Bexley History

The Bexley Literary Trail

by Local History Librarian David

Sixty years ago on April 17, 1964, Jerrie Mock of Bexley, a self-described “housewife,” landed her single engine Cessna, the Spirit of Columbus, at Port Columbus International Airport. In that moment she became the first woman to fly solo around the world. That same year, Bexley High School student Bob Greene was keeping a diary. For him, April 17 was a day to leave school early, make his way to downtown Columbus, and have a doctor “drill a filling.”

What Mock and Greene have in common is they both wrote books about their experiences in 1964. Mock chronicled her famous flight in, Three-Eight Charlie, first published in 1970, and in 1987 Greene published his diary, Be True to Your School: A Diary of 1964. They are Bexley authors and part of The Bexley Literary Trail, celebrating authors who grew up in Bexley, lived in Bexley, or call Bexley home.

Among them are a few children’s authors. Lois Lenski, Newbery winning children’s book author and illustrator of Strawberry Girl, who lived with her parents in a house on what is now part of the Capital University campus while she attended The Ohio State University. Bexley’s newest children’s author is poet Maggie Smith, who recently published the picture book, My Thoughts Have Wings. And bestselling children’s book author R L. Stine, famous for the Goosebumps and Fear Street series, graduated from Bexley High School in 1961.

Stine said, “I always picture Bexley when I write.”

The Bexley Literary Trail also includes publisher Larry Flynt, journalist Charlotte Curtis, Pulitzer Prize winning author Gregory Smith, and New York Times bestseller Daniel Pink. The trail was inspired by The Ohio Literary Trail, created by the Ohioana Library Association to highlight statewide literary accomplishments with a book, map and website.

Representatives of the Ohioana Library will discuss The Ohio Literary Trail at 7 PM on Thursday June 13 at Bexley Public Library at which time The Bexley Literary Trail brochure will be available to pick up. A display of the books by authors on Bexley’s trail will also be available to view.