Selma resident releases first book

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 10, 2004

Tina Price says she has been to enough family reunions to know that a casual weekend of fun usually requires a great deal of effort.

If not planned out carefully, Price said, family bickering over even the most minor details could ruin a good time.

After being inspired by visits to longtime family friends Robert and Dorothy Culpepper of Pleasant Hill, Price came up with the idea to write a guide on how to organize and create the perfect family reunion.

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“Every day was like a big family reunion at Pleasant Hill,” Price said. “The whole community was structured of family, with people working together, and enjoying being with each other.”

In 1999, Price sat down to research and write her guidebook, titled “Let’s go to the ‘Bottom’: Seven steps in Planning a Southern Family Reunion.”

The book’s title takes its name from Isom

“Icy” Bottom, Price’s great grandfather who settled in Pleasant Hill after being freed from indentured servitude.

“Let’s go to the ‘Bottom'” gives families plenty of ideas on how to get started on organizing a reunion-from sending out invitations to opening a savings account in order to finance future gatherings.

In her book, Price says families should nominate reunion officers and establish committees at least six months before the reunion is to take place.

She also suggests that participating family members receive a financial statement showing just how much money was spent on the event and purchases that were made.

“This may help in those situations where a family member does not want to help contribute to the reunion, and it creates accountability with money.”

In the back of the book, there is a list of hotel and business sponsors to give Selma families a suggestion on were relatives could stay and places to visit.

“This book is also about the whole community being a family, and I wanted to keep it all in the family.”

In recognition of Price’s work, Sen. Hank Sanders wrote a resolution supporting the community and family reunion concept. Also, State Rep. Yusuf Salaam, U.S. Congressman Artur Davis, and Mayor James Perkins, Jr. also sent Price letters of support and encouragement.

“Let’s go to the ‘Bottom'” will be sold for $10 at the Visitor’s Information Center on Broad Street beginning this June.

Since Price will be newly married by the time of publication, the author’s name will be listed as Tina Smiley Hurt.