2016-03-10 / Front Page

Poland, Reed will be guests of honor at book signing

Authors Gail Reed and Lincolnton native Tom Poland will be the guests of honor at a book signing held at the Lincoln County Library on Friday, March 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Dova Partridge Annex.

The event is being sponsored by the Friends of the Lincoln County Library (FOL).

In her comments, Nicole Kelley, FOL president, said, “We are very pleased to have a dual book signing for two such wonderful authors at our library. We hope it will be like coming home for them.

“I invite the community to come out and support Gail and Tom as well as the library.”

Reared in Waynesboro, Reed met Lincolnton native Travis Reed at the University of Georgia. “I graduated, and we married in 1973 and lived in Lincolnton from 1973 to 1983. Dur­ing these years, I taught at LCES.”

She also earned a master’s degree from Augusta College and a special­ist degree from UGA

The Reeds then left Lincolnton to experience life across the pond. “Travis was in international business and living in Iraq, Egypt, and Eng­land, so the children and I decided to go with him,” said Mrs. Reed.

“I had my own school with the United States Department of De­fense, where I taught kindergarten for two years. It was a wonderful and very educational experience. How­ever, there is no place like home.

“We returned to the States in 1985, and I taught in Columbia County at Blue Ridge Elementary School until I retired in 2014. I was 62 years old and not ready to retire, so I decided to write children’s books on manners and character development.”

Two books in the five-book series have been published. They are “I Can’t Find My Manners” and “Man­ners and More for Boys.”

“I Can’t Find My Manners” re­cently received the “2015 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award,” which is presented annually by the Gelett Burgess Center for Creative Expression. The award recognizes outstanding books that inspire imagination and creativity and help support childhood literacy and life- long reading.

The book was illustrated by Lin­colnton folk artist Leonard Jones, who does many of his paintings on old roofing tin with enamel house paint, adding subjects with his fin­gers, leaving visible fingerprints in the artwork.

Reed’s second book was illus­trated by Pat Biggerstaff, who is also a native of Lincolnton.

Biggerstaff and her husband, Dwaine, spend as much time as pos­sible at their cottage on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, where she paints the daily activities of the Gul­lah community for a local art gallery. Her love of the Southern coastline’s natural beauty influenced her illus­trations in Reed’s book.

The books are available locally at C and B Drugs and the Lincoln Artisans Gallery.

A resident of Evans, Reed and her husband have two children and five grandchildren.

Veteran journalist and Southern storyteller Tom Poland has been writing about the disappearing South for nearly four decades. His books include “Reflections of South Carolina,” volumes I and II; “Classic Carolina Road Trips from Columbia: Historic Destinations and Natural Wonders;” and “Co­lumbia, City of Rivers, Vistas, and Dreams.”

He will be in Lincolnton to sign his latest work, “Georgialina: A Southland as We Knew It.”

With a companionable appre­ciation for nostalgia, preservation, humor, and wonder, the book brings to life once more the fading and unfiltered character of the South as Poland takes readers down back roads to old home places, covered bridges, and country stores.

He recalls hunting for snipes and for lost Confederate gold; the joys of beach music, the shag, and cruising Ocean Drive; and the traditions of sweeping the yard with homemade brooms, funeral processions, calling catfish, and other customs of South­ern heritage and history.

Peppered with candid memoir, “Georgialina” also introduces read­ers to a host of quirky and memo­rable characters who have populated the Southland of Poland’s writing.

Set primarily in his native Georgia and adopted home of South Caro­lina, his tales of bygone times reso­nate across a recognizably Southern landscape and faithfully recall the regional history and lore that have defined the South for generations as a place uniquely its own for natives, newcomers, and visitors.

Poland noted that the book grew out of columns that he wrote for The Lincoln Journal.

Commenting on “Georgialina,” famous author Pat Conroy wrote, “Tom Poland brings the fading and forgotten rural South back to life with a deeply felt reverence for the power of story to preserve our shared past. In these pages, we ride shotgun with Tom past covered bridges, tenant homes, country stores, and sweetgrass basket stands into a South that – like the Goat Man – we may never see again.”

The first leg of Poland’s journey into the world of books began when he earned a journalism degree from the University of Georgia.

His first writing position involved authoring scripts for natural history documentaries, followed by a job as the managing editor for “South Carolina Wildlife” magazine. While there, he wrote a feature on tenant homes that caught the eye of an ac­quisition editor at the University of South Carolina Press. The result was a book contract, and the second leg of Poland’s journey had begun.

Today, he writes columns for newspapers and journals and has 12 books to his credit that range from fiction to natural history, history, photojournalism, and essays and column reflections.

Poland is the son of the late Ruth and John M. Poland of Lincolnton.

The photographs for “Georgiali­na” were provided by Poland and Robert C. Clark, a professional photographer located in Irmo, South Carolina. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Clark has photo­graphed his adopted state for the past 34 years

Both Reed and Poland will have copies of their books available for purchase.

Return to top