Archive for Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Author prompts return to column

March 29, 2000

I got an e-mail from Darryl Brock last week regarding a story I wrote about Luther Taylor and Brock's soon-to-be released novel about Taylor, "Havana Heat." He complimented my writing ability, and said I should be given a column immediately.

That just so happened to be a week that I didn't write my weekly column, and I haven't since. It's a habit that was easy to break. But I'll try to return to the weekly pace.

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  • Before I even asked him, I knew why Darryl Brock wrote a book on "Dummy" Taylor because that is what it took.

I spent part of three days researching Taylor which was not nearly enough time and could have written so much more than I did for the March 15 paper.

I took a mental paring knife to the information in front of me and tried not to cut out too much flesh. I know I failed in some instances.

Brock, on the other hand, succeeds in "Havana Heat," a fact-based novel about Taylor, who lived in Baldwin during the off-season of his professional baseball career.

The California author and self-described "certifiable baseball nut" deserves the credit for bringing Taylor back to Baldwin a history close to being forgotten, apparently.

His research sought out every fact and historical account he could find on Taylor and the era of baseball he played in. His research led him to Baldwin, where even local historian Katharine Kelley had little information.

But Kelley did some research of her own and provided Brock with information not covered by early 1900 sporting magazines. And when Brock made a one-day trip to Baldwin, she took him on a historic tour of the area.

Brock was a good student and made several references to vintage Baldwin locations and events, including: the Vinland fair, Palmyra, the former Kansas School for the Deaf, Baker University, and the brick streets of town.

Brock tells a story worth reading even if you are not a baseball fan.

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  • Emily, who is 20 months old now, is the most frequented subject of my column. I usually feel like I'm serving leftovers. But there are those of you who have missed your weekly dose of her accomplishments and antics.

I brought her to Baker University Saturday to take a picture of her in her Easter dress. However, she wasn't in a ruffles or lace sort of mood. She was much more interested in the stream on campus, and by the time we left, had skinned-up knees and dirt in her fingernails. The grandmas will just have to understand.

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