Behold, and Blush is a comprehensive telling of the 1779 Sullivan Expedition as it wound its way through western New York. We begin with the legend behind the creation of the Seneca Nation, the "Great Peacemaker," and Hiawatha, and the formation of the Haudenosaunee (League of Five Nations). Next, the book segues the French-led invasion of Seneca territory in 1687. Finally, it touches on the French and Indian War and the deeds committed by British General Jefferey Amherst, for whom Amherst New York is named. Behold and Blush reviews chronologically and introduces the readers to the campaigns of "Goose," Van Schaick, and Daniel Brodhead, culminating with Sullivan and Clinton. Thompson's research expands upon the expedition's little-known members, which significantly adds to the story of the Sullivan Expedition. The book introduces the reader to Joseph Brant, Mary Jemison, Daniel Shays, Timothy Murphy, Lt. Thomas Boyd, and Sgt. Michael Parker. The book concludes with the discussion of genocide as it may or may not relate to Sullivan's Expedition. "If a reader expects to find this book treating the men of Sullivan's Expedition as barbarians and a book where the Seneca are treated as victims, they may be disappointed in what they find.”Image
Release date October 9:
Presentation and signing:
- Sat. Oct. 22 – Simply Positive 23 Main St. Livonia NY 10-1 p.m., (585) 204-0441
- Sat. Oct. 29 – Holland Land Office Museum 131 W. Main St Batavia NY, 1-3 p.m. 585-343-4727.
Richmond Memorial Library will welcome back author George “Rollie” Adams to discuss his new work of historical fiction, Found in Pieces. Mr. Adams, president and CEO emeritus of the Strong National Museum of Play, will be at the library for a talk and signing on Wednesday, May 18 at 7 pm.
Found in Pieces was recognized by the Independent Press Awards as the winner of its 2022 Award for Race Relations. Set in fictional Unionville, Arkansas, Found in Pieces unfolds during the second year of turmoil over Governor Orval Faubus’s determination to stop the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. Found in Pieces, recipient of five previous national and international awards for historical and social issues fiction, explores the tension between business considerations and editorial policy in journalism during the Civil Rights Era in the South.
Copies of the book are available to check out at the library before the program & will be available for sale by the author at the event for $15 (paperback) or $20 (hardcover), cash or check.
This event is free and all are welcome. It is best suited to older teens and adults.
George Rollie Adams is a native of southern Arkansas and a former teacher with graduate degrees in history and education. His previous novel, South of Little Rock, received four independent publishers’ awards for regional and social issues. Adams has served as a writer, editor, and program director for the American Association for State and Local History and as director of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans. He is president and CEO emeritus of the Strong National Museum of Play. Learn more at georgerollieadamsbooks.com
An additional press release about the Independent Press Awards honor for George Rollie Adams as well as additional background on Found In Pieces after the jump (click here read more):
Independent Press Awards has recognized the novel Found in Pieces by George Rollie Adams as a winner of its 2022 Award for Race Relations.
Independent Press Awards are given in several categories and are based on judging by experts in different aspects of the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, cover designers, and copywriters. Award winners are selected based on excellence.
Found in Pieces, recipient of five previous national and international awards for historical and social issues fiction, explores the tension between business considerations and editorial policy in journalism during the Civil Rights Era in the South. In doing so, the book helps us understand the role of media in today’s political and social climate. Adams, a PhD historian, and former president and CEO of The Strong National Museum of Play, examines what happens when public perceptions and expectations, economic pressures, and personal beliefs about morality, fairness, and justice clash in a small southern town in 1958. (Author, coauthor, and coeditor of nonfiction books on American history, Adams grew up in southern Arkansas during this period, and his first novel, South of Little Rock, received four independent publishing awards for regional and social issues fiction.)
