Two Macon County natives, Gail Shepherd Diederich and Gail Kelly Lester, recently released a new book, Tales of Two Gails. With 38 true stories and 68 photos, many shot in the Macon County area during the 1950s and the 1960s, the book recalls Franklin individuals who extended themselves to help two young girls.
The stories also recall times and daily living of that era and all stories are told with humor, a good dose of faith, and with the hopes they will be inspirational to others who consider writing their stories.
Both Gails will take part in a book signing and short presentation on “Preserving and Presenting Personal History,” from 2-4 p.m. on Dec. 4 at the Macon County Public Library. Both authors will also do book signings from 10 a.m.-noon on Dec. 4 at Books Unlimited in Franklin and from 7-8 p.m. on Dec. 3 at The Oaks Gallery, in the Riverwood Shops in Dillsboro.
Diederich now lives in Tampa and Lester, from the Dallas area, were born 13 months apart and from the earliest days became close friends. Living in the Watauga community with grandparents, separated only by potato and corn fields and a creek, the two spent countless hours together during their early lives. During high school years, Diederich’s grandmother provided a home for both girls, cementing an already strong friendship.
The two went in different directions after graduating from Franklin High School but never lost contact and found ways to see each other a few times. With a 60-year friendship going strong, the two decided to write a book of true stories about resilience in the face of hardship and reflecting many individuals who encouraged them along their paths.