Bobbi Dawn Rightmyer and Anna Armstrong traveled a circuitous route to get to the publication of their first book together, “Images of America: Harrodsburg.” The pictorial history of Harrodsburg will be released Monday from Arcadia Publishing, which is based out of Mount Pleasant, S.C., outside of Charleston.
Rightmyer’s daughter was friends with the acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing, who approached Rightmyer for a book about Owen County. Rightmyer said she didn’t know anything about Owen County but she knew Harrodsburg. That started her on the path to developing a book about Harrodsburg.
Rightmyer said she’d known Armstrong all her life and was aware of her extensive collection of photos of Harrodsburg that date from the 1930s, with some older ones, as well. She sent an e-mail to Armstrong — an e-mail Armstrong never received. So Rightmyer went ahead and signed a contract with Arcadia to do the historical book, figuring she’d get photos from the local historical society. “I signed the contract with no idea of how to write a history book,” Rightmyer explained. In the meantime, Armstrong had been in contact with Arcadia about a postcard she was interested in creating.
“I have a huge archive of photos from my father (Andrew Armstrong), my aunt (Jesta Bell Armstrong Matherly, who also was an artist) and my work,” Armstrong said. She found out about Rightmyer’s work on a book about Harrodsburg, and wondered what she was using for the photographic element, since her own collection of Harrodsburg photos is unparalleled. Rightmyer said she was thrilled when Armstrong called, and the two got together to discuss the book, which was when they figured out Rightmyer’s e-mail hadn’t made it to its recipient.
“I decided to offer the photographs in order for the book to happen,” Armstrong said. She also had experience with writing historical descriptions, as she’d provided the text for a number of historical markers. Rightmyer said she found that experience invaluable, as she considers herself to be more of a “long writer,” focusing more on essays and longer written works.
Armstrong described “Images of America: Harrodsburg” as a “show-andtell” type of a book. The co-authors indicated such a work was needed in Harrodsburg, since the city lacked a recent, updated history-type book. Armstrong said the tome will be a good companion for people who are touring the city.
“It’s one of the first things I look for (when visiting a new place),” Rightmyer added. “It gives me an idea of where I’m at and what I’m doing.”
She added she hopes “Images of America: Harrodsburg” will inspire others “to get this history out there.”
Armstrong said the postcard pictorial history of Harrodsburg and Mercer County should be released about this time next year. The vintage postcards she will use will date through the 1960s.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
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I would like to give a big shout out to Jennifer Brummett at the Danville Advocate for doing such a nice job with the release of our new book. All information in this article is copyright Danville Advocate and Jennifer Brummett.