American Sunset

Block Number: 138

By Ginger Todd


Danny and Dawn Plemmons had been looking forward to the day their quilt block would be installed and on August 23, 2013 “American Sunset” was attached to their lakeside camper located at 329 Moose Island Drive at the Marion Moose Lodge community at Lake James. Chairwoman Jill Lucas presented the framed Certificate of Authenticity to Danny and Dawn for display in their week-end summer home.

Dawn, a Media Assistant at East Junior High School and Danny, Sales Manager for thirty years at Tyson Furniture in Black Mountain, joined the Marion Moose Lodge in 1998. They purchased their “camper” that same year. Through the years, as their three children Ryan, Justin and Sarah grew up enjoying all sorts of water sports and activities at the Family Center, they made additions and refurbishments. On the 4th of July around eight years ago the Plemmons’ son Ryan took a random sunset photograph of the American flag flying on their dock. That Christmas he surprised his parents and presented them with a large canvas of the beautiful picture blown up.

Then on Sunday and Monday, May 5th and 6th of this year misfortune struck. The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for all of McDowell County as heavy, continuous rains fell over a twenty-four hour period. As runoff from creeks and streams fed the upper Catawba River, lake levels became high and low lying areas became flooded. The Moose Lodge waterfront was one of the hardest hit and the Plemmons had major water damage.

No one was injured, but emotions ran high at some of the losses, destruction and the amount of hard work required for clean-up as the waters slowly receded. As Danny and Dawn gathered their valuables and belongings, at one point from a pontoon boat, they found that a part of their loss was the ruin of the treasured canvas their son had given them. Only a portion of the picture was left. Dawn commented that “we loved that picture because it reminded us of our favorite time in the summer to be on the lake”. They have since all but completely rebuilt and remodeled the home, taking it down to the base structure of the original camper and putting in a new porch.

Upon seeing their neighbor’s recently installed quilt block, they decided on one for themselves. They showed what was left of their beloved canvas to Mike Lucas, volunteer and artist for the McDowell Quilt Trail, to give him an idea of how they wanted to restore the original photo images of the sunset, flag and lake on the block. Dawn remarked “he (Mike) captured the mood of the picture perfectly”, thus Block #138, appropriately named “American Sunset”, evolved and their sentimental feeling for the original photo and canvas was renewed. The Plemmons love the way it brightens up the outside of their home and are completely satisfied and happy with the finished product.

The 2 foot by 3 foot block was installed around 10:00 A.M. by Mike Lucas and depicts a sunset behind the mountains with the lake in the foreground. Two grey and white Osprey, excellent fishers and a common sight on Lake James, are shown on the block flying over the water. A representation of the United States flag encompasses the background. The flag serves in part as a tribute to Danny’s father who was a paratrooper in World War II and an American flag still flies at the end of their boat dock. Boaters and watercraft can view the attractive and colorful block #138 along the Moose Lodge waterfront vacation bungalows.

If you would like to host or gift a quilt block on the McDowell Quilt Trail to honor someone or commemorate a special memory, either on the water, a home, business or an outbuilding eligible for the Rural Heritage Trail, contact Mike Lucas at 828-443-6476. He will be happy to work with you on the block design you want, size and display. You may also contact the McDowell Arts Council Association, supporter of the non-profit Quilt Trail, at 828-652-8610 or drop by the store on Main Street for maps, storybooks and other quilt trail items available.

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