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 So I showed several photos in a PowerPoint, including “scoops” yet unpublished.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
5 Replies to “Notes on Book Notes”
I love that you got to do this, and I *love* that there is a TR association! (I really wish there was an Indiana King Ludwig Association, but oh well!). It does sound a bit intimidating to speak before a group of experts, but I’m sure you did marvelously. Another fun “small world” tidbit? Years ago, I had Gib Young come visit Civil War classes I taught. He is a CW reenactor — didn’t know he impersonated TR as well!
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What a great experience for you AND your audience! It sounds like it was a lot of fun.
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Gib does presentations all over the country. On the Fourth of July this year he’ll be at Mount Rushmore!
Can I join that Association?? T.R. is one of my passions. I found you via Susan Braun and we share another friend.
Yes, definitely! You can get information on how to join on the Theodore Roosevelt Association website. They have an annual meeting every year which is always interesting. This year it’s in Boston!
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