“Found in Pieces is a captivating story and a must-read for anyone interested in American history and how it informs our lives today,” says Gretchen Sorin, historian and author of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights, which was the basis for a PBS documentary. With “characters you care about and experiences that tug at your heart,” says Sorin, Found in Pieces “raises questions about the importance of a free press, the meaning of democracy, and the ultimate fate of American racism.”
Set in fictional Unionville, Arkansas, Found in Pieces unfolds during the second year of turmoil over Governor Orval Faubus’s determination to stop the desegregation of Little Rock Central High School. At a time when almost no women own and edit newspapers, Pearl Goodbar risks her family’s financial future to buy a defunct weekly. Before she can get the paper up and running, her husband loses his job, Faubus initiates a new crisis in the state capital, and the adult son of black businesswoman Sadie Rose Washington disappears. The mystery of his whereabouts brings the two women—one white and one black but both of them mothers—together and leaves Pearl facing business decisions that could lead to more money woes and even physical harm to herself and those close to her. Meanwhile, a prominent white man hides a dark secret that Sadie Rose knows but will not tell.
“I am grateful for this book,” says James Whorton, Jr. of the College at Brockport and author of Frankland, Approximately Heaven, and other works of fiction. “Once upon a time, respectable people thought that races should be kept apart. Insane but true, and Found In Pieces does the work of remembering how natural and easy it is not to see the wrong in front of you. There are always a dozen reasons to overlook injustice. George Rollie Adams dramatizes the problem in a vivid, suspenseful, and violent story that I did not want to put down.”
Says Adams, “Growing up in Arkansas and later teaching there, I saw and heard firsthand the arguments for and against social change, and I saw how the coming of it heightened tensions between the races and among white citizens who held diverging views. But I also saw ways in which social change brought people together, and how it caused some to see in new ways. Also, as a youngster, I had opportunity to see inside a small local newspaper, and later I was privileged to do historical research in many newspapers from various eras and sections of the country. I used all of that and numerous works of history to inform the novel.”
According to Independent Press Awards sponsor Garbielle Olczak, this year the awards judges considered books from the United States, Canada, Australia, and several European countries. “It’s crystal clear,” she says, that independent publishing is pushing to every corner of the earth with great content. We are thrilled to be highlighting key titles representing global independent publishing.” For more on Independent Press Awards, see: https://www.independentpressaward.com/2022winners.
Found in Pieces, published by Barn Loft Press, is available in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats through Amazon and other major book outlets. For more information, visit: https://georgerollieadamsbooks.com.
About George Rollie Adams
Adams is an educator, historian, author, and museum professional. As president and CEO of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, from 1987 through 2016, Adams led the development of the world’s first collections-based history museum devoted solely to the study of play and its critical role in learning and human development and the ways in which play illuminates cultural history. Adams grew up in southern Arkansas, received a bachelor’s degree in social science education and English from Louisiana Tech University, and taught history for four years at El Dorado, Arkansas, High School while also earning a master’s degree in education from Louisiana Tech. He holds a doctorate in American history from the University of Arizona and is the founding editor in chief of the American Journal of Play; author of General William S. Harney: Prince of Dragoons, a finalist for the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Book Award; and author of South of Little Rock, recipient of four independent publishing awards for regional and social issues fiction.
With a mother as a reading instructor and a father who taught art, Dan Crofts’ life path may have seemed a creative given.
And his growing list of written works, including the most recent piece of fiction, is a testament to that prediction. “A Short History of the R-Word” is the Batavia native’s latest published book.
“The general lesson is relating to people on a level of our common reality,” Crofts said during an interview with The Batavian. “The way we treat each other has ripple effects. I’m interested in the debate around the R-word … and interested in language and the history surrounding it.”
The book begins with a tease of whether it’s based on a true story or not. Names and details “may have been altered,” Crofts says, but it goes no further to nail down the question.
He does admit that it’s a work of fiction, pulling a familiar character from Susan Conklin’s “Supernatural Genesee” and carrying him — Frank the Dwarf — onward to examine the past history of the word retard.
