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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Improvements, Mysteries, Plans, Excitement


If you haven’t been to Northport in a while, you might not know about all the renovations and additions to the marina park. After driving by and gawking for weeks on my way to errands and work, I finally walked down with Sarah one day to see the improvements up close. Northport's sheltered harbor and easy walking distance to bank, library, post office, shops, galleries, restaurants, and grocery store make it a popular stayover for boaters, who also enjoy Music in the Park concerts throughout the summer on Friday evenings.

Beautiful, big new bathhouse at marina
One other boating note: See new link in my blog list for Northporter Kevin's solo Atlantic sail. Follow him! The word "intrepid" definitely applies.

A local team working with a hired consultant has been exploring how our community, Northport and Leelanau Township, can come together on “Designing and Achieving Our Potential” in the near future. Property owners in the township will receive notice in the mail along with their summer property tax bill, and I’ll have more information, too, as the first public meeting, July 29, comes closer. The entire process is intended to be community driven, fluid, and transparent.

Mystery Poem #3 Arrives
On a more personal note, a third Mystery Poem appeared in my post office box last week. (In principle, it should not have been put in the box, since it bore only a street address and no p.o. box number, but our local post office went the extra mile, and I thank them.) This one does not say on the back “This is a poem,” and it lacks the sender’s initial--H., you’ll recall--but otherwise Mystery Poem #3 follows the pattern set by the first two. It was typed on a manual typewriter on lined paper, paper folded with poem inside and address typed outside, adorned with a variety of interesting postage stamps, and postmarked “Metro” (i.e., Detroit). The poem this time is short and sweet, and I’m no closer to identifying the poet than when I received the first one, but it’s a charming mystery, isn’t it? And I love the poem:


My summer calendar has pretty much come together, in a very exciting way, with the following bookstore events planned:

AUTHOR EVENTS at DOG EARS BOOKS

July-August 2012

Thursday, July 12, 11 a.m.
Bill O. Smith – recitation & signing
Chickadees at Night

Wednesday, July 18, 4 p.m.
Laurie Kay Sommers - signing
Fishtown, Leland

Sunday, August 19, time TBA
Bonnie Jo Campbell – reading & signing
Once Upon a River

AUGUST DATE & TIME TBA
Lynne Rae Perkins (illustrator)
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY!!!
Seed to Seed: The Legend & Legacy
of John “Appleseed” Chapman

Am I thrilled that Lynne Rae Perkins wants to have her book launch party in Northport? You bet! After all, as a Newbery winner for her YA novel Criss Cross, Lynne has a place in the children’s literature Pantheon. The new book she has illustrated, Seed by Seed, by Esme Raji Codell, about Johnny Appleseed, will be released on August 21, and I’m already thinking of how to involve local apple growers, cider makers, and history folks, so keep a watch here on “Books in Northport” for details concerning that late summer book party. Maybe a Caldicott is next for Perkins?

Before then, however, only a couple of weeks from now, we will have the author of another beautiful and fun illustrated children’s book, Bill O. Smith, coming to do a recitation from his lovely Chickadees at Night. Birders and grandparents, mark your calendar for Bill’s appearance on Thursday, July 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and if your grandchildren are visiting, bring them along, so they can sign Bill’s petition to have the chickadee replace the robin as Michigan’s state bird. Bill will convince everyone, I'm sure! He is a passionate chickadee advocate.

In an upcoming post (as soon as my copies arrive) I’ll tell you more about the Fishtown, Leland book and Bonnie Jo Campbell’s return visit to Dog Ears Books (Once Upon a River, now in paperback, available here now). You’ll also want to check out the summer author series sponsored by Leelanau Township Friends of the Library, because they've got a great lineup this year.

For today I want to showcase a new 500-piece jigsaw puzzle from Avery Color Studios in the U.P.  because all Avery products are “proudly printed” in the U.S.A., and nothing says “Vacation!” and “Summer cottage!” like a good Michigan jigsaw puzzle.

New from Avery Color Studios
Coming from a very different angle, Avery’s new book this season is I Talk/You Walk: 40 Years of Winning Defense Strategies, by U.P. lawyer Thomas P. Casselman, and if you’re wondering why you would want to read such a book if you’re not a lawyer, I’ll tell you that it will fascinate you for the same reasons it fascinates me: Casselman is a terrific story-teller, and his stories provide an insider’s view on Michigan’s criminal justice system. Okay, okay, I am also fascinated because all the cases come from my beloved U.P.

Can you believe it’s almost the 4th of July? Around Memorial Day it seems that the 4th will "never" get here, then in late June we're amazed that it's "almost here," and suddenly it's past, and we're shocked that Independence Day is "already over!" for another year. Would you like to invent another holiday to add to the summer calendar? What would it be and when, and how would you celebrate it?

Evening light through walnut tree branches

9 comments:

Alexis Wittman said...

Popsicle Day?
Ride your bike to the bay day?
Dog Day of August Day?
First of August Big Blow-out?
Kiss your Postmaster Day?
Sunburn Sunday?

(oh, stop me.)

Karen Casebeer said...

No visits this summer from Ellen Airgood and her new YA novel? Karen

Gerry said...

What a lot of great things going on over there! Personally I think there should be a day to Celebrate Public Bathrooms. Every town should be well-supplied with 'em, especially in places that encourage tourism.

Dawn said...

I'm just beginning chapter 14 of Once Upon a River...had to take a quick break because I'm so scared for her.

Love the color in the evening light thru walnut tree...

P. J. Grath said...

Popsicle Day is my favorite, but what a wealth of ideas, Alexis!

Karen, if Ellen can find an opening in her schedule, she will come down, but it's hard for her to get away from the West Bay Diner during the summer, as you can imagine.

Gerry--public restrooms--yes!!!

Dawn, I know what you mean. Besides that, I like to take breaks from good books to stretch them out longer. (And you would be even more scared reading Q ROAD, but I recommend that Campbell novel, too.)

Karen Casebeer said...

Pamela...Thanks so much for posting the link to Kevin's blog. I had been watching him work on his boat all spring as I went in and out of the neighborhood, but hadn't realized he'd actually set sail. What a brave undertaking! Karen

Kathy said...

Yep, a lot happening in your neck of the woods, Pamela. I was so happy to see another mystery typed poem/letter. How fun! Glad to see they are still coming. Wonder if you'll ever learn who sent them?

P. J. Grath said...

I'm somewhat nervous following Kevin's voyage, Karen, to tell you the truth, but it's his dream, and he's pursuing it, and pursuing our dreams is important for all of us.

Kathy, I've imagined all sorts of scenarios explaining the mystery poet, but as I say the mystery is pretty much total at my end. But so delightful! Something one might imagine for a book, but it's really happening in my life. Aren't I lucky?

P. J. Grath said...

Late-breaking news from Kevin: With his late start and Hurricane Debby threatening, he's decided to do the smart thing and come back home, planning an earlier start across the Atlantic next year. Here's wishing him a safe return to Staten Island and from there back to Northport! We love you, Kevin!