Well, my statement was never more true for an audience than it was on Friday morning, November 19, 2010, when I had the distinct privilege of performing at Lakeville Senior Center, located in downtown Lakeville, which is only about 5 miles east of the farm where I grew up, the farm that is the reference for my two series of children's books written for adults.
A few minutes before my show is scheduled to begin, Linda Walter, Senior Center Coordinator, snaps a photo as I stop at some tables to visit with audience members while they eat pumpkin cake.
For Nancy and me, the goal is to tell the local story of rural America, not to glorify the past, nor to lament the loss of the family farm as it used to be but, instead, to tell stories that are real-life adventures based on actual events; I want to tell the stories orally and through my books by using accurate detail with humor and love.
Central to my story today is my book, A Farm Country Thanksgiving, which tells a story of a farm family on Thanksgiving Day, 1950. It's not violent and there is no murder to solve so it'll never make the best-seller list, but it does characterize the events of a family in that era as they prepare for Thanksgiving and celebrate the big day by having fun with friends and relatives.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to order a copy of this family Thanksgiving story.
There is no TV at the family's home so neither activities nor conversations in the story are interrupted by parades or football games with self-important media personalities trying to be the center of other people's lives.
The family in my story does chores, prepares the meal, deals with a cow calving, gives thanks, and through it all they have fun. Adults play euchre, while the kids swing on a rope in the hay mow, sled down a steep hill, haul water on the hill so the sleds will go faster, and one of them manages to get his tongue stuck on the cold pump.
This may mot seem like exciting stuff to some, but after the 40-minute show, audience members at Lakeville Senior Center expressed their appreciation to me again and again, and many of them took me up on my offer to listen to their stories. For over 20 minutes, many members of the audience shared their stories of farm life with everyone.
Nancy and I were delighted at the number of books we sold before and after the show. Below I sign a book for a customer who tells me a fascinating story of a man who, after having a farm accident, always cut off the hammer loop on his bibbed overall before he would wear it.
Discussions after the show were lively and interesting. Nancy and I had a great time and we didn't have far to drive home, either.
I will be performing A Farm Country Christmas Eve at 10:00 AM on Friday, December 17, 2010. Stop by to visit, if you can.
More pictures below:
I hope she gives me a call to visit her facility.
Linda Walter and I pose as Nancy snaps a picture. We will be back at Linda's facility on December 17, 2010.
This photo shows the large activitiy room at Lakeville Senior Center and part of the audience as I begin my show.
Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson