By DAVID GREEN
It’s not really a homecoming when nationally-known author Glenn Stout comes to Morenci March 22, but it might seem that way to him.
He remembers spending time at his grandmother’s house on Gorham Street when he was a kid and playing at Wakefield Park.
His cousin Kelley Burrow is very familiar with that house because that’s where she now lives.
“My connection to Morenci is through my grandmother Elizabeth (Stout) Clark,” Glenn said, “who was married to Earl Clark after my grandfather Glenn Stout died.”
Earl Clark was known as the trainer of Dr. James Blanchard’s racing horses, and he had a horse—Old Bess—in the back yard of the Gorham Street house, Kelley said.
“We used to visit a lot when we were kids,” Glenn said. “I remember going to the five and dime, the Rex Theater and the park, where there used to be this terrific playground merry-go-around.”
Lots of former Morenci children remember that push/pull merry-go-round.
“Every time we came for a visit, we would ask if we could go to the park,” Kelley said.
She grew up in the Sand Creek area while Glenn’s family lived near Columbus, so the cousins didn’t get together all that often.
She figures it’s been about 10 years since she’s seen Glenn and it must be at least 25 years since he’s been in Morenci. He now lives on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain.
She recently asked her cousin if he would make an author visit at Stair Public Library and he agreed. He decided he could visit relatives on the way here to make the trip even more worthwhile.
It’s more than just an evening talk at the library that Kelley has in store for him.
“We made him a full schedule,” she said.
On Friday, March 23, he will meet with Heather Walker’s AP English class at the high school, then talk with fifth and sixth grade students at the middle school. During lunch he’ll get together with Sally Kruger’s writers group before joining seventh and eighth grade classes in the afternoon.
“I’ll be talking about my career and trying to motivate them about reading and writing by explaining that writing isn’t done by ‘other people’ but by people just like themselves,” Glenn said. “I’ll try to use examples from my own life and career to underscore that point. I think reading is transformative, something that can and does change your life, no matter what you want to do in the future.”
Glenn has worked as a full-time writer since 1993 and he has now written, ghostwritten or edited more than 80 books. He won honors for his book “Fenway 1912” about the early days of Boston’s Fenway Park and also for his “Good Sports” series for juvenile readers.
Although many of Stout’s books focus on baseball, he has also written about the first woman to swim the English Channel and edited a book about Tiger Woods. He also wrote an account of the clean-up of the World Trade Center site following 9/11. His articles have appeared in a wide range of magazines.
Kelley is counting down the days until her cousin arrives.
“I’m so excited I can hardly wait,” she said, “and he’s excited to be coming.”
She’s hoping for the arrival of a few more cousins to show up for the library talk and that will make Glenn’s visit even more of a bonus.
“We just don’t see each other anymore,” she said.
Everyone is invited to the family reunion when Glenn’s program gets underway at 7 p.m. March 22, even if you never had the thrill of riding the old merry-go-round.