Bright and early this morning…

May 10, 2016 | 2 comments

11050742_1033727219975663_4889460495460620591_nI know a good many people who consider 7:30 in the morning to be the middle of the previous night.  I am not one of those late morning (or in some cases, early afternoon) risers.  Quite the opposite.  Usually, I have been working at my computer for a couple of hours by then and am just about to post my blog.

Not so this morning, however.  I’ve been asked to talk to the Long Beach Rotary Club about my upcoming book, Jailhouse Stories from Early Pacific County.  I’m not quite sure it’s the right sort of topic for breakfast-time conversation but I notice on their website that their morning speaker is “to be announced” so they might have been up against it when they asked me.  I also see that my friend Betsy Millard, director of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is speaking this evening at their 5:30 meeting.  Yes!  Those Rotarians are go-getters.  Two meetings every Tuesday!

In past years I’ve spoken at both the morning and the evening meetings – not the same day or even the same year.  I’m not quite sure how their attendance works – maybe members go to whichever meeting fits their schedule best.  Whatever the time and whoever is there, the meetings are fun, upbeat gatherings and I always enjoy myself.  And besides all that part, the Rotary Club provides programs and funds grants that support youth and education in our area.  Over the last 20 years, they have disbursed more than  $1,401,720 to our local community!

Sydney and the Prison Record

Sydney and the Prison Record

But… my  particular problem remains:  how to make this “book talk” breakfast-friendly.  For starters, I think I will illustrate my talk with a bit of ‘show and tell.’  “Prison Record No. 1 Pacific County” is mighty impressive.  It is huge – eight pounds huge – and is leather bound with gold embossing on its spine.  The 595 entries, all made between 1886 and 1919, are written in old-fashioned Spenserian in ink and are not the least bit politically correct in character – interesting and instructive right from the get-go.  There is no way I can pass the volume around the table, but maybe people can take a peek after I’m through talking.

I definitely want to tell how I happen to have this book – a story that involves our late sheriff, John Didion – and, also, how my book based on its contents came about.  And, if time allows, I’ll talk about a couple of the most famous (actually, infamous) jail inmates whose names and fates are recorded in this log book.

I’ll probably be back in Oysterville about the time the mail is out which is usually not later than 9:30.  Woot!  Woot!


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I am sure your talk will be well received and perhaps you can have an early morning book signing in future!

  2. Caroline Miller

    Yikes! 7 a.m is the crack of dawn for me. Admire your energy. New book sounds interesting. Hope the reading goes well…. or by the time I’m up and reading this should I say, “I hope the reading went well”? Anyway, have a great reading.


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