Crofts’ research led him to Latin and Eastern European roots. Never having been in those regions, Crofts struggled with how to genuinely write about them. He crafted a medium by which he could narrate the action. He chose magic binoculars as a way “to symbolize my distance to the location,” he said.
Yet local readers will find much familiarity with various aspects of the book, such as Ellicott Avenue, Lambert Park, and Robert Morris Elementary School. The story begins with Paul Schlepp and his three best friends messing about on the swing set at Robert Morris.
“Outwardly they prided themselves on being two years the seniors of those who had just graduated from this their alma mater; but an unspoken part of each of them missed the “kiddo” days, Crofts writes. “Amidst his reminiscing of childhood, Paul breaks the romance of nostalgia by noticing John.”
“Yo, is that that retard from the store?”
And a hurried flow of thinly veiled insults follow as the boys ask aloud, "does he talk?" "How could he be working in a store if he didn’t talk?" "Does he still live with his mom?" "He’s likely someone who touches little kids."
“It should be noted that the word used by Brandon and Paul — the notorious ‘r-word — was one all the boys were used to, and not least of all from the custom of using it on each other,” Crofts writes. “Any time one of them said or did anything really or apparently unintelligent, the word was as readily applied to him as to any disabled person, and with much less reticence about saying it to his face.”
Frank the Dwarf eventually makes his entrance and introduces Paul to the magic binoculars that can see the past. Paul experiences instances of when retard had an accent on the second syllable, originated in a different language, and meant “to slow down,” and not about a person’s character.
Frank the Dwarf talks to Paul about how the “speaking races” have the power to abuse each other as much as to lift one another up. Words are a part of us, Frank says.
“We have to take care of them,” he says.
The book evolved from a chapter Crofts, who has a bachelor's in English, began to write for a larger project of “journalistic, reflective and academic” contributions. After that project fell through, he kept expanding the chapter until it became a total work of its own, he said.
The topic is no stranger to the 36-year-old who works as a direct support professional at Arc Glow in Batavia and has written for an Autism Spectrum publication.
Henry J. Stratton II, who has shown his own pieces at Genesee Community College, illustrated the cover, and it was published by Batavia-based Applied Business Systems.
Copies of his book are $5 and will be available for purchase at Arc’s annual Chili and Chowder Fest. It runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Community Center, 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia. All proceeds will go toward Arc programs.
For more information, email Crofts at [email protected].
The Genesee Valley BOCES (GV BOCES) School Library System has been awarded a National Leadership Grant for Libraries in the area of a National Forum in response to the need to identify recommendations for effective post-COVID school library programs. This $150,000 grant will fund four virtual national forums on the future of school libraries. Given the high level of complexity, national scope, and emergent nature of the investigation, a collective impact approach will be used to gather together diverse viewpoints from across the country. Topics will include an instructional design for remote librarianship, emerging services for teaching and learning, defining the role of the school librarian, and program considerations for new learning models. Reports generated from these forums will provide actionable recommendations for school librarians across the country.
Christopher Harris, Ed.D., Director of the GV BOCES School Library System, wrote and submitted that grant and will serve as the project coordinator. Patrick Whipple, Ph.D., Director of GV BOCES Professional Learning Services, will lead the grant evaluation.
“What we want to do is take a hard look at what the pandemic brought to school libraries and really figure out what worked,” Dr. Harris explained. “We are leading this national effort to bring together thousands of school librarians from across the country to plan out how we are going to move forward to meet student needs in this new future.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, school libraries across the country made changes to procedures, spaces, and instructional practices out of necessity. Across the many models of in-person, hybrid, and remote instruction adopted by districts around the country, there were even more models for school librarians and the services they provide. It is essential that we take time after the immediate pressure of the pandemic emergency to reflect, understand, and evaluate those modified practices. The need for investigation is especially critical in those communities where school library programs were already at-risk prior to the emergency.
