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Native returns to emcee Founder's Fest

By Staff
Jason Cannon
Franklin County Times
RED BAY – When the county turns its attention to Red Bay Saturday for it's Founder's Fest and 100th birthday celebration, they'll see a familiar face: Edie Hand – a former Burnout resident and a best-selling author.
Hand, a 1969 graduate of Red Bay High School, will serve as an emcee for the festivities Saturday evening and will hold story time at Cypress Cove Farm beginning at 9 a.m.
Hand will also sign copies of her new book, "The Last Christmas Ride," at the Wilson Ready to Wear storefront from noon to 2 p.m.
"I'm excited to come home," Hand said. "I find a lot of inspiration to write when I come back."
Though the "The Last Christmas Ride" is a work of fiction, Hand said it is based on actual events in her life.
"The Last Christmas Ride" is Edie's story of her idyllic childhood days, filled with long horseback rides, wild adventures, elaborate fantasies and climbing to the top of a nearby Indian mound to lie in the tall grass and dream about the future.
"It's a story that will make you see what a treasure small town life is," she said.
Hand, who regularly returns to her Franklin County home for holidays and to visits friends, is also a celebrity chef, businesswoman, inspirational speaker and a television and radio personality.
Her writing credits include "Cajun and Creole Cooking with Miss Edie and the Colonel," "A Country Music Christmas, Recipes for Life," "The Presley Family &Friends Cookbook" and "All Cooked Up."
While talent runs rampant in Hand's family – Elvis Presley was her second cousin and Nashville Star winner Angela Hacker and her brother, runner-up Zack Hacker, are her fist cousins – she is quick to note that hasn't changed the way she thinks of herself.
"I'm just an ordinary woman who's had the opportunity to do some extraordinary things," she said. "I've been blessed."
The Russellville Wal-Mart will be stocking copies of "The Last Christmas Ride" in time for the signing, though it won't arrive in major bookstores for another couple of weeks.
Serving as co-emcee Saturday will be Jerry Bridges – a Red Bay native who had played with such country legends as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and George Jones.