Monday, October 28, 2013

There are so many joys associated with being an author and book events rank right at the top. Okay, so not all book events are whopping successes. I might sit at a book store for an hour and a half, meet many people, but sell only one book.


The seed is planted. The name of my book is spoken. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, my mama always said.

I recently participated in an open house at the Caldwell County Historical Museum here in Lenoir. I prepared for the afternoon anticipating the usual history enthusiasts and packed accordingly. What I got from the day I could never have anticipated and goes to the heading, “Where were you when I was writing this book?”

Product DetailsWhen I first arrived, I arranged my display on the assigned table next to a gentleman, whom the curator of the museum introduced as Roy Pipes. His book, Darby, is a fiction based here in Caldwell County.

We talked politely and soon, as authors tend to do, the subject of our conversation steered to our books. “Lessons Learned: The Story of Pilot Mountain School,” I began.

“Pilot Mountain School?” he answered. “My father was principal at a school by that name.”

“There are eight Pilot Mountains,” I started my usual spiel. “This one’s in Burke County.”

“That’s where we lived.” I looked at the cover of his book and re-read his name, “Pipes.”


I grabbed up my book, flipped frantically through and on pages eighty-eight through ninety-seven, sure enough, there he was, R.S. Pipes. To confirm, we looked at the eighth grade graduation picture.


1953 with Mr. Pipes

So we sat talking between visitors and signings and refreshment breaks. He told me what was missing from those pages, the real Mr. Pipes, as only a proud son can tell. How his father brought his work home with him, worrying about the children. How his father cared for the children and the teachers. How his father went on from Pilot Mountain School to more successes in education.

Coincidence? Maybe. Time well spent? Definitely.

Catch of the day,


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