By ANGIE CARNATHAN
Two local book stores are hosting book signings today. Joe Mac Hudspeth is signing his new book, â€śReturn to the Southern Wild,â€ť at the Book Mart & Cafe on Main St. from 4-6 p.m., while Stuart Vance is signing his new book, â€śAviation in the Golden Triangle,â€ť at Barnes & Noble from 3-5 p.m.
Hudspeth is a freelance wildlife and nature photographer who has photographed and published several Mississippi Duck Stamps and Mississippi Sportsman License prints. Hudspeth said his new book is a self-published coffee table book of his images.
In 1993 Hudspeth received national recognition when his image of an immature least bittern, taken on the Ross Barnett Reservoir, was selected from over 2,000 wildlife calendar photographs and awarded the â€śGrand Prize for Wildlifeâ€ť by the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History.
â€śGrowing up the in hills of North Mississippi was the perfect training ground for becoming a wildlife photographer,â€ť Hudspeth said. â€śAt the ripe old age of 25, I happened to come up on a sleeping owl and, creeping within a few feet of it, got the shot. It was at that very moment that I vowed to save every nickel I could to buy the camera gear I needed to become a real wildlife photographer.â€ť
â€śReturn to the Southern Wildâ€ť has 144 pages of full-color photographs Hudspeth has taken over the past 30 years and features a forward by former Mississippi Game and Fish Commissioner Billy Joe Cross.
â€śJoe Mac has a sincere love for Mississippi wildlife and the special places heâ€™s captured on film,â€ť Cross said. â€śHis images of wildlife remind all of us why we cherish Mississippiâ€™s natural resources.â€ť
A native of Oxford, Hudspeth graduated from the University of Mississippi. He is currently on staff at â€śRPM Magazineâ€ť and lives in Brandon with his wife, Janet.
â€śMy most favorite wildlife subject at present is my 2-year-old granddaughter, Lainey,â€ť Hudspeth said.
For more information or to schedule an appearance, please call 601-594-2464 or visit his website at http://www.southernfocus.com.
Vanceâ€™s book traces the often-unknown history of the Golden Triangleâ€™s many contributions to aviation, beginning with WWI right up to the latest unmanned aircraft.
â€śThe book is ideal for anyone who loves airplanes, American history and the Golden Triangle,â€ť Vance said.
Vance said his own interest in aviation in the Golden Triangle began in the early 1960â€™s when he was an early proponent and supporter of the Golden Triangle Regional Airport.
He was a founding commissioner of the airport and represented the city of Starkville on the board for 42 years.
According to a release, the book offers a unique perspective into why a three-county area in North Mississippi has suddenly become one of the most desirable sites for job-producing industries in the U.S. today. The lives of the airmen in the chapter entitled, â€śGreat Stories of the Golden Triangle,â€ť help provide one of the most interesting and informative aviation books published in recent years. The 118-page full-color coffee table book is ideal for people who believe in overcoming obstacles to work together to build a better place.
Vance has already received high praise from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
â€śIn this book, author Stuart Vance has outlined the beginnings of one of the best aviation development sites in the nation,â€ť Barbour said.
Past-president of the Starkville Rotary Club and a past district governor of Rotary International, Vance is the recipient of the prestigious Rotary International â€śService Above Self Awardâ€ť for his fund raising activities for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Vance and his wife, â€śMike,â€ť still live in Starkville.
Now 80, he admits to be approaching the age of retirement, but said he â€śis too busy to be concerned about it.â€ť
For more information on Vance, please visit http://www.gtrpublishing.com.