‘Rowdy’ memoir writer to speak, sign books
Circling the Square
By Ceci Clover, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Date: September 26, 2012
Ken Asel, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church of Jackson Hole, and Father Frank Johnson share interesting history about Teton County Library.
The valley’s first public library dates officially from 1915, when Father Royal Balcom located it in what is now the church’s office building, St. John’s House. However, the collection existed informally from 1912, when St. John’s House first opened.
According to a 1915 Jackson’s Hole Courier report, the library consisted of 900 volumes accumulated primarily by Father Seth Hawley, Father Balcom’s predecessor, from his previous parish in New Jersey. The library remained at the parish until it was formally gifted to the community, at which time it was moved to a new location through the efforts of St. John’s parishioner Mildred Buchenroth.
As Father Ken points out, the founding of the library and gifting to the county is the same story as that of St. John’s Hospital, which was established at the same time on the church grounds. The church has been and continues to be the fertile soil from which many a local legacy begins.
The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum and Teton County Library present an evening with author Sophie Echeverria at 7 p.m. in the museum classroom at 225 N. Cache St. Sophie will share stories from her new book, “Look Both Ways Before Breaking the Law: A Rowdy Memoir,” which is the second in what is to be a trilogy of memoirs.
Sophie, who has lived in Jackson Hole since 1980, was raised on a dude ranch near Wickenburg, Ariz. She attended the University of Arizona, where her writing talent was recognized by a professor. However, her literary career was postponed by marriage and rearing eight children. Encouraged by her children to write her stories, Sophie began her trilogy in 2007.
Jackson Hole writer Tim Sandlin comments on the back of the book, “The second volume of this family saga is just as funny, sad, tragic and life-affirming as the first.”
Sophie will sign her books after the program. Refreshments will be served. Admission for museum members is free. For others, it costs $5, which includes admission to the museum exhibition area before the program.
This is the second program in the historical society and Teton County Library’s local author series exploring Jackson Hole-area history. The series continues Oct. 15, when Gap Pucci, a longtime outfitter in the area, will share stories from his book “We Married Adventure.” On Oct. 30, fur trade historian Jim Hardee returns to the history museum podium with a special program that commemorates the 200th anniversary of Robert Stuart and the Astorians’ return trip from the West Coast. Hardee will sign his book “Pierre’s Hole! The Fur Trade History of Teton Valley, Idaho.” The final program of the series will be Nov. 13 when Earle Layser will share stories from his most recent book, “The Jackson Hole Settlement Chronicles: The Lives and Times of the First Settlers.”
All programs are held in the museum classroom and begin at 7 p.m. Visit JacksonHoleHistory.org for information, or contact Karen Reinhart at email@example.com or 733-2414, ext. 203.
Erika Stoeckicht, who lives in Dayton, Ohio, wrote to request help finding out if her old friend, landlady and gardener extraordinaire had passed away. Here is what she had to say:
“I am a former resident of Jackson and Wilson. In Wilson, we built and sewed a yurt and rented the land from Dail Barbour out on Goodrich (now Goodrick Lane). I know it is still there, as I see it from Google images from Teton Pass — my old backcountry ski haunts.
“Anyway, I left the yurt and moved into a rental garage apartment at the corner of Snow King and King streets [owned by] Georgiana and Lee Johnson (Lee died while I was living there, I was actually working for Teton County Sheriff’s Office at the time and dispatching when he passed).
“Anyway, Georgiana lived on and was an amazing friend to me while I lived there. Currently, I am in Ohio, and I wish to know if my old friend had passed on to be with her loving husband Lee. I lived in the rental garage apartment in 1998 to 1999, I think. If you could please forward any link or information regarding her, I would greatly appreciate it.”
If you can help Erika out, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ceci Clover writes weekly on the doings and doers in and around Jackson Hole. Submissions may be sent to email@example.com, or call 307-733-8348.