Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Read Several Days Ago: "The Third Coast" by Ted McClelland

Read Several Days Ago: The Third Coast: sailors, strippers, fisherman, folksingers, long-haired Ojibway painters, and God-save-the-Queen monarchists by Ted McClelland, 2008, 9781556527210.

Boil it down: travel columns and feature columns based on the Great Lakes and stuck in a book.

McClelland grew up in Michigan and works in Chicago and has a fascination with the Great Lakes (GL). McClelland provides some numbers to show how important the GL are to commerce and history and huge population along the shoreline. McClelland takes summer off from work and drives the circumference of the lakes. Some people he meets by plan and others by chance.

1. An interesting book and McClelland's stories and writing made me want to visit several of the places he went to.
2. McClelland's real fascination and unfulfilled focus is shipping. He starts the book with a story about a ship in Chicago and hangs out with sailors from Poland and other countries. He catches a ride on a boat that services GL shipping. He takes a fishing trip on Superior. But, McClelland never catches a ride on a tanker of cargo ship. I don't know why, or at least I don't remember him saying why.
3. This guy might be good to invite up to speak at the library. Depending on cost.
4. The subtitle is misleading. There is very little stripper action. McClelland acts like I would at a trip club: Hands to self! Avoid the GERMS! Avoid all conversation! Do not look anyone in the eye!
5. Interesting comments on the differences and similarities between Canadians and Northern US versus Northern US versus Southern US. McClelland sees more similarities between people of Ontario and Wisconsin than he does Wisconsin and Alabama. Reference to Confederates in the Attic which I have still not read.
6. The trip was made in 2006. Lots of political commentary and discussion with Canadians over issues like the clusterfuck in Iraq and George Bush.
7. Was it McClelland who made a comment about the oversized patriotism of an American in another country? Or did I recently read that elsewhere?

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