Book Review Guidelines
Library gets White House treatment
Residents of the Marquette area live here for a variety of reasons. Many chose Marquette because of its natural beauty and proximity to vast tracts of land offering a variety of recreation opportunities. Others select the area for the artistic and cultural offerings of our many arts groups and Northern Michigan University.
The resources of Marquette General Health System draws other residents. It may surprise many residents to learn that Peter White Public Library (PWPL) also attracts new residents.
It is not uncommon for people to tell library staff that they moved to Marquette because of PWPL and all it offers. Many claim PWPL is the best library they have ever seen. Many are impressed by the fact the library is more than a library—it is a community center. It attracts new residents of all ages.
For the past 138 years, Peter White Public Library has served residents of the City of Marquette and surrounding townships. The largest public library in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has a remarkable history. It is known as one of the best public libraries in the Upper Peninsula and Michigan. In 2007, Michigan State Librarian Nancy Robertson selected Peter White Public Library for a Citation of Excellence for Library Service. Three years later, PWPL has been selected as one of five recipients of the National Medal for Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
This prestigious award first was given to museums in 1994. At that time, only three institutions were honored. In 2000, the award was extended to libraries. Since 2007, the award is given to a maximum of five libraries and five museums each year. To date, less than 100 institutions have received a National Medal—the highest honor that can be bestowed on the 123,000 libraries and 71,000 museums in the United States. Each year, the Institute for Museum and Library Service honors the Medal winners in Washington D.C. with a reception, symposium and award ceremony. The award ceremony traditionally is held at the White House and the medals are given to each recipient by the First Lady.
The road to the award is an interesting journey. Step one is the realization that the library might even be considered for an award. The staff of Peter White Public Library hear every day how important PWPL is for residents, how people love the library and tales of how the library changed someone’s life. They get used to hearing these tales, but nevertheless, they generally think this is what every library does. They don’t think their library is any different than any other library, so they do not think PWPL is exceptional. Sometimes it takes outsiders to stress to us how special PWPL really is.
In May and June 2009, Peter White Public Library hosted the traveling exhibit Fine Line by Micheal Nye. This exhibit of photographic portraits featured people affected in some way by mental illness. Each portrait was accompanied by a recording of the subject explaining how mental illness affected his or her life. The traveling exhibit was the centerpiece to three months of programming focused on mental health. Nye traveled to Marquette to install the exhibit. While here, he expressed his surprise at the quantity, quality and depth of the programming being offered in conjunction with the exhibit.
As part of the application for the National Medal for Library Service, Nye said “Fine Line has traveled to more than sixty-five cities and has been shown in museums, universities, medical schools, galleries and libraries across the country. In May 2009, Fine Line traveled to PWPL. The library offered more than twenty separate programs relating to mental health education, local resources, treatment and encouragement. Of all the venues this exhibit has traveled to across America, this experience was one of the most powerful and meaningful. The PWPL is a great example of how libraries can positively impact the community. They provided not only resources, but also valuable activities that enriched the lives of its citizens.”
Jane Ryan, chairperson of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chapter, was instrumental in the planning for Your Mind Matters and helping to secure funding for the Fine Line exhibit and other programming. Ryan was the person who first identified the opportunity for PWPL to apply for the National Medal for Library Service. In fact, she stealthily had a number of covert conversations with IMLS staff about the award and application.
Ryan was preparing application materials on her own in an effort to surprise PWPL with the award. It was only after she was stymied by some of the very library specific questions asked by IMLS that she was forced to turn to PWPL staff for assistance.
Compared to many of the grants and other documents PWPL staff prepare, the IMLS National Medal application is relatively easy. There are strict guidelines for number of pages and a limit of three letters of support. Compared to the PWPL challenge grant proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities (110 pages), this was a piece of cake. It also was made easier by the thought that PWPL probably was one of many applications that would be reviewed. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would be a contender.
On paper, PWPL sounded pretty good, but we knew other libraries also would have impeccable qualifications. We are small in comparison to many libraries in the nation. The only other Michigan library to receive the National Medal for Library Service was the Flint Public Library in 2004. The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (1998) and Art Train USA (2008) are the only National Medal for Museum Service winners from Michigan. The competition is stiff, and what chance does a small library from the often overlooked Upper Peninsula have?
