Monday, September 24, 2007

Bluffton South and West

Okay, gimme a break! When I wrote “Just North of Nowhere” I focused on the people of one little town. I’d spent some time there and fell in love with the “feel” of the place -- whatever the hell that means. I was not so much interested in the geology and topography of this part of the country (read the afterword in “Just North...” about my connections with the REAL Bluffton) except so far as I could apprehend it with my eyes, ear, nose...all those holed parts.

You know?

Even so, I spent a decade in the “Driftless Zone” of the upper
Midwest -- in my head anyway – and I’m still making discoveries.

I’m about to head up to Galena, Illinois. I’m doing a video ad for “Just North...” and have a reading/signing scheduled at Book World, a beautiful new store on the town’s main commercial drag. Great place, beautiful store, excellent staff. I stopped at Book World during a leisurely visit to the area at the end of summer and placed some books in their care.

So, there I was. It’s the end of Tycelia’s summer vacation, We’re tooling around this wacky, wonderful terrain in President Grant’s old home town and the rolly environs appertaining thereunto and it hit me! This is the friggin’ Driftless!

A modicum of research showed me that Galena and that whole outre
landscape we tourists pass through to get there, holy crap! IS part of the Driftless. Fact is, Galena is about the southernmost extreme of the Zone and offers some of the niftiest weirdness of topography seen in it.

(Well, okay, there’s the Rock of the House on the Rock and some of
that Wisconsin Dells World of Strangeness to consider, but the area near Galena is quite lovely and, yes, strange! especially when you note the 2-D world you’ve driven through to get there.)

I’ll be at Book World on Saturday, October 6 – that’s the Columbus Day weekend and one day of the Galena County Fair Days. The reading is sometime in the late afternoon, early evening. The store is
at 300 South Main Street. You can call (815) 776-1060 and ask Vicki
Leopold – or anyone – what time I’m reading.

Here's Book World, the exterior...

Here's the location: