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South Boston author remembers ‘When Tobacco was Good’

Tobacco has not always been a negative word, and South Boston resident and author Kent Mills remembers those days.

In his recently released book, “Once Upon A Time…When Tobacco was Good,” Mills tells of a time in the not so distant past when being in the business of raising tobacco was a very, prestigious and much sought after way of earning a living.  

A few proud people locally still take a great deal of pride in raising a good crop of tobacco, but back in the 1940s and 1950s, one carried a great deal of respect if you farmed it, sold it, bought it, chewed it or smoked it, Mills said.  

“A famous movie star, who was later to become President of the United States, was on billboards all over America, encouraging us to light up and enjoy life,” Mills recalled.  

All that changed on Jan. 11, 1964 when United States Surgeon General, Luther Terry made the bold announcement that tobacco could be dangerous to your health.  

Not only was it an astounding
statement, it began the destruction and demise of a culture and a way of life that will never exist in America again, the author said.  

“Once Upon a Time…When Tobacco was Good” tells this heartwarming story in a way that lets one live it just as if they were there.  

The story’s author grew up during this era in South Central Virginia in what is still known as the heart of tobacco country.  His winters were for schooling in the area’s only city, South Boston, but all his summers were spent on his uncle John’s tobacco farm where he usually lived from June until September.  

Mills’ humorous and streetwise writing style was developed from a mix of city boy/country boy living.  His self-described punch line poetry can be found in several books including “Poet’s Domain”, published by Patricia Adler of Charlottesville.  Contact information for Pat is:

Copies of Mill’s new book “Once Upon a Time…When Tobacco was Good” are now available at the author’s website:  Once there, simply click on Barnes and Noble or e-book or Amazon Books.  

Interested persons also may purchase copies by contacting the author direct through his email or telephone at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 434-222-4814.  

Copies also are available at most bookstores, including Barnes and Noble.