Hendersonville, NC (Sept. 20, 2022). For fans and followers of all things Hendersonville High School, a book signing event this Saturday promises a double header of sentimental history and local lore.
This Saturday, Sept. 24th at 1 pm., the Henderson County Heritage Museum will host its first book signing event in two years, featuring Wilsontown Lynx by Hendersonville High School Principal Bobby Wilkins and Hendersonville’s High School Gymnasium 1937-2020, by local author Patrick Gallagher, Jr.
Completed as a labor of love that Wilkins said he has worked on for over 20 years, the book contains a collection of stories about his experiences with his beloved school.
Wilkins is a 1975 HHS graduate. He has been a teacher, coach, and administrator in Henderson County Public Schools, beginning with his first job as a teacher in 1979.
He was named the varsity boys basketball coach in 1985. In 1987 and 1992, he guided the Bearcats to state titles.
With more than four decades of experiences and memories, Wilsontown Lynx focuses on one particular season of the boys’ varsity basketball team.
Readers are given a front-row seat in the gym and into the wild and sometimes hard-to-believe encounters of the young athletes on the road.
The telling of any stories related to Hendersonville High School can hardly be recounted without the vital connection with its historic gymnasium, captured in Mr. Gallagher’s book.
Gallagher and Wilkins will both be on hand to sign their books at the museum.
Construction of the original HHS gym was made possible by President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), established to help communities fund public projects and to put America back to work following the Great Depression.
Hendersonville’s Mayor, City Council, and the Hendersonville City School Board worked together to secure the WPA funding for the new gym.
Gallagher’s book documents how the gym was the backdrop to sporting and non-sporting events.
When sporting events weren’t being held, the gym was the venue for big band touring groups during the 1930s and 1940s, featuring famous musicians of the era.
Hendersonville and Henderson County civic and charitable organizations also regularly used the gym for banquets, dances, and antique shows.
The original gym was demolished in the summer of 2020 to make way for new facilities that were a part of the Hendersonville High construction project.