‘Growing Up Athens’ Release Party Planned for Nov. 25

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Saturday, Nov. 25 will mark the official launch party for the release of Growing Up Athens, a book that chronicles the experience of coming of age in the region through the documentation of over 250 individual stories. The event is planned from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southeast Ohio History Center (24 W. State Street) and will include readings from the book, a slide show of pictures, and even a very special video of local musician Bruce Dalzell who wrote a song for the book.

The volume is over three years in the making, having been painstakingly planned by a group of volunteers and co-edited by Jan Hodson, Janice Huwe and Linda Philips.

Athens East Side Elementary School kids, circa 1940. (Submitted)

“I’ve been telling people for a while now that this whole thing is like birthing a huge baby,” Hodson said in an interview with WOUB a little over a week prior to the launch party.

Bringing the book to fruition has taken some major doing, like raising some $32,000 for the publisher, and managing to sell some 350 copies pre-sale.

The release party for the book was planned for the weekend after Thanksgiving precisely because it is a holiday weekend, a time when Athens High School graduates traditionally come back to the area to celebrate the season.

School kids in Athens circa 1970. (Submitted)

“We’re so happy with the book,” said Hodson. “It really is a high quality publication, and one that I think people are really going to have for a long time. It’s been a great project all the way around.”