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In 'Glimpses,' Ruscin unearths more county history

'Glimpses of Henderson County' 'Glimpses of Henderson County'

Just a year after he published "Hidden History," his first look of little known facts, miniprofiles and interesting lore about Henderson County, Terry Ruscin is out with a second volume, called "Glimpses of Henderson County, North Carolina."

 


Someone says he is churning out the books at a brisk clip.
"I don't golf, I don't fish, I don't whittle," he says. "I research and I photograph and I write — that's all I do. And I had an ad agency and I know how to jump through high fiery hoops."
Driving the back roads of Henderson County to interview the people that populate his books might seem like a leisure pursuit compared to high fiery hoops in a big-city pressure cooker. He talked with a 99-year-old man who could remember the deed number of a historic church site. A Navy Seal led him to the scene of a plane crash on Sugarloaf Mountain. He has filled his spiral notebook with more than 100 sources.
A graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit, Ruscin started and ran his own an advertising company in San Diego until he retired early, in 2004, and relocated to Henderson County. He had researched and published coffee table books on the Spanish missions of the Southwest but did not know anything about his new home in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
"What am I going to do here?" he recalled thinking. "I met Louise Bailey within about three months of coming here. Everybody said I needed to get to know her. Louise said, 'We have plenty of history right here. Then I met Dr. (George) Jones and Jennie Giles and all the other history-passionate researchers and buffs and whatnot. I've been making notes and collecting photographs and making my own photographs for a number of years. Louise encouraged me to write that Hendersonville and Flat Rock book ("An Intimate Tour"). I've heard from so many people who tell me, 'We've read and heard so much about Flat Rock and Hendersonville — can people please move on?'"
Covering Edneyville, Hoopers Creek and Green River, Ruscin makes another dent in his hunt for rocks to turn over, creeks to scout and hills to surmount.
Generously illustrated with old family portraits, sketches, historical photos and pictures Ruscin has made today, "Glimpses" leads the reader on a leisurely journey from Tuxedo to the apple valley to "Esoteric Hooper's Creek." A final chapter, titled "Sinister," chronicles some of Henderson County's most sensational murders.
Ruscin's audience receives each new book like a family portrait. If they're not in it, they demand to know why.
"When Hidden History came out, people said, 'Where's Green River Township, where's Edneyville?' Now they're saying, 'Where's Mills River?'"

Glimpses of Henderson County
By Terry Ruscin
206 pages. History Press. $19.99
Book launch with slide show and book signing: 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28.
Etowah Library, 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2.
Hendersonville Presbyterian Church, Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Etowah 2 p.m. Oct. 2.
Main library, Kaplan room, Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m.

Not to worry.
He's working on the next volume, and when that comes out he'll more than likely be working on the next one after that — and still not swinging a club or wetting a line.
"These things pull me in esthetically and I want to know everything about it," he says of his reaction when he sees a puzzling ruin. "One person leads to another, you never know what you're going to glean. Sometimes you just end up making a friend along the way."
Indeed, he thanks 85 of these friends and sources in the book's Acknowledgements.
"As long as there's breath in my body," he says, "I'm going to keep doing this."