Sadie Perry

Sadie Perry with her Artemis Fowl book.

In a community like Nelson, everybody looks out for one another, and when a book goes missing, it finds its way back to the rightful owner.

After a softball game at the Nelson Center on U.S. 29, 8-year-old Sadie Perry left her Artemis Fowl book, one she and her sister read quite often, on a picnic table.

“I knew I left it. I thought maybe the Piedras would pick it up,” Sadie said, referring to family friends. According to Sadie’s mother, Ricki Perry, her daughter’s thought process is a testament to the supportive community that is Nelson.

When Ricki Perry was scrolling through Facebook, she saw another mother — Kate Rutherford — had posted about finding it.

“I saw a post [on] ‘Nelson Knows’ and thought that looked like the book my girls read,” Perry said.

After confirming it was in fact their beloved Artemis Fowl book, Perry said she commented on the post and Rutherford said she would leave it at the Nelson County Memorial Library for Perry to pick up.

“Parenting is a community effort in Nelson County,” Perry said.

Rutherford said she often posts on the Facebook page “Nelson Knows” when she finds something left behind. Rutherford said her sons found the book at the Nelson Center and they dropped it in the library drop-off bin, knowing the library would keep it safe until Perry could pick it up.

“I love the ‘Nelson Knows’ Facebook group because it does bring everyone together. People will post about emergency-related things, or just ‘I know someone who needs clothing size 12’ and everyone just pitches in,” Rutherford said.

Perry said she planned on swinging by the library to pick up the book, but before she could the book came to them. Perry said she found it on her porch in a blue Food Lion bag.

“I still don’t know who dropped it off,” Perry said March 22.

On March 25, Perry found out her neighbor, Deborah Turel, had left the book. Rutherford said she had run into her neighbor at the library and the neighbor offered to take the book for Perry.

Perry said Nelson County is a relatively safe place where people watch out for one another and everyone knows everyone.

“There are connections that wouldn’t happen in a bigger city,” Perry said.

Rutherford said the Nelson community is always pitching in to help each other out. Rutherford said a good example is the fundraiser held on March 24 to raise money to cover the funeral expenses of a high school student who was recently killed in a car wreck.

“I saw five different people from five different churches there helping out. It’s so Nelson. Everyone just shows up and helps out,” Rutherford said.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County. Reach her at (434) 385-5524 or

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