James discusses his friendship with Toliver, a mountaineer from Rosman. The two befriended each another while building roads during the Great Depression. Toliver even gives James the nickname â€œBig Blueâ€ as a reference to James's Portuguese birth. The two have remained friends for over forty years, as James makes occasional visits to North Carolina's mountains. The author notes the economic change that both the state's mountain region and Toliver have experienced during that time. While James misses the old-time ways he experienced when he first came to the region, he realizes that progress has greatly improved the lives of Toliver and his family.