First Posted: 9/16/2009
Fourth graders at J.J. Jones Intermediate School had the rare opportunity to meet an author Wednesday afternoon.
Chris Epting, the spokesperson for Save-A-Landmark, is in the area for the groups work on the Old City Jail. He also happens to be a pop culture historian and an author of books dealing with some of the great landmarks and pop culture events and treasures of this country.
I thought it was good because its the first time Ive seen a writer come to our school, said Hailey Billings.
Epting spoke to the students about landmarks and why organizations like Save-A-Landmark are important to preserving history. He told them about his experiences with the program and the sites he gets to see as a part of it.
He showed the students slides of landmarks the team has worked on, including the homes of people like Robert Frost and Amelia Earhart and also the worlds biggest buffalo and the worlds biggest rocking chair.
As far as landmarks and things go, we go around the country, he said.
He also challenged the students to do their part to help preserve landmarks in this area. He asked them all to pick a landmark and write a poem or a story about it to send to him.
If you have a favorite landmark, take a picture, write a poem or a story so if something every happens to it, youll have a record of it, he said. You can save landmarks yourself. Make a record of it, thats called living history.
He urged the students to pick from sites like Andy Griffiths house or the granite quarry and help preserve them in their own way.
Justin Moore already has his landmark picked out. He hopes to write about the Andy Griffith Playhouse.
At least as popular with the students and maybe even a little more so was Chris daughter, Claire.
Claire writes for Time Magazine for Kids and has interviewed such stars as Larry King and, even more exciting for fourth graders, Emily Osment, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Emma Watson.
The seventh grader auditioned for the gig of writing for the magazine by submitted a video of herself and writing a couple of pieces on her own. Since then, she has received assignments from an editor and even gets to pitch some of her own story ideas.
They give kids the opportunity to write about history, said Chris.
The duo inspired some of the students to try their hand at writing. Billings would like to write about Laura Ingalls Wilder, her favorite author, while Melvin Gonzalez would like to try his hand at writing about the vacations he goes on.
Chris will be broadcasting live from the Old City Jail during the work today to media agencies across the country.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.