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Washington Parish Tales

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FWPL completes Washington Parish Tales

After many setbacks, Friends of the Washington Parish Library completed their first group-published book, Washington Parish Tales, and received the first copies from the printer in late October 2008. It took 14 months from start to finish to complete the anthology of stories and reminiscences about the parish.

The first 250 copies were sold quickly, and others were ordered from the printer. About 350 copies of the book have been sold now. Copies of the book are now on file with the library branches and are available to the public. The book also can still be purchased at the library branches. FWPL extends its sincere appreciation to library staff for their help in selling the book and to all purchasers for their support.

All funds from sales of the book will go solely to benefit the parish library system. All work on it has been strictly voluntary, with no one except the printers getting paid for their work or services. Due to the high cost of printing and shipping--about $30 per book--the price of the book is $45.

The 315-page hardbound volume features many photos and artwork by four well known artists of the parish: Kay S. Bell, Willard Harrell, Terry Seal, and Ann Warner. It contains everything from factual accounts of events in the parish to humor and children’s stories.

"It’s a ‘quilt in writing’ that reveals the culture, character and great beauty of Washington Parish," said Gloria Lupo, FWPL Publications Committee chair.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Moggie Bickham, who was lifestyle editor and columnist for The Era-Leader, and to Coach Lewis Murray, Jr. It contains special sections about both of them.

Altogether, the book contains 12 sections: 1. The Washington Parish Library System; 2. Dedication to Margaret Dobson Bickham; 3. Dedication to Coach Lewis V. Murray, Jr.; 4. On Libraries, Librarians, Books and Reading; 5. Looking Back at Some Washington Parish Communities; 6. Recalling Some Organizations in the Parish; 7. Those Who Have Inspired Us; 8. Times Long Past: Families and More; 9. The Land and Its Yield; 10. Some Traditions Remembered; 11. Youth and School Days; 12. More Humor, Children’s Stories, and Tall Tales.

The book begins with a foreword by Library Director Joseph P. Sbisa. The more than 50 authors, past and current residents of the parish, are Mary Evelyn McDaniel, Moggie Bickham, Bob Ann Breland, Steve Kuperstock, Kay S. Bell, Margaret S. Burch, Callie Foreman, Mike Byrd, Mercer Riche’ Brumfield, Jan Garner, Vicki Pichon Knight, Sallie Babington Knight, Terry Seal, Betty J. Smith Batton, Donald L. Fuhrmann, Daunton Gibbs, Martha Mizell Pierce, Carole Knight, Sylvia W. Blake Johnson, Virginia C. Killingsworth, Judie Dauser, Malinda B. White, Hazel Wilson Crain, Dr. Christopher Foret, Dixie Yates Gallaspy, John N. Gallaspy, Kenneth Ray Burton, Sandra Alston Miller, Judith Corkern Jensen, H. Grady Howell Jr., Jim Fowler, Sarah Evans Williams, Sylvia Garrett Dugas, Mary Latane Alford, Jesse Homer Bankston, Susan Watts Richardson, Verna Gibbs, Jerry Gayer Dick, Major L. Chappell, Minnie Quay Posey, Ila Hennesy, J. U. Sylvest, James Wales, Melissa Bienvenu, N. J. Stafford III, Jo Purvis, Dorothy Crain Guy, Virginia P. "Ginny" Burris, Larry Stringer, John Coykendall, Mary Etta Scarborough Moody, Artie Sylvest Varnado, and Gloria Lupo. A brief biography is given on each of the authors.

Some of the parish residents, past and present, written about in the book are Simon S. Thomas, Daisy Mae Gutter, Ford McKenzie, Bill Babington, George Clinton Blake, Mattie Lou Burton, Matthew Tate, Wilton and Audrey Magee, Corrie Babington Corkern, Ira D. Gibbs, Myrtle Dyson Johnson, Mae Stupka, James Bailey, Hallie Love, Katherine Cassidy, Lacy Adeline Ball Hooper, Thelma Castlebury Dixon, and Reita Edgara Wilson Varnado. Innumerable others are mentioned and honored.

Biographies and poems of the three "Best Poets" of the Library Poetry Contests are included. The "Best Poets" are Mindy Rochelle Posey, Bowling Green; Katelyn R. Jones, who attended Varnado High and Bogalusa High; and Benjamin E. Giuffria, Abeka Christian Academy Home Schooling Program. All three have now gone on to college.

Students who won, placed, or participated in the contests and who have poems in the book are Katherine Haik, Bethanie Trahan, Gabrielle Crockett, Tristan Parker, Zachary Thomas, Lesli Sprehe, Morgan Boone, Allison Strahan, Swayze Hobgood, Katelyn Hope Graham, Mary Kate Richardson, Catherine Johnson, Pierre Wilson, Bethani Robertson, Caitlin Dormody, Milmarie Hernandez, Jamie Goff, Nicholas Adams, Kallie Boleware, Ashley Gonzalez, Seth Schilling, Ayrianna Culpepper, Mallory Corkern, Marcey Deleon, Brandon Edwards, Rebecca Talley, Haley Sumrall, Allen Barber, Jasmine Peters, Emani Douglas, Dedrick Briggs, Ariel Jones, Niky Upton, Meagan Thomas, Steven Crenshaw, Felicia Seal, Leah Stogner, and Robyn Hines. Poetry Contest artworks by Katherine Haik, Lesli Sprehe, Michael Causey, Morgan Boone, and Bailee Wascom are included.

The students are kindergarten through high school and represent the following schools: Annunciation Catholic, Ben’s Ford Christian, Bowling Green, Pleasant Hill Elementary, Enon Elementary, Byrd Avenue, Franklinton Elementary, Bogalusa Middle, Mt. Hermon, Bogalusa High, Varnado High, Superior Avenue, and home schooling.

Washington Parish Tales was edited by Gloria Lupo. Assistant editors were Linda E. Crain, Sylvia W. Blake Johnson, and Terry Seal. The four editors comprised the publications committee with one other member, Mary Jo Poole. Many other Friends helped with the book. All who assisted are listed and honored in the volume.

"This was an effort of hundreds of good people who appreciate and support our parish library system. Without all their hard work, encouragement, and financial support, this book would never have been completed," Lupo said. "We have tried to list and honor all of them in the book, and we hope we were successful with that. They have created a work that this parish can be proud of. It well represents the parish and many of the good things about our communities."


Friends of the Washington Parish Library
c/o Library Headquarters
825 Free Street
Franklinton, LA 70438