NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

March 27, 2014

'You can do it'

Amesbury librarian takes own advice, writes a book

As the teen, reference and local history librarian at the Amesbury Public Library, Margie Walker has been pointing people to books for the past 20 years. Now, she can to point them to her own.

“My motto is: You can do it,” Walker said. “Always follow your dream.”

Walker began following that path the summer of 2012 when Arcadia Publishing approached her as the town’s history librarian. They were looking to add to their “Legendary Locals” series that spotlights a town’s notable residents throughout history. The publisher was also looking for an author.

Although Walker had never formally studied writing, she always thought she could do it. Less than a year later, she had delivered Arcadia her first book, “Legendary Locals of Amesbury,” which details the city’s most notable residents since it was first incorporated as a town in 1668.

“It’s exciting,” Walker said. “I always wished I could write, I just never did anything with it. But it just happened.”

Over the course of 11 months, Walker interviewed roughly 20 noteworthy Amesbury residents — both current and former — including actors Jeffrey Donovan and Gregory Hoyt, fashion designer Ryan Noon, local philanthropist Rosie Werner and former mayors Nick Costello and Thatcher Kezer. Along the way, the first-time author details the city’s evolution of industry from sawmills to automobiles as well as Amelia Earhart’s brief history with the city.

“It shows how far Amesbury has come, and how it builds and continues to grow,” Walker said. “In the beginning of the town, you had everyone making carriages and making peanut butter, and they just built the city.”

Walker grew up in South Lawrence and moved to the Carriagetown in 2008. Writing her book during her vacations and days off, Walker began to realize it was playing right into her motto.

“I want kids to realize, you can do anything you want,” Walker said. “You just have to have the belief that you can do it.

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