Well, we are all in for a treat. Village volunteer Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann) Busby is going to chat with us about her childhoold growing up in the Owens Valley, as captured in her recent book Sage and Sierra. Joan and her sister Carol wrote this memoir together, alternating chapters and recollections. I just finished this book and found myself staying up way too late as I was caught up in the storytelling and hated to put it down. What a treat to be introduced to this family, their adventures, their home town, their friends and teachers. Among other things this book celebrates the beauty, challenges and joy of exploring the natural world. And the lessons it has to teach us, wherever we encounter it, and whatever our age. While it celebrates the beauty and ruggedness of that place and era, the stories are full of the kind of growing up observations, learnings and friendships that span place and time.
After calling Joan and talking to her about the book and some of the chapters and places mentioned I realized how much I was going to enjoy this talk. Joan is a breath of fresh air. She is forthright , thoughtful and energized . It will be a lot of fun as well as insightful having her share her thoughts with us. If you too are intrigued, there will be books for sale that day and Joan will be happy to sign them for us.
Here are some comments about the book to entice you to join us at the clubhouse on August 2nd.
“The small town of Independence, where authors Joan DeDecker Busby and Carol DeDecker Wiens were growing up between 1935 and 1951, lies about midway along the narrow Owens Valley of Eastern California. From high above, on the Sierra Nevada’s sheer eastern flank, the town appears, as it did to a young Joan DeDecker in the late 30s, as a “postage stamp” of green in the vast sagebrush expanse of the valley below.
Such observations fill the pages of this thoughtfully crafted and engaging memoir of the author’s “uncommon” childhood. Individual vignettes, based on their own recollections and the diaries of their remarkable mother, Mary DeDecker, are arranged as alternating voices to reflect each sister’s emerging sense of place.
These are stories to savor. With clarity and immediacy they bring to life the ordinary and unusual of the sisters’ small-town upbringing – their mother’s laundry day, the Depression-era hobo at the back door, playing tuba at graduation, guard towers at nearby Manzanar….
So please plan to come join us for a fun afternoon of stories, books and friendship. All are welcome so please feel free to pass this along to friends and neighbors.
We look forward to seeing you there