Midway provides the setting for 10 tales in “Christmas in the Bluegrass: Hometown Holiday Stories,” the first book for Midway native Bob Rouse.
The fictional stories are told through different eyes and in different decades, but each one speaks to a hope — or not — of a small-town Christmas in the Bluegrass.
“Christmas is complex,” said Rouse. “The season is both demanding and rewarding, and it’s never the same for any of us. I’ve been in Midway every Christmas for nearly six decades, and with each story I write, I walk through our town in someone else’s shoes.”
Chef Ouita Michel has witnessed Rouse writing in her Central Kentucky restaurants, several of which play a role in Christmas in the Bluegrass stories. “Often tucked away at a quiet table at the Midway Bakery or Wallace Station, Bob watches and writes,” she says. “He has a gift for breathing life into the quirky characters of small-town America, and his stories perfectly capture the flavor of Midway.”
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Kentucky theater-goers may know one of the stories, “Will Work for Toys,” which was part of “A Kentucky Christmas,” a stage production at Falling Springs Theater in Versailles.
Published by Butler Books, the hardcover Christmas in the Bluegrass will be sold at the Kentucky Book Fair on Saturday, with Rouse on hand to sign copies. He will also be at the Midway Christmas Open House Nov. 25, at Railroad Drug. Copies can also be purchased online at Butlerbooks.com or Amazon.com or at the following area merchants: 5 Seasons Gift Gallery, Versailles; Breckinridge and the Historic Midway Museum Store, both in Midway; and Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington.
In addition to the Kentucky Book Fair and Railroad Drug, Rouse will sign copies of his book from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 2 at Irish Acres in Nonesuch; from 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Woodford Inn in Versailles; from 4 to 8 p.m. Dec. 5 at Windy Corner Restaurant.
Rouse and his wife, Mary Beth, live in Midway.
Unity in the Community is Friday at First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church will host Unity in the Community, an event to show love and support for one another and for the community’s first responders, at 6:30 p.m. Friday at 233 South Main Street, Versailles. Fr. Miguel Alvizures of St. Leo Catholic Church; Jody Short, pastor at Glen’s Creek Baptist Church; and Woodford County High School graduate, Derrick Briscoe, will speak at the event.