John Parris 

John Parris was a Sylva, North Carolina native. He was a true newspaper man from the tender age of 13 when he began writing for the local weekly, The Jackson County Journal, and as a correspondent for the Asheville Citizen-Times. In 1936 he moved to New York and became a bylined feature writer, then was sent by the United Press to London in 1941 where he covered the diplomatic run until 1944. He took a brief time out from his work in London to cover the North African invasion where he landed with the GIs at Arzew. Shortly thereafter he joined the Associated Press in London, holding the post of diplomatic correspondent until 1946 when AP transferred him New York to cover the United Nations. For his work with the Belgian underground he was decorated with the order of Chevalier of the Order of Leopold II. By 1947, Parris was ready to return to his beloved mountains in Sylva, NC, devoting the rest of his life to creative writing. In 1951, he became director of public relations of the Cherokee Historical Association and in February, 1955, began his beloved "Roaming the Mountains" column for The Asheville Citizen and the Citizen-Times. He co-authored two books, Springboard to Berlin and Deadline Delayed. Parris' writing and his subsequent collection of books, based on his newspaper column Roaming The Mountains with John Parris, is one of the last remaining true testaments to old newspaper style reporting. Parris traveled the mountains, detailing the life, culture and history of Western North Carolina from old timers that were still living and who shared with Parris their first hand experience of what life was like for early settlers and the generations that followed.
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