Kathy Widener The Southern Child Southern Child book cover

Kathy Gantt Widener will sign copies of her new book "The Southern Child: A Memoir," from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hallmark/Aiken Office Supply on Whiskey Road.

Montmorenci author Kathy Gantt Widener tells her own stories from her childhood growing up in rural South Carolina in the 1950s and '60s in “The Southern Child: A Memoir.”

Widener will sign copies of the book, the third in a trilogy about her family, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hallmark/Aiken Office Supply at 2560 Whiskey Road. She also will sign copies from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. July 20 at the Antiques and More Mall at 640 E. Pine Log Road.

“The Southern Child” concludes the Gantt family story, focusing on Widener's early life in Lexington County across the North Edisto River from Aiken County.

Kathy Widener The Southern Child

Kathy Gantt Widener

“Life in the sparsely settled countryside of South Carolina was far removed from a big city,” Gantt said. “We lived life at a much slower pace and appreciated the values taught by our elders. I never once felt deprived, only grateful.”

Widener based her first two books, “Where Memories Live” and “The Return Home,” on actual events the author wove into a narrative.

“These stories were passed on to me by my Daddy and my Uncle Leon Gantt,” Widener said. “They both had wonderful memories, but Uncle Leon loved to tell stories and shared his memories freely. Daddy had to be coaxed into sharing.”

Widener said she might consider a fourth book.

“I refer to a quote I cut from the newspaper and taped above my computer, ‘Let the Author of Life write your story.’ That is what I intend to do,” she said. “The stories I have shared so far are true. If I do continue to write, my stories will be a Southern anthology of true stories. Not that I have lived an extraordinary life, by any means, but I have a good memory and just maybe I inherited Uncle Leon’s story-telling ability.”

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.