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Noted author re-visits Jazz & Blues Festival

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Carson and Connie Ode will be at The Gathering Place in Cherokee Saturday for a book signing as well as to attend the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival. Photos contributed
Ode book signing Saturday at The Gathering Place

A highly-skilled Des Moines author, who in 2012 published a brilliant coffee table book entitled, "Celebrate Iowa," an entertaining tour of 103 fesitvals and events, will be in Cherokee Saturday to re-visit the annual Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival and hold a special book signing beginning at noon in The Gathering Place during the Festival's popular Jam Session there.

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Carson Ode, who in 2009 published his first book, "Iowa - Spaces, Places, Faces" that featured unique highlights and history of all 99 Iowa counties, first learned about the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival while researching Cherokee County for that first book.

Duly impressed with the Festival after researching and attending the 2011 event here, Ode's superb and comprehensive story of our Festival and his 26 colorful photos accompanying it is the lead story in the high-quality, hard-cover book, a must read for every Iowan near and far.

According to Ode, who produced both books with his wife Connie's capable assistance and professional expertise, his challenge is in getting the word out about the style and substance of both books that serve strictly as a celebration of Iowa, its people, and what they together offer.

Both books are available for sale at the Book Vine in Cherokee, or online at carsonode.com.

"From its beautiful sounding name, to the beauty of the Little Sioux River Valley and Cherokee's downtown, Cherokee County if one of my favorite places in Iowa," said Ode in a recent telephone interview.

"Right away, I detected a spirit of community there and I'm sure that must be very satisfying to you who live there. It's obvious there are caring people and a vibrancy in the community.

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"I was heartened by the spirit. That's one thing I love about Iowa and its small towns and its people. In my travels I've found out Iowa is a beautiful state and the people are absolutely great. You meet a few grumps, but they're quickly overshadowed by the wonderful people among us."

Ode's first trip to Cherokee in 2008 occurred when he stayed at The Grainery while touring all 99 counties researching his first book, "Iowa - Places, Spaces, Faces."

A unique, rural bed and breakfast facility consisting of an old farm grainary restored inro attractive living and entertainment spaces adorned with agricultural antiques and signage, The Grainery, and owner-proprietor Duane Mummert, were featured in Ode's first book, which led to Ode's interest in the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival.

Ode utilizes each community's library for local research to help accurately enhance his writing, and to point out the history and uniqueness of each community and county involved.

He's also in the process of visiting or contacting all Iowa schools to try to get a copy of his books in their libraries for their significant resource value that help tell Iowa's history and highlight unique cultrural and societal events.

Ode said he looks forward to re-visiting Cherokee this weekend to reconnect with Jim Adamson, one of the Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival organizers he met in 2011 and continues to communicate with, gracious host Mummert, "and the wonderful people of Cherokee County."

Let's don't disappoint him.

Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. The Gathering Place. "Celebrate Iowa," an entertaining tour of 103 festivals and events; "Iowa - Spaces, Places, Faces," a unique look into the history and offerings of all 99 Iowa counties.

Two exceptional works with great, local flavor that would make superb year-around gifts for that hard-to-buy-for person. Learn about Iowa, learn about your neighbors, learn more about our unique state attractions.

Signed by the author who's primary goal is to promote our state and its people.



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