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Lyle Ernst presenting to an enthusiastic group, in an informational format of memoir and essay writing. The Cordova, Illinois Writer’s Group at their outstanding library facility.


Author, Mentor, Role Model and Literary Innovator

                                               Robert Wolf


In 1990, after founding Free River Press, Wolf began a program of writing workshops in Nashville for homeless men and women with the intent of publishing their writing. This led to workshops for farm families and other groups in the region that were eventually featured on CBS Sunday Morning and National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Taken from these workshops and beyond, the short stories, poems, and memoirs collected here are as diverse as daily life, offering an abundance of literary Americana focusing primarily on the latter part of the 20th century. Thomas Hart Benton's mural "America Today" (1932) served as a major influence on the book's structure; separate sections depict the homeless, the Midwest, the Mississippi River, and the Delta, with each section including a commentary by the editor. The order follows the chronology in which the works were developed. This is an oral history triumph, featuring the voices of the real folk who fight each day to survive their personal struggles. Highly recommended.ACynde Bloom Lahey, New Canaan Lib., CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

"River Days, Stories from the Mississippi" contains true life stories written by people who have spent their entire lives living along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River. Stories are written by Mississippi River pilots, towboat captains and commercial fisherman. Most of the stories take place on the Upper Mississippi River Valley near and in the towns of Lansing, Iowa and DeSoto, Wisconsin.

Two stories written by Lyle Ernst are included; "River Towns" includes real life stories, many of which include river people Lyle knows and has had contact with.  Lyle read his "River Towns" essay on Wisconsin Public Radio.

"Mike Valley, Life-Long River Rat," is the second entry in this book written by Lyle. Mike is not the type of person, after meeting him, you will soon forget.  His first love is fishing on the river. He does it for a living along with wood carving, sign painting and building cabine


Author Lyle Ernst Note:


 "I am proud to have had Robert Wolf as my mentor and inspiration. He is the reason I began to write, and he is the standard by which I guide my choices in my writing career. Thank you, Robert, "Bob" Wolf."

Make Hay While the Sun Shines follows the tradition of the Midwest anthologies with a fun, and often insightful, collection of stories by a wide range of talented authors. Animal stories abound, beginning with “Bird and Dolly,” the tale of a pair of sturdy workhorses, to “Bugsy the Traveling Cat,” about a feline’s unique mode of transportation. With “Switchboard Telephone Operators,” we get a firsthand account of early telephone service in small towns and the rural areas. Containing thirty-four stories by both new and returning authors, this latest volume is sure to have something to please all reading tastes.
 * Bird and Dolly" by Author Lyle Ernst

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