Dedicated Coloradans reveal interesting their lives in a new interview and portrait book by Charles McNamara. Meet John Shaffner (cowboy poet and chuck wagon cook), Will Morton (who restored the Kit Carson carousel) and Mike Keefe (Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist for the Denver Post), to name a few.
Shining Light is a collection of 22 revealing conversations, including black-and-white portraits, with people who share amazing stories about their lives. The eBook is published by former Evergreen resident, Charles McNamara, who collected the stories over the last three years for his on line magazine Tributary. One Flows into Another.
"Collecting stories is a family tradition started by my grandmother," Charles explains. "One of the stories I included, 'The Ballads Collector of Lake Champlain' reveals her relentless effort to find and record folk ballads, lyrical folksongs, early hillbilly pieces, French Canadian songs and fiddle tunes from steamboat captains, loggers, farmers, lumber jacks, and trappers in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. By the time she died in 1973, that collection consisted of 33 reel-to-reel tapes that held more than 450 recordings. The collection has become a valued treasure to the folk music industry.
“Don't ask me how it happened, but I became a journalist, as she had been, and three years ago started collecting interviews with people I found to be interesting including Dr. Bonnie Clarke, University of Denver archaeologist uncovering details of life during World War II at Amache, the Japanese Relocation Camp at Granada, Colorado.
"Carol Keller, has been a tour guide at the Colorado State Capitol for more than 25 years. She is 87 years old and started after she retired at 65 years of age. Wait until you hear some of her stories about this building.
"I have often comment to them, what a fascinating story, how come I’ve never heard of your work?
“ 'No one ever asked,' they usually reply, shrugging. I think the real answer is they never sought the spotlight. They are completely engaged in their work."
"Shining Light is a book that inspires and helps restore one's faith in humanity, as one reads about dedicated people using their gifts and talents to make the world a better place. The people featured will never be on TV or in the newspapers, but are adding to the beautiful tapestry of life quietly, faithfully and humbly. The photography is outstanding, the interviews are meaningful and interesting, the diversity of people interviewed adds depth, and reading these interviews increases one's understanding and appreciation of the people around us.”
– Cheryl Touryan, author/graphic designer, Colorado Women of Vision.
Read an excerpt
Purchase on line ($0.99) at Smashwords, Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble
About the author:
Charles McNamara produced the Mountain Commuter, a monthly newsmagazine serving the residents of Evergreen and Conifer during the 1980s. He was the publisher of Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine. During his career he produced publications for the National Cattleman’s Association, Children’s World Learning Centers, Ski Card International, Metropolitan State College, Allied Jewish Federation of Denver and Manville.