Monday evening, we had a very special guest in Mark J. Price, editor and History columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal, here at the Fairlawn-Bath library. (Not “THE Mark Price” who was a point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 1990′s, as Mark enjoyed pointing out!) All who attended had a great time as Mark shared with us insights on a few of the 800 stories that he has researched and written since the popular column “This Place, This Time” began in 1998. In his recently released book “The Rest Is History: Vibrant Tales From Akron’s Past” from the University of Akron Press, Mark chose 100 of his most popular and well received stories from the column and created the book. He mentioned the possibility of a second book being created next year to an excited crowd as well!
Some of the highlights of the evening included the story of Duke, the beagle who went to second grade at an Akron area school during the 1960′s. The dog followed some students, walked into the teacher’s classroom, and plopped down in the back of the room. The teacher allowed it to stay. Duke did so again the next day, and the day after that. . .day after day, month after month, year after year. This was one of the stories from the book, and one of Mark’s personal favorites. Mark also mentioned how much he enjoys researching and writing about things such as old movie theaters, schools and teachers, especially with the way that so many readers connect with those topics.
Another one of the highlights of the evening included Mark’s wife being in attendance, the first time she was able to hear him speak publicly due to her busy work schedule! He talked a lot about the history of the buildings in downtown Akron, as well as sharing in candid conversation with patrons about their favorite memories from Akron’s past. He also received many great ideas from our patrons for future history columns in the paper!
If you did not have a chance to make it to hear Mark speak, we still highly recommend checking out his book “The Rest Is History.” It provides a fascinating look at Akron’s past – which for many of us, is our past as well!