If you go
* What: Book signing and sale for “Brookwood Road” by Forsyth County native Scott Vaughan
* When: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday
* Where: Dairy Queen, 103 Atlanta Road, Cumming
FORSYTH COUNTY — Imagine driving into Forsyth County’s only city and passing a sign that reads, “Welcome to Acorn.” You had just come from south Forsyth, passing farms and woods and open space. Even a hog farm.
Of course, the county seat is entitled Cumming and was never Acorn. But south Forsyth was once home to a 600-head hog farming and pork processing multi-generational-owned business that sold its products within a 25-mile radius.
Down Brookwood Road, there were once pastures and farmland, not subdivisions and urban sprawl.
The history of south Forsyth and Cumming are told in a new book by a county native, who will have a book signing 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Dairy Queen on Atlanta Road downtown.
“I was right on the cusp of puberty, and it was hard on Dad to move from [the farm] because it was the only thing he had ever known,” Scott Vaughan said. “It was certainly hard on me. On the day we moved, I went to the house, and the power had been turned off. And I promised my dad I would write this book about growing up down there and our stories and adventures.
“Forty years later, I wrote it.”
Vaughan’s “Brookwood Road” is a memoir, but he wrote it as a novel, changing some of the names, including Cumming to Acorn. He calls himself Frank Wilcox, son to Tom and grandson to R.C.
Vaughan, who wrote for the Forsyth County News from 1974-81 while attending Forsyth County High School and the University of Georgia, paints a small-town picture of his home that may be unrecognizable to the tens of thousands who have moved here since.
Why have a book signing at the local Dairy Queen? Vaughan said his mother would take him and his two younger brothers to the popular eatery if they behaved during church.
And why Acorn? Because he graduated with “some fantastic people who became lawyers, doctors, teachers, missionaries, professors. I’m fortunate that Cumming was a great place to grow up. It just came to me. You have this little acorn, and a big oak tree grows from it. Great things came from this little acorn.”
While some names may be novelized, Brookwood Road and its stories are real.
Like the story about his dad giving him his first baseball glove at age 10. Vaughan was “not very good at baseball,” and the glove was a “total out-of-the-blue surprise because we only got gifts on Christmas or birthdays.”
He still has that glove in his office.
Or the anecdote detailing the time he and his brothers changed their grandmother’s milk order from the milkman. After being delivered four quarts of chocolate milk, she made them work for her. While they drank all the chocolate milk.
His dad passed away in August and didn’t see the book published in November, but Vaughan said they collaborated throughout the summer. He couldn’t see well, so Vaughan would read rough drafts to his father.
He has enjoyed the feedback he received so far, but said he’s already reached his goal.
“I wrote for an audience of two: me and my dad,” he said. “Now just for one. If you read it and you like it, that’s awesome.”
While you can pick up a copy of “Brookwood Road” at Humpus Bumpus Books in Cumming or on Amazon, Vaughan will have books on sale on Saturday at one of his favorite childhood spots. And if no one comes, he said, “I will at least get a chocolate shake out of it.”