There's a Possum in the House sounds like the title of a new show on animal planet, but it's actually a book of true stories compiled by Jan Holt. Ms. Holt is a real estate broker who became co-owner of a local trailer park a few years ago.
"I had never owned (a trailer park) before, and I quickly learned that trailer park people are just different. There's nothing derogatory in the book. People just do funny things," Ms. Holt said.
Jan Holt is author of the book There's a Possum in the House about her experiences as owner of a trailer park.
Photo by Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
After she and her partner, John Phillips, would go home from work laughing everyday, Ms. Holt said she decided to write the comical incidents in a diary. When Ms. Holt later read her diary, she thought it would make a funny book.
Each chapter of the book relates a funny incident Ms. Holt encountered with her tenants. The names have been changed to protect privacy, but their stories are told as they happened.
The title of the book comes from one of the chapters describing a resident who had a possum in her trailer, and the many people who became involved in getting it out. Other chapters tell of tenants who managed to get a sofa through a trailer window, rewired a trailer with an extension cord, held a block party celebrating an eviction, and an Elvis impersonator.
"I wrote the book the way people talk," Ms. Holt said. "A 'thing' is a 'thang.' You know, Southern people have a funny way of talking, and that's how the book reads."
Ms. Holt is experienced with the Southern dialect, because she has "never lived outside the state of Georgia." In fact, she grew up in Thomson, and graduated from Thomson High School in 1970.
"I was a cheerleader for those Bulldogs - love the Bulldogs. I have a lot of good memories from Thomson," Ms. Holt said.
The book became available July 9 at local Border's, Walden, and Barnes and Noble bookstores, as well as online at www.amazon.com, or www.pulishamerica.com. The hardback book will sell for $12, and has 58 pages.
"It's the kind of thing you can read in half an hour," Holt said. "I don't want to become a millionaire from it. I just want people to laugh like I did, and to know they are enjoying it."
A release party with refreshments and entertainment will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, July 14, at the Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds Street. Ms. Holt will be signing her books at Bi-Lo, 669 Main Street in Thomson, on Saturday, July 16.