Local man publishes book about his life

Published 12:30 pm Saturday, September 5, 2015

Kenneth Gay of Franklin published a book, “The Story of a North Carolina Farm Boy: Then and Now,” in 2014, about his life and how it has drastically changed from his childhood to the life he lives today.

Gay was born on Dec. 23, 1933, to a poor farmer in Northampton, North Carolina during the depression days. The book starts off discussing all the hardships he faced growing up on the farm and being poor. He also describes the farm, how it was run and how harvesting crops has changed from then to now.

The book then goes on to describe about how at first he wasn’t interested in learning and furthering his education. When he was old enough, he was drafted into the Army for two years. His thoughts on education soon changed and it became something he wanted to do. He attended a technical school and studied electronics. This later helped him get a job at the Paper Mill as a Maintenance Instrument Supervisor. He worked at the mill for over 37 years before retiring.

“The book is written in the language and type of southern expressions as a poor farm boy,” he said.

He wanted the readers to feel like he was having a conversation with them. According to him, the reviews he has received on the book claim just that.

His interest in writing the book came from his family.

“I always tell my five grandchildren and one great-grandchild how different things are now, than they were when I was growing up. They couldn’t believe how my life had been.” Gay said. “I started writing down things about my life growing up — just to be able to hand something down to them, and so they could have a record of my life.”

Gay and his wife go to Florida from January until April every year, and this gave him a lot of time to work on the book.

“When were down there in 2014, I had a lot of time on my hands. I started making a timeline and then I went back through the timeline and wrote about what happened at that event. Then I thought why don’t I just write a book?” he continued.

Gay then went on to say that at first his wife wasn’t very encouraging because she isn’t one for trying new things, but then the more he wrote, the more she began to help him remember things.

“It became fun for me to write,” he said. “I got to remember a lot of events that I had forgotten about.”

He said that for what he has tried to do, he feels that he has done really well with the book.

“I haven’t really tried to push the book. I’ve mostly sold books through the word of mouth of others,” Gay continued. “But English has always been my worst subject, so this is a really big accomplishment for me.”

An editorial review on Amazon states that, “He never dreamed that he would be able to take on a project such as writing a book. It proved that if you have in faith in God, that nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. He always tried different things as you will see in the book, but this was the biggest endeavor that he has taken in his entire life. It is an accomplishment that he will never forget as long as he lives.”

The book has sold between 125 and 150 copies, right around the community.

At the Cruise In Grand Finale on Wednesday, Sept. 12, Gay will have a booth set up where you can buy his book. He will also be signing it for anybody who wants theirs signed. The cost of the book will be $12.

If you are unable to make it to that event, you can get the book from him, buy it on Amazon or get it on your Kindle. The book is also available at the Peanut Patch in Courtland.