A ” Plum Nilly” Story

Dear Reader:

Now that I have allowed myself to go back down memory lane … eleven years in the making… my head is exploding with recollections I have not entertained in so long… I am having to shake the dust off them.

In the title photo… you see Beverly Barutio, the creator of St. Jude’s Chapel of Hope… the picture taken soon after the chapel was complete.

Beverly’s miracle save from God and St Jude came in the mid-eighties when she informed her oncologist she was stopping chemo treatments and going to live the rest of her life out the best she could( doctors told her less than a year-the cancer had spread to her liver and bone marrow.)

Beverly began praying for time to make changes in her life and be with family… besides God… she prayed to St Jude, the patron of improbable but not impossible causes.

When she received this fifteen plus year miracle she resolved to give back to the little town of Trust, NC and build a chapel where all who sought refuge could come. The home she and her husband Bill lived in ( Civil War home) she named ” Plum Nilly” -as in located ” Plum out of Asheville and Nilly to Tennessee. “

She and Bill built a little cafe for the locals to come dine and soon word spread that Beverly was the best pie baker around. She always wore an apron that read ” Kiss the Cook.”

When Bob Hurley… a newspaper columnist called me and asked if he could meet me…Honey and I met him in late October of 2011.

A few weeks later the article showed up in the Greenville Sun. When Bob Hurley went to introduce himself and his wife on that chilly mountain day earlier… he whispered ” Beverly and I have been waiting on you for a long time.”

Apparently Bob had suggested, on several occasions, that Beverly collect stories from the visitors around the world who now came to the compelling little chapel in the woods. But Beverly shook her head and informed Bob that her mission was to build it-another else would come along to tell its stories.

Isn’t it a nice feeling to know someone is waiting on you… that a little chapel in a little mountain town has been bidding it’s time… waiting on you to reveal its secrets… one story at a time.

Since Bob Hurley, the columnist knew Beverly before me… he lamented the fact that we weren’t destined to meet on this side of life ( he thought our personalities and outlooks on life were eerily similar) but one day what a great reunion we had in store on the other side!

Bob’s article titled ” Stories from Tiny Mountain Chapel Now Being Shared with the World” started out in the first paragraph with this observation…

” Somewhere in the back of my mind, I always knew that Becky Dingle would come along and share the story of St Jude’s Chapel of Hope with the whole world.”

So until tomorrow… isn’t it nice to know that someone is waiting on you to come along and share their story when they no longer can? In life… it is always about the story!

” Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

Greenville Sun -Bob Hurley-columnist-Nov. 19, 2011

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to A ” Plum Nilly” Story

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    What an inspiring story…and you have told the story well…❤❤❤


  2. Lynn Gamache says:

    Good Morning, Becky,
    Yes, you have been called and commissioned and have answered that call with enthusiasm and purpose. What a wonderful calling…one that has the potential to influence others for good all around the world. So here I am writing from Canada once again. And soon I must get working away at my own “calling” and Story Worth assignment (question) for this week:” How and why did you decide on the names that you chose for each of your three children?”
    This is a delightful question and I can’t wait to get writing! I know you also have these assignments each week, but before me, your questions will end. And when do you get to wrap things up and wait for that precious hard=cover family history book to arrive?


    • Becky Dingle says:

      You know that is a good question…trying to remember if I got the Story Worth program for my birthday coming up next month or at Christmas…I think maybe Christmas…but next month completing it would make me happy. The questions are getting a little repetitive at this late point in the annual program. But it has made me go back down memory lane and reflect on things I thought I had forgotten and I am excited about the finished product!!!!!


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