'That Bookstore in Blytheville' to host Dan Whittle

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BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. - Author Dan Whittle's writing style has been described as "unique and folksy," so he should fit in warm and snugly next to the pot-bellied wood stove when he's set to sign books (May 7, 1 p.m.) at the internationally-known "That Book Store In Blytheville."

"Being invited to the historic book store is a huge honor," Whittle described.

"To be invited to sign books at 'That Bookstore in Blytheville' is one of the highest compliments in my 50-year-plus journalism career," Whittle added. "It made me nervous initially when I was informed world-famous authors, such as John Grisham and Bill Clinton, had also launched new books at this historic book store in downtown Blytheville.

"The trip to Blytheville will afford me the opportunity to visit my maternal grandfather Harve 'Hand Shake' Stockton's grave in the Burdette Cemetery for the first time," Whittle shared. "While on her death bed my mother, Ruby Lee Stockton Whittle, shared for the first time her father had been murdered in a crime at Burdette that's never been solved.

"Mother explained my grandfather came by his nickname 'Handshake' Stockton by being a man of his word in business matters," Whittle shared.

Whittles' book, published by the Center For Regional History at Southeast Missouri State University, chronicles the lives of those first brave permanent white settlers who entered the massive swamp in the Missouri Bootheel region that sticks down geographically like it could be a part of Arkansas.

Now an economic ghost town, Canalou the only town in America with that name, a name coined by Peavine Railroad founder Louis Houck out of Cape Girardeau in the early 1900s.

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