In Schuyler, Virginia, famous for the Walton family, the hotel and a few very palatial mansions belonged to mine executives, but the workers' families occupied ramshackle little houses. If I was to reach the people, I had to get out of the hotel. A small timber shack in a natural hollow on the edge of town was offered me and I set aside one room for myself. A group of church folk and I turned the rest of the building into a community center and small library for young people. We christened it, "Friendship Corner." We had our problems. Local people kept on objecting to certain books and novels because of the bawdy language. Many children called in on their way home from school, and mums stopped by with their shopping.
Earl Hamner Jr (1923-2016), who wrote "the Walton Family books," grew up at Friendship Corners. A thoughtful boy and an avid reader, he was always thrilled to see the latest titles as Sister Sherman unpacked them from the publishers. He was also well aware of the great poverty and hardships of the mining families. Even the simplest medical treatment was too expensive so we decided to run our own mission automobile the thirty miles to Charlottesville hospital as a free ambulance every week. Some people became a problem for others. A group of poor women started coming for special injections every two weeks, but certain others gossiped, "I'm not going in that car again, it's infected!" Despite the mud slinging, our ambulance kept running!