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Waco (TX) (Images of America) Paperback – May 4, 2009
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Title: 'Images of Waco': Author helps take book about Waco to national audience
Author: Terri Jo Ryan
Fans of Waco history are already familiar with the names of some of its most faithful chroniclers: Roger N. Conger, Dayton Kelley, Patricia Ward Wallace, James Jasek and Agnes Barnes, to name a few.
Add to that list an eager newcomer to Waco, 29-year-old Borger native Eric S. Ames.
Ames, employed by Baylor University's Electronic Library and a graduate student in the Museum Studies field, wrote Waco, part of the "Images of America" series by Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, S.C. The firm specializes in local and regional history titles.
In March 2008, when he was in Galveston attending the Texas Association of Museums' annual convention, Ames met a representative from Arcadia Publishing. The representative said Arcadia was interested in finding an author for a pictorial history book for Waco and asked Ames if he was up for the task.
After meeting with Ellen Brown, an archivist for the Texas Collection at Baylor University who said she was open to such a project and familiar with Arcadia's work, Ames took the job.
From July through December, he combed through more than 300 images before selecting the 187 he thought best told Waco's story.
The majority of the photos came from the Texas Collection, but he also got a few gems from the Lee Lockwood Library of the Texas Scottish Rite Library and Museum, he said.
Ames acknowledged he was treading on well-plowed soil.
"The Roger Conger book (A Pictorial History of Waco) was good for its time and place," he said. "But now, in the marketplace, they (Arcadia) were looking for something with greater interest to a larger audience."
In fact, Ames said, he believes his work is the first nationally marketed book of historic Waco photographs. The book, released May 4, can be found online at such retailers as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Ames knew that certain topics were mandatory for such a book: the ALICO Building, Dr Pepper and Baylor University, for example.
The oldest image is a circa 1865 street scene. The youngest image is a 1975 photograph of the tram that trolled the pedestrian mall on Austin Avenue in the 1970s. The book primarily focuses on Waco's first 100 years, he said.
"It's not just the large stories I wanted to share, but many of the small ones, too," said Ames, a former ad man from Lubbock. He came to Waco in 2005 when his wife, Amy, was hired as a career counselor at Baylor.
Ames, a member of the Waco Historic Landmark Preservation Commission, admires local architecture and seeks to save endangered properties here. He earns his degree in May 2010 but said he's in no hurry to leave the area because he enjoys the community too much.
"There's so many more stories to tell," he said.
About the Author
Gathered from some of the premier collections in the state, the photographs in this book showcase the finest images from Waco's past. Eric S. Ames is a member of the Waco Historic Landmark Preservation Commission, a master of arts candidate in museum studies at Baylor University, and a rare and fragile materials digital preservation specialist with the Baylor University Electronic Library.
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Top customer reviews
The HARD COVER book "Images of America - Waco" contains photos and writing about the early history of Waco, much of it about Waco in the 1800's through to the first half of the 1900's.
The link that points to the SOFT COVER is NOT the same book. The soft cover book is "Waco (Images of Modern America)" and it contains photos and writings about Waco TX from the 1940's and later.
All that said and the reason I gave five stars is that both are very good books and very much worth the price.