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Shelby County, Kentucky, 2011 – A Living History,a book that depicts the people and special events that define Shelby County, debuts Monday with a series of signing events across the county.
The book, the latest produced by veteran Shelbyville publisher William E. Matthews, includes more than 800 color photographs, most by Shelbyville resident Greg Biagi, who spent countless hours and traveled thousands of miles around the county to arrange and capture the many events and gatherings of 2011.
Biagi captured civic leaders and ordinary people of all ages at events that ranged from youth baseball teams, family reunions, festivals and church and civic organizations to the Shelby County Fair and the Shelbyville Horse Show.
“Shelby Countians are, by nature, friendly, protective of the environment, and generous in their support of good causes,” Matthews said in a news release announcing the book’s release.
“I am particularly proud that, through the support of the local school system and particularly Duanne Puckett, we were able to photograph the faculty and staff of every public school in the county.”
The faculties of Cornerstone Christian Academy and Corpus Christi Academy in Simpsonville are also included along with numerous submitted photographs that are indexed.
Matthews’ numerous publishing holdings have included The Shelby Sentinel, The Sentinel-News, a regional newspaper group that now is part of Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., Shelby County Lifemagazine and Back Home Kentucky, his most recent, ongoing venture.
He also produced in 2009, along with Jim Cleveland, Portraits of the Past: A Pictorial History of Shelby County Kentucky.
Retired Shelbyville High School and Shelby County High School English teacher Ernestine Jennings provided a timeline of events for 2011 in Shelby County, which includes a survey of more than 100 people on today’s local culture. Former Gov. Martha Layne Collins wrote the introduction. Equestrian star Mary Gaylord McClean is featured on the cover.
Mae Peniston, the copublisher of this 304-page, coffee-table-style book, sold sponsorships to businesses.
There are 16 book signings starting at Walgreen’s in Shelbyville between 3 and 6 p.m. Monday. Signings will also take place at five churches (Catholic Church of the Annunciation, Waddy Baptist, Christianburg Baptist, First Christian in Shelbyville and Salem Baptist) and at Metzger’s in Simpsonville.
“This book is not only a keepsake today,” Matthews said in the release, “but will be even more important to future generations as they look back on what made Shelby Countians work so well together in 2011.
“The book has made me ever more appreciative of the opportunity to live and enjoy life in Shelby County.”