Marti Healy has written columns for the Aiken Standard since she moved to Aiken in 2004. Now she’s begun the process of compiling some of her favorites into a collection.

Healy releases “Yes, Barbara, There Is an Aiken,” the first of two volumes of column anthologies, today. The title comes from a column that riffed on the famous, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” essay.

“I’ve been writing columns here since 2004; I’ve written 146 columns over eight years,” Healy said. “We went through and found one of the more interesting column titles for the book title. I have a sister named Barbara, and when my parents came to visit the first time about three years after I moved here, I took them around to different places and they kept saying, ‘Oh, we’ll have to tell Barbara.’ When I finally asked them why, they said, ‘Oh, she doesn’t really believe all the things you say about Aiken, that no town can be that wonderful.’”

Healy sent Barbara the finished column via e-mail to her sister in Wisconsin.

The book includes photographs by Healy, George Buggs, Shelly Marshall Schmidt and Robbie Knox. She started working on the book in the spring, and began compiling photos last summer.

“I’ve had a lot of requests over the years for copies of my columns. The Standard has them on the website, and I’ve been keeping a blog that has a lot of them. But I thought, having them in printed form is really what I want to do, and Aiken is so incredibly visual that even though I try to create theater of the mind with description it seemed like a good idea to break it up with photography. I’m very pleased with it; I wanted it to be a keepsake, but not too expensive,” she said.

She hopes to have volume two of the collection in stores by this time next year, she said.

The book is available at the Aiken Center for the Arts, the Aiken County Historical Museum, the Aiken County Tourism Center, Aiken Office Supply, Booklovers Bookstore, 3 Monkeys Fine Gifts, and Riley’s Whitby Bull restaurant. The paperback has a cover price of $15.


Who: Marti Healy

What: Book signings for her new book, “Yes, Barbara, There Is an Aiken.”

When: 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the Aiken County Tourism Center in the Holley Building on Laurens Street.

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Junior League Holiday Market in Anderson.

• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at Riley’s Whitby Bull.

• 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, at Aiken Office Supply.

• Christmas Craft Sale Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center.

• 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at 3 Monkeys during downtown’s Night of 1,000 Lights celebration.

MORE INFORMATION: Those who can’t make it to any of the upcoming book signings can request an autographed copy via email at