About Me

Sunday, May 2, 2010

About the Author of Images of America: Rock Springs Park

Joseph A. Comm spent his childhood exploring every nook and cranny of his hometown of Chester, West Virginia, but the one place he could not explore was Rock Springs Park, a defunct amusement park which bordered his school’s ball field. The sight of the dilapidated rides and iconic Victorian carousel pavilion which still housed the hand-carved 1927 Dentzel merry-go-round beckoned to a ten-year old Comm, but the “No Trespassing” and “Beware of Dog” signs kept him from hopping the fence and crossing under the wooden supports of the Cyclone roller coaster for a look around; a boyhood fantasy and missed opportunity which led to a lifetime interest in the park.

Comm began researching Rock Springs Park five years ago when writing a children’s novel based on his experiences growing up along the Ohio River – a place once described as “The Showcase of the East.” While researching for that novel, Comm completed a detailed history and time line of Rock Springs Park and in 2008 he shared some of this research online, an effort to attract other fans to share their memories. Kassy Hand, granddaughter of one-time owners Robert and Virginia Hand contacted Comm and urged him to write a book strictly about the park.

Comm studied theater arts and education at the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with BA and MAT degrees. He is a gifted support teacher in Western Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife and four children. When not writing he finds time to sing and play his ukulele.

He hopes that Images of America: Rock Springs Park will bring back fond memories and inspire the telling of more stories to a new generation. Comm sees the book as his chance to give back to Chester and the entire Upper Ohio Valley Region on the 40th anniversary of park’s final season.