Collected written works  |  Gary Marx

Funds raised to help

Meredosia River Museum

The financially troubled river history museum received a donation of $240 from the book-signing in October, 2008.

The museum was an important touchstone for us during our research of the Illinois River.

Dora Dawson, the museum’s director and guiding light, introduced us to a crew of self-named “river rats,” old-timers who spent their lives fishing, shelling, hunting, and basically living off the river.  Most of those folks are gone now, and each took so much history with them when they died.

When we learned the museum itself was fading, its doors shut with unpaid electricity bills still to settle, our book-signing quickly became a benefit. The profits from the sale of all books that day went to the river museum, with our hope that it can pay off some debt and stay open a little longer.

Just before the event, Dora suffered a minor stroke and the event took on a note of urgency.

Dora rebounded nicely, however, and was gracious — and as feisty as ever — when handed a check in her hospital room in Jacksonville.

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Book-Signing Tour 2008

OCTOBER 6, Monday

-- Ruebel Hotel

    Grafton, Illinois

-- Meredosia River Museum (fund-raiser benefit)

    Meredosia, Illinois

OCTOBER 7, Tuesday

-- Louie’s Kampsville Inn

   Kampsville, Illinois

-- Barefoot Restaurant

   Hardin, Illinois

-- The Boat Tavern

    Bath, Illinois

OCTOBER 8, Wednesday

--Neverending Story

   Havana, Illinois

OCTOBER 9, Thursday

--Barnes & Noble

   Peoria, Illinois

OCTOBER 10, Friday

-- Barnes & Noble

   1 East Jackson (at DePaul University in the Loop)

   Chicago, Illinois

-- Chicago Publishers Gallery

   Chicago Cultural Center

   77 East Randolph

   Chicago, Illinois

OCTOBER 11, Saturday

-- The Book Stall at Chestnut Court  

   Winnetka, Illinois

Photographed in 2001 at the Meredosia River Museum, from left: Harvey Dean,  75; Larry Edlen, 59; Leonard Easley, 87 (deceased); Darrell McDannold, 61 (deceased); Sid Logsdon, 87 (deceased);  Earl Edlin, 81 (deceased); and, seated in front, Dorothy VanDeventer, 82 (deceased).

October roads

Notes from the book tour

The smell of harvest in the air.

Corn standing gray in fields as the dust of distant tractors rises in the orange October sky.

The fruit  of autumn truck farms spills to the roads, and the sheds, with shutters propped open like the eyes of carved squash, are able to see again for another season.