The Valdosta Daily Times
Niles Reddick, professor of Humanities and vice president for Academic Affairs at Abraham Baldwin College, was the guest of the Literary Guild at the March meeting.
A raconteur of the highest order, he kept his audience laughing with one humorous story after another, drawn from his growing-up days in Hahira and Valdosta, from his favorite pastime of people watching, and from his own family experiences.
Reddick is the author of a book of selected stories, “Road Kill and Other Oddities,” which have been published in various prestigious magazines, and a novel “Lead Me Home.” His ostensible purpose was to share a sneak peek at his latest novel, “Drifting Too Far from the Shore,” due out in the fall of 2014.
Set in Brooks County, each of the 12 chapters of “Drifting” bears the title of a gospel song. The first chapter bears the title of the novel. It tells of a somber incident based on a true account from the early 20th century, and the final chapter returns to the incident from an enlightened perspective. Flashes of humor lighten the tone throughout the narrative.
Reddick closed his presentation with a question-and-answer session allowing for one last anecdote which left his hearers enthralled with an uplifting true account from an African mission orphanage administrator. In the time of Idi Amin, a Ugandan layman was slated for execution, when the gun misfired. Lingering between life and death, the layman heard a voice saying, “You have not finished your work for me yet. You will live to open an orphanage.” The laymen did survive, rescued by a laborer and brought to an aid station on the back of a cow. He recovered and became the head of a noted home for abandoned African children.
Susan Braun presided at the luncheon meeting held at the Rainwater Conference Center.
Hostess committee member Dr. Elveta Miller gave a devotional followed by an Irish blessing. Chairman of the Hostess Committee Susan Kent introduced the speaker. Other members of the Hostess Committee included Kathy Failor, Margaret Hasty, and Mary Freelove. The next meeting of the Literary Guild will be held April 19.