Wayne McLendon, owner of Mac’s Fish Farm in Opelika, AL for over 45 years, graduated from Auburn University in fisheries in December of 1969. Wayne wrote the book, Spiney~The Unwanted Christmas Tree, for his grandchildren on a trip hauling fish from Auburn, AL to Lake Village, AR. "I wanted them to realize that Christmas trees do not always come from a tree farm or a tree lot. Finding the perfect tree was always a special event for me, my brother, sister and dad. Spiney was written about trees that were not perfect and were never chosen to be someone's centerpiece for the Christmas holidays."
Oct. 30, 2016... 1-5PM... The East Alabama Book Festival - Pebble Hill 101 S. Debardeleben Street Auburn, AL - Twenty-five booths with authors, publishers, non-profit literacy groups and others. This event is part of the celebration of Arts & Humanities Month by the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn and attendance is free and open to the public. Shirley W. Mitchell will attend and sign her books. For more info contact: Tina Tatum The Gnus Room 108 S. 8th Street Opelika, AL 36801 tel. 334-705-0484 (Wayne McLendon, Author Table)
.....This was Spiney’s Christmas. He was almost eleven feet tall and much bigger than the other trees. He began getting ready weeks before Thanksgiving. He would shake his branches to remove all of the dead nettle and old bird nests that had been used in the spring. Spiney still let the birds perch in his branches. He really liked that because they were his friends...
Jun. 3, 2015 - "Very good Christmas story and message for all. Great gift for small children"... Martha Scott
Jun. 7, 2015 - "Great message for everyone...young & old!"... Lisa
Dec. 02, 2016 - "A great children's book that folks of all ages will love. A heartwarming and uplifting Christmas story"... Diane
Pictured is Wayne McLendon, owner of Mac's Fish Farm in Opelika. McLendon's Christmas-themed book is called "Spiney, The Unwanted Christmas Tree." photo by Todd Van Emst, oanow.com
By Tonya Balaam-Reed, oanow.com
It started as a story for just his grandchildren. But now other families can enjoy it, too.
"Spiney, The Unwanted Christmas Tree," written by local fish farmer Wayne McLendon, tells the story of a young tree growing up on a
tree farm, excited for the day he finally gets picked as someone's Christmas tree.
Spiney lives on the land owned by Sunrise Industries. The company allows its employees and their families to pick a tree each year for the holiday. As you read Spiney's story, you will see how he helps the animals and you meet a boy named Tim, along with another character. The story takes an unexpected turn, but one that eventually makes Spiney extremely happy.
"I started writing the book for my grandkids to let them (know) how it used to be when we would get our Christmas tree... before Christmas, would go out and cut our tree. It was a big event for me, my brother, sister and dad to go around and try to find the perfect tree," McLendon said.
McLendon is an Auburn University Graduate and has owned Mac's Fish Farm in Opelika for more than 45 years. While hauling fish to Arkansas, which is an eight-hour one way trip, he starred to come up with the story. "I'll write two or three pages every trip, and I'll go out there five or six times a year," he said.
After McLendon finished the book, he asked his sister to proof read it, She did, and asked some her friends to proof read it too. Her friends wanted to purchase copies. McLendon sold more than 150 books. "(Writing) the book was fun, and it was a great experience, just trying to let my grandkids know what it was like going to cut a tree when I was a kid," he said. mclendon plans to write another book, this one with Tim as the central character.
"Spiney, The Unwanted Christmas Tree" can be purchased from McLendon by calling him at 334-749-0986. It also available online. AU graduate Jamie Hammond illustrated the book.
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Dec. 22, 2016 - "A great christmas children's story about growth, faith, perseverance and life lessons."... LHCP