Author Tom Springer to visit Morenci's library 11.19.08

Written by David Green.

Michigan author Tom Springer enjoys exploring the natural wonders of the Upper Peninsula or hiking into the splendors of the Rocky Mountains, but that’s not the connection with nature that he makes on a regular basis.

It’s the woods on the edge of town. The creek that flows through the community. The open fields of some forgotten farmland.

It’s the nature all around us that he finds most meaningful.

Springer will convey his love for the natural landscape of the Midwest when he visits Morenci’s Stair Public Library next month.

“We live in a subtly beautiful place and I want to help people celebrate that,” he said, “and to respect and protect what’s here.”

For Springer, it’s the connections to our favorite nearby places that make life meaningful.

Springer is calling his visit to Morenci and to an Adrian College writing class his “smell the wood” tour. He’ll bring along several artifacts—including aromatic roots, hunks of split wood, homemade serviceberry jam—to make his talk not just a reading, but an “appetizer for the senses.”

Springer is the author of “Looking for Hickories: the Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest.” It’s described as “a fresh look at the landscape as well as the everyday lives of the people who make up the region’s small communities.”

The publisher’s statement says that Springer’s essays “mingle a generosity of spirit and the childlike pleasure of discovery with a grown-up sense of a time and a place, if not lost, then in danger of disappearing altogether—things to treasure and preserve for today and tomorrow.”

“I’ve found that ‘Looking for Hickories’ connects well with Midwesterners who grew up with a love for local things like sassafras tea, pawpaws and hickory nuts,” Springer said. “But it’s also been popular with people who say that they don’t usually read ‘nature books.’”

 The author says his goal is to tell a good story, and if people learn a little something along the way, that’s a plus.

• Springer’s author talk is scheduled at the library beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 4.

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  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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