“The grant project is called 'Libraries Today,' ” Dr. Harris noted. “We are looking at where we are today and where we want to be moving forward. This grant will give us a chance to guide the national policy discussion around school libraries.”
The first work in the grant project will be the convening of a national advisory panel. Advisory panel members will include the School Library System directors from New York City and Erie 1 BOCES, as well as, directors from Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools, Norman (OK) Public Schools, the past president of the American Association of School Librarians, and others.
Local Author Rob Thompson, whose 16 books include "Linden Murders: Solved," has a new book out on the 10 murder committed in Genesee County and the men who committed them and were eventually executed (seven hung in Genesee County).
The book, "Swinging in the Rain," will soon be available at the Holland Land Office Museum, at book signings Thompson attends, and on Amazon.
After a lifelong career in ministry, Gregory Van Dussen has written his first book, "Transfiguration and Hope."
"I have done a lot of writing in graduate school and a lot of reviews, but never a book,” Van Dussen said. “I didn’t think I had anything to write about until it hit me like a ton of bricks.”
As a new retiree, the vision became clear, he said.
“I had to do some reflecting about this time of life, getting old and the next life,” Van Dussen said. “I put that together with the Bible transfiguration of Christ.”
One thing which makes his book distinctive, he said, is in his research he read a wide range of authors, not only Christian authors from Protestant to Catholic but Eastern Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox writers from Egypt and Armenian Apostolic.
His book is a conversation across time and space, he said. He describes it as gathering many of those voices from the panorama of Scripture and church history and finding in them the common theme of radical transformation in Christ.
Van Dussen is a retired United Methodist pastor, having started 39 years ago in Batavia. From 1972 to 1974, he served as district superintendent. His career includes serving at churches in Bergen, Albion, Batavia, East Aurora and Springville.
His book is available at the Holland Land Office Museum, on Amazon and in local retail distributors, including the Book Shoppe in Medina, where he has a book signing scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.
Van Dussen is already working on a second book of devotions, based on the lives of early circuit riders in North America.
“I have always been interested in those people,” Van Dussen said. “I found an abundance of information available online about these people.”
He hopes to have the new book available by next fall.
The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, November 18 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman. Copies of the book are available at the front desk. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.
The Mystery Readers’ Mondays Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Monday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss THE GODS OF GOTHAM by Lyndsay Faye. Books are available at the front desk. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or log onto www.batavialibrary.org.
Connie Boyd and Dave Bateman, her son-in-law, show off a new little free library they setup at 16 Montclair Ave. in Batavia last week.
Bateman built Boyd the box for a holiday gift. One of her favorite TV shows is "Doctor Who" so he customized the box to resemble a tardis, a police box the doctor travels around in. The tardis even comes with a working light on top.
Boyd wanted to have a little free library of her own after seeing a box on Washington Avenue. She loves the concept of sharing her favorite novels with neighbors. The purpose of a little free library is to have people take a book from the box and leave one in return.
"Not everyone is able to get to the library so I wanted to make books accessible to everyone and encourage reading in my community," Boyd said.
There are about 20 adult books in the box. Boyd said her neighbors have already been adding and borrowing from the collection. She plans on adding books for children soon.
Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is hosting a Graphic Novel Discussion Series for adults. On Thursday, August 13 at 7:00 p.m, be ready to discuss “Habibi” by Craig Thompson. Discussion will be led by Library Director Bob Conrad. Copies of the book are available at the library’s front desk. More information is available in the library, by calling the library at 343-9550 ext. 2, and at www.batavialibrary.org.
Come and read! Friends and patrons of the Corfu Free Library are invited to come to Darien Lake State Park for an evening of reading. No discussions, no rules, just reading together in public. We will meet on the island just bring your family, friends, a chair/blanket and a book.
The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, July 8 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi. Copies of the book are available at the front desk. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.
Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is hosting a Graphic Novel Discussion Series for adults. On Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 pm, be ready to discuss “It Was the War of the Trenches” by Jacques Tardi. Discussion will be led by Library Director Bob Conrad. Copies of the book will be at the library’s front desk. More information is available in the library, by calling the library at 343-9550 ext. 2, and at www.batavialibrary.org.
Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is hosting a Graphic Novel Discussion Series for adults, beginning on Thursday, July 2 at 7:00 p.m. Read and be ready to discuss “Black Hole” by Charles Burns. Discussion will be led by Library Director Bob Conrad. Copies of the book will be at the library’s front desk. More information is available in the library, by calling the library at 343-9550 ext. 2, and at www.batavialibrary.org.
Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross St., Batavia is hosting a talk on Wednesday, June 3 at 7:00 pm called “A Jewish, Christian, Muslim Call for Peace.” Roula Alkhouri, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Batavia and a native of Damascus, Syria will discuss two books in relation to current events. These books are The Faith Club: A Muslim, a Christian, a Jew—Three Women Search for Understanding by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner and Fields of Blood by Karen Armstrong. More information is available in the library, by calling the library at 343-9550
The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “We Are Called to Rise” by Laura McBride. This book is the 2015 title for the 13th annual one-book book project, A Tale for Three Counties. Books are available to borrow or to purchase at the library’s front desk. Author Laura McBride will speak at the library on Thursday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.taleforthreecounties.org.
Imagine a country with only one kind of cheese. If you can, you're thinking of Russia in the aftermath of the fall of communism.
That was the situation Tony Kutter found on his first trip in 1995 to the former Soviet Union as part of a trade exchange program to help aspiring Russian entrepreneurs learn how to start cheesemaking businesses.
Who better to teach how to make and market more than one kind of cheese than the 81-year-old Corfu resident who is a former owner of Kutter's Cheese, a cheesemaker with a reputation for developing dozens of varieties of cheese.
That's what leaders of the exchange program thought after Kutter volunteered for the assignment and his resume landed on their desks.
It was one of Kutter's suppliers who suggested he apply for the volunteer position.
"He said, 'just send in your resume,' so I did," Kutter said. "I did and as soon as I did they responded right away. 'Oh, this is the one we're looking for.' "
Working through Agricultural Cooperative Development International, Overseas Cooperation Assistance and Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, all three nonprofit, private organizations based in Washington, D.C., Kutter made 31 trips to Russia over a 12-year span.
Batavia's own Barber Conabel, then president of the World Bank, was among the first to suggest Kutter write a book about his experiences during those many trips.
"He said, 'you've got to write a book,' " Kutter said. "He said, 'I don't know anyone who has been there 31 times and all over Russia.' "
The book is published now and it's called "Cheese in the Time of Glasnost and Perestroika."
Kutter tells the tales, recalls the tribulations and revisits the sometimes sad family histories of the people he met while helping to build cheese plants, instructing cheesemakers on marketing, and sharing with them the recipes for any variety of cheese from munster to gouda to cheese curds.
"I got over there and said, 'geez, you make one kind of cheese and it ain't very damn good,' " Kutter said. "So I took about 20 varieties over from our cheese factory and told them, 'tell me what you want to make and I'll show you how to do it.' "
The organizations sponsoring these missions -- and there were many -- wanted to help Russia transition from a command economy to a market economy and help open up the country to U.S. goods and services. American companies helped sponsor the programs in the hopes of developing a new market.
Goals that haven't exactly been met.
His first mission was to help start a cheese factory in St. Petersburg. This mission was also Kutter's first introduction to Russian bureaucracy and the national penchant to operate on bribery.
Organizations sponsoring Kutter's trips purchased supplies for the new factory and Kutter arrived at the border with the equipment.
A customs official wanted to know, "What the heck is this stuff?"
It's for making cheese, Kutter told him.
The official went through the boxes and proclaimed, "This isn't humanitarian aid. You falsified the papers."
