GALLIPOLIS — A book that hits close to home was a met with avid readers and local historians alike during a book signing held on Saturday at Eastman’s Foodland in downtown Gallipolis.
Stacie Vaughn Hutton, author of Shovelful of Sunshine, was on hand for the event, signing books until the store was sold out on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m not sure [how many books were sold]. I just know I was signing for a long time until the boss said we were out,” Hutton laughed when speaking about the event afterwards.
The “boss” in this case is Brent Eastman, president of Ohio Valley Supermarkets, Inc., who stated that when Hutton, a native of Athens County with close ties to Gallia County, recently approached him about the book signing, he knew she, and her work, would be a right fit for his store.
“I think it’s a neat story. It gets down to the basics of really what built the whole country — hard work — and that’s something that our customers can identify with,” Eastman said of the unique opportunity to host the book signing. “It’s close to home, and that’s our theme, as well, so we can just identify with the book. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful book.”
Shovelful of Sunshine, a work first released in October that recently won the Mom’s Choice Gold Award as the best in children’s motivational/inspirational books, deals with the themes of hard work and close family ties, while highlighting the coal industry and Welsh heritage of southeastern Ohio.
According to Hutton, the success of Saturday’s event shows the deep respect the people of southern Ohio have for their own role in building the country.
“What this showed today was a reverence for our mining industry and a reverence for our Welsh immigration history and that it was something we all should be proud of, and I’m so glad that everyone is proud of it,” Hutton said. “I think it was not really about me, it was about the reverence for miners, for our coal history and for our Welsh history — our immigrant history.”
Shovelful of Sunshine is available for purchase the downtown Gallipolis Foodland and at a most Foodland stores.