In 1964, Freedom Workers were trained on the campus of Miami University before they left for Mississippi. I was honored to be a part of this.
The SANDY HORMELL COMMUNITY BOOK CELEBRATION is in its 9th year.
Here are a few sentences from the invitation:
The event honors Sandy Hormell, a longtime Talawanda and Miami employee, whose love of books and education made her a beloved teacher and colleague. Although her life was claimed by ALS in 2004, her love of reading lives on in this event.
Many things I hold dear, in one special celebration.
I would speak at an evening meeting, sign books and greet some delightful people, and present my GLORY BE story to middle schoolers. Over 1000 books would be given to readers of all ages.
Wow. What author wouldn't love that.
Of course, I said yes.
(It didn't hurt that my college roommate, whom I really hadn't seen in a very long time, would be my hostess. Or that my daughter was a Miami University grad and I had such fond memories of the college town.)
Off I went!
After a delightful lunch, then an afternoon stroll on campus with my friend Lyn, we headed to the Oxford Community Arts Center.
There I talked to a wonderfully attentive group of readers of every age.
The Community Arts Center is in a neat building.
Former dorm rooms turned artist studios are upstairs.
I coveted one of those studios!
As soon as I walked in, this adorable reader told me she loved my book!
This group had come with their creative and inspiring teacher. She'd driven them from a nearby community. Now that's dedication!
I talked about writing the book, about Freedom Summer in my own town, about my inspiration.
Afterwards, we walked across the street to the Oxford Lane Library.
BOOK FOOD was enjoyed by all!
Red Velvet cupcakes. Emma's Lemon Cookies. Bug Juice.
ELVIS V. THE BEATLES display!
One of the best parts of this weekend went on behind the scenes. Or behind my scenes.
The 5th grade gifted students from Oxford's three elementary schools had discussed the book with seniors from the Knolls Retirement Community and the Miami University Institute for Learning in Retirement. They'd also had lunch together.
I heard it was fabulous. I wish I'd been the proverbial fly on the wall.
You'd think it couldn't get much better than that, wouldn't you?
This Bulletin Board greeted me at the TALAWANDA MIDDLE SCHOOL.
First public showing of the new cover art for THE WAY TO STAY IN DESTINY!
(Awesome media specialist shout-out: Hi, Monica Greene!)
Just a few of the many books I signed!
A really remarkable thing happened.
Sitting in the media center signing books at lunch, I met a teacher who brought this in for me to see.
He'd bought it at an antique shop, a while ago.
He uses it to teach his Civil Rights unit.
The questions were pretty amazing. The students were so well-prepared. I hated to leave.
Such a super committee. So well organized. Lots of fun. Smart, smart people!
Here we are at our farewell dinner at Kona, a fabulous restaurant in downtown Miami.
Tucked inside a delightful basket of zucchini muffins, fruits and nuts and cheeses
was a lovely note. I love the card, don't you?
One last stop before saying goodbye Oxford Ohio, to friends, old and new, young and old.