Sunday, January 18, 2009

Roswell (Images of America: New Mexico): John LeMay: Books

A new book featuring a pictorial history of Roswell hit bookstore shelves Monday. Roswell, published by Arcadia Publishing, is a photo-essay by John LeMay, a local author and Goddard High School alum.

LeMay, 23, grew up in Roswell and graduated from GHS in 2004. He is enrolled at ENMU-Roswell.

LeMay worked closely with the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico and local historian Elvis Fleming to research the project. "We scanned hundreds of pictures from the archives over a seven-month period," LeMay said. Fleming served as his guide through the intricacies of early Roswell history, and proofread the book. "I couldn't have done it without his help."

The success of the project has LeMay reconsidering his plans. "It's hard to go to school and write books. I don't know if I'll pursue any more degrees just yet. I might do another book."

The book traces the history of Roswell from a trading post on the Goodnight-Loving Trail to the modern era with more than 200 vintage photographs and a supporting narrative.

"Roswell residents seem frustrated that all the books on their hometown deal exclusively with the UFO crash. Readers will be pleased that the main focus of this book is Roswell's history," said LeMay, "while those solely interested in the crash will find it pops up frequently in the book in addition to having its own chapter."

The author will meet the public at four book signings in the coming days: Dec. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hastings Books Music and Video, 1705 N. Main St.; later that day from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Holiday Open House at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, 11th and Main streets; Dec. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico, 200 N. Lea Ave.; and Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at Cobean Stationery, 320 N. Richardson Ave.

LeMay said the book's release has generated more attention than he expected. "I'm used to it now," he said.

Arcadia specializes in publishing local histories, and this is the ninth book title about New Mexican subjects.

The book is part of Arcadia's Images of America series, which has 3,894 titles.

John also writes the Roswell edition of My Strange New Mexico. You can order the book and find out more at the Amazon link below. Roswell (Images of America: New Mexico): John LeMay: Books

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