After growing up in Sunset Hills and being a life-long South County resident, Sandie Grassino has found herself a calling to be a storyteller.
From teaching English, theatre and creative writing at Northwest High School to being a member of the Sunset Hills Historical Society, Grassino's latest form of storytelling is in paper form.
Images in America: Sunset Hills is set for release July 23, joining her other book Images in America: Jefferson Barracks on bookstore shelves in Barnes & Noble, Walgreens, the Book House on Manchester and Amazon.com.
"This is a multi-generational book," Grassino said, flipping through the photo-filled pages of the nine chapter compilation. "Hopefully people will see a picture and think, 'Oh, yeah, I remember when that happened' and cause conversation."
Sunset Hills takes readers back to the prehistoric and Native American days of the area, leading up to the New Year's Eve tornado of 2010. Grassino arranged key figures and landmarks in much- and little-known past accounts of Sunset Hills to remind viewers of what she calls a "simpler place in time."
Tidbits, tall tales and ties to American treasures such as Harry Truman and Dred Scott all find their place in the images chronicling Sunset Hills past to recent present. Grassino said she discovered familiar faces of relatives in the vintage photos while preparing the book -- and hopes others will, too.
"I grew up in the area and wanted to remind people that progress is wonderful, but I've always believed that we have to know where we've been before we know who we are," Grassino said.
Grassino will be signing copies of Images in America: Sunset Hills at the following locations:
- July 23 at 7 p.m. at the Sunset Hills Community Center
- July 24 at 4 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in Fenton
- July 28 at 1 p.m. at the Book House on Manchester Road
- Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Walgreens on Gravois Bluffs Boulevard
Check Patch for other historical society updates, reflections and Sunset Hills odes in Sandie's Local Voices blog.