Amo Houghton reflects on “The Women of Corning: The Untold Story”
“They actually have been flying off the shelves,” Sarah Blagg, the manager and co-founder of Card Carrying Books and Gifts on Market Street, said.
“The Women of Corning: The Untold Story” sold out within the first two hours it became available for purchase.
Amo Houghton spearheaded the idea of the book after taking some time during retirement. Geoffrey Kabaservice authored it.
“I read a couple of his books, I was very impressed with him, I thought gosh this is the guy to write the book about the women!” Houghton said.
The book highlights the unsung stories of women who have pioneered through the suffrage movement, the flood of 1972 and those who continue to shape Corning today.
With strong influences from women in his family, Houghton said he believes the book can resonate with the development of the nation.
“The great thing about this town, is that it’s small, and yet at the same time, it represents almost everything in the United States,” Houghton said. “Agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, science, the whole thing, you get an opportunity to look at the country through the lens of Corning.”
Christine Sharkey was with Kabaservice and Houghton from before the first words of the book were even written. Kabaservice currently lives in Washington D.C.
“One thing Geoff has said is that this is not the definitive statement of the history of women in Corning, it is a start, it is a wonderful start,” Sharkey said.
Houghton said the purpose of the book is to recognize the critical importance of women in this city contrasted to those who have had the big titles.
“They were not head of the rotary, or chairman of this or ambassador of that, women underneath were keeping the whole machinery going, and I don’t think many people understand that,” Houghton said.
Card Carrying Books and Gifts is currently the exclusive retailer of the book.
“We don’t normally order too many copies of a new book when it comes out and so I did originally ask for eight copies,” Blagg said. “Saturday mid-day, I was frantic texting asking if we could get some more.”
The book sits at $14.95 each with proceeds donated to Fund for Women of the Southern Tier, Inc. to help girls and women in Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler and Yates Counties.
“As we help women in a four-county area, we’re hoping that those women then are able to write the next chapter of women in Corning,” Sharkey said.