The Show Me State Showed Me a Good Time!

What a whirlwind few days! Last Thursday, I found myself on a Truman State University van enroute to Kirksville, Missouri from the airport in Kansas City. 

This is the way to eat your veggies: green bean fries at the KC airport Marriott

It’s a 3 hour trek to Kirksville, but the time passed quickly as I talked books, business and iPhone apps with fellow Truman State presenters Tracy Barrett, Eric Berlin, Lulu Delacre, Mary Downing Hahn, Kurtis Scaletta, and Suzanne Morgan Williams, along with intrepid Festival organizers Sharon Hackney and Daisy Rearick.

Fun read — watch out Encyclopedia Brown! Winston’s gaining on you.

We arrived in time to quickly freshen up before being whisked off to a feast at the home of committee member, Becky Kruger, who even churned fresh butter for the sumptuous meal (okay, she confessed: her husband, Jerry, did most of the cranking). There, we met up with the rest of the Festival presenters: Henry Cole, Kate Klise, and Rosanne Parry (who deserves a medal for her efforts to get to the festival despite United Airlines’ best attempts to thwart her). Cheryl Harness missed the amazing meal but I caught up with her briefly the next day at the festival.

I’m not positive but I think the committee members are either German or Swiss or both: the Festival ran like clockwork! I have never participated in an event so smoothly organized. Between 9 am and 3 pm, we 11 authors and/or illustrators met with over 1400 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Here’s a great overview, from the local TV station. The kids were polite, inquisitive and tons of fun.

Read this on the plane home: great setting, tough premise, good read. By Suzanne Morgan Williams.

That night, we celebrated a successful day with a banquet again on the lovely Truman campus. (They don’t let you go too long in MO without feeding you.) I was so impressed by the community support of the event, restarted again in 2009 after a several years’ hiatus. Check back for more photos. Job well done to Becky, Daisy and Sharon, as well as other committee members: Melissa Kinney, Claire Peckosh, Beverly Perrachione and Donna Rhinesmith, and library secretary, Wanda Cagle.

Neil flew in that night and met me in Kirksville. Saturday morning we made our way south to TanTarA, the site of the Missouri Association of School Librarians. More about that tomorrow!