Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Waverly Hills TB Hospital

With Their Dying Breaths: A History of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium by CC Thomas

History
With Their Dying Breaths: A History of Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium
The book I'm reviewing today is my own.  This story, the story of Waverly Hills, is one that has haunted me for years.  Not because of the haunted history of the place, but because the history is one that stays with you. 

When I first learned of the hospital, I was writing for a local newspaper and just went to do a piece on the infamous haunted house.  But, something about the place stayed with me and I wanted to learn more.  I started to do research and the more I learned, the more I wanted to know.  Kentucky's history with tuberculosis was so fascinating that I just couldn't get enough.  So much suffering and it wasn't so long ago---yet, hardly anyone remembered how tuberculosis devastated entire communities.  I read what I could get my hands one, which wasn't much.

And, that's how the book came to be.  It isn't so much a story of the haunted-ness of the hospital as it is about the lives that lived through it.  I tried to be as comprehensive as I could, which makes some of it a bit dry, but I thought it was important to include it all.

Now that I've written it, I find the story still isn't finished.  I have so many people telling me about other stories out there, waiting for me.  Stories from beloved parents, grandparents--many of whom were touched by the hospital and by tuberculosis.  I hope to tell their stories, too.  So, contact me if you have a story to share or know someone who does.  It's the only way that history will stay alive--if we keep the stories alive.

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