Local author honors past with first book

Published 11:33 am Saturday, December 2, 2017

Gaynelle Edwards Riddick’s love of her hometown and home church inspired the Franklin native to write a book, “Honor the Past.” More specifically, its cover advertises the content, subtitled “Stories and Recollections of High Street United Methodist Church.”

Gaynelle Edwards Riddick holds up a copy of her book, “Honor the Past,” which features stories and recollections of High Street United Methodist Church. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News

“I’m the church historian and I thought I might as well,” said the 83-year-old. Having taught American history for 24 years in elementary schools has also given her more than enough familiarity with the subject. She also served as a tour operator for Royal Tours, taking thousands of people across the country and around the world. That in itself could possibly be another book.

Riddick began the first chapter six years ago, but that was put on hold by personal illness and that of her husband, who subsequently died. She picked it back up two years ago and has funded the publication herself.

The book is selling for $25 apiece, and after expenses any profits made will eventually go toward High Street UMC.

Riddick acknowledges putting it all together was “a lot of work,” but there’s no regret for the time spent in researching and writing.

Flipping through, she points out some features that stand out for her.

“One thing I’m really proud of his Troop 17. We have an unbelievable number of Eagle Scouts,” Riddick said while reviewing the names of boys who have earned the highest rank in the program.

Then there’s what she called as one “the best things,” the story about Lt. Ellis Frankfort, a World War II veteran.

Overall, “It’s just got interesting stories about Franklin and its people,” Riddick said.

To get your copy, contact Riddick at 630-8377 or 562-3766 or email gaynelle@gmail.com.