p.m.) at the Rappahannock Library will feature an exciting look back at Rappahannock history, with novelist and researcher George Pettie as our guide. Pettie is the author of a trilogy of novels, In the Land of Rob, that span Blue Ridge history from the late 1800s to the 1960s.
As a young boy living near Old Rag, Pettie listened raptly to the tales of a local man, then about seventy, who spun tales of growing up in a mountain hollow and eventually confronting the modern world. (Those confrontations included the relocation of many local families, to make way for Shenandoah National Park.)
By the time young George Pettie came to visit, Old Man Rob lived alone in a cabin with his dogs. Eventually Pettie learned that most of the old man’s stories were true. Those tales inspired Pettie to set out on his own journey, researching the lives of the people who lived in our mountains and hollows.
Pettie will talk about what he learned about the early Blue Ridge residents and how they viewed the land, and what they made of religion and health and welfare and peace and security. (George also leads local walking tours that he calls Walks Back in Time.)
George Pettie is eager to share insights and answer questions and show photographs of Old Man Rob, his cabin, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some of the photos are George’s, and some were taken by one of America’s premier photojournalists, Arthur Rothstein.
George Pettie, who grew up near Old Rag, is author of a trilogy of novels “In the Land of Rob” that span Blue Ridge history from the late 1800s to the 1960s.