For the past several months, The Herald Bulletin newsroom has been hard at work on a coffee-table book, “The Madison County Auto Industry: A History of Innovation.”
We’re headed into the homestretch now on the project. The dust jacket has been sent to press, and the 128 pages of the book are due at the printer in early October.
The printing and proof processing will take a few weeks, then we’ll have the book in hand and ready for distribution by mid-November. Look for offers soon in The Herald Bulletin and at theheraldbulletin.com to order copies of the book. We’ll be printing only a limited number, so the only way to assure that you get copies is to reserve yours early.
I’ve served as the coordinator of our last three coffee-table book projects. In 2011, we published “The Wigwam,” a retrospective on Anderson’s beloved 9,000-seat high school basketball gym. Last year, we created “Madison County’s 100 Greatest Athletes.” This year, it’s the auto industry book.
Each book has been a learning opportunity for us; our day-to-day job is reporting news on our website and in our print edition. Creating a book is a much different process, with its own rhythm and considerations. For me, the auto industry project has been the most challenging of the three recent books.
As an Anderson College student from 1983-87, I covered local sports for The Herald Bulletin. Then, from 1989-96, I worked full time in the THB sports department. Between 1997 and 2007, I worked for The Star Press in Muncie, before coming back to Anderson as the editor.
So, I was buried deep in sports during my previous stint here. By the time I returned, the local auto industry had all but disappeared. Before this project, I truly knew little about the local Delco Remy and Guide plants.
Through the process of gathering materials and working with writers and photographers, I’ve learned a great deal about the local plants, their culture and their profound impact on the community.
Folks at the Madison County Historical Society, Anderson Public Library and other organizations have been wonderful in helping us find materials and information for the book. Without them, the task would have been much more difficult, seemingly impossible.
It’s exciting to see the pages of the book coming together now. It’s going to be a very good product, one that will stir fond memories for thousands of folks living in Madison County.
Many people, even if they worked in the local plants, will learn something from the book, perhaps about the very early period of the auto industry, when Anderson was a breeding ground for new ideas and new models of horseless carriages.
Editor Scott Underwood’s column appears Mondays. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @THBeditor. Contact him at email@example.com or 640-4845.