Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rainy Day & Bookfest

. . .  a pretty good combination—at least when the bookfest is inside. This morning I drove 27 miles to Chatham to participate in the first annual Pittsylvania County Book and Author Festival, held in the historic Chatham Train Depot, which became home to the Pittsylvania County History Research Center last spring .

I knew I was in the right place when I saw the sign:

The venue couldn't have been better. Tables and chairs were already set up, and I was able to park right beside the door to unload. In a matter of minutes, my table was ready.

Before the bookfest got under way, I looked around in the next room that featured some wonderful exhibits. It wasn't that long ago that the old depot was in a state of major disrepair. Restoration began in 2006 and was finished six year later. A series of pictures show what the depot looked like at various times.

My favorite exhibit showed what Chatham (and the depot) looked like many years ago.

I managed to get some pictures of the little train that ran through it.

While I was looking at the exhibit, a real train sped by outside. At least a half-dozen trains rattled past while the bookfest was underway. Trains don't stop at the old depot, though.

There were lots of train-related exhibits and train-related books . . .

. . . and plenty of pictures of trains.

The wreck of the Old 97, made famous in song, happened near Danville on September 27, 1903. Eleven people were killed in the wreck and several were injured. Here's what the Old 97 looked like:

Here is a picture of the wreck. Below the picture are two railroad spikes from the scene.

Larry Aaron, author of The Wreck of the Old 97, published by History House Press in 2010, had his book available at the the bookfest.

I also looked at other exhibits—like these woven coverlets from the Stone Family plantation. . .

. . . and this embroidered cotten coverlet.

Many of the authors at the bookfest had written historical non-fiction, such as Carl L. Sell, Jr., whose table was next to mine. It was interesting listening to him talk about Gettysburg.

A few of us wrote fiction, though. One of the authors that I'd known previously, Carolyn Tyree Feagans, had her novels that are set in the Blue Ridge.

Other authors included Ginny Brock (one of my Lake Writer buddies), Angela Harris (whom I'd met at a Binding Time Bookfest), Lee Wayland, Barney Lawless, Arlene Carter, Susan Elzey, Clara Fountain, and Sandy Logan.

I had a wonderful time and sold a bunch of books at the first annual Pittsylvania County Book and Author Festival. I'm already looking forward to the second one.

If you're interested in Pittsylvania County history, you can learn more at

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The town I went to H.S. in back in the early 70's has on old depot that was re-done and is now a wine and music establishment. They call the establishment the Train Wreck Winery. More cities need to take advantage of and save old structures.

9:36 AM  
Blogger CountryDew said...

Looks like a nice event!

6:51 PM  

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