Monday, August 8, 2011

Michigander Monday: Doc Fletcher

I'm pleased to welcome Doc Fletcher to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Doc, tell us a little about yourself.

Doc:  I was born in Detroit, graduated H.S. in Temperance MI, and earned my Bachelor's in Business Administration at EMU. Maggie and I were married along the banks of the Huron River where it flows through Riverside Park in Ypsilanti (you can see that my affinity for rivers has been around for awhile).

DebbieAnd, of course, we want to know all about your books!

DocI've had 3 books published by Arbutus Press (1) Weekend Canoeing in Michigan, (2) Michigan Rivers Less Paddled, and (3) Canoeing and Kayaking Wisconsin. These 3 books are based on 62 river trips that I've taken in MI and WI between 2007 - 2010.

Each river gets its own chapter which consists of 3 parts: (1) the outline of a day trip down the river, usually 2-4 hours; I assign a degree of difficulty to the day trip based on the experience level required to paddle the river; the trip is measured in minutes and miles from starting point to end point; minutes and miles are also noted from start to various landmarks along the way to let you know how you're progressing against the trip's total time, (2) history of a nearby riverside town; in the case of the two MI books, the "Town" section begins by telling you where to turn the dial to find the local Detroit Tiger radio affiliate so that you can listen to the Boys of Summer while paddling rivers far from home and (3) each chapter concludes by directing you to an old time tavern in the town, a place where you can relax with food and drink after your day on the water.

My books are available at bookstores across MI and WI, from small town independents to chain stores, as well as at dotcoms including my website

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

DocSo Many Michigan Rivers, So Little Paddling Time will be released in December of this year with the same rivers-towns-taverns format as the first 3 books.

DebbieUpcoming appearances?

Doc:  Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7PM at the Woodmere Library in Traverse City

Thursday, September 29, 7PM at the Alpena County Library in Alpena MI

Tuesday, October 18, noon at the Mott Community College Library in Flint MI

Tuesday, November 1, 6PM at the Hackley Library in Muskegon MI

New dates are added to my website "Calendar" section as they are scheduled.

At each of these appearances (free to attendees) I present an hour-long photographic journey down selected rivers from my books, kind of a virtual tour on dry land. Afterward, we hold a drawing (entering is free) where one winner receives a canoe/kayak livery gift certificate good for a day trip down a Michigan river. For those interested, I sign and sell copies of my books.

DebbieFavorite Michigan bookstore? Favorite Michigan library?

Doc:  Among many great bookstores, my current favorite is Black River Books in South Haven.

My favorite library is the Sandburg Library in Livonia run by a dear friend, Ms. Toni LaPorte.

DebbieHow about a favorite place in Michigan?

DocMy Northville home 'cause that's where Maggie is.

Debbie:  That's probably the sweetest answer ever to that question!  :)  How about a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Doc:  Paddling rivers in the high water speed of Spring or during the gorgeous color season of Fall is always special....

Crossing the Big Mac into the U.P. is good for the soul each and every time it happens...

The Quiet Water Symposium, held each year the first Saturday of March, is a wonderful opportunity each year to connect with fellow passionate paddlers and get your mind into the rivers...

and, of course, the Opening Day of the Detroit Tigers, our fantastic harbinger of Spring.

DebbieA few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

DocGloria Miller is an 85-year young kayaker and conservationist, President of Friends of the Looking Glass, a gorgeous river near Lansing. Gloria paddled all 225 miles of the 13-day "Grand Expedition" in 2010, an amazing person and an inspiration to all who meet her.  [Ed. Note:  Articles about Gloria Miller available here and here.)

Debbie:  She sounds like a remarkable woman!

Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

DocRead one of John Voelker's, aka Robert Traver's, books and fall in love with Northern MI, especially the U.P.  Take the time to paddle the Fox, the Pere Marquette, the Carp, or canoe the Two Hearted River right into Lake Superior, and you will come back again and again to this beautiful state.

Debbie:  Final question:  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?

Doc:  I use both names, but Michigander more often.

Debbie:  We'll add you to the "Mostly Michigander" column!  Doc Fletcher, thank you so much for being here today!

To learn more about Doc Fletcher and his books, visit his web site.  And then jump in your canoe and enjoy one of Michigan's many wonderful rivers!

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