Apparently, PWPL had just as much chance to win a National Medal for Library Service as other larger libraries. In fact, two Michigan libraries were so honored this fall. The West Bloomfield Township Library and Peter White Public Library both were named National Medal honorees. The West Bloomfield Township Library has been known as one of the finest libraries in Michigan for many years. That reputation still left library director Clara Bohrer as surprised as anyone that her library was a National Medal recipient. We met in Washington D.C. at the office of U.S. Senator Carl Levin for a photo, and Bohrer was just as amazed as I was that their library had been honored in this way. The photo op was the first of our events in Washington D.C.
That evening, the IMLS honored the ten medal winning institutions at a reception. Here the PWPL contingent of Ryan, Board of Trustees President Toni Eppensteiner and I were briefed on what to expect at the White House. We also had the opportunity to meet representatives from the other nine winning institutions—Connor Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers, Indiana), Explora (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles), Mississippi Museum of Art (Jackson), Nashville Public Library (Tennessee), New York Botanical Garden (NYC), Patchogue-Medford Library (New York), Rangeview Library District and Anythink Libraries (Adams County, Colorado) and West Bloomfield Township Library (Michigan). Representatives of each institution expressed amazement that they were chosen to receive a National Medal of Museum or Library Service.
In addition, the medal award winners were just giddy about the next day’s visit to the White House. As the group was briefed, the fact that the next day they would be visiting the White House and meeting Michelle Obama sunk in, and the excitement level started to escalate. We were told to meet in the hotel lobby at 9:15 a.m. to walk across the street to the White House. We would be at the White House from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. During that time, we would visit the East Room, Blue Room and State Dining Room.
The IMLS staff was almost as excited as the National Medal recipients about being at the White House for the awards ceremony. The 2009 winners were not able to attend a White House medal ceremony due to the changeover in administrations. IMLS staffers told us how the 2001 ceremony at the White House was scheduled for September 18, 2001—one week after 9/11. Elizabeth Lyons of IMLS, said the 2001 winners were invited by Laura Bush to attend the 2002 ceremony. “Mrs. Bush was always so gracious and supportive of the awards program,” she said.
The 2010 ceremony was the first held at the Obama White House, and it was apparent that staffers were wondering just how things would work this year. It started off on a less than auspicious note. We were instructed to report to the Southeast gate and, once there, the lone security staffer seemed unsure what to do with us. He kept saying, “You don’t come here for the White House, this is the entry for the Treasury Department tours.” IMLS staffers called their White House contacts and we were shown into the gates, but then asked to stand in a group for quite some time. We were then asked to go to the next gate, where they, too, seemed to be rather surprised by our appearance.
One of the White House events staffers came out to the gate to assure the security guards we were supposed to be there, and were on a tight time schedule. This did not seem to make much difference to the guards, who were very polite, but still very wary.
Finally, part of the group was allowed to enter the White House with the harried event staffers. We immediately started to take photos and our guide said, “We need to move along, we don’t have much time. You will have time to take photos at the reception.”
Ryan and I were part of the first group. We had been told the previous evening that only two of us would be able to share the stage with Mrs. Obama. Eppensteiner was relegated to the audience. Our audience had an even longer wait for security clearance, and was forced to wait in the cold for more than an hour. Many of them missed part or all of the medal ceremony.
Our group was shown to the Blue Room and asked to line up for photos. Two events staffers seemed to be in charge, and both had definite ways they wanted our group lined up for official photographs. Unfortunately, neither seemed to take charge and we were somewhat confused about how we needed to line up. Photos with the IMLS Board and National Medal sponsors were taken prior to those of the medal winners. During photos of the board members, chairs were added to the set, so our much practiced photo arrangement went by the wayside when our actual photo was taken.
Our schedules had listed approximately forty-five minutes of visiting with Mrs. Obama in the Blue Room, post photo, but this did not happen—probably due to the security delays and number of photos taken. She greeted each of us with a hug and a handshake.
