Title: Oral History Interview with Jerry Plemmons, November 10, 2000. Interview K-0506.
Interviewer: Amberg, Rob
Interviewee: Plemmons, Jerry
Subjects: Farm life--North Carolina Madison County (N.C.) Express highways--North Carolina Plemmons, Jerry
Abstract: At the time of the interview, Jerry Plemmons, a lifelong Madison County resident, worked for the French Broad Electric Membership Corporation, consulting on energy conservation and working toward community development. In this interview, he reflects on the influence of development, particularly highway construction, on Marshall, North Carolina, a town known as "a mile long, street wide, sky high, and Hell deep." Plemmons sees roads as both constructive and destructive forces—they bring new money and new people to communities, but they also offer residents the chance to leave, invite environmental damage, and balloon property values, thus driving out longtime residents. Rural North Carolinians, then, must work not only to protect their economic and environmental stability, but also the stability of their community values.