The fine was $75,000.
Kutter returned to the U.S. without the new factory in place, but when he returned a few months later, the factory was ready to start making cheese. All of the new equipment was installed and ready to go.
He wanted to know how it happened.
"Let's not get into that," he was told. "That's not for you to know."
Kutter added, "everything in Russia is predicated on a bribe. It's still that way."
Sadly, the St. Petersburg factory went bankrupt after two years, but others Kutter helped start are still operational.
In his travels, Kutter was often invited into the homes of his Russian hosts and he often quizzed the older Russians about life under the former Soviet regime.
When Stalin died, Kutter was serving in the Army in Korea and he remembers reading in "Stars and Stripes" about people weeping in the streets, so he asked one old Russian gentleman, "did you cry when Stalin died?"
The man said, no. He wasn't really all that saddened by the brutal dictator's death.
The man told Kutter, "I put spit in my eyes so it looked like I was crying."
Kutter had dinner with a woman whose husband was taken to Siberia during Khrushchev's rule.
The couple had eight children. The man's crime? He took a bag of grain so he could feed his family.
The mother wrote her husband every day, but never got a reply. They assumed the letters were getting to him, but that he wasn't allowed to respond.
In 1975, after Brezhnev became chairman, she received a letter informing her that her husband "had been killed unnecessarily." The package contained all the letters she had ever sent him.
"I can tell dozens of stories like that," Kutter said.
In the town of Perm, Kutter helped establish a cheese factory and taught the owners how to make a great variety of cheeses, all of which most Russians had never even tried.
He told his hosts that with these great cheeses ready to sell, they needed a way to market them. Thinking of the booming tourist business Kutter's has always done in Pembroke, Kutter suggested they set up a sample table at City Hall.
As a condition of the permit, Kutter had to speak Russian. Fortunately, he had hired for the plant in Pembroke a woman who was a Russian translator, and she had been tutoring him on his Russian.
"I can speak enough Russian," he told them, "to say, 'I'm from America and I'm working at this cheese plant right here in your city and we developed these new variety of cheese and so perhaps you can try some and tell me what you think.' "
The people came out of the woodwork, Kutter said.
"One woman said to me, 'why are you giving all this stuff away?' " Kutter said.
He told her, "We want to introduce it to you."
She replied, "In Russia, if somebody is giving something away, it usually means it isn't any good."
The Russians liked the free cheese, but that didn't mean they were buying cheese at first.
"I asked one woman, 'would you buy this cheese?' and she asked me what we were selling it for, and I told her, and she said, 'you know, I'd really like to but, no, I wouldn't buy it.' She said, 'I don't have a lot of money, so I would save my money and buy a dress because when I go out in public they can see what I wear, but they can't see what I ate.' "
Asked if he felt he had any lasting impact on Russia, or left a legacy, Kutter demurs.
"I'm just a little old cheese maker," he said.
A little later he came back to the question and recalled the time a sales rep came into the Kutter's factory and asked him if he had heard about the cheese curds recall in Russia.
"I thought," Kutter said, "there never was any cheese curds in Russia until I went there, so I must have had some effect."
"Cheese in the Time of Glasnost and Perestroika," by Tony Kutter, is normally on sale at the Holland Land Office Museum, but they just sold out. More copies are expected soon.
The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, February 18 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin. The book appeared on several “best lists” of 2014. Books are available at the library’s front desk. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.
The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, January 21 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “Life after Life” by Kate Atkinson. The book appeared on several “best lists” of 2013 and features a woman who lives her life again and again. Books are available at the library’s front desk. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.
The Evening Adult Book Discussion Group will meet at Richmond Memorial Library, 19 Ross Street, Batavia on Wednesday, December 17 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss “Conversion” by Katherine Howe. Books are available at the library’s front desk. For more information, call the library at 343-9550, ext. 8 or visit www.batavialibrary.org.