Gastonia native Kathy Norcross Watts has published widely in journals around the state, exploring the folkways and traditions of North Carolina. Now living in Winston-Salem, Watts has a newly published book, A SIMPLE LIFE: A STORY OF SID OAKLEY. Oakley was a major figure in North Carolina arts. He founded the Cedar Creek Gallery near Falls Lake; was represented as a master potter in the Smithsonian's catalog; was recognized as a North Carolina Living Treasure; and had his creations exhibited in institutions as far away as Japan. When Watts began writing the book, she discovered that she had a story within a story that evolved from a school bus ride in 1945. Oakley was one of the children on the bus; another was Mildred, who was sent home because she was black. Watts shares her thoughts about writing and how Mildred became entwined in Oakley's story.