UNION — The Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library held its annual meeting on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at Grace United Methodist Church.
Miss Deborah Greene, President, and Mrs. Russell Caston, President-elect presided.
Interim Library Director Mike Cassels was recognized for his service to the library and the new Library Director, Rieta Drinkwine, was introduced.
To the delight of the audience, three local authors — Mary Gregory Dillard, Randall Ivey, and Tommy Mann — shared their writing experiences with stories about their journeys and all three noted that the writing, not the publishing aspect, was what was most important to them.
Dillard, a graduate of Benedict College, grew up on a farm in Union County. As the cover of her first published work Finding Betsyanna states: “Memories from her childhood overflow into her writing.” In the tradition of Maya Angelou, Dillard is a multi-genre author whose works are rich with “real life.”
Randall Ivey, a graduate of Union High School and the University of South Carolina, is an English professor at the University of South Carolina-Union. Ivey, who was influenced by such notable authors (his professors in Columbia) as William Price Fox and James Dickey, regaled the audience with tales from his family, especially his father’s love of expressions and humor. Of Ivey’s writing Fox wrote: “The stories in The Shape of a Man: A Novella and Five Stories are so well done and so completely different they could have been written by six altogether different writers — all excellent.” Ivey is presently preparing for the Upstate Literacy Festival, which will be held in March at USC-U.
Tommy Mann, a graduate of Arlington Baptist College in Texas and the former minister of students at Philippi Baptist Church, shared that his love of writing began with an eighth-grade Creative Writing teacher. Mann’s “Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery” was written to support couples who had lost a child. His newest book, Asleep in Heaven’s Nursery for Kids, provides information on “how to” explain the death of a child to the remaining sibling(s) or other children. Mann, who is running for the House District #42 seat, still preaches at various area churches.
Needless to say, anyone who missed Sunday’s meeting definitely missed a treat! Most of their works are available for check-out at the library as are many other Union County authors’ works.
During the business portion, the 2016-2017 officers were elected: Judy Caston, President; Rebecca Rochester, Vice President; Margie Ruff, Secretary; and Bob Holley, Treasurer. The following Committee Chairs will serve: Steve Broadbent, Building; Liz Shand, Fund Raising; Sue Keith, Hostess; Margie Ruff, Membership; Harriet Berry, Nominations; and Debby Greene, Publicity.
About The Friends
The Friends of the Union County Carnegie Library is an open-membership entity created to support the needs of our local library and encourage literacy in our county. If you have not joined the Friends, please do so. Dues are tax deductible. Membership forms are available at the library and Friends on Main, 126 East Main Street.
Deborah Greene is Past President of the Friends of the Library.