“Pete Griffin’s newest book is full of tales of his growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula--love letters to the people who shaped him as a naturalist, biologist, friend, son, husband, and storyteller. From the lakeshore towns of Cedarville and Hessel to the king salmon-laden waters of Alaska, Griffin throws out his lines and hooks us, reeling us in—sometimes slowly, sometimes swiftly—until we lie flopping at his feet in stunned appreciation and joy. Secrets are kept and revealed, and the heart is laid open in all its complexity, humor, and humanity. Take this book down to the dock with you, sit with your feet in the water, and let Pete Griffin instruct you how, as Thoreau said, ‘to go to the wilderness [of trees and water and love] as a hungry man to a crust of bread.’”
—Martin Achatz, two-time Poet Laureate of the Upper Peninsula
“Pete has a gift for learning through life experiences and then teaching through the stories that those experiences inspire. Whether taking account of catching mayflies, starting a first job, or guiding a fishing adventure, I found myself immersed in the stories and inspired to apply Pete’s learning and teaching values to my own life. “
—Kevin St. Onge, STEM Educator
“Reading Pete Griffin feels like a bracing dip into the waters he describes so vividly. He brings an adult sensibility and understanding to the mishaps and enthusiasms of his younger self. Pete’s love for the people and places who formed him shines in every story. It’s a heartfelt tribute to hard-working, thoroughly human people living in a wild and wonderful place.”
—Anne Rutherford, storyteller, teaching artist, author
“After Christmas that winter and shortly after I’d turned 17, Mom took me to Sault Ste Marie one evening. Dr. Ringer and his wife were hosting a party at his small home in on a quiet street not too far from the campus. We sat in the Ringer’s living room, filling the old sofa and two overstuffed chairs. Lacy ivory curtains hung over the windows. Several of his students seated themselves on the red oval braided wool rug that covered most of the floor space. I sat cross-legged on the floor at Mom’s feet. As the oldest student there, her fellow students had yielded one of the soft chairs to Mom. Dr. Ringer pulled a dining room chair into the living room, seated himself… and began.
“We are on the cusp of a new age,” he said. “The equinox is about to align with the constellation Aquarius, and a new age of human development will begin. In this new age, humanity,” he emphasized, “will finally take control of its own destiny.”
Mom squeezed my shoulder and leaned forward to whisper in my ear. I could hear her smiling. “Listen to this,” she told me.
“This new age,” Ringer continued, “is going to be one of revelation of truth and the advancement of consciousness.” The audience looked on, taking in every word, every truth. Nobody talked like this in Cedarville.“
Taking inspiration from Mark Twain’s adventure writing and Henry David Thoreau’s wilderness observation, Forest Ranger-turned storyteller Griffin finds big meaning in small interactions with the natural world. Much like Thoreau and Twain, Griffin’s observations are sharp, and his frequent leaps to the universal are unforced. His local color memoir touches the heart in unexpected—but entirely welcome—ways.
Paperback • $14.95 • 978-1-62491-169-9
208 Pages @ 5.5” x 8.5”
E-book • $10.99 • 978-1-62491-170-5
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