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New Book to Help Scholarship Fund

History Professor Berry Craig has made a lot of friends among his students and colleagues since beginning his teaching career at West Kentucky Community amp; Technical College in 1989. Now hes giving something back to the college.

A portion of proceeds from a Craigs new book, True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon amp; Burgoo, will go to the colleges scholarship fund.

It helps us provide scholarships for our students, said Kay Travis, executive director of the Paducah Junior College Foundation. Nine dollars of every book we sell goes directly to scholarships.

The book chronicles stories such as that of William Goebel, the only governor of Kentucky assassinated while in office, and Matthew Lyon, the congressman who won re-election from a jail cell. He shares tales of a time when votes could be bought with a drink and political differences sometimes resolved with 10 paces and a pistol.

The book is a non-partisan and mostly humorous look at Kentucky politics from Gov. Isaac Shelby to Gov. Ruby Laffoon, Craig said. At least, I hope readers find it mostly humorous.

The book sells for $21.20, tax included, and can be purchased in the PJC Foundation office in Carson Hall on campus or through the mail. The cost for a mailed copy is $23.70, which includes postage and handling.

Kim Russell, who teaches English at the college, is a fan of the book. Its the perfect Christmas gift for anybody who enjoys politics or is just looking for a book that is enjoyable to read.

Purchasers can have their books signed by the author. Thats up to the buyer, Craig said, grinning. I will be happy to sign any book, provided the purchaser doesnt think it will devalue the book.

Craig, who lives in Mayfield, earned a bachelors degree in history at Murray State University, where he added master of arts degrees in history and journalism. He was a feature writer and columnist for the Paducah Sun-Democrat and Paducah Sun for many years. He also authored Kentucky Backroads an Associated Press feature column that focused on Kentucky history and politics.

More information about the book is available from Travis at (270) 543-3084 or by e-mailing her at kay.travis@kctcs.edu. Books may be purchased with cash or by check. Checks should be made out to the PJC foundation. The mailing address for book orders is Kay Travis, WKCTC, P.O. Box 2380, Paducah, Ky. 42002