Meet the Author — Warren L. Bingham

Thursday, February 16, 2017
Refreshments: 3:30 Program: 4:00 – 5:00p.m.
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

In February our thoughts turn to the father of image001our country and what better way to celebrate than for Warren Bingham, a writer, speaker and broadcaster with a deep interest in Southern history and lore, to share with us his new book, George Washington’s 1791 Southern Tour. 

The book explores why President George Washington, in his third year of serving as the highest elected official of a new country, decided to undertake a tour of the Southern states.  The journey was difficult.  It began in the then capital of Philadelphia, passed through seven states and the future Washington DC although the focus was on Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia.  The president kept a rigorous schedule, enduring rugged roads and hazardous water crossings. His highly anticipated arrival at each destination was a community celebration with countless teas, parades, dinners and dances. This tour was George Washington’s only visit to North Carolina except for a brief period in the 1760s when, as a land speculator and surveyor, he explored some of the Great Dismal Swamp.

Warren Bingham graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in U.S. History and later received a Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.  His interest in George Washington goes back many years and has been the topic of his writing and speaking for some time.  He has recently been the keynote speaker at meetings of the Wachovia Historical Society, The Society of the Cincinnati, the Jamestowne Society, and a number of others.

Meet the Author — Danny Johnson

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Refreshments: 3:30    Program: 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public

Pushcart Prize nominee Danny Johnson is a Vietnam Veteran and recipient of the USAF Distinguished Flying Cross.  The Last Road Home has been called a powerful, lyrical debut novel that explores race relations, first love, and coming-of-age in North Carolina in the 1950s and ’60s.

image001His path to writing was not easy but he found support in the North Carolina Writers Network.  Ron Rash, author and professor at Western Carolina, served as a mentor of sorts.  Danny began with short stories and then decided to write his first novel out of his own experiences as well as his depth of reading in Southern literature.

When he was growing up in North Carolina in the 50s,  Danny liked to do two things:  read books and work on his grandmother’s farm.  He has now combined his love of reading, especially Southern literature, with images of rural North Carolina tobacco country in his first novel, The Last Road Home.

After spending summers growing up on his grandparent’s tobacco farm in rural Chatham County, Johnson started college at Western Carolina University but in 1965 took off with a fraternity buddy for Florida.  When he ran out of money, his mother wired him some but when he came home his father showed him the door.  He went to Raleigh where he found the Air Force recruiters.  He served in Vietnam with a unit that flew C-47s in search and destroy missions.   After the Vietnam War, he raised a family and pursued a career in finance but he always had an image of himself as a writer and when he turned 62 he decided the time had come and it was  “now or never”.

The novel explores race relations between a white orphaned farm boy and a sharecropper’s daughter. It’s set in the late 50s and early 60s and moves back and forth among Chatham County, the city of Durham and the jungles of Vietnam.

The book is dedicated to the man he calls, “his warrior brother,” James Dorsey, with whom he served  and who was killed in Vietnam on Feb. 5, 1969.  Danny Johnson was a poor white boy who grew up in rural Durham and Chatham Counties.  His “brother” was a black man from Washington DC.  In their conversations, Johnson said, “I realized I never really understood his vision of the world.”


Banned Books Week 2016

Collect Banned Books Week Trading Cards

Have a set of 2016,  2015, or 2014 Banned Books Week Trading Cards (2013 cards are sold out) sent to your home. Cost is $5.00 plus $2.95 shipping. Use the order link below. Click Add to Cart.

Trading Cards

The cards are also available for purchase in the Friends Book Store.

Back and Bigger than Ever

Banned Books Week was September 25 – October 1, 2016, and the Chapel Hill Public Librharry-potterary celebrated with the fourth set of Banned Books Week Trading Cards.

“The Banned Books Trading Cards project grows in popularity each year,” says Library Director Susan Brown.  “While the cards showcase great local artists, the message of the project – celebrating the freedom to read – is universal. We have shipped cards all over the county and the world and the project has been featured in local, state, and national media outlets.”

Once again artists from Orange, Durham, Wake, Chatham, and Alamance counties were encouraged to submit small scale works that are in some way inspired by a banned or challenged book or author. A jury selected seven pieces that were printed as a series of trading cards.  See the Library’s Banned Books Week page.

The Banned Books Trading Cards receives annual support from the Friends of CHPL.