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  • Writer's pictureWayne E. Purcell


Updated: Aug 20, 2022

I was invited to do a Powerpoint presentation at the Mineral County History Museum in Hawthorne, Nevada. The museum helped me in the research for my book along the way so I was happy to do it. It was called "The Stories Behind the Story" and used photos to tell stories of how and why I wrote the book, the methods of research I used, and stories of things that happened along the way. I talked all around the story, and tried not to spoil it for any of the thirteen of us who were there.

There was one Paiute Indian from Schurz, in the Walker River Paiute Reservation. He had a story about Wovoka, the Indian Prophet or Dreamer, depending on how you view what he did. The manager and assistant at the museum were very excited about the event, and I was very grateful they set it all up. They had a newspaper reporter interview me on the phone and she put it on the first and third page of the local weekly newspaper. Photographer Doug Hammer was with me to help and we sold eleven books, ha, enough to pay for one of the tanks of gas to get there! All in all, it was very entertaining. I'll be doing the same program in Yucaipa November 5, and later on at the Mono Basin History Museum. I love the Eastern Sierra, so any excuse to go there works for me!

The next day, we set up a vendor booth at the Friends of Bodie Day in Bodie, at 8300 feet. They asked me to dress up in vintage clothing so I pulled out some of my Mountain Man era things and did my best. The weather was very pleasant and you couldn't beat the environment. We were surrounded by 1800's mining ghost town buildings. The lady next to us was selling goat-milk candles, that came in many different scents, so when the breeze was blowing the right direction, it was delicious. The man on the other side was from Hollywood and an expert in Western films, especially those shot in Bodie. And behind us was the morgue, full of dusty caskets, kind of spooky!

We met a lot of fascinating people and enjoyed the events of the day, people dressed in period clothing, the parade, music, etc. One man had been working on a song about Ah Quong Tai and teh event my book features. And I met the lady ranger who had been assigned by the California State Parks to read and approve (or reject) it for stocking in their visitor's center there in Bodie. I hope I made a good impression!

Bodie Friends of Bodie Day- High Pressure Salesman! Ha! The building behind my booth was the morgue, full of dusty caskets! Many people there were dressed in period clothing, which made it fun!

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