A new edition of the local classic history book “Ralston: The Town the Tornado Couldn’t Kill” is making its debut this week, just in time for Independence Day.
First penned in 1987 by lifelong Ralston resident Alice Shooter, the book, detailing Ralston’s history from 1865 to 1950, has been given a fresh edit and adds celebrational essays from the city’s centennial last year. Ralston High School English teacher Jeff Lacey and a student of his, Ashley Wemhoff, gave the book its new spin. Lacey is also president of Rogue Faculty Press, whose imprint published the book with a financial donation by the Baright Public Library Foundation.
“It was a wonderful project to be part of,” he said. “I learned a lot about area history in this process and it was just the kind of project Rogue Faculty Press likes to be involved with, something that gets the community and the school involved.”
In addition to the historical information, rearranged and edited for ease of reading and including several pages of standalone photographs, the second edition now contains six essays written by Ralston students — the winners of a contest held last year for the city’s centennial.
The featured essayists are Olivia Charlesworth, Michaela Kozeny, Kenneth Wajda, Cassidy Loucks, Kyle Letak and Will Roarty.
The book’s redesign was the vision of Wemhoff, who graduated from RHS in May.
Lacey said Wemhoff’s input, design and editorial work was integral in the resurrection of the story outlayed in the book.
“Ashley thought up the design and did a great job with it,” he said. “She took this and ran with it.”
The book is available beginning this week at the Baright Public Library and the Frank and Velma Johnson Ralston Archives Museum. Cost is $10.