Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Family Secrets book signing at Kootenai Brown

Shirley and George Mowat, Judy and Tyler Trafford, and BJ Scott

Josh Davis (Nancy Labbe photos)

On Monday, March 7 Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village held a book signing for Family Secrets, a book written by local authors and workshopped by Tyler Trafford. All fifteen authors were present for the signing. Approximately 150 people were in attendance, and 100 books were sold. Museum Curator Farley Wuth said the books are "filled with many personal and historical recollections that offer a unique glimpse into local history."

Judy Lane, one of the authors, said the idea for Family Secrets started with Tyler Trafford. "He came up with this idea that if you don't write your story down it goes to the grave with you." Judy said that they initially planned to workshop the stories six times every two weeks, but that its grew into twelve to fifteen sessions over time. "We just enjoyed it so much." Then in April of 2015 Trafford came up with the idea of publishing the collection. "At that point we brought in retired teachers to help edit it," explained Judy.

"It was interesting to me because it was the older people that came. Like believe this: I was the second youngest person there," said Judy explaining that there was a single 32 year old in the group, that she is 65, and the eldest author is 86. "Most of them were in their 70s." Judy then complimented the incredible rang of variety in stories collected. She explained that George Mowat's story was told entirely from the perspective of the house he grew up in. Lane said that said that the turnout for the book signing was great. "The book was the best kept secret until the book launch."

Judy's own story dealt with death. "My husband died, and he was fifty four. I had just retired in June from a 35 year teaching career. We went to Arizona in October to November, and then he died in February, from cardiac arrhythmia. It was very sudden, he hadn't been sick, there was no prelude. He had passed a full medical exam the week before he died." Judy explained that in the ten years since he died she had been amazed when other people were impressed at how she carried on. Judy said that her experiences in life, and the lessons she learned from him, prepared her to face death straight on. "I think the farm is a big influence on how I've learned to deal with death." said Judy. "And my dad. He was faith filled, but he wasn't a preacher."

Family Secrets is on sale at the Kootenai Brown Gift Shop and many stores in the area.

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