Friday, March 11, 2011

Franklin County Children’s Literature Festival 2011

I was honored to be one of the authors invited to present at this 10th annual event, which took place in Ottawa, Kansas on 3/9/11.

Each author spoke to four groups of 3rd-5th graders back-to-back for nearly an hour apiece; I believe an epic 1,400 students participated. The day was well-run and full of warmth despite the rawness outside.

The previous evening, the authors were treated to a dinner at which we got to meet community members who sponsored the event. I was seated with my sponsors, the most kind owners of a store whose name is right up my small-town alley: Country Mart. It was a pleasure to hear them articulately praise the benefits of living in a town of 12,000.

Speaking of small town, this one has one of those main streets that make me yearn for the 1950s (because the street could almost be passed off as one from that decade). Three things caught my eye as I drove through town:


This ATM, adrift alone in what appeared to be a vacant lot. Obviously not because it's reminiscent of the 50s but because I can’t recall ever seeing a free-standing ATM like it.


This store, which sells lawn machinery. One of the more memorable store names I’ve seen.


Another store that was a smorgasbord of collectibles, from 1970s Star Wars toy vehicles still with their boxes to 1980s freestanding arcade games, plus comics, DVDs, and the very nice owner’s two young children running around the joint (in socks) at 8 p.m. on a school night. Small-town color at its finest.

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