Sister's House and Book-signings

Trip Start May 13, 2009
Trip End Aug 02, 2009

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Sister's House

Flag of United States  , Wisconsin
Friday, June 19, 2009

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my sister and I had lunch with another Nebraska Press author, Lawrence A Baldassaro.  He's a professor at a Milwaukee university, and his book focuses on Italian Americans in baseball, and the history of Italians in the U.S.  I learned from him something that I had never heard before---that thousands of Italian Americans were arrested and hundreds were interned in military camps during WWII, especially those that lived on the west coast.  I also learned that Italians were not thought of as "white" until after the war.   Quite interesting!!!

After lunch, my sister and I visited my Aunt Marie in a nursing home, and we had a great conversation with her.  Afterwards, we headed over to Boswell Books where a book-signing was to take place.  However, a big thunder storm began, and no one came to the store.  We immediately left, and as we did the lights on the entire street went out due to a lightning strike

Last night I spoke at Chilton Public Library where 50 people came to hear me speak!  I had a great PowerPoint presentation created specifically for their theme: baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie!  The library volunteers made apple pie and hot dogs for everyone beforehand. Some relatives were in the audience, and even some who came up to me claiming they were my second or third cousin!  Today, I spoke at Kiel Public Library where a much smaller group listened to an abbreviated talk about my book,  but still a good group with good questions. 

I've been at my sister's place for a few days, and I've seen a few relatives and seen a couple of interesting places since being here (including the college where my sister teaches writing).  One evening I walked to the local park and heard a concert by the Kiel Municipal Band.  What was interesting was hearing the song "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler on the Roof.  I had just spent the day looking at old photo albums that went as far back as 1948 when my mother was about 19 or 20 years old, and then viewed photos that were taken in her final years, as well as seeing myself as a little girl all the way to today.  "Quickly go the years, one season following another".....but photographs sometimes stay as bright and clear as the day they were taken.

Another highlight of this visit in Wisconsin was visiting the Wade House in Greenbush, Wisconsin.  It is several acres of historic homes, saw mill, and blacksmith.  One large area of ground had an old fashioned base ball diamond laid out with canvas bases filled with sawdust.  We watched a vintage baseball game there, and the guys were in vintage-looking wardrobe. It seemed like a great Father's Day event for many families.  Probably about one-hundred folks came out for the game.  I was sitting to the sidelines under a small tent for the booksigning.  It was great fun!
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