City Manager writes memoirs

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 29, 2014

On the second floor of Picayune’s City Hall building, there’s a corner office lined with windows.
In this room, City Manager Jim Luke has a bird’s eye view of the Boulevard where he spent his youth making friends, memories and cruising in his hot rod.
To commemorate this lifetime of memories, Luke recently completed his first novel, “The Good Years on Goodyear Boulevard.”
Luke said the book took him about five years to complete during his quiet time at home.
“My friends encouraged me to write a book filled with stories about growing up in Picayune,” Luke said. “My sister, Debbie asked me if I really needed another challenge and agreed to help me write this story.”
Tragically, before that could happen, Debbie suffered a fall, fracturing her ankle in 2008. As a result, she suffered a blood clot and passed away two weeks later, Luke said. His book is dedicated to her memory.
Luke said he enjoys writing about the “good old days,” especially his time spent on Goodyear Boulevard.
“For young people growing up from the 1950s through the 1980s, it was a rite of passage to park, visit and honk on the Boulevard,” Luke said. “You were cool. It was an exciting time and parents knew where their children were.”
Luke, a former Picayune Police Chief, said he is no stranger to writing. He has written columns for the Picayune Item and a police newsletter.
There’s a lot of history on Goodyear Boulevard, Luke said. People were born at the old hospital and attended high school and church on the Boulevard.
“I started my career as a young policeman here and will finish it as city manager,” Luke said. “I want to leave some kind of legacy. Mine will be in the form of a book documenting the histories of our town. It’s been a good ride. I serve a great mayor and council who put a premium on history.”
For Luke, the timing of the book’s release will be bittersweet as it coincides with the sixth anniversary of his sister’s passing, which was during the week of Thanksgiving.
Luke said he is already working on another book. This one will be based on a fictional mystery.
On Thursday Dec. 4, Melinda’s Fine Gifts and More at the Top of the Hill will be hosting a book signing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The book costs $12.99 and is available at Melinda’s and through For more information about purchasing a book, contact Melinda’s at 601-798-7410.
View the book trailer on YouTube at
Find Luke’s author page on Facebook at Jim Luke.

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