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Walking on Holy Ground by Pratt Davis – New from Star Route Books


Walking on Holy Ground, the new book by Pratt Davis.New from Pratt Davis: Walking on Holy Ground, Essays on Being Present to the Mystery of Life that Surround Us.

Part Opening page featuring a photo by Pratt Davis.

Walking on Holy Ground is a collection of individual essays, “that invite readers to look at the ordinary surroundings of their lives through a contemplative lens. The essays ask us to a slow read, not a quick read, where we can sit with, think about, and chew on the thoughts shared in them. Each essay gives us a glimpse of the Mystery that surrounds us and the Meaning that runs like a thread through our lives. We are asked to stop, look closely, and appreciate the world around us. We are encouraged to see below the surface of our lives and experience the Mystery and Meaning for ourselves.”

We added images by the author, stock photography and one of our own photos (page 5, New River) and provided cover and interior page design for the project.

112 pages, softcover, 6″ x 9″.

Chapter Opening page.
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William Harrison Proffit’s Letter Home From 1863

We’ve recently published a reprint of the Mary Alice Hancock book, Four Brothers in Gray. Ms. Hancock wrote her intriguing narrative of the Civil War using excerpts from the Proffit Family letters, now in the Southern Historical Collection of the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Working with Wilkes Community College, who holds copyright to Ms. Hancock’s work, Imaging Specialists has added complete transcripts of over a hundred letters written by the boys and their “connection” (or extended family) home to Lewis Fork in Wilkes County.

Below is an excellent example of one of the letters written by William Harrison Proffit who volunteered to serve in the Army of Northern Virginia just a week after North Carolina seceded from the Union. Harrison Proffit was a school teacher and arguably the most eloquent of the four boys in describing his opinions of the war and his personal observations.

The correspondences, written throughout the conflict, from 1860 t0 1865, report the changing mood of the boys, from their initial optimism, the struggles of the war and the gloom of their inevitable fates.


Camp of the 1st N.C. Troops,
Near Port Royal, Va.,
Monday Morning, February 23d. 1863

Dear Father:

I write you another short letter to let you know that I am enjoying good health and getting along very well. Our Regiment has just performed another hard task of picket duty. We started from camp on Saturday evening and returned yesterday evening. On Saturday night and Sunday morning, we encountered the worst snow storm that has fallen this winter. Our Co. was stationed at a house near the bank of the River, therefore we fared tolerably well. The snow was about 12 inches deep.

We have comfortable quarters and are well supplied with clothing, blankets, &c. Our rations have been considerably reduced- we draw only half as much bacon as we did in the first part of the winter, but our wages have been raised $5.00 more per month, which make privates pay $16.00 per month. I have very little war news to write you at present. All operations on land are necessarily suspended on account of the inclemency of the weather.

I believe no attack is now expected in the vicinity of Fredericksburg; some think that most of the Yankees are leaving here. I should not be surprised if it were true. I suppose that Charleston, Savannah and Mobile, will be attacked bery soon. It is also very probable that another attack will be made on Vicksburg. I think if ithey are unsuccessful in these attempts, that active operations will cease, and our independence soon after acknowledged, but if the enemy should be successful, I have no doubt that it would tend grately to the prolongation of the war. Grate disaffection exists in the North Western States, and a North Western Confederacy is strongly spoken of. It is said that Gen’l Longstreet’s Corps of this army is going South. I think part of it has already gone. We belong to Jackson’s corps, therefore it is probable we will remain in Virginia.

I have not seen the other boys since I wrote you before, but heard from Andrew and Alfred a few days ago, they were well. I hope you received the letter I wrote you some time ago. I directed it to Lewis Fork P.O. Would it be more convenient for you to get letters from Lewis Fork? Write me as often as you conveniently can. Fearing that your letters are not backed correctly, I will send you an envelope properly directed.

My love to Mother and Sis, with all who may enquire for one.

Yours, as ever,
Wlm. H. Proffit

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All Signs Point to a Banner Summer!

We’ve been covered up with banners and signs this Spring! And we want to keep it that way, so all through July 2012 banners are 15% off!

Below are pictures of some of our recent projects.

Saturday, be sure to attend the Lion Club‘s Sparta Fest at the renovated Community Auditorium and go to the Alleghany Farmers Market. Sunday, support Cornerstone Youth and Sparta Presbyterian Church. Hit Mis Arados for some great Mexican food. Meet the folks at downtown’s newest shops, Alleghany Golf Carts and Vintage Vincents. If you get lost, find the Courthouse and head a few feet west to the You-Are-Here sign the Sparta Revitalization Committee has posted.

Or, cross the street and come in the store. We’ll help you find your way. There’s a lot of activity in town. We appreciate the chance to be involved!

If you need a sign or banner for your next event, project, celebration, reunion, (whatever!)  Call Claire at 336-372-3002 or email for pricing.


