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Hartselle library to celebrate author's birthday

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — There are stories about William Bradford Huie that only his widow knows.

Martha Robertson Huie will share tales about the famous author when Hartselle celebrates his birthday and the one-year anniversary of renaming of the city library in his honor Tuesday.

Called "A Night with Mrs. Huie," the event is from 6 to 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

After Huie speaks, librarian Emily Love is inviting visitors to tour the library archive, which has a collection of the author's memorabilia.

Randy Sparkman, a Hartselle native who resides in the home Huie built for his parents, has his collection on permanent loan.

'Wolf Whistle'

Among Sparkman's items displayed is a signed agreement between Huie and John Milam.

In 1955, Milam and his brother were charged in Mississippi with killing Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth from Chicago accused of whistling at a white woman.

Huie paid $3,150 for the right to publish the Milam brothers' story in Look magazine after an all-white jury acquitted them.

The brothers admitted to Huie that they killed Till.

Huie later published a book about the murder called "Wolf Whistle."

There are also items in the archives relating to Pvt. Eddie Slovick, the only American soldier executed for desertion in World War II. Huie wrote a book about Slovick.

Success

Huie was perhaps the most prolific author in Alabama's history. His 23 books sold more than 30 million copies.

Eight of his books became movies.

A graduate of The University of Alabama, he died in 1986. He is buried in the Hartselle City Cemetery next to his first wife, Ruth Puckett Huie, and near his parents, John Bradford and Lois Brindley Huie.

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