She stood in the center of the back row of our group for the photo. The White House photographer kept asking us to move closer together. The two women flanking Mrs. Obama seemed nervous about squeezing her and one said, “should I put my arm around you?” Michelle laughed and said, “Let’s do that, shall we” and wrapped her arms around each of them in a big hug. She truly seemed to enjoy being with us, and made everyone feel at ease.
Once photos were completed, we were shown into the East Room where the ceremony was held. Honorees sat in the first row and were called up in alphabetical order by institution. We received our medal plaque, and walked to the center of the stage to stand next to Mrs. Obama, while a brief story of our institution was read. Mrs. Obama said several things to me, none of which I can remember, and then told us to look at the photographer with the yellow tie. He was the White House photographer for the event. The best photo he took of us would be sent to PWPL by the White House.
Like many defining moments in your life, the time on the podium seemed to fly by in seconds and also last for hours. Seated next to me was Zheni Valasquez, an Ecuadorian immigrant from the Patchoque-Medford Library in Medford (New York). She was shaking with fear and excitement. I think I was less nervous about my stage appearance because I was trying to assure her that she would do just fine, and she did.
The Medal ceremony was completed and we were all invited into the State Dining Room for a reception. To our dismay, Mrs. Obama did not attend. Nevertheless, we all had a wonderful time eating fabulous appetizers and desserts. Mini éclairs were delicious, and Donna Kelly of the Rangeview Library District of Adams County (Colorado) said to me, “I don’t think these came from Costco.” Champagne, beer, soft drinks and sparkling water also were available.
The IMLS staffers said attending a medal ceremony during the holidays is special, and I agree. The decorations are beautiful, and we all spent lots of time taking photos of decorations in the areas we had access to. The three of us watched the HGTV special about holidays at the White House, and I’m glad we did. We knew the symbolism of many of the decorations and knew what to look for. We were able to visit the Green Room, Red Room, Vermeil Room and White House Library, in addition to the areas where the ceremony and reception were held.
A National Medal for Museum or Library Service ceremony and White House visit are, for most people, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The medal winners for 2010, although joking with IMLS and White House staff that we would be back, will all cherish our experience in Washington D.C. and the White House. If our visit was any indication, the Obama White House understands the role libraries and museums play in our communities and honors our achievements.
Canada focus of Beaumier exhibit
Canada often is referred to as our neighbor to the North. For the people of the Upper Peninsula, however, this connection between the two countries is more than just neighborly.
In truth, Canada is more of a cousin of the Upper Peninsula, not just because of its proximity, but because so many U.P. residents have Canadian roots. It is this fact and the relationship between Canada and the U.P. that will be the subject of a new exhibition at the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University.
The exhibit, titled “Across the Border: Canadians in the Upper Peninsula,” will open with a reception at 1:00 p.m. on January 29 in 105 Cohodas Hall. The exhibition will be on display through July 2011 and admission is free. It is funded by grants from Cliffs Natural Resources and the Province of Quebec.
The idea to do this exhibition was born out of a growing awareness of the influence of Canadian immigration on the nature of our region, said Daniel Truckey, director of the Beaumier Center.
“There has been increased interest in the nature of the borderland between our two countries in academic circles,” Truckey said. “For many people of Canadian heritage who live in the U.P., there has been a growing interest and pride in the contributions their families made to the settlement of the region and also its culture.
“Being of Finnish heritage, I’m proud of the Finnish culture in the U.P., but I’m just as proud of my French, German and Irish families who came from Canada and really help define the region.”
“Across the Border” will focus primarily on the emigration of Canadians to the Upper Peninsula during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The story begins much further back than that, with the Anishinaabeg people who have lived on both sides of what they view as a purely political border for centuries.
The very nature of this border, which has been seen at times as irrelevant and porous, will be discussed in this exhibition. The exhibition also will address the very nature of Canadian identity as it relates to emigration of people to the Upper Peninsula from Quebec and Ontario.
“The question is how did people see themselves?” Truckey said. “Did they consider themselves Canadian, Anishinaabeg, French, English, Irish or a mixture? Ultimately, did their experience living and working in Canada create a specific cultural identity that transferred well to the Upper Peninsula or did people hold stronger to their European ties?”
