Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fish or Cut Bait

Heard that phrase before?  Want to take it on as your own?  Me too. 

In some ways, Fish or Cut Bait describes this week's Realgoodwords where I talk with authors Ellen Airgood and Jim Proebstle.  Proebstle is a northern Minnesota summer resident who has published a novel based on true events "Fatal Incident".  He tells us the true life story and fictionalizes the reasonings and endings that were never uncovered before.  In 1944 there was a crash in Alaska's Mount McKinley range that killed 20 people.  The pilot, Nick, is a pilot for the Army's ATC in Alaska.  In real life, the bodies and the documents surrounding this crash were never found.  It's fascinating because Alaska was a strategic defense position against Japan as well as a lend-lease exchange location for Soviet pilots in support of Russia's war with Germany.  Mix in a possibility of a plot to steal the U.S's top secret atomic bomb designs and you have what William Kent Krueger calls "a hell of a good read".  Fish or Cut Bait here is the fortitude of the brothers who are pilots in the book, as well as the central love story that is woven throughout between Nick and Martha.  Jim Proebstle will be at the Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids on Saturday June 18th from 11-2. 

Ellen Airgood of Grand Marais, Michigan has just published her debut novel "South of Superior".  It's based loosely on the town where she lives.  I asked Ellen to tell me more about why she settled in Michigan's U.P. 

"I came here camping with my sister in the national park near by and on a rainy day we drove into Grand Marais rather than hike.  We ate lunch and I picked out what I thought was the quaintest place to eat and I ended up marrying the cook and I've been here ever since.  I married him six months after I met him which was very crazy but twenty years later here we are and we've made a very good life together here. 

But there have been a lot of challenges in so many different ways and you will find that anywhere in life I think but I just happened to find it here.  I decided at some point along time ago to fish or cut bait and to pay attention to what I had.  I found it to be really wonderful.  But I did fall abruptly in love with the place and the person and really could tear myself away.  And even in the hardest of tiems I never ever wanted to leave here.  There's something about it that's magical as well as being very real and very difficult." 

Fish or Cut Bait.  I admire it in life and I admire it in my reading.  Tune in to KAXE this week for my conversations with Jim Proebstle and Ellen Airgood.  Or check the audio archives of Realgoodwords

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