Friday, November 25, 2022

An Interview with Ohio Author Lorinda LeClain

An Interview with Ohio Author Lorinda LeClain
Author Lorinda LeClain knows a lot about local history. As the History Librarian for the Athens County Library, Lorinda works with locals to preserve and archive photos, memory albums, historical records, and much more. In 2015, she authored her first book, Images of America: Nelsonville (Arcadia Publishing).

Welcome, Lorinda!
GM: What's the premise for your book?
LL: Images of Nelsonville is full of old postcards and photos of the area and a little bit of history about each photo, a co-worker of mine had attended a Rotary meeting back in 2014 and relayed the message that the Arcadia Publishing Company was looking for someone to write Images of America (part of their series) on Nelsonville, and I took on the challenge. It has been a very rewarding experience.
GM: Describe your writing workspace and writing process...
LL: Most of the photos I used for this book I was fairly familiar with but I also spent time researching each one and writing notes on index cards before putting my thoughts down, so the process was pretty much how I learned to work on term papers back in High School.
GM: What would you like readers to take away from your book?
LL: An appreciation for our little town and hopefully to come away with learning something new about a building, person, or event.
GM: What are you currently reading?
LL: Currently, I'm reading the book The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks. I love historical fiction and mysteries.
GM: Who is your favorite author?
LL: Beatriz Williams is currently my favorite author. She writes quite a bit of historical fiction from the 1920's era.
GM: Tell us about working in the library and your role as a local historian... 
LL: Every day is an adventure. I am always busy doing research for my patrons whether it's about an event, an old building or elusive ancestors, there is never a dull moment.

GM: Do you have advice for novice writers?

LL: I don't consider myself very experienced but it is easier to write if it is a topic you have a passion for.

GM: Can we expect a new book from you in the near future?

LL: I would love to do another book on Nelsonville. 

GM: List 10 things that your fans may not know about you…

LL:  I am currently back in school to get my Bachelors in Humanities/History; I help coach Archery at Nelsonville-York City Schools since 2012; I love going on tours of old homes/buildings; I enjoy spending time with my family and walking my dog Jasper; I enjoy taking online painting classes; I love strawberries (I could live on them); genealogy is my main hobby; my favorite holiday is Halloween; one of my favorite movies is Cold Mountain; as for books, I work in a library so whatever catches my eye I give it a chance, but mostly historical fiction and a good mystery.

Connect with Lorinda


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Feed the birds, Feed your soul by Sandra Russell

The recent more than chilly temperatures make it very tempting to pull the wool socks out, put the kettle on and simply hibernate for the winter, alas; we are not bears. We are more like birds. Some of us 'fly south for the winter' and some of us have jobs to do, ideas to hatch, and bodies that just need to get moving whether we really want to or not? I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's not only our world that needs supporting, the Northern birds and other wildlife are out there and food supplies are scarce once the seeds have fallen and are covered in snow, foraging and shelter changes.

I have shown here as an illustration, a lovely quilt piece done by my cousin K. It is a sweet reminder of the challenges and the benefits available to us in winter. One of those benefits is an awareness of our variety of Ohio birds, we look more carefully at them and notice feathers and personalities we may not have noticed in the busy colorful landscape of summer. For me it invites the sort of focus one applies to Springtime blooms, noting every new color and contour of a lily or a crocus. This quilt features our State bird, the Cardinal, against a frosty background of greys and icy looks, but the bird is perched on a branch of golden flame-like stitches, and he himself is a cozy quilt of red, gazing at the fireplace. Winter affords us to contemplate these contrasts and to share our comforts to warm others. 


Monday, November 21, 2022

Milliron Monday: Dennis Powell's View from Mudsock Heights - When We're Out of Touch

Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

"I’d run into Jody all the time, and if I had an assignment, assignment be damned because we were going to talk for awhile."
Dennis Powell

Have you ever thought of someone, and you can't shake the thought? Their name pops up everywhere and you know you need to reach out. Well, that's what happened week before last. I hadn't heard from Dennis Powell for a very long time and sent him an email to see how things were going. As usual, he is doing well, reading and writing.

I asked Dennis if he enjoyed Jody's recent publication of short stories, the collection from her memorial service. He replied he had not seen it, nor did he know that Jody passed away.

This is my fault. Dennis should have known. He should have been at her memorial. Jody would have expected him to be there. She was a fan of his column The View from Mudsock Heights. 

In Dennis' column last week, he wrote of Dr. Smith, Jody, and what happens when we're out of touch. Read the entire post here. 

Connect with Dennis...

The View from Mudsock Heights here every Wednesday 

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.


Sunday, November 20, 2022

The First Thanksgiving by Sandra Russell


So many different sources mention this dinner as a definite event, others are so vague as to suggest not much happened or if any special meaning is attached to it. Some report it as a small affair, very humble with a few native Americans, and a few Pilgrims, some Puritan and some not, and other Plymouth Colony families. While other reports speak about a huge harvest feast, lasting more than a five-day affair.

I think enough reports of hunting with colonists and indigenous people contributing geese, duck, fish, shellfish along with five deer from the hunt for the occasion. Wild passenger pigeons, grouse and turkey being boiled and roasted with herbs, onions and produce from the gardens planted the previous March. It is certain that root vegetables common to English gardens were used, such as turnips, parsnips, and carrots. Corn would have been a native North American variety; and 'Indian corn' is mentioned in several reports as being part of most daily fare.

Considering that the Pilgrims arriving on the Mayflower were also accompanied by Pilgrims who had resided in Holland for up to a dozen years previously, that some Dutch products would also have been included. A part of me also wonders if they brought any tulips with them. I read that beer and wine were on the Mayflower, rationed to a gallon a week per passenger. Provisions for the trip included cheese, bacon, peas, oats, barley, and salt. The winter may have been difficult the first year, but this first harvest seems to have been a quite abundant one. Certainly, if the winter prior had been a sparse one, this seems to have been worth a celebration.

While many stories seem to conflict if not contradict others, there are letters from the time and place that document in part what was going on in the Plymouth community. It is easy to imagine the rich and easy hunting available in that woodland area, as well as clam digging and fishing in the shallows (certainly an old habit and skill of the Dutch). Cranberries are also a fruit found in the coastal Northeast, so maybe the reason for the tradition we keep today? It is always a good day to give thanks to the good. 

Speaking of Writing with Rose Cushing: Leslie McDonald, Author


An Interview with Ohio Author Lorinda LeClain

  An Interview with Ohio Author Lorinda LeClain   Author Lorinda LeClain knows a lot about local history. As the History Librarian for the A...