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Rheta returns with "Hank"

Columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson returns to the main library on Friday, June 8, at 6:30 p.m. to talk about her new book, Hank Hung the Moon ... And Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts.

Tickets are $10 per person and are available online or at the main library. For details, call Sophie Young at 256-532-2362.

More a musical memoir than a biography, Hank Hung the Moon is the author's evocative personal stories of '50s and '60s musical staples -- elementary-school rhythm bands, British Invasion rock concerts, and tearjerker movie musicals. It was a simpler time when Hank roamed the Earth. The book celebrates a world of 78 rpm records and five-cent Cokes. Hank provides the soundtrack and wisdom for this Last Picture Show of a book.

Johnson has covered the South for more than three decades as a newspaper reporter and columnist. She writes about ordinary but fascinating people, mining for universal meaning in individual stories. In past reporting for United Press International, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and a number of other regional newspapers, Johnson has won national awards, including the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award for human interest reporting (1983), the Headliner Award for commentary (1985), the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for commentary (1982). In 1986 she was inducted into the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. In 1991 Johnson was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Syndicated today by King Features of New York, Johnson writes a weekly column that appears in about 50 papers nationwide, including The Huntsville Times. Her book titles include America’s Faces (1987), Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz (1989), Poor Man's Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana (2008) and Enchanted Evening Barbie & the Second Coming: A Memoir (2010).

Thursday, May 17, 2012 (All day) to Friday, June 8, 2012 (All day)