Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dori Claus is Coming to Town


Above: Me in 1964

I’ll be home for Christmas. My hometown is Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and I’m driving there from Alabama. In addition to hanging out with family for the holidays, skiing, snow-shoeing, and eating too much, I have a little business to attend to. I’m having a book-signing for my new book, “My Steamboat: A Ski Town Childhood,” and I’m going to be on TV.

From the emails and Facebook messages I’ve been receiving from old Steamboat friends, I think there will be more than 2 people at my book-signing, which is quite exciting when you’re not a famous author. (I call myself a micro-celebrity. Twenty-seven people know who I am.) I am pleased with the response to the book so far, which is a big relief after 8 years of writing and editing, wondering who in the world would care about my little story.

In a previous blog post I expressed worry about the impending release of the book. I had that panicky last-minute regret feeling, wondering if people would hate it or dismiss it or be offended or worst of all—ignore it. Now it’s out, and I couldn’t be more gratified about the feedback I’ve received. It’s being read, at this point, by the folks whose input means the most to me—people who grew up in Steamboat with me.

They are claiming that my portrayal of that time and place brings them back, and specific incidents stand out to them as exactly how they remember it. My favorite part about all this is getting to share these nostalgic remembrances on a rather intimate level with many people I’d lost touch with. It fosters a renewed sense of community in a group of people with whom I spent my formative years. We are now separated, probably for good, and though my book reminisces about a culture, time, and place that we can’t go home to, it seems to be replenishing our connection to childhood and each other, even if only in thought.

Our own kids are reaching an age where they will soon (if they haven’t already) go their separate ways permanently. Watching them go through the same trials and triumphs that we did back when intensifies our closeness to that time of life, and makes this the perfect time to transport ourselves back to the Steamboat of our day.

I feel like I’ve gotten to deliver a big knapsack, open it up and throw out the memories to my old friends, just like Santa Claus. And we get to sit around and enjoy it all together, without paying gobs of money for plane flights.

Dori-Palooza Steamboat Book Tour below:

Book-signing at Epilogue Book Company, Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Sunday, December 20, 7 pm.

See me on Steamboat Today morning show, December 22, 7:25 am.

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