RUNNING ON RED DOG ROAD
And Other Perils of An Appalachian Childhood
a memoir by Drema Hall Berkheimer
Published by: Zondervan A HarperCollins Company for April 2016 release
Gypsies, faith healers, hobos, moonshiners, and snake handlers cavort through my life in 1940s West Virginia after my father is killed in the coal mines and my mother goes off to work as a Rosie the Riveter during World War II, leaving me in the hands of devout Pentecostal grandparents. Grandpa, a retired coal miner turned evangelist, preaches hellfire and salvation while Grandma sews my piano recital dress from a surplus silk parachute and tries to keep Uncle Ed from drinking the rubbing alcohol, all the while praying I don’t fall into disgrace. Running on Red Dog Road celebrates the hardships, humor, and heroics of life in small-town West Virginia. Seen through the eyes of a precocious and somewhat irreverent little girl, it is a journey of life and death; of searching for my own truths while coming of age in a multi-generational family of saints and sinners whose lives belie their own stereotypes. It is a living, breathing history of a bygone time and place. Drema Hall Berkheimer was born in a coal camp in Penman, West Virginia, the child of a coalminer who was killed in the mines, a Rosie the Riveter mother, and devout Pentecostal grandparents. Chapters from her first book, Running On Red Dog Road, a memoir, won First Place Nonfiction and First Honorable Mention Nonfiction in the 2010 WV Writers Competition and were published in WV South, an award-winning magazine where she has been a frequent contributor. She has memoir, fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and essay published in numerous online and print literary journals and other publications. Affiliations are WV Writers, Salon Quatre, and The Writers Garret in Dallas, where she makes her home.