Claire Hertzler talks “The High Sheriff of Greene,” with Harbor Club Book Clubs, combined meeting, March 5, 2020, Lake Oconee, Greensboro, GA. These folks were eager to read and learn about the history that happened all around them. Hertzler found it fun to interact with such an enthusiastic group.
L.L. Wyatt was recruited, at age 21, to Greene County during Prohibition of the 1920s to break up a thriving moonshine industry. Known as the moonshine capital of Georgia, this little area east of Atlanta was the source of liquor for the best hotels in Atlanta and across the South. Young Wyatt’s battles with the bootleggers soon made him a larger than life figure. Stories of his fearlessness, his agility, his honesty and his fairness in enforcing the law rippled throughout the county Greene and swept all citizens up into the aura of L.L. Wyatt. Bolstered by a sense that God was protecting him, Wyatt was totally fearless. He was “shot at, spit upon, bitten, and cursed,” but in five years, he transformed the reputation of Greene County to one of the most crime free in Georgia. For 52 years, he was on the job confronting the ongoing battle between good and evil. Wyatt, at 70, received national acclaim and the attention of Hollywood when he stopped the car of armed bank robbers and freed two hostages.
More than a story out of the past, Sheriff Wyatt shows the reader that one person can change his/her culture. His ideals challenge law enforcement and society alike to hold a firm respect for the law while enforcing it in a manner that preserves dignity. Long before integration, Wyatt was known as “the black peoples’ friend” and the “white people’ friend.” He was a community-oriented lawman before anyone ever heard of one.
This story is set in an area rich in Georgia history described well by the author.
Meet Georgia's Version of Elliot Ness in Claire Hertzler's book
The High Sheriff of Greene County
The True Story of the Legendary Lawman L. L. Wyatt
Saturday - March 16
11am to 2pm
The Southern Pen Bookshop
(located inside the Monroe Mercantile)
Georgia was knee deep in moonshine during prohibition. It flowed as freely as the mountain streams of North Georgia. But, the capital for moonshine was located in Greene County. A rural county east of Atlanta. It supplied Atlanta with the fiery white liquid that whetted the taste for alcohol and line the pockets of those on the wrong side of prohibition and a few that were suppose to be upholding the law.
All of this changed with a young sheriff named L.L. Wyatt. Claire Hertler's book, The High Sheriff of Greene County tells both the myth and the legend of this one man's efforts to clean-up Greene County despite the threats and dangers against him.
Though this is her first book, Claire is uniquely qualified to write The High Sheriff of Greene as she grew up in the Wyatt culture of Greene County, GA. “There goes Wyatt and Taylor,” she remembers hearing as the sheriff whizzed by in a cloud of dust with his deputy. Claire has written the story of this legendary sheriff from over 30 oral interviews and numerous newspaper accounts. She has brought Wyatt alive again to those who knew him and for those who wished they had. In this little gem of a book, Claire Hertzler has preserved a story sure to captivate and inspire.
A blogger, Claire’s blog site: www.justclairefying.com deals with current issues, observations about living, and profiles of folks inspiring others.
Her other writings include the following published articles:
In addition to writing, Claire enjoys cooking, gardening, fashions, and travel. She holds degrees from Mercer University, Southwestern Seminary, and GA State University. She has professional experience in the fields of public education, Christian education, volunteer services administration, and non-profits. She was one of the first activists fighting human trafficking in Atlanta, an interest she maintains. She is active in the North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
Claire enjoys living in Decatur, GA with her husband, Eugene. She especially enjoys the mornings they go for cappuccino at one of their favorite coffee shops in Decatur. And the Decatur Book Festival.
Claire delights in the people she has met on her author’s journey.
She is available to book clubs, book-signings, author panels, media interviews.
Claire Underwood Hertzler,
129 Mimosa Drive,
Decatur, GA 30030