This book is a small collection of newspaper column-length text accompanied by one of the artists’ drawings of people and places near Alley Spring in northern Shannon County, Missouri. Self-published in 1980, this book includes interviews with local figures who were born around the turn of the century and remember traversing the county in wagons, in cooling their perishables in springs, and who used or restore old mills and steam equipment.
So, yeah, it was right in my wheelhouse.
I take a paper, the Current Local, which is just south of Shannon County and is also on the Current River, so some of the place names are familiar. And my favorite bits in that paper are the columnists, so the book fits into what I’m reading every week anyway.
So I enjoyed it. It’s a little saddle-stitched 59-page collection, so about 20 or 25 “columns.” The drawings are good, too, and the author is a painter by trade, I take it. She’s from before the Internet, so searches on her name bring up a variety of “We found Tania Gray for you, cyberstalker” sites but no examples of her paintings. I’ll have to watch out for them at local antique malls and garage sales, I suppose. As well as perhaps other similar collections, which would be a treat to find.