Gallery Hosts Book Signing for Local Author
BY NANCY RAWLINSON
Special to The Pilot
The month is August 1914. The British Expeditionary Force is in France, and you are in the Royal Field Artillery.
You are riding alongside one of the battery's gun limbers on its way to the assigned position on the east side of Mons, Belgium. Thus begins your journey into the hell they called World War I.
The story started almost four years ago when Pinehurst author Frederick Coxen was given a box containing his grandfather's papers, including his World War I journal.
Coxen was spellbound. He remembers simply >staring at >the 9-by-6-inch ledger in his hands and thinking, "I'm holding a historical document written almost 100 years ago. Then it struck me that it wasn't just a piece of history: It was history written in my grandfather's own hand."
Written on the top of the first page was "My Diary, from notes and well-remembered incidences." Below this heading was the first entry, dated Aug. 4, 1914.
Coxen recognized the historical value as well as the frailty of the old documents and began scanning its pages in order to begin the long, painstaking process of transcription.
Upon completing the transcription, he realized how much he had learned about World War I and wondered if others would have the background necessary to understand the >correlation between the >journal entries and the battles described by his grandfather.
And so, Coxen began writing a family history book chronicling his grandfather's wartime experiences with the British Expeditionary Force.
In addition to a journal, his grandfather had also left behind letters.
One letter gave a detailed account of a dream that he had in which he was visited by three of his old war buddies. He elaborated on a promise that they all had made before their first battle. They each agreed that whoever survived the war would look up the families of those that didn't and tell them how and where they died.
Coxen's grandfather confessed that out of the four, only he survived, and he had failed to keep his promise.
Suddenly, his grandfather's journal >catapulted from a family history book into "The Great Promise." And in writing it, Coxen made the solemn decision to fulfill his grandfather's promise.
Eye Candy Gallery will host a book-signing and reception for Coxen to celebrate the release of "The Great Promise."
The event will take place on Friday, Aug. 24, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase the night of the reception.
For those unable to attend, "The Great Promise" is also available for purchase online through amazon.com.
Eye Candy Gallery and Wine Bar features local and regional artists. The gallery is located at 275 NE Broad St., Southern Pines.
Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more information, call (910) 246-2266 or visit the website www.eye-candy-gallery.com.
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