Acworth: Dick Bailey, Decorated Storyteller

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Rona Simmons with Dick Bailey

Dick Bailey has something better than a Pulitzer Prize or a Hugo Award or the PEN America Literary Award. He has not one but two Distinguished Flying Crosses and thirteen Air Medals from his service in World War II. In 2013, almost seventy years after D‐Day, the Consul General of France awarded Lt. Bailey the French Legion of Honor. And at ninety-six, he’d going strong, meeting and greeting the public and telling his story.

I had the good fortune to sit down with him recently at the Acworth Bookstore, in, yes, Acworth, Georgia where he was signing copies of Combat Veterans’ Stories of WWII by Norman Black. Why sign another author’s book, you might ask. Because Dick’s story is one of those penned by Mr. Black and included in the book. And, it’s a good one.

In 1942, when he enlisted, Dick was one of the youngest pilots in his home state of New York. He wanted to fly and soon found himself with his wings and behind the controls of a twin engine, medium bomber, a B-26 Martin Marauder. In England during the war his mission was to assist in the disruption of the German forces’ transportation systems throughout France. He was paving the way for the Allied invasion in June 1944.

Dick flew sixty-five combat missions during his tour of duty. On one  mission during the Battle of the Bulge, he shot down an ME-109 German fighter. That’s a feat usually reserved for pilots of fighter aircraft.

To read more about Dick Bailey (and many other veterans), go by Acworth Bookstore to pick up a copy of  Combat Veterans’ Stories of WWII.

Acworth Bookstore and Coffeeshop, 4857 North Main Street, Acworth, GA, 30101

 

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Acworth: Mark Lemon and the Acworth Bookstore and Coffee Shop

December 5, 2016

Mark Lemon: Artist, Author and Historian

I have enough trouble just juggling my “author ball” in the air, but Mark Lemon manages three: author, artist, and historian.  As an author, he’s written or collaborated on two award winning books on the Alamo, The Illustrated Alamo 1836: A Photographic Journey (for which Mark did the illustrations as well) and 13: The Alamo book of Days, (a collaborative work for which he developed the concept, the cover design, and did the illustrations.  Mark is known for his expertise on this important event in American history–so much so that he was interviewed for two History Channel documentaries on the Alamo. The documentaries aired in 2008 and 2012.  

Besides, renderings of the heroes of the Alamo, sculptures of the fortress, and highly detailed illustrations of the historic battle, Mark also created an epic-scale painting of the Alamo at sunrise. The painting hangs today in the Emily Morgan Hotel, near the Alamo in San Antonio. Another painting by Mark is the world’s largest and most accurate painting of the entire battle of the Alamo. It resides at the Alamo Beer Company, also in San Antonio.

Mark comes by his love of history naturally. He traces his family back to Captain James Lemon the only recipient of the Confederate Medal of Honor from Georgia, awarded posthumously.  Mark lives in the house his ancestor built in Acworth in 1856, one spared the destruction most of Acworth endured as General Sherman made his camp in the home during the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Today the antebellum home is painted a delightful shade of lemon and sits at the end of Lemon Street.

In 2013, Mark compiled the first-person narrative of Captain Lemon’s experience in the war, editing, and writing the epilogue and prologue to the memoir titled Feed Them the Steel! Being the Wartime Recollections of Capt James Lile Lemon, Co A, 18th Georgia Infantry CSA. The story makes for compelling reading given that the Captain’s unit participated in almost every major battle in which the Army of North Virginia took part.

And, today, Mark is working on several commissioned paintings, an epic-scaled painting depicting the final moments of the Alamo battle, and a two volume book to be called Sketchbook of the Alamo and Texas Revolution.

Inquire about Mark’s work at the Acworth Bookstore and Coffee Shop and read more about him on Facebook at facebook.com/Mark-Lemon-ArtistAuthorHistorian


Featured Bookstore Nearby: Acworth Bookstore and Coffee Shop

A row of unique shops lines one side of the street along the railroad tracks that run through the heart of downtown Acworth. Tucked among the antique stores, wine and craft-beer bar, and a handful of local restaurants is the Acworth Bookstore and Coffee Shop. Though dedicated to books, reference, and memorabilia of local history from the Civil War through the twenty first century, the store is much more. The book collection contains everything you’d expect to find at any other independent book store, the latest fiction titles, nonfiction works, including books on travel, self-help, children’s books, and cookbooks for the gourmet or beginner chef..

Though book lovers will want to browse the shelves, on Saturdays you’ll often find a local author talking and signing books at the store too. Grab a cup of coffee or a smoothie from the store’s in-house coffee shop, pull up a chair, and visit for a moment. Plan to stay longer than you thought, there’s a lot to see besides books. The nook of a store invites you to explore its maps, models, prints, and photographs, and a large selection of Lodge cast-iron cookware.

For more information check the store’s calendar of events on their website at acworthbookstore.net where you can also sign up to receive their newsletter and have notices of future events sent directly to your inbox. Or, just drop in at 4857 N. Main St., Acworth, GA 30101.


If you have a story to add, a writer, book, or bookstore you’d like to read about here or if you would like to be featured in a future post on this site, contact me at: rona_simmons@bellsouth.net.