Library Story, News

Louis L’Amour Story – Louis L’Amour and My English Class

Bruce Berg

Bruce has taught in the Speech, and English departments at Rugby High School and Jamestown High School. He has taught in the Speech, English and Education departments at the University of Jamestown. He is a published author and frequent contributor to public radio programs.

Louis L’Amour and my English Class

IN 1972 LOUIS L’AMOUR CAME BACK TO JAMESTOWN TO BE HONORED BY JAMESTOWN COLLEGE. I WAS TOLD THAT HE WOULD BE AT THE LIBRARY IN THE LATE  MORNING SO I MADE QUICK PLANS TO TAKE MY 3RD PERIOD ENGLISH CLASS TO THE LIBRARY TO CHECK OUT HIS AGENDA.  NOT MUCH HAD BEEN SCHEDULED FOR HIM AND I FOUND HIM AVAILABLE TO SIT AT A TABLE WITH ME AND ENGAGE IN A BRIEF CHAT.

HIS WRITING SISTER EDNA L’AMOUR WALDO  WAS AT THE EAST END OF THE LIBRARY GIVING A TALK ABOUT HER WRITING.  I WAS CONSCIOUS OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO WRITERS AND HAD HEARD THAT LOUIS WAS NOT GENUFLECTED TO BY HIS SISTER. I HAD A PAPERBACK COPY OF L’AMOUR’S “SITKA” AND I ASKED HIM TO SIGN THE BOOK FOR ONE OF THE FEW AUTOGRAPHS I HAVE.  HE TOLD ME THAT THE LIBRARY WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO HIM DURING HIS JAMESTOWN DAYS, 1908-1923,AND HE THOUGHT HE’D READ EVERY BOOK IN THE ALFRED DICKEY LIBRARY.
I DON’T REMEMBER HOW MUCH EXPOSURE MY JAMESTOWN HIGH SCHOOL CLASS HAD WITH L’AMOUR THAT DAY IN 1972, BUT I KNOW HE WAS THE FAVORITE WRITER FOR A NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO READ LITTLE ELSE.
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