I’ve got a new book publication date. Let’s hope it sticks.
“My Stories, All True,” my upcoming book about land conservationist J. David Bamberger, should be in my hands in four months. The official release date, according to my editors at Texas A&M University Press, is Sept. 22.
I should have been cradling my first copies by now, but, you know, coronavirus. The book is being printed in China.
Maybe I’m lucky. If the book had arrived in April as planned, I’d be stuck with a bunch of cartons of books and shuttered bookstores. I couldn’t hold a book signing or make the rounds with Bamberger, 92, to share some of his slightly tall tales.
I’m hoping that by September, bookstores will reopen, and it’ll be safe for Bamberger and me to hold a few book readings. We’ll see.
Bamberger grew up poor, became a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, went on to make a fortune as one of the founders of Church’s Fried Chicken, then tackled his life’s work – land conservation. He bought what he perceived to be the most worn-out, used-up piece of land in Blanco County and set to work removing invasive species and nurturing the land.
Today Selah, his more than 5,000-acre ranch south of Johnson City, serves as a lab for people who want to learn how to revive their own land. He holds seminars and gives tours, and students and scientists conduct research out of a new education center there.
I started working on the book about three years ago, when Bamberger would invite me to the ranch and recount stories from his life.
It’s been a long haul. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.