New Book Preserves County’s Stories

Proceeds go to Discovery Center (by Doug Davis, Daily News Journal)

L-R: Greg Tucker, Billie Little of the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs and Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess (Doug Davis/DNJ)

L-R: Greg Tucker, Billie Little of the Discovery Center at Murfree Springs and Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess (Doug Davis/DNJ)

Rutherford Countians will have an opportunity to revisit history, or take the tour for the first time, with the publishing of The Daily News Journal columnist Greg Tucker’s first volume of “Remembering Rutherford.”

Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess purchased not just the first copy of the newly-published paperback from Discovery Center Executive Director Billie Little, but nine more copies shortly after its recent release.

“It’s full of stories that would be lost without this,” said Burgess, who plans to give several copies of the collection of anecdotes and historical essays to county visitors as gifts.

Tucker returned to his father’s home county in 1988 after retiring from an international litigation practice with the law firm of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.  He now raises beef cattle and writes a weekly column in The Daily News Journal about the people,  places, and events that make his home county unique.  He and his wife, Minh-Triet, live in Donnells Chapel, a rural Rutherford County community.

Minh-Triet serves on the board of The Discovery Center, a hands-on educational museum for children and adults on Southeast Broad Street in Murfreesboro.

“She suggested putting together an abstract as a fundraiser (for Discovery Center),” said Greg Tucker.

He approached DNJ Executive Editor Jimmy Hart two years ago about sharing stories in the newspaper.  They are published each Sunday.

“I had five or six stories,” said Tucker. “(Hart) thought it was a good idea for a column.”

A lot of suggestions for the columns come from people in the area, Tucker explained.

One story tells about a fellow struggling to get a pair of tires.  Tucker said he enjoys researching the period of the story.

“We tell what is going on during the war years,” Tucker said, in mentioning the tire purchase story.  The 190-page paperback book includes about 50 stories.

A press release said the book is “a series of engaging and meticulously researched stories that will inform and amuse both longtime residents and newcomers.”

“The ‘Outhouse Birth’ illustrates the determination people had during the Depression to survive,” said Tucker.  “‘The Devil Fence’ story is a good illustration of a judge’s frustration at people about being able to get along.  There are a couple of good hero stories and a  couple of good scoundrel stories.”

Tucker said all royalties and profits of this latest book of Rutherford County history are pledged to the Discovery Center, which will  also be selling the books in its gift shop.

“It’s a very engaging and well-written book, and of interest to anyone who lives in Rutherford County,” said Little.  “Additionally, it is a really good book to get children to ask parents and grandparents about how things were different when they grew up.”

The book covers events during the early settlement and Civil War years, the Great Depression, World War II, traditions and life, crime, scams and fights, and people in Rutherford history.

“We are delighted to be the recipients of proceeds of the book sold at Discovery Center (and royalties),” said Little.  “Half of our  operating budget comes from donations and gifts.  This is helpful.”

With the economic slump, the operating budget has been harder to sustain than in previous years, she added.

The book retails for $21.95 plus tax.

“All of us have a responsibility to protect the history wherever we live,” said Burgess.  “This book is important to Rutherford County, and it is for a worthy cause (in the Discovery Center).  I can’t think of a better partnership.”

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