Weekend Time Travel

For some reason, everyone in the Champlain Valley decided that last weekend would be the perfect time for a big festival, so I ended up with three book events packed into two days.  It made for a crazy-busy weekend, but a fun and fascinating one, too.

My first stop was the Battle of Plattsburgh Celebration, where I read from Champlain and the Silent One and signed books at the festival tent.

Afterwards, I had some time to walk around and enjoy the battle reenactment.  Where else can you pack a picnic and watch a 19th century naval battle without worrying about rogue cannonballs?

I also loved the "Plucky Rooster Contest," sponsored by the celebration committee.  Legend has it that during the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh, a British cannonball blasted into a chicken coop on board the American ship called the Saratoga.  The rooster inside that coop, instead of fluttering off all frightened, supposedly jumped up onto the cannon and flapped his wings in defiance.  To honor his cock-a-doodle-memory, festival organizers invite folks to design their own "plucky roosters"  made of anything they choose.  This one won second place in the contest but was my personal favorite.

There’s something about a rooster with dreadlocks that you just have to love…

From Plattsburgh, it was on to Crown Point for the Festival of Nations celebration, where I gave a presentation and then sang Happy Birthday to the Crown Point Light, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary as a lighthouse.  There were sparklers and cupcakes, too, which made this author very happy.  

Sunday was the Burlington Book Festival, where my camera ran out of batteries right after my husband took this picture of me outfitting a young recruit for the Continental Navy.

Otherwise, I’d have many more photos, since my daughter and I stuck around to enjoy a whole day’s worth of kids’ programming.  You’ll have to imagine pictures of Tanya Lee Stone talking about her new book Sandy’s Circus, Harry Bliss scribbling pictures with kids from the audience, and Katherine Paterson giving a fantastic dramatic reading of her work. 

The presentations were fantastic. I loved seeing LJ friends wordsrmylife  and cfaughnan . And when I stepped outside…the icing on the cake (actually the ice cream on the cake), I found the Ben & Jerry’s truck giving out free samples of their new flavors. 

Books + writer friends + ice cream full of little chocolate peace signs = a perfect, perfect day.

15 Replies on “Weekend Time Travel

  1. Green with Envy for the Green Mountains

    I am so envious. Crown Point and Burlington? All in the same weekend? Reenactments? Ben and Jerry’s? You crammed a whole lot of my fantasy life into a couple of days. I just love the entire Champlain area. A dread locked farm animal war hero- where else? Peace sign ice cream at a reenactment- it figures. When I went to NU we used to joke that you were either a hippie or a hawker, but most likely you were a well read artistic dairy farmer or b&b owner who belonged to the National Guard, and loved a good protest. It is such an eclectic place. I remember, not that long ago when America’s first private military university owned the very same university that boasts an incredible children’s writing MFA program.

    Anyway, here’s a tidbit, up your alley. Did you know that the youngest person ever awarded the Medal of Honour went on to be a Norwich grad. He was a drummer boy who evoked courage in the men and unwaveringly marched forward in battle time and again.There’s been one adult book written about him, but nothing YA (that I know of). I know YA historical writers have a hard time finding age appropriate characters. So, next time you are in VT, head over to Northfield. There is info on him in both the library and the museum, and likely the head of every rook squaring around the gutters. It would make a great story. I guess I should have set this message to self-destruct.

    Christy/ Mommy C

  2. Re: Green with Envy for the Green Mountains

    Christy, Your first paragraph so beautifully sums up what I love so much about living here, right down to the well-read dairy farmers. I’ll have to check out the drummer boy at Norwich – thanks!

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