J.J. Strang Writer's Society
Issue No. 9
From Bill Olson wolsonitol.com
The first day of summer and almost time for Museum Week again. If you'd like the schedule please go to this url.
As you will note from the ‘To’ line above we have added a couple new members since the March issue. Welcome Sandy and Bill. See Sandy's introduction below. We hope Bill Russell will let us know a little about him in the next issue.
I may or may not make it to Beaver for one day during Museum Week. A group from Washington Island is planning to charter a plane for a day. If so I'll hope to meet some of you (at the Print Shop?).
I've only managed to write a couple short chapters since our last newsletter. Perhaps a day on Beaver will get the pumps going again.
Perhaps our most exciting news - Strang variety - comes from Vickie Speek.
Read her letter at the end of this issue.
From Sandy Planisek GLLKAaol.com “Here is a brief summary of who I am. I have read some of the past newsletters and am looking forward to reading the rest. It appears that many of the participants are writing novels. I have just finished reading The Peaceable Kingdom by Ardyth Kennelly and found it quite interesting. It is about the second wife of a Mormon in Salt Lake City. It delves into the thinking of the second wife and family. I would recommend it for its education value and as a role model for fiction writers on Strang and his wives.
“Now for me:
“I am the Straits Coordinator for the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association. I retired from university teaching to Mackinaw City about 10 years ago. I owned and operated the Mackinaw City newspaper for five years and then retired again. The Mackinaw City newspaper carried several columns on history and so I took history classes a Central Michigan during those years. It was in a graduate class on the history of Michigan politics that I researched and wrote a paper on J. J. Strang. Now I am heavily involved in the St. Helena Island Light Station programs. The history of St. Helena revolves around Archibald P. Newton, the arch-rival of J. J. Strang. So my interest and reading about Strang has been reawakened. I am interested in the nonfiction side of the history of the Straits and these two powerful men. I may be on Beaver Island for Museum Week. Certainly some GLLKA members will be there. They are working with Bill.”
From Carolyn Lewis sunwritepentel.net
“As to Strang news. I'm readying a story for marketing that includes an entirely fictional note about Strang and a trunk of Mormon gold, that is stolen by two men who are having an argument. The trunk ends up in a lighthouse, that rises up only once a year, when the water washes out of a certain bay for 24 hours. Inside, they will play 5-card draw for Strang's gold, while waiting for the water to rise back up in the bay, at which point they'll have to swim for shore. It's a question as to which will happen first. This is, of course, utterly fiction.”
From Bill Cashman wcashmanbeaverisland.net
“We considered a Strang Writers' seminar/panel/forum, and three SWs offered to take part, but we couldn't get a good enough grip on it with our dull teeth. Today seven people interested in Strang are scheduled to arrive.”
From Connie Cappel ccappelchartermi.net
“Harbor Springs Area Historical Society has their Shay Days that weekend, so put me down as a maybe.”
From John Quinn quinnhope.edu
“No, no good Strang news here. I don't think I'll make it to Museum Week, but, who knows? maybe I can steal a day ...
From Jerry Gorden gorden.jerrymcleodusa.net
“Vickie Speeck and I delivered papers at the Mormon History Assn conference at Kirtland, OH. Vickie's on JJ Strang's first polygamous wife – Elvira and I presented on Warren Post Apostle. Sorry I can't make Museum week – have fun.”
From Rebecca Carlson rcarlsongcc.vccs.edu
“My husband and I will be on the island from July 1-9th – so I am going to miss it unfortunately.”
From Gerald Cooper g.coopertriton.net
“I'll be on the island around June 23-25 and then for next two weeks.”
From Vickie Speek vspeekcbcast.com
“I am still anxiously awaiting word from University of Illinois Press on whether or not they will publish my book. I did hear back from one of the editors. She indicated she was very interested in my book and was going to send it to a reader. If the reader thinks there is interest and a market, he/she will recommend it to the publishing board. The editor did indicate my book was a bit too long (500 pages and 5 appendices), so I will probably have to do a number of revisions (if it is approved).
“Jerry Gorden, John Quist and I attended the annual Mormon History Association convention last month in Kirtland, Ohio. Jerry presented a paper on his ancestor, Warren Post and I presented a paper on Elvira Field, Strang's first plural wife. Jerry did an excellent job of relating the story of his people being exiled from Beaver Island.
“John was the commentator and came up with some good comments and suggestions for both Jerry and me. For those of you who don't know, John wrote an excellent paper about polygamy on Beaver Island about 1989 or so that was published in the Journal of Mormon History .
“Bill Shepard, a member of the Strangite Church introduced our session in Kirtland. He taped the session and hopefully will be able to copy the tape for those who are interested.
“On the last night of the three-day conference, a large group of us, Bill, John, Jerry and our respective spouses and friends, went out for dinner together and had a great time. We also met a new friend who is also researching Strangite History - John Hamer.
“I won't be able to make it to Beaver Island for museum week this year. My kids are coming home from Belgium and Las Vegas the end of July and we plan to have our own little family reunion. I've also been asked to submit my Elvira paper to the Journal of Mormon History, so I'll be working on that.
“I will also be working on another paper I'm writing for the John Whitmer Historical Association - another Mormon History group. I will be presenting that paper, "Sarah Wright Strang Wing: From James Strang's Plural Wife to Pioneer Doctor," at the JWHA conference in Independence, Missouri the end of September.
From your friendly editor wolsonitol.com
“I hope you all have a wonderful summer and that you will send me some exciting news for the September (?) issue.