It happened again a few days ago. I received a private message from a complete stranger. He was interested in learning more about the history of Mary Gordon Duffee. As usual, I’m cautious when it comes to sharing information with total strangers. However, he did go through all the tedious steps required to register on ADVrider in order to reach me.
His name is Jim. He’s researching Mary Gordon Duffee for a book he is writing. I was impressed by his historical intellect, and I asked how I could help. He is requesting permission to use one of my photos in the book and wanted to see her gravestone. I met Jim and his friend, Marty, yesterday at a local BBQ joint.
We went up the mountain so I could show him the old Duffee gravesite and homestead.
Amazingly enough, James R. Bennet is a former legislator and two-term secretary of state who began his career as a reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald. He has been a member of the American Historic Ironworks Commission, which has administered the Tannehill historic site since 1970, and is the author of several history books on the Alabama iron and steel industry. A few of the titles include:
- Tannehill and the Growth of the Alabama Iron Industry
- Historic Birmingham and Jefferson County
- Iron & Steel (A Guide to Birmingham Area Industrial Heritage Sites)
I realize now, he is not a stranger at all. I happen to own all of his books. I just had not connected the dots.
We are thankful for all the work you have done and the effort put forth to protect, preserve, document and educate on the subject of Alabama industrial history. We are all better educated because of your efforts.
Godspeed to you, James R. Bennett.
I anxiously await the release of your current book project, Tannehill Ghost Stories & Other Selected Shorts