Local history is theme of book fair in Riverside, with authors presentLocal history is theme of book fair in Riverside, with authors present
on Sep 27, 2021 Books about the Inland Empire have been a running topic in this space, but here’s something we might not have expected: an entire event devoted to them. The first Riverside Local History Book Fair takes place on Oct. 3 with some 20 authors participating. Each will get a table from which to display, sell and sign books. (Thankfully, they’ll also get a chair.) As the flier brags: “Dozens of local history books to choose from!” This sales pitch will divide the Empire into two types of people: those whose hearts are beating a little faster, and those whose hearts are beating a little slower. Even if you’re in the latter group, you’ll likely recognize some of the participants’ names simply from reading this newspaper. Among them: Kim Jarrell Johnson and Steve Lech, who trade off on writing our Back in the Day history column; Dan Bernstein, the retired P-E columnist; and yours truly, who is merely tired. Two other participants have appeared in my columns during 2021: Edward Chang, who has chronicled the history of Riverside’s Korean community, and Lorna Jenkins, founder of Explore Riverside Together. Among the other authors slated to appear are Barbara Burns, Larry Burns, Michael Elderman, Vince and Cate Moses, George Harwood Phillips, Frank Turley, Cliff Trafzer, and Glenn Wenzel. Wenzel, an expert on Mount Rubidoux, will give a talk about some of the notable people who have ascended it from his new book, “They Climbed the Mountain.” His talk starts at 1 p.m., with the book fair from 2 to 4 p.m., at Crown of Life Lutheran Church, 5939 Magnolia Ave., Riverside. Attending is free. The Riverside Historical Society is the sponsor and Lech, its president, is the organizer. He told me in conversation recently that this fair is a first, but if it’s a success, there will be more. (If it’s a failure, we will never speak of it again.) Now, on a more personal note. Because the authors are listed in alphabetical order on the flier, your columnist gets top billing. This is a little ironic since none of my three books so much as mentions Riverside. But by virtue of appearing in Riverside County’s newspaper, and being an author, apparently, I qualify. I’m delighted to be included.
If you don’t want any of my books, and who could blame you, there’s no obligation. But if you like my columns, please make a point of stopping by purely to share a fist bump and say hello. For one thing, it’ll be my first public appearance in 18 months and my first ever in Riverside County; for another, it’d be great to meet some P-E readers. And while you’re there, maybe you’ll want some other authors’ books. After all, you’ll have “dozens of local history books to choose from” — and, as a hint, Christmas is coming. If you can’t stand my columns, you’re welcome to say hello too. Just don’t stay long.