Community Read selects Craig Lesley
"The Sky Fisherman," written by former Madras resident and award-winning author Craig Lesley, is this year's Community Read book selection.
Local residents will enjoy unlocking the puzzle of this tale. It is set in Madras and has characters and places people will recognize -- but the names have all been changed. For instance, Madras is called Gateway, and the main character is named Culver.
The story weaves Lesley's memories of living in Madras during the late 1950s and early '60s, with the colorful character of his real uncle Oscar Lange, who was a legendary fishing guide and owned Oscar's Sporting Goods shop.
The book explores the anger and friendship between the Indian and white communities, family secrets, and small town mysteries.
The book shows the appealing down-to-earth nature of small town people, as well as their willingness to put aside their differences to help each other when a fire strikes, or people are endangered by a flood.
Jefferson County Community Read encourages everyone in the county to read the same book during the same month, then offers evening gatherings to discuss it, as well as a visit by the author.
People can purchase the book now at a discount at Willow Creek Books in Madras, or buy it elsewhere and begin reading in preparation for the April events.
April 3, at "Oscar Stories and Deschutes River Reminiscences" locals are invited to share their stories at noon at the senior center, and at 7 p.m., at the library annex.
At "Jefferson County History in the 1950s and 1960s" on April 12, photos and stories of the 1964 flood, which ravaged Warm Springs and Madras, will be shared at noon at the senior center and 7 p.m. at the library annex.
Author Lesley will present "The Mystique of Gateway (Madras): Conjuring the Past" at noon at the senior center, then will visit Culver and Madras high schools to talk about creating story characters.
Community Read will culminate on April 21, with a writer's workshop by Lesley from 9 to 11 a.m. in the library annex (call library to reserve a spot 475-3351), "Conversation with Craig" at 1 p.m. at the Warm Springs Library, and "A Celebration of the Small Town, Working-Class West" at 7 p.m., at the library annex.