Fort Negley Nashville Tenn

Fort Negley Nashville Tenn
Nashville Skyline from Fort Negley in Tennessee

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Kentucky Book Fair in Frankfort Kentucky

I THINK that the Kentucky Book Fair is held the first Saturday in November each year.  It is at the Convention Center in Frankfort.

I had to attend this year because there were several intriguing authors showing up.

I have been before, and I like this event a lot because it is very casual.  The vibe is friendly and relaxed.  Authors and readers aren't an uptight group for sure.

I had received an author list in the mail before the event and I immediately noticed several that I wanted to see at the fair.  The group was a pretty mixed bag, but there were some that jumped out to me.

Former professional wrestler Hillbilly Jim (Jim Morris) was there selling copies of his biography along with the books author Gary P. West.  I loved Hillbilly Jim when I was a kid, and I was super excited to say hi to him, and to pick up his book.

Jim was as nice in real life as his character was back in the day.  He is from Bowling Green, and we talked about our home towns.  He is very familiar with Owensboro, mentioning that he had wrestled at the Sports Center and done some stuff with WaxWorks in town.  Jim talked about his radio show, and his other interests.  He said something (I wish I remembered his exact quote) about trying to be the best he could be at multiple things.  It was very inspiring.

Hillbilly Jim is still a massive man.  You can tell that he works out and takes care of himself.  I just looked his age up on Wikipedia, and he could easily pass for a couple decades younger.

Someone else that I was excited about seeing at this event was Ian Punnett, former host of Coast to Coast AM.  I used to listen to Coast to Coast ALL the time, and I still enjoy catching it when I can.  Anyway, I thought it was a pretty big deal that Mr. Punnett was at the Fair.  He has just completed a book, "A Black Night for the Bluegrass Belle" which was available at the Kentucky Book Fair.  Ian was also as friendly as I hoped he would be.  I was glad to pick up his book about Verna Garr Taylor and the events surrounding her death in 1936.

Ian was very pleasant and talked about several topics with us, though he seemed just as curious about the people stopping by to see him.  He and Jim Morris both asked about us, what we did, where we were from, etc.  It was very sweet and sincere.

Ian even introduced us to his publisher from Acclaim Press.  I feel bad that I can't remember his name right now, but we ended up bumping in to him at nearly every other booth we stopped at- most of the books we bought on this day were published by Acclaim.

Setting next to Ian was Ronald Blair who has recently put out the massive volume "WILD WOLF- The Great Civil War Rivalry".  Blair is the great-great- nephew of Union Col. Frank Wolford who was a rival of John Hunt Morgan's.  Mr. Blair told me that his book is the result of sixteen years worth of work.  I picked his impressive piece of work up too.

The other person that I was really excited to see was Corky Withrow, who played minor league baseball for ten years, making it briefly to the majors in 1963.  Corky is from Central City and that's not too far from where I grew up.  Corky was lively and just a lot of fun.  We talked about growing up in western Kentucky, and when I told him that I met my wife at Berea, he had some Berea stories!

So, I have mentioned the four authors that I planned to see and pick up a book from, but there were still more interesting authors to visit with and books to check out.

We explored the convention center, and stopped here and there to talk to others authors who weren't on our radar, but maybe should have been.

We talked to Gerald W. Fischer who has written the book, "Battletown Witch" about an accused witch who was burned to death in 1840.  Her ghost has been seen in the area since then.

We also talked to a very nice and enthusiastic lady who told us about the Seckatary Hawkins Club books, which are being reissued.  They were originally published in the 1920s.  These sounded like very cute and fun young adult type books, that older adults might enjoy reading too.  I am going to have to look these books up a little more, because they sounded like great fun.

The book fair was a great event this year, and I look forward to attending next year!

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