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History books by Acclaim Press

A Beautiful Journey
ISBN: 0-9798802-4-6
A Beautiful JourneyBy Lucille Bowling Carloftis
Foreword by Jon Carloftis

From the Introduction:

Lucille Bowling Carloftis, is without doubt, a wonderful storyteller who has the ability to turn the mundane into the extraordinary. Her choice of descriptors for her characters afford them human, unforgettable personal qualities. These characters could be met on the streets of a city or on country roads. The settings are absolutely poetry in prose. She is able to transport the reader from the cobblestone streets of St. Augustine, Florida, to the banks of the Rockcastle River in rural Kentucky in the flash of an eye and never "skip a beat." This book reveals the most meaningful experiences of her life, and the richness she has derived from them by being a fellow traveler. Lucille and A Beautiful Journey are inexorably bound together.

Lucille "waltzed" into my life more than six decades ago, and little did I know then that she would become my life-long friend. She was the new girl in Manchester Elementary School, and everyone noticed her as she quickly joined them jumping the rope at recess. She was wearing a striking coral and white playsuit, designed and made by her mother and grandmother who were truly artists in their own professions. Her bouncing black pearls and hazel eyes were strikingly beautiful, but those eyes could not disguise the slight mischief shown in her every movement. Her whole demeanor seemed to say, "I know things. Come with me, and I will share them with you."  Strangely enough, she was immediately accepted by everyone, and never regarded with the suspicions that often accompany the unfamiliar newcomer to the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. We simply wanted to know her better.

Many years have passed since Lucille's first day of school in Manchester Elementary, and she has experienced her fair share of joys and sorrows. Whether ecstatic with happiness or devastated with sorrow, she has quickly rebounded with her never-failing tranquility because she is a survivor. As the visitor enters her shop, or her home, he or she is greeted with the warmest of smiles and given the feeling of being special. These visitors return again and again, year after year.

The reader of A Beautiful Journey will become the visitors due to memorable characters, and scenes depicted on every page. As an old admirer of hers once remarked, "You, sir, are in the presence of a lady-a very gracious lady." You, the reader, will certainly know this.
Jean Baker Cobb

About the Author
When 15-years-old Lucille Bowling met 29-year-old Carlo Carloftis in 1944, she thought him as handsome and dashing as any movie star. When she married him four years later, she learned that he also had a restless, entrepreneurial spirit. Lucille was soon caught up in his plans to recreate an authentic 1700s Indian village on the banks of Kentucky's Rockcastle River-complete with a living cast of dancers, weavers, basket and pottery makers, along with a gift shop selling Native American crafts and artifacts.

Over the next several years, as Carlo and Lucille worked to make their business a success, they forged close friendships with many Native Americans-including James Paytiamo ("Flaming Arrow"), a full-blooded Acoma, and his colorful and indomitable Caucasian wife LaRue. They also accumulated hundreds of loyal customers who always made a habit of stopping by the shop whenever they were "passing through."

In time interstate highways were built, traffic patterns altered, and buying habits changed. But one thing never did–the gracious Southern hospitality with which Carlo and Lucille welcomed their guests.The original Indian village is gone now, and the store has seen many incarnations. Today Lucille operates the Rockcastle River Trading Company, a stylish home and garden shop, with her son Jon, a renowned New York rooftop garden designer and the youngest of the six Carloftis children. Her transformation from a young wife intent on encouraging her husband to follow his dream into a savvy businesswoman still proud of her Appalachian roots is a personal odyssey you won't want to miss.

SCAJ Book Review

6" x 9" hardcover with full-color dust jacket

200 pages with many photographs


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