Friends and colleagues of self-described local author and history sleuth Walter Hull should prepare to make room on their bookshelves this holiday season for Hull’s latest masterwork, “Local Legends: Chattanooga.”
The book—yet another in a seemingly endless line of navel-gazing local history books cribbed and cobbled together by would-be local “authors”—is set to weasel its way into your Christmas stocking and (for the unwashed masses) onto those revolving shelves in a dark corner of Barnes & Noble on Dec. 10 for a mere $21.99.
This invaluable, groundbreaking work catalogs such little-know historical nuggets as Chattanooga’s secret ties to Coca-Cola and the revealing backstory behind such often ignored structures as the Walnut Street Bridge. In addition, readers are treated to compelling insider accounts of such unsung heroes as Jack Lupton and Ruth Holmberg. Along the way, Hull also sheds light on such forgotten icons as Luther Masingill and introduces us to a new breed of Local Legends (congratulations, Jeff Styles and Alan Shuptrine!).
Hull and his publisher, Arcadia—the imprint responsible for this and dozens of local historical wiki-books that insists it isn’t a vanity press—cast such thrilling new perspectives on so much that has long gone undocumented! In this slim volume—all Arcadia books are compressed into a trim 128-page format, chock full of Xeroxed photos and wordy captions, and are accompanied by zingy press releases—Hull guides us through Chattanooga’s shrouded past with such revelations as this: “Ask someone from around the country what goes with the word, ‘Chattanooga,’ and you are bound to heard the phrase ‘Chattanooga Choo-Choo,’ something that is remarkable considering it the title of a song that was written 70 years ago.”
Lest you detect a smidgen of envy, we acknowledge our own submissions to Arcadia have been repeatedly rejected by the august publishing house. This injustice not only furthers our allegations of vanity publishing, but robs local history buffs of such masterpieces as “Business Barons of Northgate,” “McMansions of Ooltewah,” “Visionary Arts Icons of Red Bank,” “East Ridge: Heroic Drive” (with an introduction by Bob Corker, but not that Bob Corker) and our latest, “Architectural Wonders of Hamilton Place.”
Clear the shelves, Books-A-Million! These and other forthcoming literary gems will soon be available from Pulse Publishing. Because those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it—over and over and over again!