2-sided 34″ x 12′ 2012 Sparta Fest Banner for Sparta Lions Club

16″ x 10′ Sparta Presbyterian Church Banner

34″ x 10′ Banner for Alleghany Farmers Market

Farmers’ Market, Sparta Fest, and Sparta Presbyterian Church Banners, and Alleghany Quilt Guild Yard Signs
Yard Signs

Cornerstone Youth will “flamingo flock” your yard!

Flamingo Flock at A Cut Above (336-372-7007)
Printed Signage

Detail of downtown map

Downtown You-Are-Here Sign on North Main

Detail of churches drawn by ISI for downtown map.

Donation “Thermometer” for improvements at the Alleghany Community Auditorium

Corrugated plastic panels in cases at the auditorium entrance featuring donors, vendors and playbills.

Design for corrugated plastic donor panel.

Alleghany Cares, Absher Flooring,  Alleghany County Schools, Bill Troiani, Truline Truss, Blevins Building Supply, The Dance Place, Daniel Caudill, Gerald Davis, Horton Cabinets, Imaging Specialists, Jason Williams Construction, Kevin Spurlin, Robbie Todd, Tristate Components, Trojan Playmakers and Sparta School Maintenance Crew
Sponsor Panel
Window Decals

Door Vinyl at Mis Arados (336-372-1414)

Alleghany Golf Carts (336-657-1212)

Window Decals Sign at Vintage Vincents – 32 West Whitehead St. – Just a block from the Courthouse

Vintage Vincents window decals
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Show Me, Rosie! hits Shelves this Spring

WWII poster to recruit women stenographers from the U.S. National Archives
WWII poster to recruit women stenographers from the U.S. National Archives

The newest title from Star Route Books, Show Me, Rosie!Missouri’s working women in the Second World War will make its debut in March at the State Conference of the Missouri State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (MSSDAR).

Many people put a lot of hard work into the project. Individuals from across the state of Missouri interviewed mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and friends about their lives and service during World War II. MSSDAR gathered and edited their stories and photographs and sent it all to Imaging Specialists.

Of course, each individual’s experience was different- the stories are varied. Some women actually were riveters. Some were secretaries. A few married servicemen, others were in the service, themselves. There were wives, widows, divorcees and a few made conscious decisions not to marry until after the end of the war. Working wartime mothers motivated by patriotism or necessity found that they had to secure child care. Day cares and afterschool groups developed and children were left with sitters or grandparents.

Women's Bureau Department of Labor Poster from United States National Archives
Womens Bureau, Department of Labor Poster from U.S. National Archives

Our task was to show the diversity in a cohesive, uniform layout so we designed pages in a scrapbook format, using elements from a 1940s scrapbook as a base. This allowed each woman to share what was most important to her story and memories, as she would have done in her own scrapbook. We present modern and wartime images beside ration coupons, identification badges, insignia pins and other memorabilia.

The cover features the iconic “We Can Do It” poster, painted by Pittsburgh artist  J. Howard Miller for Westinghouse Company’s War Production Coordinating Committee in 1942. The title, Show Me, Rosie! not only refers to the Missouri state motto, but to the way these home front heroes share their wartime stories.

We chose a typewriter font for story text, printed on white “sheets” that looked like they were mounted on typical, gray construction paper backgrounds or onto graph paper backgrounds to give an industrial feel. Captions were printed in a script font used throughout- as if one hand had written it all, but in each submitter’s words.

WWII Rationing Poster from U.S. Library of Congress
WWII Rationing Poster from U.S. Library of Congress

We added photographs and wartime posters from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, private libraries and many other resources (around 30) when appropriate to help illustrate the 78 narratives. We also researched newspaper clippings and images submitted by (or on behalf of) the honorees, securing permission for reprint when possible. Some entrees took 3 or 4 pages, but most were 2 page spreads in this 184 page, 8.5″ x 11″, soft cover book.

The print-on-demand books serve as a fundraiser for the MSSDAR. Sales will help support the Missouri State Society in their many patriotic endeavors.

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Get Ready to Get Wet This Summer!

Fodder Trot Trail, Sparta, North Carolina
Fodder Trot Trail, Sparta, North Carolina

The Fodder Trot Trail Corn Maze will be under way before you know it and this year’s theme is the NEW RIVER! The maze will include lots of neat river features and information. ISI has helped with signage and banners and even the website for Corn-Central, USA.

We’re joining the New River bandwagon, this summer with the National Geographic New River Blueway Maps. These Waterproof, Tear-resistant Maps are the best we’ve ever seen. They follow the entire length of the New from North Carolina to West Virginia. Nat-Geo has produced a functional map no clear-water canoe enthusiast should be without.

Virginia Canals and Navigations Society ©2003
Virginia Canals and Navigations Society ©2003

We also now carry The New River Atlas, a book by the Virginia Canals & Navigations Society that details the New River along its path from its Blue Ridge head waters to the Kanawha River. According to the Society’s website, the book includes lots of science, history and “the best river maps EVER.”

Come to the Blue Ridge this summer to wiggle your toes in the cleanest, clearest water on the planet, and stop by Imaging Specialists for your all your navigational needs!