One of the most interesting features of this exhibition will be the spotlight on specific families who came to the region. In each section, there will be a story about a family who came from Canada to the Upper Peninsula and the experiences members had before and after their arrival. These sections will feature photographs and artifacts related to their families or communities.
There also will be spotlights on communities that had significant settlements of Canadian people.
One example would be the Garden Peninsula, which was founded by several Canadian families who came for jobs at the iron works in Fayette and later in the lumber and fishing industry.
The Richey (Richard) family settled near Newberry during the mid-nineteenth century. Like so many, they came searching for work in the lumber industry and land they could farm, which they eventually found and homesteaded in the Lakefield Township area.
Georgia Tillotson of Marquette is a descendant and excited to have her family featured. A locket that has been passed down by several generations of women in her family will be on display.
“Although my ancestors on my maternal grandmother’s side came from Canada, I don’t feel a strong connection to Canadian culture or French Canadian traditions,” she said. “Perhaps the unsettled Upper Peninsula of the 1800s was not so different from Canada and many immigrants made a fairly seamless transition to life in the United States. I think this exhibit is a great way to raise awareness about Canadian heritage and hear the stories of other families who have emigrated from Canada.”
Other sections of the exhibit will focus on spiritual and religious practices, foodways and other traits that Canadians brought with them across the border. The Beaumier Center requests that people with relatives who came from Canada contact the center to share photos, stories, recipes or family heirlooms. Send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 227-1219.
The Beaumier Center is planning several events in the spring related to Canadian culture and history.
The Canadian songwriting duo, Dala, will perform March 12 at Forest Roberts Theatre and the Quebecois ensemble, Mauvais Sort, will perform March 31 in the NMU Great Lakes Rooms. Jean LaMarre from the Royal Military College of Canada will give a lecture on the history of French-Canadian immigration to the Upper Peninsula on March 24.
—Daniel P. Truckey
New Marquette Monthly Book Review Submission Guidelines
Due to the overwhelming number of requests for book reviews, we have created the following submission guidelines for authors:
*Books should be of U.P. regional interest and/or by a current U.P. resident author.
*Self-published books are accepted, but should have been professionally edited. Books with excessive typographical errors, poor grammar, poor layouts or inflammatory or pornographic content will not be reviewed.
*Books should have been copyrighted within the last 5 years.
*Mail a copy of the book, along with author/publicist contact information to Marquette Monthly Book Reviewer, 801 N. Third St., Marquette, Michigan 49855.
MM reserves the right due to space limitations to not review books. Books approved for review generally appear within one year (generally sooner) after submission date.
Books reminisce about the past
A Quinnesec Kid: His Life and Times
by Joseph “Joe” Massie
Joe Massie has created in A Quinnesec Kid a potpourri of topics relevant to his and the town of Quinnesec’s history, and while he admits up front he is not a writer, he enjoys writing, and he has preserved a treasure of information for future generations that captures what life was like in Quinnesec in the twentieth century.
Local history often is only preserved because individuals choose to sit down and record their memories, and future generations of Quinnesec residents will no doubt be grateful that Massie thought to do so.
Far from being polished academic history, A Quinnesec Kid is instead a look inside the real lives of people in Quinnesec, how they lived and what they thought—which makes it an invaluable primary source for future historians.
Anyone interested in U.P. history, and especially that of Dickinson County, will find this book filled with fascinating historical facts such as why the county was named for a political Democrat from Michigan who never set foot in the Upper Peninsula. In addition, Massie tells readers how Quinnesec got its name, the history of Fumee Lake where Massie spent many happy childhood days, stories about the Indiana Mine and the Town of Richardsburg, and the Quinnesec Depot.
Massie also includes thorough sketches of his grandparents and great-grandparents who were among Quinnesec’s first settlers.
The bulk of A Quinnesec Kid is Massie’s personal story and reminiscences. From growing up as a boy in the 1930s and 1940s, to watching how hunting has changed over half a century, working in mines in Negaunee and later giving mine tours of the Vulcan Mine, Massie lays out his life with numerous short essays, providing his opinions on events, politics, religion, sports and history. He also memorializes the people of Quinnesec whom he knew, from family members to store owners and friends.
