Last week, in the middle of spring events that seemed to whirl like blossoms from our pear tree, I gave a talk about my book for the Indiana Chapter of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. I’d been looking forward to this for a long time.
Is eight year-old Teedie listening from his chair on the screen?
Listeners ranged from age 9 (our grandson) to 94 (the lovely mother-in-law of our chapter president). I tried to remember the first rule for talking in public: what your audience is doing is as important as what you are saying. Because the TRA members already possess quite a bit of knowledge on my subject matter, I knew I had to throw out material they hadn’t heard before. So I showed several photos in a PowerPoint, including “scoops” yet unpublished.
I was “dee-lighted” that two excellent Roosevelt re-enactors, Gib Young and Larry Marple, were in the audience.
It was great fun. The only problem I had was choosing which information to share. It was easy to digress from my chiseled-down notes when I was reminded of a Roosevelt family story.
The University Club in Indianapolis provides great atmosphere for fare and conversation.
I displayed some letters of encouragement I’ve received from Roosevelt scholar/writers: Edmund Morris, Geoffrey Ward, David McCullough, Ken Burns, and my late history teacher, John Fiandt. And it was gratifying to talk with everyone who came to get a book signed.
For the record, I am available to give more presentations about The Amazing Bird Collection of Young Mr. Roosevelt; if your school, organization or book club is interested, please say so in the comment section. And there is a 20-page study guide, free for the asking.
Photo Credits: Drew Manges