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Tributes to Jim Gage Upon starting to work at Brushy Fork Institute in the Appalachian Center two years ago, I was delighted tobe near Jim Gage, editor of the Appalachian Heritage magazine. Initially my excitement was due to the opportunity to have a venue for my poetry. But it didn't take long to realize the impact Jim's guidance would have on my writing. Before he left the magazine, Jim said to me, "You clearly have a big range of writing voices and styles." If these words are true, it is greatly due to Jim Gage's influence. WithJim's encouragement and mentoring I branched out into other genres of literature, and his gentle nudge prompted me to reach deep down into my soul and bring forth a variety of voices and styles. Jim pushed me to stretch my imagination and venture into new ways of expressing myself. Working at the Center, I have heard many comments from readers of the magazine as well as contributors, and I know that Jim Gage has been an encourager of many. I saw the glow on the face of a young lady who published her first story in Appalachian Heritage. I heard another contributor say that his writing had improved since Jim took over editorship of the magazine. Friends and family have told me how much they enjoyed the magazine while Jim was editor. We will definitely miss Jim Gage. We'll miss his smiling face, his funny stories, his uplifting words, and his ability to find and publish material that makes us laugh, cry, ponder, remember, and dream. We will look forward to his upcoming achievements with great pride but certainly not surprise, and Jim's endeavors as editor of the magazine will continue to bear fruit in our own literary accomplishments. —Tina Rae Collins Dr. Jim was a teacher more than an editor to me. Dr. Jim taught me that the ringing in my ears from sawmill labor and the scars on my fingers from coal mine work were merely the prelude to being a writer of redneck chic. I thank Dr. Jim for teaching me to accept my inheritance wasn't the coal lands or cornfields my mother deeded away in her old age; my birthright was literacy—the universal passport. Dr. Jim was another good chapter in the lives of Appalachian Heritage writers and readers. Dr Jim's heart was bigger than this magazine, and he always had a listening ear.—Walter Lane ...


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