Andy Ehritz and Holly Bruno’s Oxford home features what Bruno calls a large library of unpublished books.
But the collection just got a little smaller.
The engaged couple’s first published book — entitled “Images of America: Bellaire” — currently is being printed and is scheduled for an Aug. 17 release date.
“I’ve been working toward publication for a long time, so this is sort of like the beginning of a fulfillment of a long-term goal,” said Ehritz, a 1989 Fairfield High School graduate and an English professor at Miami University. “And it also created a lasting legacy for (Bruno’s) family, which was really nice.”
A 1995 FHS grad and current Miami University accounting student, Bruno hails from parents and grandparents who were raised in Bellaire, a small mining and glass-making town in east central Ohio near the West Virginia border.
“I know we’re not going to make a lot of money from this or get famous or anything,” Bruno said. “It was more of a hobby for us. And really, for me, it was all about my grandma (Betty Bruno).”
“Images of America” is a series of books profiling towns of all sizes through archived photos and news stories. Included in the Bellaire book are photos and stories are visits from President Theodore Roosevelt in September 1912, exactly one month before an assassination attempt in Wisconsin. A visit from first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who threw her hat into the crowd, where it was caught by Bruno’s uncle. And a visit from the cast of the Bob Hope film “My Favorite Spy” after a Bellaire resident won a contest to have the movie’s world premier shown in her house.
The book is available for pre-order at Amazon.com, and Ehritz and Bruno will have a book signing in Bellaire in August shortly after the book is released. Another book signing will be held in September at Bruno’s parents’ home in Liberty Township.
“It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of pressure as the deadline neared,” Bruno said. “The most enjoyable part was working together. It couldn’t have happened without the collaboration. We needed each to get this book published.”