My Tuxedo No Longer Fits by Robert Elias Ballard

Author Publishes Book of Memories About Growing up in a Rural N. C. Textile Village

Zirconia, NC, October 09, 2008 --( Robert Ballard grew up during the golden years of the 1950's and 60's in the small, rural Western North Carolina textile village known as Tuxedo. Life was simple back then, and Ballard shares engaging, humorous, and often poignant stories about the residents of Tuxedo.

The book's early chapters are devoted to the mill, the village and the business enterprises that surround the village. Over thirty photographs are included throughout the book, providing visual detail to the business within the community and some of the interesting and colorful people who operated them.

Ballard recalls boyhood activities of the village children-including pranks, trick or treat tricks and snipe hunts. Ballard also chronicles some of the spiritual aspects of the community, with information on churches, preachers and spiritual awakenings, and a special story of an answered prayer.

In a chapter devoted to "School Days and Beyond," Ballard reflects on his educational experiences in the public school system and confesses to some embarrassing social situations associated with the puberty years. "We grew up in a protected environment and certain subjects were never discussed," remembers Ballard. "As a result, much of what we learned was through our interactions with older boys and listening to their conversations."

Ballard reveals his family genealogy and shares previously guarded family secrets and boyhood memories associated with staying at his grandparents farm. Simple things like killing hogs and milking cows are also included as well as some fond memories of the old Roman Eagle wood cook stove and the stately old "Privy."

One chapter, titled "A Tragic January Morning" recalls the devastating day when two of Ballard's schoolmates were killed in an early morning house fire. this tragic event resulted in the birth of the local fire and rescue department.

The book concludes by taking a look at the village in the present day and gives an optimistic glimpse into Tuxedo's future.

My Tuxedo No Longer Fits is a short volume written in a simple vernacular, filled with stories both melancholy and heartwarming. the books subtle humor and nostalgic tone will resonate with may who understand and know what it was like to grow up in a small textile and farming community.

Robert Ellias Ballard is 60 years old and lives with his wife, Pearlie Jane and son Gary in Zirconia, North Carolina. He retired as a machine technician in 2003 after working 30 years for GE. The book can be found at

Robert E. Ballard
Robert Ballard
(828) 692-5150