Chair's and President's Programs
ALA Unit/Subunit: RMRT
Meeting Type: Chair's Program,Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.
Retired librarians and authors are alike as they have many stories to tell and places to go that they never imagined. Join us as award-winning reporter and columnist, author Rheta Grimsley Johnson takes us on a colorful journey of her life. She believes, “Libraries and independent book stores are the lifeblood of authors.” Her love for libraries started when she was a girl in Montgomery, Alabama, using the beloved bookmobile. After 42 years of newspaper work encompassing 33 years as a columnist, her busy retirement includes starting an art gallery, Faraway Places, near her home of 30 years Fishtrap Hollow, Mississippi. The gallery has a "book nook" -- the closest real book store is 60 miles away. She is currently working on a book about that experience -- working title: The Dolly Lisa, Starting a Gallery in East Jesus. Rheta Grimsley Johnson, 65, spent over four decades as a reporter and columnist in the Deep South. For 20 years she wrote a syndicated column for King Features Syndicate of New York that appeared in about 40 newspapers across the nation. Johnson also is the author of several books including Good Grief, The Story of Charles M. Schulz and her latest The Dogs Buried Over the Bridge. Johnson’s journalism awards include the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary, the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award, the National Headliner Award for Commentary. In 1991 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary. She worked for several Alabama newspapers and United Press International beginning her syndicated column at The Commercial Appeal of Memphis and later working as columnist at The Atlanta Journal Constitution.