I’ve been busy promoting Breath of Wilderness. The Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids held a signing right before Thanksgiving. If you haven’t shopped there, I recommend it. It’s a gem of an independent bookstore and the owner and staff are knowledgable and very kind.
This week my local library hosted two events — an open house and book signing at the library with me and Jeanne Cooney, the author of two mysteries set in northwestern Minnesota, and a program at Far North Spirits celebrating the end of prohibition. When we decided to hold the second event, I wondered how I could tie a children’s book about a nature loving writer and wilderness advocate to food-focused mysteries and the end of prohibition. Yet, I had the best time trying to do just that. I found out that in 1933 Sigurd testified for the first time at a public hearing (regarding the Little Shipstead-Newton-Nolan Act for state lands). Sig had much to say at that hearing and the audience responded warmly. He began to realize that he could share his enthusiasm and strong emotions for the outdoors with others and convince them to feel as he did. The day that prohibition was repealed (Dec 5, 1933) — 81 years ago today, Aldo Leopold offered Sig a job conducting surveys in marshes. Sig thought long and hard about that job. Leopold was his hero and the job would allow him to work outdoors, something he’d always wanted. Yet, he realized that it would not provide him the opportunity to connect with others, influencing them and creating fellow wilderness advocates. Thus, he turned down the job. It was a painful decision, but a smart move on his part. While I knew all along that Sigurd’s work had nothing to do with the end of prohibition, I learned that at the same time in history he was realizing his strengths and passions that would later change the world.