Massie speaks fondly of his parents and his upbringing, remembering eating “Polenta off da board” and the other many treats his mother would make, fishing with his dad, working at peeling pulpwood or cherry picking, and the joys of high school when “we had a ball, and we did it all.” He is grateful for his Catholic upbringing, recalls being an altar boy at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and tells many stories about the Quinnesec of his youth, including the dirt roads that he feels built character in people.
Massie is known locally for serving in the United Steel Workers of America union and running for various political offices. He frequently has expressed his political and conservative views in letters to the editor in Iron Mountain’s Daily News, many of which he includes in this book. His opinions are best summed up by his friend John Carobine, who is quoted on the back cover as saying, “Joe lives his life—looking ever toward the American idea of fairness…and applying Yankee common sense to issues that confront us on a local, state and national level.”
A Quinnesec Kid hopefully will inspire many more people to tell their own stories and record U.P. history before it is lost. As Massie knows, every person’s story is important.
The Last Summer
by Buck Innerebner
When George W. Bush is declared the winner of the 2000 presidential race, octogenarian Yooper Ernie Potala decides the country is going to hell, and it will be reflected in the stock market, so he withdraws all the money from his retirement funds—$20,000—and hides it in an old barrel behind his café.
However, his three friends, Buck, Steve and Cal, also all in their eighties, are unaware of his actions and want to make their pontoon boat float so they use the barrel in the boat’s construction.
Unfortunately, the pontoon boat sinks in Lake Michigamme before the three friends realize Ernie’s money was in the barrel. When the novel opens, the friends are faced with trying to figure out how to get the money back, a task that results in several hilarious antics for these old men who refuse to sit still but instead enjoy every last minute of life they have in them.
Among the men’s plans is to dynamite the barrel to the water’s surface. A failed attempt, however, only results in the DNR showing up to ask them why so many dead fish are floating in the lake.
Steve tries to get them out of trouble by claiming he had farted in the lake, which killed the fish, but the DNR officers don’t buy this excuse. Soon the three friends are in court, self-represented, and find themselves either facing a fine or a prison sentence. They can afford the fine but decide they have nothing else to do so they opt for time in the Baraga Prison Camp. With their prison sentence, their adventures and fun have only just begun.
The Last Summer might well have been titled Grumpy Old Men (in the U.P.), only instead of the men fighting over Ann Margret and Sophia Loren, the old men all are married, and their wives add to the antics, refusing to use automatic washers because their old Maytag wringer washers get clothes cleaner, and pretending to have a knitting club so they can escape from their husbands and go to the casino.
Beyond the story line, the grumpy old men, Steve, Buck and Cal, are the real treat of this book. Their crotchety old ideas, clinging to the past, insistence that things used to be better, and disgust over today’s inflated prices, as well as their enthusiasm for life and Old Milwaukee beer, keep the reader laughing out loud while cheering them on from one crazy adventure to the next.
Author Buck Innerebner excels at creating politically incorrect dialogue and situations for his characters who seem to be living in a modern world they are having trouble adapting to, or perhaps trying to use to their benefit. When they wind up in court, the men try to play the “race card” to get out of trouble.
Steve points out that the race card won’t work because they aren’t black like O.J. Simpson, but Cal says, “Ya got a Finlander, a Kraut, and ya got an Indian. I can’t think of anything more racier than that.” Such ingenious reasoning continues throughout the book, and while these grumpy old Yoopers may be a bit narrow-minded, the reader can’t help liking them and more often laughing with, rather than at, them.
U.P. culture is referenced humorously continually throughout the book. Comments are made about a Million Maki March in Marquette. Carl Pelonpaa is viewed as a movie star since the 1950s.
The U.P.’s ethnic melting pot culture allows the characters to give each other hard times about their backgrounds while relishing their personal ethnicity. Steve informs his friend Buck that “First class Finlanders drink from saucers.” Buck tries it out but spills all over himself and decides he’s glad to be of German descent.
A fast, easy read with a lot of laughs, The Last Summer is full of the independent U.P. spirit and characters whose wit and wisdom will astound you in more ways than one.
