Storyteller's Compelling Tale Of Resilience
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:15 PM EDT
Sheila Kay Adams of Marshall has earned major honor from the National Endowment of the Arts.
"The fact that I was chosen is a victim for NC because we have kept these traditions alive in Western North Carolina."
The storyteller/banjo player is among nine recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship. That includes a $25,000 award.
Playing the banjo on her porch, she says passing on the ballads she learned as a child is a point of pride. They're family heirlooms.
"My Granny used to say they'd never make into the 21st century."
Remarkable resilience considering just four years ago, the music could have easily stopped. In 2009, her husband of 22 years passed away.
Jim committed suicide while suffering with Lyme disease.
"At that point while things were so painful in my life, I fell back into the rich tradition of storytelling and old love songs, " says Adams.
She says the National Heritage Fellowship is her biggest achievement yet. Redemption in the storyteller's own compelling story.
"Even after the tragic loss of my husband I would hope people see there is a new beginning."
By John Le
Follow John on Twitter @AbsoluteLe