NEW HAVEN — It was a time of reminiscing for most of those who joined last week for a book signing by author Mary Lee Powell-Pickard at the New Haven Library.
Many of those attending remembered the author from her days of living in New Haven and the Broad Run area, and attending St. Paul Lutheran Church.
Powell-Pickard is the author of “Circle Rainbows,” which was published in January 2015. She brought copies of the book to sign after reading selections from what she calls her “God stories.”
Kathleen Roush, of New Haven, was one of many who came out for the event, stating she had attended church with the author for many years. Roush said she just wanted to see Powell-Pickard again, and see if she remembered her.
Certha “Jenny” Woyan Knapp and Delores Woyan Glenn, of the Point Pleasant area, came for a different reason. Both grew up in the same area as Powell-Pickard and had the same teacher who inspired the author — Vossie Hanes.
Powell-Pickard said Hanes had a huge impact on her life and on her decision to become a teacher. The three women shared stories of the beloved teacher and their days at the one-room school on Mt. Union Ridge.
They said Hanes taught all of the students from first through sixth grades. She traveled into Point Pleasant on a regular basis to the library to bring back books for the children to read. Hanes also took the students into the woods, teaching them life lessons about plants, like which ones to eat, which had medicinal purposes, and which ones were poisonous. Powell-Pickard laughed as she described how the teacher taught them to make cups from paper so all the children didn’t have to share the same water dipper when they wanted a drink.
Now living in Wirt County, after residing in Florida for many years, Powell-Pickard told those attending about her book writing process. Due to a disability that occurred at birth to her right arm, she was forced to use a special program on her computer to “speak the book into existence.”
Powell-Pickard taught school in Mason County for years before relocating to Florida. Her first teaching position was at New Haven Elementary in 1958 with first graders. At 77 years old, this is the author’s first book.
The former county resident donated a signed copy of “Circle Rainbows” to the New Haven Library, and has been invited to the Point Pleasant Library to do a book signing there. Those interested can contact the library to learn the date and time of the event.