Editor’s Note: Tichelaar is the author of My Marquette. All books reviewed in this column are available online and in local bookstores. For book review submission guidelines, visit www.mmnow.com
Creative writing winners published
In an effort to involve the community in more aspects than reading and discussing, the One Book One Community committee decided to incorporate a creative writing contest. Entries were accepted from all ages in formats ranging from short stories and poetry to video and photo essays.
The only limitations put on the entries were that of length; from there, the sky was the limit. The most creative and original entries were selected and the winners were awarded free tickets to see the OBOC author speak, as well as the option of a signed copy of her book. Keep your eyes and ears open for our next book selection as well as contest opportunities.
Contest winners from the poetry and short story entries follow.
The Earthbound Chronicles:
In 2033 on earth, aliens, mutants, earthbounds, ghosts and humans lived. Ghosts are soldiers with white clothing.
Earthbounds are creatures, who existed centuries before aliens.
Project-Origins were another race of beings, like aliens, but they all had giant detachable blades for their hands. Project-Origins were fighting for domination over the planets in the universe. In the past, they were outcasts. Now, they were organized and considered themselves to be super beings. Project-Origins fight every being not like themselves.
The Earthbounds created everything in the universe. Earth was their first and worst creation. The Earthbounds tried not to interfere with life on Earth until the Project-Origins. The Project-Origins were destroying everyone and replacing the government with their own system.
The Earthbounds, before their promise of noninvolvement, fought one enemy a long time ago. The enemy’s name was The Huron. The Huron needed a host to survive. The Huron used human hosts until the Being built up a symbiotic race of Hurons. The Earthbounds, to defeat The Huron, caught and isolated the creatures by putting them in a capsule and shooting them into space.
The capsule broke orbit and returned to earth. The Huron was still inside but changed, having learned to live without a host. The Huron wanted to help the Earthbounds in their quest to control the Project-Origins.
Independent of the Earthbounds was Inspector. Inspector had been handling homicides for a while. These days, Project-Origins made up almost all the perpetrators and the victims were everyone else. Project-Origins targeted mutants.
Inspector was a mutant. Mutants had an alien parent and a human parent. In this society among mutants, Inspector stood out because he was a mutant, but looked completely human. At school, classmates teased him. He looked up to and loved his older brother. Inspector admired his brother’s greenish gray scales and his yellow reptile eyes. Inspector, when young, saw his brother attacked by Project-Origins. Project-Origins beat his brother badly. His brother had to wear an eye-patch after the attack.
Inspector spits when he thinks of his hate of Project-Origins.
The Inspector was walking to an investigation. The saddest part of his job is he never had to hurry to save someone. On the scene, he saw a creature leaning over the victim, a Project-Origin. Inspector ran after this being, which seemed to move past light. He caught him, though. The being did not fight at all. He turned to face Inspector and said, “This isn’t what you think; my name is Huron.”
The Huron told Inspector he was hired by the Earthbounds to find out who the leader of the Project-Origins were. So, Inspector says, “I get it. This low-life was an informant and got himself killed.”
“Yes,” said The Huron.
Inspector asked The Huron, “What’s the plan?” The Huron just stared at him.
“Okay,” said Inspector. “I guess the plan is to find out where this guy hung out.”
“I know,” The Huron said. “He told me the place he went was called, the Ucktamockadan.”
“Are you kidding me? The Ucktamockadan is an illegal restaurant that sells aliens for food to other aliens.”
“Let’s get going,” said Inspector.
At the Ucktamockadan, Inspector went up to the bartender. He showed him a picture of the dead Project-Origin and asked whether anyone in the joint could identify him. The bartender pointed over to a Giant Robot. So, The Huron and Inspector walked over to the Giant Robot.
“Do you know this person? Inspector shoved the picture in the Robot’s face. Suddenly the Robot’s chest popped open and out popped a worm sitting on a little chair.
Inspector says, “You gotta be kidding me.”
The worm spoke in a tinny voice. “I am GooBoo, the galactic leader of the Vermes and soon, I will rule the universe!”
“Right!” said Inspector, “And I am the Emperor of Omicron 6. Now tell me where the leader of the Project-Origins is!”
He poked the worm in the belly when he said this.
“Don’t you touch me,” the GooBoo said as he pulled out a tiny laser.
The Inspector started laughing.
“I assure you, Inspector, I mean business.”
