I told “THE BEAR” story and sang campfire songs with 4th grade students at MCARLM’s 2017 Gold Rush Days at San Lorenzo Park. I saw fifteen groups of kids over the two days of the May 24th-25th event. Among other things, they also visited a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a general store and a chuck wagon. Best of all, they panned for gold! My many colleagues did a great job and California history came to life!
Category Archives: Author Visits
Mission San Antonio de Padua holds an annual celebration of California history. I was most pleased to participate in the 2017 event as story-teller and visiting author. The hundreds of visitors and dozens of presenters enjoyed an April spring day – mild sunshine, warm breezes and perfume of wildflowers – that only the San Antonio Valley can produce – a heavenly visit to old California. I got to share Native American stories about silly Tarantula and how Kangaroo Rat got his blackened tail. I hope to be included once again next year!
Meet the artist events at Sol Treasures – intimate and collaborative – often blur the lines between presenters and audience. Such was the case on Friday evening when John Miller and I shared our books with a lively group of friends and visitors. John offered a concise though wide-ranging context for his bestseller Minecraft Lab for Kids. It was fun to see illumination bloom on attentive faces as he revealed the power of this new learning-through-play technology. I was pleased to offer a Presidents’ Day reading from my Dawn Drums. We cannot hear enough about Abraham Lincoln these days – we just can’t.
John and I have collaborated in teaching for decades. May it always be so!
P.S. Note my “Lemon Tree” shirt. Thanks, Kerry’s Mom! Your artistry endures!
John Miller and I will host kids, teachers and parents at Sol Treasures in King City on Friday evening from four to six. We’ll tell stories, talk about literacy and reveal great secrets about writing. Please come out and join us if you’re near – or even if you’re far! Wine, refreshments and good cheer will be shared.
Phoebe Cheney and I before the 4th graders arrived – Photo by Joan Ungs
San Lorenzo County Park near King City is an underappreciated (at least by many) treasure and the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is its crown jewel. The museum took a really big hit on May15th, literally so. A hundred year old, seven feet in diameter eucalyptus tree tried to take the roof off the barn at about six in the evening. It failed – by a little – and nobody was around to be hurt. The folks at MCARLM had scheduled a big, three-day historical event for local kids beginning on the 16th. Everyone pulled up their bootstraps and we went ahead with the presentations. Local 4th graders put their hands (tongues, ears, stomachs, feet and everything else!) on the history of our gold rush. I got to be a 49er and introduce them to Clementine’s boyfriend. You know the guy: “How I missed her! Until I kissed her little sister!”
Photo by Phyllis Walton
“Mission Days” at San Antonio de Padua both celebrates the early history of Central California and raises funds for restoration of the Mission buildings. This year’s event took place on April 2nd and was a great success. Gold-panning, brick-making, black-smithing, cowboy-singing, acorn-grinding, candle-making, wildflower-hiking were – among many others – activities one could engage in. All was topped off by Rosa Pacheco’s BBQ and a concert by the New World Baroque Orchestra. I squeezed in some story-telling – Ask me how the kangaroo rat got its paint brush of a tail! – and some book signing.
San Lorenzo County Park near King City is a true treasure and the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is its crown jewel. The folks at MCARLM host a yearly gathering for young people around Halloween. The focus is on local history, legends and – yes! – ghosts. I was invited to the campfire and added a few local ghostly tales to the mix. We had a great time! If you’re in the area, please join us next year.