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Walden West 2010

16 Oct

I spent the Columbus Day Weekend again this year in Sauk City, Wisconsin. In Canada that’s The Thanksgiving Day Weekend. American Thanksiving is the last Thursday in November, and it is also a wonderful family tradition when families gather together to celebrate a successful harvest. I stayed in a small hotel on the edge of town,a nd Rick the manager was most an excellent host, and mounted a sign to advertise the event.

The members of the August Derleth Society met for dinner at The Feed Mill in Mazomanie.  I had the fish because it was Friday,  And left a tip to pay the bill by credit card only to find the gratuity had already bee added to the bill because it was a group event.  The scheduled  tour of the Train Museum was called off because the key was otherwise in use. Karen Nelson and Kay Price sat across from me, both fouunding members of the Society back in 1978.

The next morning toured the new August Derleth exhibit  at The Tripp Museum in Prairie du Sac which had been painstakingly assembled by the curator Jack Berndt. The group adjourned to the back room in the Blue Spoon across the street. This room has a gorgeous view of the Wisconsin River below the dam. The water level was at a record high because of records rains upriver.

The annual meeting followed on a early lunch. The neeting was chaired by Rodney Schroeter in the absence of Ken Grant, the President. The minutes will be posted by yours truly.  The group next gathered at The Freethinkers Hall. Kay Price gave a spell-binding presentation with the help of series of old photographs mounted on foam board, and received a long overdue globe from Mary Schweitzer. David Schweitzer gave an excellent reading Walden West impersonating August Derleth.

Henry and Pat Russell lead the car caravan to view the car colo(u)rs in the Baraboo Bluffs and ended up at Ski-Hi Apple Orchard for a wide selection of apples, coffee and especially apple pie.  It is interesting to note that August Derleth patronized the same orchard as far back as 1942 as the illustrated post-card from Jessie indicates. What are Whitneys? a type of apple back in the 1940s. This post card was dated August 26, 1943. In any case they still had Golden Delicious on sale that day.

The group travelled back for Jim Kirschstein’s presentation n the Sauk City Library. Both retrospective vignettes, memorable and well worth seeing again.

The group met wfor dinner at Leystra’s restaurant, and then assembled at Auigust Derelth’s grave for a poetry reading. I didn’t read a poem, but did give my annual report to Augie instead. There wasn’t a mishap with the two pumpkins this year, skilfully carved by Rodney Schroeter and Henry Russell.

The next morning I took a tour of August Derleth Park. The day before Sue Kennedy had presented her attempts to reintroduce native species back into the park. I hadn’t been there for some years, and it looked pretty good to my uneducated eye. So I snapped a picture of The Wisconsin River.

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