A book about the Blue Ridge Parkway for young readers

Month: January 2010

Great time at Flyleaf

(Original post date January 24, 2010)

Thanks to all our friends who came out to Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill on Friday night for our inaugural public discussion of When the Parkway Came! We really enjoyed getting to read from the book and talk about how it came to be, especially with some of the folks who have helped us along the way.

We especially appreciated the presence of children’s author and illustrator Clay Carmichael, whose 2009 novel Wild Things has received much well-deserved acclaim recently, and her husband, Carrboro sculptor Mike Roig. In various informal chats as we were working out together at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA, Clay has been a fount of valuable information about the weird and foreign world of children’s book publishing, about which both David and I were almost completely ignorant upon starting this project.

And it was so gratifying also to have Chapel Hill Public Library children’s librarian Susan Smialowicz there, too. She remembered that almost two years ago we had both talked to her about our idea for the book, and she had pointed us in the direction of some other similar books from which we might get ideas (e.g. Jane Yolen’s Letting Swift River Go, about Massachusetts’ Quabbin Reservoir).

Thanks again to Sarah Carr and her colleagues at Flyleaf for reaching out and getting us off to such a fantastic start!’

Flyleaf books in Chapel Hill hosts our inaugural event, Jan 22

(Original post date: January 11, 2010)

We were excited this past Saturday night to attend the grand opening of Chapel Hill’s new independent bookstore, Flyleaf Books, and we’re even more excited that Flyleaf will host our opening event to discuss When the Parkway Came on Friday, January 22nd at 7:00 p.m. We hope you will all join us, along with your children! We’ll read from the book and talk a bit about how it came to be.

Located at the bottom of the hill near Foster’s on Martin Luther King/Airport Rd., Flyleaf has a capacious, attractive space with an especially good special-events room (formerly the yoga space when this was a fitness center). There was a huge crowd there Saturday, evidence of Chapel Hill’s pent-up desire for an independent bookstore with parking! (The Bull’s Head on the UNC campus is great and has a much larger inventory at present, but it’s almost impossible to get to if you’re not already on campus.)

One fun tidbit that we learned while there is that one of the store’s owners, Sarah Carr, has her M.A. from North Carolina State University’s Public History program, one of the oldest and best public history programs in the state. I took an “Introduction to Public History” graduate course there in 2002 with longtime program director John David Smith (now at UNC-Charlotte). That course was tremendously helpful in my development as a public historian. Archives and other historical sites all over North Carolina are ably staffed by graduates of this program, and I’m delighted to find that a public historian is also behind Flyleaf Books.

Please join us there on January 22nd at 7.

Parkway 75th anniversary year is here!

(Original post date: January 5, 2010)

Well, at long last, it’s here — 2010, year of the official celebration of the Parkway’s 75th anniversary! As a member of the Blue Ridge Parkway 75 board of directors, I look forward to being involved in the celebrations and conversations about the Parkway all year. For now, you can check out plans for 75th anniversary events at the official Blue Ridge Parkway 75 website [now defunct].