Meet the Parents (in Without a Country)
Our story about the making of a movie continues… I have introduced many characters in the film. Now it is time to MEET THE PARENTS!
Our story centers on Will and Suzanne (James Wilburn Clark and Suzanne Lusk Clark). They lived on a farm in a narrow valley nestled in the mountains near the village of Valle Crucis. This mountain region of North Carolina didn’t have the large plantations like many visualize when they think of the Old South. Instead, subsistence farmers populated the remote hollers of Watauga County. They scratched the soil to raise a crop. They had taters, pickled beans and a pig – but money was in short supply.
In 1861, when the Civil War broke out, Will and Suzanne had five children. Without A Country portrays two children, Caroline and Elizabeth. It is difficult to get cameras and a big family into a small log cabin typical for the period. As I work on this film I try to imagine three more children (including a new baby and a toddler). They would be there when Suzanne worked in the garden, when she cooked, when she washed clothes. There was no way around it – the older children had to pitch in. They pulled weeds in the garden, they cared for their younger siblings and they quickly learned to help their Ma and Pa in all areas of farm life. The young ones grew up fast.