Saturday, September 11, 2010
People have the notion that Indiana can be a boring state... and I suppose after you have lived the high life somewhere in the world beyond with an unlimited budget it could seem that way. But I refuse to let myself creep into that mind set..sometimes you have to look at what is right in front of your face...or more like it..into the faces of your friends and books that you read on the subject of Indiana...or any state or country in which you live.
I have a wonderful collection of books about Indiana and I read them over and over again. Some are not about Indiana at all but written by Indiana authors. And I strongly feel when a book or musician impacts your life you should write a letter or an email to that creator to let them know how much their work meant to you. I do that very thing and it is so rewarding. The internet is a magical means of communication where people actually respond to you almost instantly. The wonderful feeling that you have after you have enjoyed these books spills onto the authors and makes them feel wonderful too. I don't think we show appreciation enough so that has been my mission for the past year and a half.
I just wrote about my friend who wrote "Wind Chimes and Promises" Phyllis Adair and the all day and nite 'lunch' we had.
I just received a postcard announcing a book that my dear friends' daughter and niece Becky Bowles has written and is available now. It is called Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow~the true story of her grandparents, Herb and Dee Sweet and the Acorn Farm Camp. They started America's first day camp right here in Indiana with the unusual talent for stimulating kid's natural curiosity and creativity. A quick call to my friends to order the book through them will be done shortly
I reread for the 12th time a book I bought back in 1983 called "If You Don't Outdie Me"..the legacy of Brown County, Indiana recording the observation encounters between the photojournalist Frank Hohenberger and the local folk culture of that charming rustic county which bred an artist colony. The author is Dillon Bustin and at the time he wrote and compiled the photographs and unpublished diary notes of Hohenberger, he lived in Bloomington,Indiana. I finished reading the book again and felt compelled to look him up via the magical internet, wrote him and he said he was touched by my note and even though he lives in Boston now, he longs to move back to Story, Indiana.
Another prolific Indiana writer is James Alexander Thom. He has written many, many historical national bestseller books and lives about an hour and half from my house in the southern hill country of Indiana. One novel in particular is "Follow the River" based on the true ordeal of Mary Ingles who was kidnapped by Shawnee Indians from her Virginia settlement in 1755, survived the bloody massacre, escaped and walked and crawled a thousand miles following the rushing Ohio river as her guide. This book in particular hits my heart because I have read of my ancestors who were also in this or a similar invasion of the same time frame and didn't survive. Mr. Thom and I currently correspond frequently. His wife Dark Rain, of the Shawnee Nation, United Remnant Band is also an author. I think these authors are truly delighted to hear from their readers..they know the books sell but to hear a handwritten appreciative word~that warms their heart and yours. Unfortunately, I can't write to James Whitcomb Riley or Booth Tarkington or Cole Porter.