The Idea Behind Forgotten Visitors
Where did the theme for this book come from?
A while back, Yarko Kuk, Managing Editor of the University of Toledo Press, commented on one of my blog posts with the question, "Have you ever thought about writing a book?"
Man, was I intrigued. I had always wanted to write a book, but I kept getting tangled up in deciding what to write about. Sure, it would have to be a chronicle of local history since that's my passion, but what about the subject? There are so many interesting local history topics I'd love to explore. That's why I've always enjoyed blogging. It offers the flexibility to jump around and write about anything I happen to stumble on. I read a book, see an article, or spy a cool photo, and bam! I write a blog post. The real beauty is, I then move on to the next subject that catches my eye. A book is entirely different. Or is it?
After thinking about what to write about for a while, I remembered being stunned when I found out that Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson were both in Toledo for the Dempsey-Willard fight in 1919. I remembered asking myself, who else has visited Toledo, and the story was swept under the rug? It didn't take long to start a list and sketch out a timeline. Then I pitched the idea to Yarko. Thankfully, he was altogether on board and, in fact, discovered a few subjects for the book himself, once we agreed on the direction.
I enjoyed writing this book very much. Each chapter was its own exploration with exciting backstories and fascinating personalities, just like my blog posts. In the end, I became quite fond of a few of these visitors, and I am looking forward to learning more about their lives. I should also share that I have a notebook full of notes on many other visitors to the Maumee Valley that didn't make this first book. Stay tuned. Their stories are coming in Forgotten Visitors, Volume II.