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.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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