Blue Ridge Parkway Artist, Legend of Tom Dooley, and Careful with Those Sparklers!

Blue Ridge Parkway Artist


libertysmall (1)Liberty  Original 8″x10″ Oil Painting      $168

Prints on Paper or Canvas and Greeting Cards Available    KENDALL KESSLER ART


thomasgood (1)Wonder  Original Painting has Been Sold

Prints on Paper or Canvas and Greeting Cards Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART


jamesreflectionscopyrightReflections on The James River     Original Oil Painting      $2425

Prints on Paper or Canvas and Greeting Cards Available at    KENDALL KESSLER ART

The Legend of Tom Dooley

In 1866, a woman named Laura Foster was murdered in Wilkes County. A man named Tom Dula, pronounced “Dooley”, was convicted and hanged for the crime. That murder and the name Tom Dooley lives on in one of the most famous folk songs ever to come out of North Carolina.

The story of a dashing Tom Dula that returns home from the war to fall in love with a young woman that was being courted by a school teacher is not the accurate story.  If you would like to read the true story you can find it in Stories from The Mountains online publication.  I would rather stick to the fanciful, romantic one.  Laura Foster was being courted by Bob Grayson. Foster fell in love with Tom Dula, but so did another woman, Anne Melton. Melton was married, wealthy, beautiful, and insanely jealous. Learning that Dula was in love with Foster, not her, Anne Melton stabbed Laura Foster to death in a jealous rage.

Tom Dula was blamed for the murder. Tula fled, heading for Tennessee. Bob Grayson headed a posse to hunt down Tom Dula, and he was dragged back to Wilkes County. Dula, realizing that it was Anne Melton who committed the crime, confesses out of a chivalrous desire to save her from a death by hanging.

On May 1, 1868, Tom Dula was executed for the murder of Laura Foster. Grayson returned home to the North. Anne Melton went slowly insane from guilt.

It’s this version of the tale, a complicated story story that ends in the death of an innocent man, that became immortalized in a folk song that circulated in North Carolina for nearly 100 years before it was made nationally famous by the Kingston Trio in 1958. Their recording of the ballad Tom Dooley reached #1 on the Billboard R&B charts, and rose to the top of the country music charts.


I got this story from Stories from The Mountains online publication


Life with The Word and Bird Man – Clyde Kessler

My husband is a cautious man.  He is great about car up keep and is always advising me on the weather.  He is also very cautious with fireworks.  We only use sparklers due to all the accidents every year with the other ones.  What I didn’t know is sparklers are much more dangerous than most people think they are.

Sparklers remain one of the most dangerous fireworks in terms of accident statistics simply because they are taken for granted. Year after year people underestimate the dangers of these traditional items and get burnt.

Be sure to have a bucket of water nearby and only light one at a time.  Many accidents have occurred when two of these extremely hot sticks (several hundred degrees celsius) cross and cause a flare up.


So be Safe!


I hope you enjoyed my paintings by an artist of The Blue Ridge Parkway