Authors John Lee and Tom Hendrix to Speak at UNA for National Library Week

Apr. 5, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. – Two authors with northwest Alabama roots will be among the guests next week for National Library Week at the University of North Alabama’s Collier Library. The events will begin April 11 at 3 p.m. with a book talk and signing with Tom Hendrix, author of “If the Legends Fade,” about the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall he built in dedication to his great-great-grandmother’s journey from Alabama to the Indian Nations of Oklahoma and her long journey back to the valley of the Singing River. Nationally known writer, personal life coach and consultant John Lee will be present for a book talk and signing April 15 at 10 a.m. Both events will be on the first floor of the Collier Library. Additional National Library Week activities at UNA are listed at www.una.edu/library.

Hendrix’s great-great-grandmother, Te-lah-nay, a member of the Yuchi tribe, was among the Native Americans removed from Alabama to Oklahoma in the 1830s. Hendrix said the Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall he has built in northwest Alabama commemorates her journey west and her long, arduous journey home. “The wall is my way of honoring my ancestors,” he said. “It has become a special place to many who visit it, for reasons that relate to their own lives.”

Hendrix was once told by Charlie Two Moon, a spiritual person, that “the wall does not belong to you, Brother Tom. It belongs to all people. You are just the keeper. I will tell you that it is wichahpi, which means ‘like the stars.’ When they come, some will ask, ‘Why does it bend, and why is it higher and wider in some places than in others?’ Tell them it is like your great-great-grandmother’s journey, and their journey through life – it is never straight.”

John Lee, a native of Florence, is the bestselling author of “Facing the Fire: Experiencing and Expressing Anger Appropriately” and “The Flying Boy: Healing the Wounded Man,” in addition to 15 other books, including one piece of fiction, “When the Buddha Met Bubba,” which he wrote under the name Richard “Dixie” Hartwell. He has sold the screen rights to the book, which is based in the Shoals and is planned to filmed in the Shoals, as well.

Lee has appeared numerous times on “Oprah Winfrey” as well as “Oprah and Friends,” “The Mehmet Oz Program,” “20/20,” “Barbara Walters,” “The View,” CNN, MSNBC and PBS. He has also been featured in publications such as Newsweek, The New York Times and Yoga Journal.

Lee is a graduate of UNA and the University of Alabama and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas. He has taught at the universities of Alabama and Texas, maintained a private practice and founded The Austin Men’s Center in Austin, Texas.