GooBoo fired the laser at one of the customers.
The person started to scream, “No, noooo!”
Inspector laughed so hard he had tears in his eyes. The Huron just stared.
“Now listen, BooBoo, or whatever your name is: we need answers and we need them fast!
“I will tell you what you want if you give me gold,” said GooBoo.
“Huron, do you have a bar of gold handy?” asked Inspector, jokingly.
“Yes.” The Huron handed GooBoo a bar of gold.
“What the…” said Inspector.
GooBoo said, “I want sixty more bars of gold or no deal.”
Lightning quick, Inspector reached in and grabbed GooBoo’s tiny laser.
“Now look you, no more joking. Tell us what we need to know.”
In a shaking voice, GooBoo said, “Go to my brother, BooGoo.”
GooBoo gave Inspector and The Huron directions to another dive. When the Inspector and The Huron walked outside the restaurant, they saw the customer GooBoo had lasered blow up.
“I guess this little thing will come in handy after all,” Inspector said.
Back in the dark interior of this new dump sat a huge Robot. Inspector walked up to the Robot and said, “GooBoo sent me.”
BooGoo, in a husky, human child’s voice, said, “I have a superlaser pointed at your belly, so give me gold!”
Inspector said, “It just so happens that I have one of those myself, so hand it over. Here take this one, Huron. It seems we have a spare now.”
Inspector moved in real close to BooGoo. “Look I’m tired of the run around. Who is the leader of the Project-Origins?”
BooGoo gave Inspector and The Huron directions to a large spaceship built centuries ago by a race of aliens called the Big Heads. The Project-Origins claim they are descendants of the Big Heads. As far as Inspector was concerned, the Project-Origins were pinheads who bore no resemblance to their claimed predecessors except they were both blue in color.
The ship looked like a long translucent human skeleton. It was crawling with Project-Origins. Inspector thought the only way to get in was going to be to thump some heads. The Huron pointed to a spot in the ship. They walked into two Project-Origins. Inspector shot one, which sounded like a rubber band snapping, and The Huron moved like a cat and picked up the other and dropped him from a great height and floated back to the ground. Thinking the leader of the Project-Origins would be in the head, they moved quickly through the ship.
They came to the Captain’s quarters. Inspector and The Huron peered in and there sat a huge Project-Origin.
Inspector felt satisfaction that he had finally caught the leader of the Project-Origins. He swung the Project-Origin around. But on closer study, The Huron said, “This is a human cyborg.”
“Yes, your friend is right. I am Human and proud of it. I hate aliens, mutants, earthbounds, ghosts, and Hurons. I hope you all kill each other off. I posed as a Project-Origin to help things along. Project-Origins already hated everyone; it was easy to get them organized. These destructive monsters were wiping out everyone. Once that happened, I’d figure a way for them to kill each other.”
“Hey, I could care less about your motive. We have you now,” said Inspector.
“Oh, you will. You have a mark of an Alien behind your left-ear.”
Editor’s Note: Maxwell Holliday is eleven-years-old. Son of Valerie and Mark Holliday, Max is a Marquette, Michigan native. He attends North Star Academy. Max loves reading and writing and science and art and gaming.
A Kodak Moment
By Abigail Roemer
Zeke Polaroid raveled on film to Kodak.
It was 2010. But he forgot that.
He was wise and strong.
The trip was long.
A year went past.
Kodak was in his sight at last.
As the ship orbited the Planet
A slimy blue form pulled their ship like a magnet.
The gleaming metal orb started to shake and break.
The alien form stole the rudder.
The crew panicked as the ship spun out of control in the vast sky.
The commander and chief lost his life.
Zeke was in charge and volcanic fear grew inside.
The ship lost its commander in the dark cloudless night.
The threat of death grew near.
Polaroid tripe to replace the gear.
Hope at last seemed true.
Poor Polaroid forgot the gorilla glue.
Editor’s Note: Abbey Roemer is sixteen, and just started her junior year at Marquette Alternative High School. She lives at home with her four brothers and spends most of her time babysitting and working. Roemer enjoys listening to music because she often finds the lyrics relate to her life. She entered the Sci-Fi contest as a school assignment and did not expect to win.