A Chapel Hill man and his granddaughter have teamed up to write a book that could be the perfect gift for many people on your Christmas list - including yourself.
Eugene Pacetti, 75, was born and raised in Vermont, but retired to Chapel Hill, his wife's hometown. His granddaughter, Jessica Robin Cooper, attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and says, "writing poems and short stories is a hobby of mine."
Their book is called "Heart, Laughter, and Sentiment - Poems and Short Stories for Your Every Day," and was published by iUniverse.com.
In the preface, Pacetti explains, "Over the years I have written poems and short stories about events that have happened in my life. I would then tuck them away and forget about them. When I was a para professional at school, I would write poems and stories and read them to the students...People would ask me for a copy of the poem I wrote and suggested I publish a book. I finally took their advice and complied some short stories and poems my granddaughter and I wrote and put them together in a book."
Pacetti and Cooper both contributed to the first two sections of the book: short stories and poems. The third section, "Religious," is all Pacetti's. The final part is called "Along the Way." In his introduction to this section, Pacetti explains, "The following collection of poems, stories and tidbits we've seen from various sources but have unknown authors to us. We've placed them in this special section...because somewhere along the way they have impacted our lives in a special way and we hope they do the same for you."
None of the stories or poems is long. The reader can pick up the book for a few moments and be amused, refreshed, or inspired.
Cooper is an engineer, and "A Race to Remember" perhaps explains what got her started. The story describes her building and racing a solar-powered car when she was in 7th grade. Pacetti helped her design and build the car, and Cooper finished runner-up, by a fraction of a second, in the New England Regionals.
Pacetti's wife had been away from Chapel Hill, except for holiday visits, for 50 years when they moved back.
"Would I be accepted in her church? Would I fit in with her friends?" he asked himself. The answer was a resounding "yes." He wrote a poem for his wife called "Our Golden Anniversary," and read it to the Adult 4 Sunday School class at Smyrna Baptist Church. It ends,
"With friends like you we are truly blessed,
We thank you from our heart.
Our roots now planted here,
We hope to never part."
Pacetti comes across as a person you would want for a friend, full of good humor, faith, and wisdom. You won't regret buying his book.