THIS LIFE is now shipping

Hi everyone,

I keep forgetting to remind visitors how to order my autobiography, now that it’s in print and being shipped. Here’s the link at Ozarks Studies Institute, affiliated with the Duane Meyer Library on the Missouri State University campus. If you’re waiting for the second printing — the one by Ingram, which will be on a different paper stock and have a dust flap — we still hope to hear from the printer soon with delivery date in the next month or two. I’ll keep you updated.

My thanks to you who have already purchased copies. I appreciate you kind comments. Thanks, Nathan Papes, News-Leader, for another swell picture.

Looking for Authors of What I’ve Learned So Far

Hi everyone,

The date is set. On the evening of August 11, 2023, Foundation for Springfield Public Schools will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the book, WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR.

This was one of my all-time favorite projects. With the full support of our public school system, I formed a committee of more than fifteen teachers and we asked the district’s 24,000 students Prek-12 and 2,400 staff members to finish the prompt, “What I’ve learned so far is…

More than 12,000 students and staff responded. My committee and I pared the contributions down to 1,100. After students illustrated the book, I had it printed in Cassville, Missouri, got it copyrighted, registered it with the Library of Congress, obtained an ISBN number, and we started selling our masterpiece. It was by every measurement a runaway success.

I’ll tell you more about the book and how we marketed and celebrated it when we get closer to the upcoming event. I will mention now that I quoted from the book in commencement speeches at Missouri State University and Drury University. I called the talk, “Never Go Camping with One Pack of Hotdogs.” You can read it on my website at . Go to VISITS and click on the picture of me speaking.

For now the focus is on finding authors and illustrators of the original book. The youngest author, 4-years-old then, will turn 34 next year. The oldest, then, was 18. Between now and August we want to reach as many as possible of those 1,100 contributors to WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR and invite them to the party to celebrate their achievement. If you are one of them, or know someone who was, it’s not too soon to make plans to attend. It promises to be a milestone event!

Words and Pictures Exhibition moves to Meyer Library

Hi everyone,

I’m pleased to pass along the news, announced by both Ozark Literacy Council and MSU, that the RANDY BACON exhibition, created in partnership with OLC, will soon be on display in the Duane G. Meyer Library on the MSU campus. Here are a few portraits from the collection.

Join the MSU Libraries for an opening reception of the exhibit, "Words and Pictures – The Power of Literacy through Portraits and Stories,” presented by Ozarks Literacy Council and Arvest Bank.

"Words and Pictures"
Opening Reception and Exhibit
4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11
Room 107, Duane G. Meyer Library

This portrait art exhibition features 21 beautiful, large-scale black and white portraits by Randy Bacon with corresponding heartfelt stories of the power of literacy to inspire, entertain and motivate. The exhibit will be displayed on the first and second floors of Meyer Library through Dec. 16

Amy Jo Jardell MA

Executive Director

Planning for April and cleaning my workspace

Hi everyone,

Yesterday morning (virtually of course) I read RUM PUM PUM to all the 1st grade classes at Rountree Elementary School in Springfield. They were good kids and asked intelligent questions.

I managed to edit my 2,400 word article down to slightly under 2,000 words. I hope to send it off to the editor by week’s end.

Plans for celebrating National Poetry Week continue to take shape. On April 6 I’ll do a virtual school visit to one or more schools in Columbia, Missouri as part of the Unbound Book Festival.

A virtual poetry reading hosted by Pagination Bookshop is now set for April 13 at 6:00 p.m. CST. The four readers will be Marcus Cafagna and Sara Burge (poets and professors from Missouri State University) Karen Craigo (journalist, editor and general manager of The Marshfield Mail, and current Missouri State Poet Laureate), and me.

Marcus and I will be presenting on KSMU in Springfield, time and date to be arranged. Springfield News-Leader is exploring story possibilities.

A program for Springfield-Greene County’s summer reading program is finished. It will be a 2-part event that won’t take place until June 2 and 3 at 10:00 a.m. I’m happy about progress so far.

As for today, I have a virtual doctor’s appointment, a phone chat with a colleague at Drury University to explore an idea that might involve me. Otherwise I hope to do some seriously needed decluttering around my work space.

Harrison papers

Hi everyone,

Off and on for over the past few weeks I’ve been poking around in the basement, garage, and filing cabinets, gathering manuscripts and correspondence regarding published work to place on loan at Myer Library’s archival collection at Missouri State University.

I’ve done this in the past. On the first occasion I had several boxes of manuscripts and correspondence appraised, took my tax write-off for the donation, and gave them to Ophelia Gilbert for her archival collection at James C. Kirkpatrick Library on the campus of Central Missouri University in Warrensburg, Missouri. By the next time I felt ready, Congress had changed the law about authors donating their papers. My work was worth the cost of the paper it was printed on. Needless to say, I placed that part of my work on loan rather than make an outright gift. Still waiting for Congress to decide that an author’s papers are worth something. What I’ve given or loaned to Kirkpatrick is available to students or other interested parties in 35 boxes plus some folders. They’ve done a very nice job of sorting and arranging for users’ convenience.

This time I’ve decided to place my papers on loan to Myer Library. It is here in Springfield and will be easier for me to access if for some reason I might want to look up something in the future. I’m working on an agreement to leave these papers on loan for a long enough period of time to protect the library’s investment of work, time, and knowledge in displaying and protecting the papers, after which my family could reclaim all or part of the work if it should suit them to do so. My opinion is that the papers are much better off in a library than stuffed in boxes in my basement.