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Book Launch!

Book Cover

Red Raku Press is proud to announce the release of its first book:

When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On by Joni Foster.

This is the story of a terrible tragedy that occurred on April 15,1967 in the small town of Circleville, Ohio.

The book is now available in paperback or e-book at Amazon and from bookstores everywhere (through Ingram). Just ask for it.

In Circleville, Ohio, the book will be available starting in April at:

Pickaway County Historical and Genealogical Library, 210 N. Court Street (Click here for hours of operation.)

Schieber Family Pharmacy, 212 Lancaster Pike.

Keystone Books and Gifts, 138 W. Main Street.

A virtual book launch party will be celebrated over the next three days with periodic thoughts, commentary and reflections on the process of researching, writing, and developing this book. “Like” our Facebook page to keep up to date.

This book was a year in the making based on a lifetime of reflection. Here, for the first time, is an excerpt from the introduction to the book:


I was nine when it happened. Where did time go? Fifty years later and I am still haunted by this event, the illogical tragedy that occurred in the little town of Circleville, Ohio, in 1967: the bombing of Bingman’s Drug Store by a jealous husband. My dad, Ted Foster, a pharmacist at the store, left behind a grieving wife and five young children.

My family rarely talked about the event, and when we did, we only talked in whispers and sketches. I asked every twenty years or so for a remembrance, but my family was at a loss for words. What was there to say? It happened; we were sad; we moved on. That was the sum total of our processing of the event. I took my cues from them and understood it was taboo to talk about that day or the dead.

Last summer, my mom passed away. She was eulogized at the Community United Methodist Church by a young preacher nine “preacher-generations” removed from the knowledge of the tragedy that befell Circleville. As we sat around a conference table at the church preparing the preacher for the service, we were surprisingly compelled to tell him about our family and our relationship to the church as defined by that moment almost five decades before. We talked about the event, the double funeral at this very church, how afterward the church raised us and kept us, as in the Bible verse.[I]

It seemed like very old history. My brothers and sister and I had moved away years ago; my aging mom and stepdad in the past decade had been unable to attend services regularly or be active in the affairs of the church as in the past. But my family nonetheless still felt an ownership of this church; and the church owned our hearts, tethered by an invisible connection to the worst day of our lives. The flood of memories rekindled my desire to know more, so I embarked on a mission: to audaciously break the taboo and talk to people outside of my family about what happened.

[i] Numbers 6:24-26 King James Version. The verse is: “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

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