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When Petros native June Patrick Gibbs released her first book in 2004, she was pleased that so many people enjoyed reading about the ladies she lovingly labeled “Snow Blossoms.” Her book, Snow Blossoms: The Ladies of Petros United Methodist Church profiled Lucy Patrick, Imogene Evans, Polly Woodward and Alice Whitus, four women who were in their 80s and 90s at the time of publication. “Today, these four remarkable women are still with us. They have had a profound influence on many people. Everywhere we went for book signings back in 2004, the outpouring of love for these four women was wonderful to see.
We really had a good time. And many people were appreciative of the histories of the town of Petros, of the Methodist Church in Petros, and of Brushy Mountain Prison that were included in the book.”
In 2007, Gibbs released a second book, Dear Casey. “I didn’t publicize this book like I had my first book, mainly because the topic of Dear Casey was difficult for me to talk about.” Dear Casey is a collection of letters Gibbs wrote to her 14-year-old daughter, Casey, after Casey died in a car wreck in 1996. “I spent the 10 years following Casey’s death searching for healing by writing letters to her. One of my friends suggested I share my letters, as well as what I had learned about dealing with grief. It was a way for me to honor and memorialize Casey, as well as encourage other bereaved parents traveling the same road. Many people have told me that my book helped them.”
Now, Gibbs has a third book – this time a novel called Sky Pencils. “This one has been fun. The characters I created seem almost as real to me as you do. There’s a little love and a little tragedy in this story. Essentially it’s about life and how the characters’ destinies often seem to be written in the clouds. Yet they, like us, must still muddle through the difficulties of saying what they need to say, doing what they need to do, and being what they need to be.” Why the name Sky Pencils? “You’ll have to read the book.”
Gibbs, a graduate of Wartburg Central High School and Tennessee Technological University, resides in Knoxville. Come say hello and pick up a copy of any of these books when libraries in Petros, Wartburg and Coalfield host book signings in Morgan County. On Saturday, May 19, Gibbs will be at the Petros Library from 10 a.m. to noon. On Monday, May 21, she will be at the Wartburg Library from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. And on Saturday, May 26, she will be at the Coalfield Library from 10 a.m. to noon.
If you can’t attend any of the book signings but would like to order a book, you can call Gibbs at 865-748-2333, write her at PO Box 6412, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, or order any of her books online from Amazon.com or www.junegibbsbooks.com.