On Saturday, March 19 there is sure to be a fun-filled day at the Logan County Public Library.
First, it begins with a children’s presentation—complete with reading, singing, puppet show and activities. Later in the afternoon, adults can travel back to 1801 and experience the Cane Ridge Revival in Bourbon County, Ky. And in the evening, folks can revisit frontier life and learn about Kentucky’s involvement in the Battle of New Orleans.
On Saturday, March 19 at 10:30 a.m., the Logan County Public Library will host the children’s program, “Little Miss Grubby Toes Steps on a Bee!” Eddie Price, a 61-year old retired high school history teacher and college instructor from Hancock County, is bringing a “friend” to help with the children’s show—“Little Miss Grubby Toes” herself! Warning! Although she is the main character of the series, she is sometimes very cranky and has been known to misbehave during the program!
It will be a full day for Kentucky author Eddie Price when he comes to Logan County. Price is the author of Widder’s Landing, an award-winning historical fiction novel set in western Kentucky in the years 1811-1815. He has also written an eight-book children’s series. (The first book is entitled Little Miss Grubby Toes Steps on a Bee!)
The books are about a little girl who disobeys her parents and suffers the consequences. Little Miss Grubby Toes Steps on a Bee! is an award-winner. It earned a Gold Medal at the 2015 Readers Favorite Awards in Miami, Fla. and a Gold Medal at the 2015 Moms’ Choice Awards—in the category of “Values and Life Lessons.” It is also endorsed by the Kentucky Beekeepers Association. Illustrated by Kentucky-born Mark Wayne Adams, the book comes with discussion questions, a clue to Little Miss Grubby Toes’ real name, vocabulary words, downloadable coloring sheets and a word search. Price will have copies of his beautiful hardback book for sale and signing. Children can then have their book, hand, or forehead stamped with a “barefoot” ink stamp.
At 2 p.m. Price will present the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau Program “What I Saw at Cane Ridge!” transporting the audience back in time to learn about the Second Great Awakening that swept across the Appalachians and ultimately set Kentucky on religious fire. With roots beginning in Logan County, the “Awakening” hit a high-water mark at the great Cane Ridge Revival of 1801. Over 25,000 people showed up—even the Governor of Kentucky. Price presents the program dressed in authentic costume and he brings a PowerPoint slideshow to provide an engaging visual dimension. The audience can sing along to one of the old hymns that revival-goers claimed to “make the flesh tremble!” During the program Price slips into a Chautauqua-style, first-person “eyewitness” to the revival and describes some of the ‘phenomena” that occurred. He then gives an educational analysis of the impact the revival had upon Kentucky’s social and cultural heritage.
For the evening program Price moves to Roy’s Barbeque to present another historical program for the Southern Kentucky Pastfinders. Dinner starts at 6 p.m.; the program begins at 7 p.m. This presentation is the acclaimed “Remember the Raisin!” program, also listed in the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau Catalog. Price changes costume and becomes a Kentucky militiaman in the War of 1812, complete with frock coat, deerskin moccasins, floppy felt hat, possibility bag and powder horn. Kentuckians will be proud to learn of their state’s crucial role in this almost-forgotten war. In this program you will be standing on “Line Jackson,” defending New Orleans against the British soldiers as they advance across the cane stubble of Chalmette Plantation. Be prepared to sing “the Hunters of Kentucky!” the famous song that took America by storm after the war and became Andrew Jackson’s campaign song.
Price will have copies of Widder’s Landing available for purchase and signing. You may wish to have a photograph with the author who has presented in state and national battlefield parks from Michigan to Louisiana and from Missouri to West Virginia. The 568-page hardback book sells for $26.95 and has numerous 5-star ratings at Amazon.com. More than one reader has called it “Kentucky’s Gone With the Wind.” In addition to being sold in every U.S state, Widder’s Landing has gained an appreciative international audience. A producer for the History Channel is currently reading at the book.
Widder’s Landing, first published by Acclaim Press in 2012, is now in a 4th printing. It has won numerous awards including: the “Spirit of 1812 Award” from the US Daughters of 1812, and the Gold Medal for “Best Historical Fiction” at the 2013 Readers’ Favorite Awards (in conjunction with the Miami Book Fair.) In 2013 Widder’s Landing was honored on the floor of the Kentucky Senate and in the Governor’s Office (Governor Steve Beshear.) It was also presented to former US President Bill Clinton when he visited Owensboro. The historical novel is endorsed by the Kentucky Humanities Council, Kentucky Arts Council, Kentucky Historical Society, and the Kentucky Department of Libraries & Archives. In 2014 it was named to the “Special Exhibitions Bibliography at the Kentucky State Fair, and in January 2016 it won the National Literary Habitat Award for “Best Historical Fiction.”
Eddie Price wanted to create a believable story with living, breathing characters moving through the tapestry of time and real historic events. That meant learning about how Kentuckians lived from day-to-day. Price traveled to every location in the book and spent five years researching, interviewing, writing and editing. He worked in pioneer villages, learning how to use a broad axe, adze, draw knife and other carpentry tools. He made wooden shingles and tobacco sticks with mallet and froe. At Meade County’s “Threshing Days” he plowed with a team of big mules—after harnessing them to the plow. He helped make maple syrup and whiskey, assisted a farmer with hog killing and butchering, learned how to load and shoot black powder rifles, and practiced throwing a tomahawk. Perhaps the most enjoyable experience was cooking pioneer foods over the fireplaces with long handled skillets and Dutch ovens, using the swinging fire irons and of course, eating the meals!
“I tried to include every aspect of life in the story—farming, hog killing, cabin raising, flatboats, natural phenomena, real historical figures, medicine, religion, marriage and childbirth, politics, economics, laws, store prices, whiskey, tobacco, hemp, and other cash crops—also the events leading up to and during the War of 1812. The role Kentucky played in the War of 1812 was unbelievable. We lost 64 percent of all the casualties killed in the war, a figure that has never been surpassed by any other state. Kentuckians fought in the Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan Territories, Ohio, and Upper Canada. We even fought in the US Navy at the Battle of Put-in Bay on Lake Erie. My character tries hard to avoid the war, but he ends up fighting alongside Kentuckians at the Battle of New Orleans,” said Price.
All programs are free and open to the public. For more information about these programs contact Tracy Houchens at the Logan County Public Library: tracy.@loganlibrary.org or 270-726-6129 or David Guion of the Southern Kentucky Pastfinders: [email protected] or 270-779-1521.