Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Council Bluffs Kind of Month

So much for my trying to keep it a weekly blog - hopefully the good news is that I've been keeping too busy to update!

It HAS been a busy past month with signings and presentations. In the past weeks I've had a signing at the Council Bluffs Barnes and Noble, done a number of signings at the Offutt AFB base exchange (and will continue to do so through the holidays), and gave presentations for a Lewis & Clark Foundation chapter in CB as well as a retirement center in CB.

I'm pretty sure I didn't plan for November to be "Council Bluffs Month," but that's how it's turned out, and actually it continues into December. I go back across the river on Saturday, Dec. 6, for my "Forts of Omaha and Council Bluffs" presentation at the Western Historic Trails Center and their holiday celebration weekend.

It's been good to highlight Council Bluffs as the city was the site of two forts (the Council Bluffs Blockhouse and Fort Croghan) that are featured in my book. These sites don't get a lot of attention in the history of the Plains Indian wars since they were small, short-lived, were built to separate warring tribes, and - frankly - because they were in Iowa. The "Hawkeye" forts generally aren't included in histories of the wars as they were built during a time when the U.S. government wasn't in an active war against the tribes - which is not to say they should be neglected or forgotten. I think they do help tell the story of the plains forts and am glad I expanded the book to cover them and I hope you can come to the Trails Center on Dec. 6 to hear about the ones in Council Bluffs.

In my other December appearances, I'll be at the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island on Sunday, Dec. 14, to do a signing for their member holiday celebration, as well as about half a dozen more appearances at Offutt. Remember, you can always visit to find out where I'll be!

What else is in the works? It looks like I'll travel to Beatrice in April for a presentation at the Homestead National Monument and that same month for a presentation at a history conference at Fort Robinson. I'm also putting together a day-long bus tour for Metropolitan Community College in June that will cover the four fort sites of Omaha.

I'm looking at creating postcards and bookmarks with images of some of the forts for one thing. The photos from the book, which is printed in black and white, do look better in color and I think there might be a market for them. And I'll also be continuing my freelance writing - got to pay those bills!

Thanks for checking in. Hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving!

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