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Gainesville High library commits section to former-student writers
Julie Jones, Gainesville High School media specialist, looks at the books written by Gainesville graduates in a recently established section of the school’s library. - photo by Tom Reed
GHS books
  • Roger Brown, class of 1974, “Rice, Rivalry and Politics: Managing Cambodian Relief”
  • Dr. James E. Dorsey, class of 1963, “The History of Hal county, Georgia, Vol. 1, 1818-1900” and “Hall County, Georgia: Abstracts of Newspaper Sources For The Period 1865-1889”
  • Katherine Fockele Elberfeld, class of 1967, “In the Midst of Sunflowers: Embracing the Power of the Spirit in Our Life and Work”
  • Phil Jackson, class of 1948, “50 Years of Cheers & Jeers”
  • Elaine Shannon, class of 1964, “Desperados: Latin Drug Lords, U.S. Lawmen, and the War America Can’t Win” and “The Spy Next Door: The Extraordinary Secret Life of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Damaging FBI Agent in U.S. History”
  • Richard L. Shockley Jr., class of 1980, “An Applied Course in Real Options Valuation”
  • Lessie Smithgall, mother of GHS alumni, “I Took the Fork”
  • Gloria Cassity Stargel, class of 1946, “The Healing: One Family’s Victorious Struggle with Cancer” and “My Anchor Holds: The Difference Jesus Makes”
  • John Vardeman, class of 1953, “On Eagle’s Wings: The True Story of The Founding of Eagle Ranch”
  • Charles E. “Gus” Whalen Jr., class of 1963, “The Featherbone Principal: A Declaration of Interdependence” and “Hooked at the Roots: The Evolution of Featherbone Communiversity”

There is a new section in the Gainesville High School library boasting books written only by Gainesville High alumni.

Gainesville High media specialist Julie Jones said she’s compiling the alumni authors section to recognize the literary talent of the school’s graduates. She said she hopes current students will pull a few titles from the shelf and realize they, too, can become a published writer.

So far, there are 14 books on the shelf penned by graduates ranging from the class of 1948 to the class of 1980.

Lessie Smithgall, the mother of a Gainesville High graduate and co-founder of The Times with husband Charles, penned a book earlier this year. “I Took The Fork” details her 97 years living in North Georgia and her brushes with famous people from Clark Gable to Walter Cronkite.

The section includes “50 Years of Cheers & Jeers,” a sports history, by Phil Jackson, who graduated from Gainesville High in 1948.

And then there are two books on the shelf penned by Time magazine reporter Elaine Shannon, who was in the class of 1964. She wrote a book on Latin drug lords and cartels in the context of America’s war on drugs and co-authored another on the secret life of FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen.

Roger Brown, who graduated from Gainesville High in 1974, co-authored “Rice, Rivalry, and Politics: Managing Cambodian Relief.”
John Vardeman, “Gus” Whalen Jr., Gloria Cassity Stargel and James E. Dorsey among others also have books on the alumni author shelf.