Local historian Brent Carson and Hayes High School Principal Ric Stranges recently published a book titled “Carried Treasures: Stories of Delaware County, Ohio,” which the authors hope will keep local tales alive and well for future generations.
Carson said he’d always considered writing a book but didn’t think he ever would until Stranges sat next to him at a Hayes High School basketball game in January 2022 and talked him into it.
“He said, ‘You’ve got to write a book,’ and he was already an author and said, ‘We’ll write it together. Come in next Friday for a half-an-hour,’” Carson said. “I came in for two hours. That was the beginning.”
The pair met at Hayes on Fridays after school for months as Carson researched and presented stories for the book.
“I felt like I was in high school getting detention on Fridays,” Carson joked.
Stranges said they initially wrote the book like a traditional narrative but pivoted to more of an oral history presented by Carson.
“The stories that Brent knows are ones that need to be kept alive, passed down, debated, talked about and cherished,” Stranges said. “Brent did his homework every week. … That’s been the fun part. We laughed, we cried. I learned a lot, not only about the stories of Delaware and Delaware County, but about how wonderful Brent is. He really does want to pass this along. They are treasures. Instead of buried treasures, they are carried (on). We want people to carry on this tradition. I’m very proud to be a part of this.”
Stranges said the book is engaging and “not like reading a textbook.”
“I couldn’t put it down, and I’ve heard the stories before!” Stranges laughed. “I think we put something together that the community will enjoy.”
Carson said he picked stories he thought people would like to hear and sorted them into six categories: people, schools, sports, celebrities that passed through, animals and presidents/politics. Carson said he hopes the book inspires others to keep track of more of their own stories to pass down.
“You hear from people, ‘I should have written that down,’” Carson said. “Hopefully, people will hear these and say, ‘I have one for you.’ It means a lot (to me) in the sense that it does put it in writing and encourages other people to pay a little more attention to something that someone told you so that it can be passed down. I think people of all ages, of all times in history look back on things they try to remember, often times the older you get the more you think back. It’s just a matter of trying to save (those stories). Often times, you learn stories, too.”
Stranges said he’s pleased to have published the book, even if it doesn’t sell “a single copy.”
“I don’t care if we sell one, that wasn’t the idea,” Stranges said. “The idea was to spend time with my friend, to hear stories of Delaware, and to put it into a place where people can treasure it. I wouldn’t trade any of it (for anything.) It was never a chore. It was really, really special to me.”
The book is available on Amazon at https://a.co/d/eRDuJz8. Carson and Stranges will discuss the book at two events this month. The first event takes place at 6 p.m. today at the Delaware Main Library, where Carson will talk about the stories in the book. The second event will take place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 at The Barn at Stratford during “An Evening With Brent Carson.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.