This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, April 24, 1991

April 24, 1991 - Ted Conover

Probably there isn't a soul in America who hasn't dreamed -- at least for an instant -- of hopping a freight train and living the romantic life of a hobo.

Ted Conover actually did it. And it turns out that there's not as much romance as you'd hope.

He jumped his first freight train in St. Louis, Missouri, and traveled as far north as Seattle, Washington, and as far south as El Paso, Texas. Along the way he met a lot of hoboes, and Conover eventually recorded his insights into their lives and their motives in a book called "Rolling Nowhere," published in 1984.

While riding the rails, Conover learned about the "alien underworld" -- the illegal movements of Mexican migrant workers. Between 1984 and 1985, Conover put his fluent Spanish to work: he lived with the workers, traveled with them, picked lemons with them, and walked over the desert that joins the border of the United States and Mexico. Once again, he distilled his experiences into a book -- "Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens."

These days, Conover is at work on a book on Aspen -- quite a change from hoboes and illegal immigrants. Or is it?

Two things are clear: Conover enjoys the clash of cultures, and he is a gifted, perceptive writer.

Conover has contributed to the Washington Post, the Rocky Mountain News, Bloomsbury Review, and it just so happens that he lives in Denver.

The Douglas County Schools District is bringing him down for a week as a "writer in residence," and they wondered if we might be interested in featuring him for a night at the library.

We jumped at the chance. There's something fitting about highlighting Colorado authors at your local library. And of course, there are some train tracks immediately to the west of us -- although naturally I wouldn't encourage anyone to jump a freight to the library.

If you'd like to meet a most unusual man with some wonderful stories, stop by the Philip S. Miller library next Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Conover will give a talk, and be available to sign some of his books. The event is free, and the public is warmly invited.


Since our hours have recently expanded, this seems like a good time to update people's refrigerator list. The names, locations, hours, and phone numbers for our branches are:

PHILIP S. MILLER LIBRARY Monday - Thursday: 9am-9pm 961 South Plum Creek Blvd. Friday and Saturday: 9am-5pm Castle Rock, CO 80104 Sunday: 1pm-5pm 688-5157
PARKER LIBRARY Monday - Thursday: 9am-9pm 19801 E. Mainstreet Friday and Saturday: 9am-5pm Parker, CO 80134 Sunday: 1pm-5pm 841-3503

OAKES MILL LIBRARY Monday - Thursday: 9am-9pm 8827 Lone Tree Parkway Friday and Saturday: 9am-5pm Littleton, CO 801234 Sunday: 1pm-5pm 799-4446

LOUVIERS LIBRARY Thursday: 3pm to 7pm Louviers Village Club Louviers, CO 80131 791-READ

Coming soon: a Highlands Ranch facility!

No comments:

Post a Comment