(WBIR-Maryville) A long time newspaper man here in East Tennessee has been busy signing his latest book. Smokies Snapshots is the ninth in a series of books chronicling the history of Blount County.
"The first book is mainly about some of the history, the older history, and then from there on it's really more update to date of things that have not been recorded," Dean Stone explained.
Ten years, nine books, one author. He works at the Daily Times in Maryville.
"I'm in my 66th year here at the paper. I'm building up a little seniority," he said.
Dean Stone certainly has the credentials to write books about the history of Blount County.
"I'm a native of Blount County and I am 89 years old," he said. "I've lived a lot of it. I've been active in the community, head of the Chamber of Commerce, I've headed United Way."
He's in the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame.
"I'm a 50 year member of the Professional Photographers of America, lifetime member, and I've always liked photography," he said.
Many photos in Smokies Snapshots are his own. It's his latest book in a series that started in 2004.
"I probably won't do any more," he said.
He says he's kind of run out of topics.
"I could do it. It's not a matter of health or anything. My body is shot but my mind stayed very sharp, for which I am very grateful," he said.
He's grateful for the opportunity to write the books.
"I enjoy being a part of history, recording part of history. So many unusual things that would go unrecorded and never get in the history books," he said.
He checked his facts and shared noteworthy achievements in the books, such as Blount County's claim to three governors. He did not include rumors.
"There's a lot of them out there. They make better stories but they're not the truth. Ha! So you have to weed through those and that's not always easy," he said.
The seasoned story teller is quick to share the credit.
"He was walking down the road one day and he came to a fence post and there was a turtle sitting on top of that fence post. And he said that guy had to have a lot of help getting up there. And that's how I feel about writing and I have had a tremendous amount of help," he said.
Smokies Snapshots by Dean Stone is for sale at the Daily Times for $30. Phone orders cost $35 (865-981-1100) All nine of the books are available at the Blount County Library.
"I don't right now plan to do another book but you never know. I didn't plan all these either," he said with a laugh.