Meeting My Heroes One Conference at a Time

At the Lakefly Writers Conference, I have met writers that I really respect and many that I came to respect by meeting them.
The first year of Lakefly, we had Michael Perry and the Long Beds perform at the Grand. If you don’t have them, go get their CDs and I helped them unload and watched them rehearse and then we went to dinner at Beckets. It was just awesome that I got to go to the concert. Everything else was a gift. After performing at the Grand, they went to Beckets (Perry knows the owner) they performed some more.
The next day, Mike stopped off because Mike Magnuson was speaking. Magnuson was my suggestion for a speaker. I read about him in Perry’s book Population 485 and then picked up some of his books. I snapped a good picture of the two Mikes walking together.
Mike Magnuson is a hero of mine and he lives in Appleton. His books The Fire Gospels and the Right Man for the job are gritty and honest and stuck with me. I also recommend his Lummox: Evolution of a Man. Lakefly gave me the chance to meet him.
We also booked my old college professor at the first conference. Dr. Larry Watson. He has written great books- Montana 1948 and Orchard: A Novel and many more- are very respected works. It was great to see him again. I went up to him to tell him, “You were a great teacher, the best, but a lousy advisor.”
He thanked me after I said he was the best and I was thankful that I did not get a chance for the rest. I was trying to make a joke, but he deserved what I ended up communicating.
This is getting so long, but I must mention John Dedakis. He worked with Wolf Blitzer for many years. He has great stories, good instruction on writing, and is a genuinely good person to boot.


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