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Archive for June, 2009

It looks like a glorious one out there today! I’ll be in the bookstore, probably setting up our air conditioners, if it warms up that much. Stop on by!

I’m super-psyched about today’s meet-and-greet (from 5 to 7) with Aprilynne Pike.  Just finished WINGS this morning — WOW, what a debut!   I can highly recommend it for young-adult and fantasy readers of all ages.  I’m hoping she’s gentle on us for the fact that her maiden name’s been wrong in some of our publicity — it’s RUBERT not RUPERT. 

Summer, with its sensational sun and serious storms, seems well upon us, doesn’t it?

It’s been quite a week, between losing Joe and traveling to Boise for two days. There, I attended and took part in the convening of more than 50 arts groups from Idaho,  all of us intent on learning more about the distribution of stimulus-money funds through the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

For me, it provided a wonderful chance to (finally) put faces to names of arts administrators and their organizations, as well as a wonderful night at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival.  Comedy of Errors was terrific (as are ALL their productions)!  

A big thank you to everyone who attended (including Christine Leusch of Teton Arts Council), to Mark Hofflund of ISF for making the magical night there possible, and to Michael Faison, special presenters Richard and Anna Linzer, and the entire ICA staff  for their incredible work on seeing that these one-time funds are SHARED throughout the state.

I’m definitely trying to add more links to this blog. So, click here to learn more about Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and here for more about the Idaho Commission on the Arts.

There’s much more to talk about on this glorious morning, but not more time! Remember the Tin Cup Challenge  is just around the bend, with plenty of opportunities to volunteer and participate.

Have a GREAT weekend!

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In college, I learned a poem about a torch-bearer who stumbles, but others make sure the light is carried on. I’m reminded of that this week, with the passing of Joe Hillman.

In late March, Leland Christiansen of Alta stopped by the bookstore mentioned that Joe was in the hospital in Rexburg.

I went to see him the next Wednesday morning. His already diminutive frame seemed even thinner than usual and was wracked with near-constant coughing. Between these spells, he straightforwardly told me his chemotherapy was to start that afternoon. For a few moments that day, I was able to just stand there and hold his hand; he was still wearing his big smile, his courage apparent.

I knew Joe had 70-plus years of first-hand experience with the fragility of life. However, I also had a very strong feeling he would face his cancer with the same can-do spirit he’d developed throughout his life.

His success was not based on “simply showing up,” as Woody Allen suggested. Rather, Joe faced every situation he encountered with an open heart, from negating a sickly childhood and helping raise his nieces while still a teenager, to a long-term stint in the military and caring for his sister during her long-term illness.

Ultimately, he gave back to the Teton Valley community in so many ways — through his many years of work at the family grocery store, as a role-model during recuperation after his own health crises, and via his enthusiasm in support of good causes. As one customer said yesterday, “He put the V in volunteering around here,” and isn’t that the truth.

I feel truly blessed that our life paths crossed. Joe was one of the first local people who learned my name when I moved here in 1994. He knew how to make a newcomer feel part of the place, and that mattered a great deal to me.  In so many ways, he served as a “bridge” between many aspects of our community.

He was incredibly modest about the kind words said about him by others. An extremely private guy, he may have wanted his illness kept under wraps, but his many diverse admirers within the community were all pulling for him.

I’m hoping that Joe knew the depth of our affection before he died.

He was still joking to the end. When I last saw him, a couple weeks ago, he said that he had an idea that no one would attend his funeral. Fat chance, fella — I know that the Stake Center will be filled.

Joe Hillman epitomized the best qualities of Teton Valley’s citizenry — generosity with time, genuine friendliness, love of nature and persistence in adversity.

The torchbearer may be gone, but the light can still shine; his legacy here will live on if we can only remember to treat each other with respect and caring. Oh, and sharing a big smile won’t hurt either.

P.S.  Funeral services for Joe will be Thursday, June 25th at 11 A.M. at the Driggs L.D.S. Church; a visitation will be on Wednesday, from 7 – 8:30 P.M.  and then for an hour prior to the funeral, both at the church. Burial will be in Darby Cemetery. Click here to sign Joe’s guestbook.

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Aprilynne Pike, author of the new young-adult bestseller called Wings, will be here at Dark Horse for a meet-and-greet event on Saturday, June 27th, from 5-7 p.m.!

Aprilynne (we knew her as April Rubert) graduated from our very own Teton High School in 1999, and frequented our store while a student. She’s coming to Driggs to celebrate her 10th-year THS reunion and has graciously agreed to celebrate and sign books for local fans between events with other friends and family!

Aprilynne put a sweet note on her website, mentioning that this is the final stop on her book launch tour: “This is the bookstore I frequented as a teenager, so I’m very excited to be there as an author!”  We’re excited to host you, too!

This book, if you don’t yet know, revolves around a teenager named Laurel who discovers that she’s actually a faerie — you know, the kind with WINGS.  It’s the first of four books she’s writing around this remarkable premise. The hardback’s just $16.99, appropriate from middle-school readers and up.

