Blackmon was born and raised in Gordon County, graduated from Calhoun High School, and many of his characters will be familiar to locals. But you don’t need to be a lovel to fall in love with this book. Blackmon is an excellent writer whose style and subject matter bring to mind both Rick Bragg and Henry David Thoreau. Blackmon says he “grew up sitting at the knees of some of the finest storytellers the South has ever known. And I paid close attention.”
In his book, Blackmon’s traces his roots back to the Revolutionary War. His family were some of the first Europeans in the area, with ancestors winning land grants in the great lottery system that followed the trail of tears. Blackmon grew up with a respect for nature, a love for God and an enjoyment of people that is reflected in the stories he tells.
Deciding on an Army career while still in high school, Blackmon shipped off to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for basic training in 1986, where he spent five years in the U.S. Army Reserves while attending North Georgia College in Dahlonega, Georgia.
In 1991, Blackmon was commissioned a second lieutenant of aviation and reported to Fort Rucker, Alabama for flight school, where he became a helicopter pilot. After completing flight school, Ranger school, and the Officer Basic Course, Blackmon and his wife, Lisa, began a life in the military, which would take them all over the U.S. and Europe. Blackmon has served operational deployments in Bosnia, two tours in Iraq and a tour in Afghanistan. He holds a masters degree from Old Dominion University. Blackmon, Lisa, and their four children, currently live in Clarksville, Tennessee, where Blackmon serves in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Blackmon will be deployed again to Iraq shortly after the book signing, so be sure to meet (or become reaquainted with) him while you have the opportunity. The event is free to the public and will be held Thursday June 3 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Harris Arts Center, 212 South Wall Street in Downtown Calhoun. For more information phone 706-629-2599 or visit www.harrisartscenter.com