My Eyes to the Hills book was a photographic odyssey to follow Jim’s heritage book

Jim’s Dark Corner Heritage was reprinted three times; the third time occurring after his death. For a number of years it was out of print.

Ruth Howard encouraged me to publish a follow-up, photographic book on the Corner. She and hundreds of other people had seen many slides and blowup photographs I had shown in informal talks and presentations since the late 1970’s. Many had asked if I ever intended to publish the photos.

Finally, in 1994, the decision was made to combine both choice bits of Dark Corner history and a part of my soul into words and photographs for a published form. It was titled, Eyes to the Hills–A Photographic Odyssey of the Dark Corner of South Carolina. The manuscript and pictorials were reviewed by three editors for the Appalachian Consortium at Appalachian State University. They loved the manuscript but had no current funding for such a project. The University of South Carolina Press also liked it but felt the Dark Corner was too limited an area for the book to be a commercial success.

Private publication was the only avenue open at that point. Bob Jones University Press had one of the very best color presses in the Upstate and agreed to print it locally.

Jim Anthony, developer of the Cliffs Communities, learned that I had a manuscript and some 119 color photographs. He was interested in seeing them, as a possible, first class, local promotional gift for prospective property owners. He approved the manuscript and photographs, then ordered 2,000 copies. His decision allowed me to print 4,000 personal copies for the same price that originally would have given me only 2,000 copies. So, a total of 6,000 copies came off the press late in the year.

Contrary to the prediction of the University of South Carolina Press, all 6,000 copies sold by the year 2000 and the book was out of print for over six years!

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  1. Kylie Batt - May 12th, 2010