Here are just a couple of reviews:

** “In the current crop of supernatural romances, this one stands out. Silky narration…delicious escapism.” (Kirkus Reviews )

** “Fine escapist fare, this neatly mixes the everyday with the otherworldly.” (Booklist)

** Aprilynne Pike’s WINGS is a remarkable debut; the ingenuity of the mythology is matched only by the startling loveliness with which the story unfolds.”  (Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga) Here’s a little insider info — Aprilynne & Stephanie are friends in Utah where they both now live.

This will be a fun one!!   And FYI: We’re expecting more copies of Aprilynne’s book by this Friday. Lots of demand out there!

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 ** Wanted to remind you all that the new issue of Teton Valley magazine is now available!  As usual, our friends Mac and Nancy and the whole staff and writers for Powder Mountain Press have come through with a fascinating look at a most important topic — water. If you haven’t picked one up yet, stop by Dark Horse! (And to our Lyn, Anna and everyone else at Friends of the Teton River, I’ve added the link to the FTR site here — thought it was already there!)

** Starting in Apil for Earth Day, the bookstore has had some cute little bookmarks available, made by the kindergarten and first-grade students taught by Erin Skonord at the Learning Academy. The donation goes to Teton Valley Community Recycling– there’s a can for cash on the front counter — and thanks to Erin for thinking of us and to her classes for the cute artwork (and a big apology for not posting this sooner!)

** Sending appreciation again to the readers who helped on Storytime day June 5th! I’m not even sure who all read (Kathy Renaldi, Margaret Gillentine and Abby Warner had volunteered) so THANK YOU !

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Wow, be gone a week and so much has happened — and a busy weekend ahead!

First, thanks for all your kind support while Peter and I were away.  I heard the event with Tony Doerr went terrifically, lots of second home-owners have returned (WELCOME!) and as usual, my staff cleaned, organized and improved the place. And yesterday Janet Reese beautified our storefront with flowers — summer must be here. 

Secondly, don’t forget — FATHER’S DAY IS SUNDAY! We have a lot of wonderful titles in and we’ll help you find that special something for your very own special dad.

Finally, there are a ton of things coming up here and around Teton Valley, so will put as many as I can links here as I can put my hands on….here goes!

** Margaret Gillentine sent me a reminder of Thursday night’s “Mardi Gras” parade in Swan Valley for Camp Magical Moments (a free camp for kids with cancer located there, which is celebrating its 5th anniversary.) Her parents, including mom Faye Sledge — who book club members might remember–is active in this great cause.  The kids from the camp will be decorating floats, wearing costumes and throwing candy and beads. All they need now is spectators. Click here to see the flyer for the parade.  Sounds fun!

** Attention high school juniors and seniors! Magaret Marti from Boise (who I got to know when she was at the Log Cabin Literary Center) alerted me that Writers @ Harriman (a new program this year) just might have a few spots left for its early-August camp. Click here for the link for more info and the application form (the deadline was June 15 so act fast!)

** VARD’s annual party is Friday, June 19th at the Knotty Pine in Victor, featuring  music with Chanman Roots Band;   it’s a family event with activities for kids and a fixed-price buffet in the garden.   Kids stuff starts at 5:30pm, the band comes on stage around 7pm.  Find out more from them at (208) 354.1707.

** Amanda from EarthFire Institute also sent us info about this cool book-related event coming up at Alpine Wines — it’s about a collaborative project by Susan Eihrich and Philbin de Got Shulz. The evening of art, wine, and discussion about human/wildlife relations takes place  June 25th from 6-8 pm.  Click here for more info. (And we’ll have the books at Dark Horse for sale when they’re available.)

That’s it for now! Hope everyone is enjoying our Ireland-like weather — really, I’m sure summer’s on its way……

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Buenas noches from Colonia! Tonight we are in Uruguay, across the Rio de la Plata from Buenos Aires, staying in a small posada in the historic area (it´s a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and of course, I wanted to write just a bit to let you all know we´re having a terrific trip

Also, I sure hope the Anthony Doerr event at Dark Horse tomorrow is a big success…..

When we realized we could squeeze in this trip between two of Peter´s work weeks in Philadelphia (and affordably, as I flew on miles) and that I would have to miss meeting and hosting Tony — well, that was tough. The Teton Arts Council stepped in to offer its assistance, however, and I´m so glad it´s happening for our community!  Tony is a true Idaho gem.

I´m looking forward to hearing about his talk  (and hopefully will meet Tony myself sometime in Boise or elsewhere.)

For now, I will just say ¨hasta luego¨and we´ll see you soon!

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Just a quick note to let everyone know that Jeanne is going to be out of town until Tues., June 16. Destination: Argentina!

 The rest of the staff will be here to help you out as much as we can so feel free to call or stop in.

For any parents out there reading this, don’t forget Storytime starts at 11am today and is a great way to get the kiddos out of the house on a rainy Saturday. Hope to see you here!

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