Authors to sign books in Kent on Saturday, Dec. 7

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Eight local history authors will be signing their books for holiday gift giving during the Kent Historical Society Museum's annual Victorian Holiday Open House on Saturday.

The event -- featuring Victorian-style Christmas decorations, a variety of free holiday craft projects for kids and complimentary seasonal treats for all -- will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the museum at 237 E. Main St.

Signing their books from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be authors Bruce Dzeda, Patrick O'Connor and Charlie Thomas, Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak, David Hassler and Dr. John Jacobs, while author Roger Di Paolo will be in attendance throughout the open house.

Books that can be purchased and signed during the event include:

"Ravenna Record: The People and Events That Shaped a Community" and "Rooted in Kent: 101 Tales from the Tree City," both by Roger J. Di Paolo. "Ravenna Record" is a just-published, 414-page book featuring tales of Ravenna history and residents from the community's pioneer era to the 1960s. "Rooted in Kent" is a 278-page book published in 2009 by Kent Historical Society Press that features 101 stories and 130 photos about Kent's early history, business and industry, crimes and the growth of its educational institutions.

"Railroad Town: Kent and the Erie Railroad" by Bruce Dzeda, a fully illustrated 50-page book published in 2010 by Kent Historical Society Press. This book traces the history of the Erie Railroad from its inception as the A&GW railroad and the profound effect it had on the economy of the city of Kent.

"Meet Me at Ray's" by Patrick J. O'Connor, in collaboration with longtime Ray's Place owner Charlie Thomas. The 100-page book, published this year by Black Squirrel Books, is a celebration of the first 75 years of Ray's Place in Kent as told by customers and employees who lived it.

"Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler" by Paul Bauer and Mark Dawidziak. The 384-page book, published in 2011 by Kent State University Press, is the first biography ever written about the vagabond, hard-boiled writer who rocked Hollywood during the Roaring Twenties. Bauer also will have available copies of the Frazier Robinson autobiography he co-authored, "Catching Dreams: My Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues." Dawidziak will have copies of his books, "The Barter Theatre Story: Love Made Visible," "The Columbo Phile: A Casebook," "Mark My Words: Mark Twain on Writing," "The Night Stalker Companion: A 25th Anniversary Tribute," "Horton Foote's The Shape of the River: The Lost Teleplay about Mark Twain" and "The Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Dracula."

"May 4th Voices, Kent State, 1970: A Play" by David Hassler, also author of "Red Kimono, Yellow Barn" and "Growing Season: The Life of a Migrant Community."

"Growing up in a Davey Family: A Reminiscence" by Dr. John Jacobs. In the booklet, published in 2012 by Kent Historical Society Press, Jacobs shares memories about the Davey Tree Expert Co., where the importance of family took root and co-workers became extended family for each other.

Children attending the open house can visit the children's room to make free holiday crafts, including a candy cane reindeer, beaded snowflake, button wreath and Popsicle-stick snowman. They can also decorate a gingerbread man cookie to eat.

Because of construction, visitors are asked to reserve the limited parking spaces behind the museum for those unable to walk from Main Street parking spots or the nearby Kent Central Gateway parking garage.

For more information, contact the museum at 330-678-2712, by email at khs@kentohiohistory.org or visit www.kentohiohistory.org.

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