The Society for Strang Studies
founded in 2000 to facilitate research into the life and accomplishment of James Jesse Strang

   

 
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J.J. Strang Writer's Society

Issue No. 11

December, 2003

From Bill Olson wolsonitol.com

Holiday Greetings

to the Strang Gang

It looks good for a get-together in the spring. We should have at least ten and possibly more as some of you did not reply to my plea as to whether you might be able to attend. Well, it looks as though either the last weekend in May or the first weekend in June would be best for most of those intending to come. Any of you who have not replied but would like to come on one or the other of those choices, please let me hear from you. Some of the ideas for agenda items appear below. I would like to suggest for one section of our agenda that we might read some of our Strang efforts, perhaps a chapter in our book or a scene in our play or whatever.

I will put out a special edition of the newsletter after the holidays with more definite information.

From Bill Cashman wcashmanbeaverisland

“Here's an idea for an agenda item: should the Strang Writer's Group have a mission statement? Should we be concerned with promoting Beaver Island as a center for Strang scholarship--and, if so, is there really anything that we could do to help bring this about? Would we be interested, for example, in working together to obtain a grant to take such action as creating a ‘Strang writing’ website, or a journal of Strang writing, or a fellowship to bring selected students to Beaver Island for, for example, four weeks of study in the summer?

“One thing that could be done: produce three Strang plays for MuseumWeek, either all three for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening of the 3rd week of July, 2006, or for the Saturday evening of the next three years--starting with John Baldwin's historically accurate rendition, then Marie Oomen's with its feminist perspective, and then, either Josh Broder's as-yet-unfinished work or something at present only in the thinking-out-loud stage, a kind of post-modernist version of Strang's life. A lot of work, but something that may define our group.”

From Constance Cappel ccappelchartermi.net

“What a great group of new members. I look forward to meeting everyone at a spring conference face to face. May I suggest that you set a weekend in May or early June, and let those who can come do just that. The Bear River Writers Conference is always on Memorial Day weekend, so that people could attend that and go to Beaver Island on the same trip. If you have it in the fall, the Michigan Hemmingway Society has their annual weekend on the second weekend of October. Both of this events are on Google, I think.

From Josh Broder kingstrangearthlink.net

“I'm currently writing an essay on Strang for Travel and Leisure Magazine. The editor hopes to place it in the spring America issue. It falls under their ‘Obsessions’ rubric and so will have some hooey about my going to Beaver to figure out why I can't get Strang off my mind. I hope there'll also be space and interest from the editor on a layer regarding many current islander's ambivalent (at best) attitude towards Strang.

“Thanks to all who sent me sentences on what you're writing and why Strang interests you. If you didn't get a chance and would like to, please hit me with an e- with who you are, what you've done on Strang and why, personally, Strang for a subject. Hopefully some will find their way into the article.

Finally, I heard Arthur Conan Doyle of all people fictionalized Strang for a Sherlock Holmes story. Any truth in this?

From John Baldwin jbald51131aol.com

“One item for the agenda might be some sort of commemoration on June 16, 2006 to mark the sesquicentennial of Strang's being shot.

“An item for the news letter: I've been in contact with Franklin Stover and we are considering turning my play about Strang into a musical or opera. At present the ball is in my court to come up with book, lyrics and/or libretto to send to him.”

From Anne Marie Oomen OomenAMinterlochen.org

Anne Marie says, “...just got news that Wayne State University press is taking my memoir manuscript (nothing to do with Strang) and it looks like I'm going to be using every spare minute for revisions/editing stuff in the spring.”

From John Hamer jhamerannuitech.com

“I've never been to the island, but would love to go. I'd love to do a big group tour and see various known sites. At some point I would like to produce historical maps of the settlement on Beaver Island, so the topic I'm most interested in is identifying places, farms of individual members, etc. But I'm interested in the general history too.

“I don't know if you and/or everyone in the group is aware that a Strangite Mormon elder named Sam West has been producing CD-roms and new editions of the Northern Islander. I just bought a copy and I completely recommend it to everyone who has an interest in Strangite history. The books and CD-roms can be ordered at http://www.mormonbeliefs.com”

From Vickie Speek vspeekcbcast.com

Vickie writes that she has had some serious health problems lately but she has “..started regaining my health.

"As far as my book is concerned – U of I Press turned it down because it was not academic enough. They said it was well written and researched, but read like a narrative – which, of course, it is – For the Good of the Kingdom: A Narrative of the Strangite Mormons. They wanted more of a personal position on the Strangites, which I refuse to do. Anyway. I have submitted the manuscript to Signature Books, which publishes a lot of Mormon History books. I don't expect to hear back from them until February.

“As far as getting together on Beaver Island - the Mormon History Association is meeting in Provo, Utah over Memorial Day weekend 2004, and I have submitted a proposal to present a paper. So, that would not be a good weekend for me to go to Beaver Island.”

From Rebecca Carlson rcarlsongcc.vccs.edu

“Definitely count me in on a trip in later May or early June. I am pretty open on dates right now. I think a topic re: fact 'vs' fiction of the Strang Stories would be a good topic. Also, everyone should discuss their various projects re: Strang -- perhaps to make sure there is no overlapping -- redundancy of topics re: Strang. Lastly, I am hoping in learning about everyone's projects, that we could all help each other with

ideas/brainstorming of our projects.”

From John Quinn quinnhope.edu

John suggests we include on the agenda, “the intellectual life of Strang.”

 

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