UNION — The Union County Museum hosted a book signing that brought back memories for several Union residents on Saturday.
Author and Union native Dan O’Shields signed copies of his new book, “Where Have You Gone, Ted Williams?” at the museum Saturday afternoon. The book is set in the Union Mill Village in the 1950s.
The story centers around a character named Benji Crowton, who spent his early years dreaming of finding a Ted Williams card inside a pack of baseball bubblegum cards. No matter how often he tried, he could not find one until he discovered an older schoolmate — a bullying teen — had a Williams card and was willing to trade. Benji finds the potential deal leads him into the discovery of the more sordid aspect of life — a tangled web of an illogical friendship which causes danger for him and his family.
Those in attendance Saturday discussed the content of the book with O’Shields, but with several in attendance remembering the Union Mill Village in the 1950s, O’Shields spent a majority of the time reminiscing about local landmarks, events and people.
One person in attendance — Virginia Smith — once lived on the same street as O’Shields, and they discussed memories of people who lived on the street, nearby businesses, and activities such as a restaurant which used to make deliveries. Smith said she was one of 11 children in her family.
“I have very good memories of the Union Mill,” Smith said.
O’Shields said he enjoyed hearing a lot of old names that he had forgotten.
“It was a good place to live,” he said.
O’Shields is a retired psychotherapist who graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Ph.D in counseling education. His publications include an article about the shady porches built on front of every small mill village house, a short story about drivers delivering groceries to mill village families, and the true exploits of a successful Little League baseball team drawn from the mill villages.
O’Shields will be a special guest on WBCU radio at 9 a.m. Thursday.