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Native Decatur author returns to hometown

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Vincent Traughber Meis book

A cover illustration of "The Mayor of Oak Street" by Vincent Traughber Meis.

DECATUR — “The Mayor of Oak Street,” the latest novel by award winning author and Decatur native Vincent Traughber Meis, has touches of the author’s hometown.

Although he no longer lives in the Midwest, Meis will return to Decatur to discuss his latest book. A promotional book event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin St.

The book event will provide readers opportunities to meet the author as well as discuss details of the book, ask the author questions, and purchase a signed book.

“The Mayor of Oak Street” also will be available for purchase at Novel Ideas Books and Gifts, at 480 E. Main St., Decatur, and online wherever books are sold.

In video from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, President Ronald Reagan's visit on Aug. 20, 1984, is shown. Reagan visited Archer Daniels Midland and Millikin University.

The beginning of Meis’ recent novel is set in the Midwest, with similarities to Decatur. The main character then moves on to New Orleans, Louisiana. The story follows a young man between the ages about 12 to 21. According to the author, the book is a coming-of-age story.

“It’s also a coming out story,” he said.

Readers familiar with Decatur may see similarities. “But I did not name it Decatur,” Meis said. “I called the city Sangamon, named after the river.”

Meis, 70, was raised in Decatur with his five siblings. His middle name, Traughber, was given to him in honor of his mother’s family. The moniker was also given to a road southeast of Mount Zion.

After graduating from MacArthur High School, Meis moved away, eventually settling in a small city in California. “I came back just for visits when my parents still lived there,” he said.

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A family reunion will bring Meis back to the state. His appearance at the library was planned to bring him closer to his native home. “I thought it would be a good time to come down and see Decatur,” he said.

During the book event, Meis expects he will discuss his family history in Decatur. “The Traughber family were some of the original settlers in Macon County,” he said. “There is still a Traughber homestead and a Traughber Road.”

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Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


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