Don’t forget to buy my latest book this week.
Old Coots Never Forget will be available Saturday at Dragonfly Books, 112 West Water Street, Decorah, Iowa.
The book is currently available in both paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon.com. In fact, all four of my books are available at Dragonfly and at Amazon:
If you are a North Country resident, please stop by Dragonfly Books for your copies. We should support our local book stores. Dragonfly is a really, incredibly good local book store. And if you leave the book at the counter, they’ll have me sign it (with personal notation!) so it will have major collector’s value when I become infamous.
The latest book, Old Coots Never Forget, is a compilation of 37 stories about outdoor sports, tales of life in the North Country, and essays about the important times, places and people in our lives that we will never forget. It’s a sequel, of sorts, to Crazy Old Coot, which was published in 2014.
Both books’ essays and short stories are selected pieces from the blog, Dispatches from a Northern Town, an on-line publication of WordPress.com.
Now, you may be saying, “Heck, versions of all these essays are available at his blog site for free, so why should I buy the book?” Well, that may be true today, but in a few years you will be engaged in a spirited debate on the ethic of fair chase, or maybe the merits of a beer-and-Twinkies diet, and you will say, “I’ll show you what this brilliant writer had to say about that.” You will go to your computer and try to access the Dispatches from a Northern Town website and lo and behold it will have disappeared into some dark and impenetrable region of the “cloud” and the wisdom you sought will be lost.
Unless, of course, you have the paperback editions of my books on your bookshelf, in which case you can take them down, find the essay you seek, and have the irrefutable final word in the argument. This will be especially important in another 10 or 12 years, when I have gone to the happy hunting grounds and cannot be contacted by telephone or e-mail to personally vouch for your point of view.
Also, the covers of my books, designed by Aaron Lurth, are works of art that you will want to display on your coffee table when snobby rich people come to visit.
If they ask to borrow your copy of Hunting Birds – The Lives and Legends of the Pine County Rod, Gun Dog, and Social Club, a fascinating character-driven murder mystery first published in 2011, do not let them. They will never return it. They’re rich and snobby, so tell them to buy their own copy.
Scrawny Dog, Hungry Cat, and Fat Rat is a children’s novel. You can let them borrow that book, it’s not as fascinating, unless you’re 12 years old, and they will return it. Although they may want to keep the cool illustrations by Bailey Cahlander.
Here’s the “news release” language:
“Old Coots Never Forget. Not the important things, anyway. We remember all those adventures that shaped our lives, the days that brought us much happiness and laughter, and the days of sadness and tears. We never forget the stories about great bird dogs and good hunts. And we like to tell them over and over again, with just a little embellishment.”
These stories range from the hilarious misadventures of the Over the Hill Gang, the motley group of aging hunters who share his passion for bird hunting, bird dogs, and bird guns; to the pitfalls and perils of everyday life in a rural community; to the memorable tribulations and triumphs in life including reflections on baseball, the Vietnam Memorial Wall, old pickup trucks, friendships, and even Twinkies and cigars.
Johnson, a former newspaper reporter, editor and columnist, retired in 2012 after 25 years as director of public relations at Luther College. He and his wife Patti, a retired elementary school teacher, live in a 130-year-old log house on a small farm they manage for wildlife habitat.