June 29, 2004
Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast (Vintage Departures), by Mike Tidwell, is making an impact in northeast Louisiana. The book chronicles the condition of the disappearing Louisiana coastline. The author hopes to make public, in his own words, "The greatest untold story about the biggest calamity in the nation right now."
KEDM, 90.3 F.M., the public radio station housed at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, is offering some help in getting that story told. Every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. you can hear community volunteers read excerpts from the book. If you have missed previous Saturday morning readings on-the-air you can catch up in the listening room on the KEDM website at www.KEDM.org.
Co-owner of a local bookstore Windows a bookshop, Elisabeth Grant-Gibson, worked with KEDM to get the readings on the air. She said it is something that she wanted to do for this area for a long time.
Gibson said, "It's very great to hear these Louisiana voices reading this book aloud. We have men, women, and children reading aloud. Our youngest person reading is 10-year-old Anna MacMillan. She did a science project on this book. We have senior citizens reading as well."
"People from all walks of life have called and asked to read. It has not been hard at all to find people. It had been so successful that we have increased air-time of the readings from 30 minutes to one hour on Saturdays. Everyone sounds good and it has been received very well in the community. People come into Windows and comment on how good it sounds." said Gibson
Gisbon has spoken with the book's author and says he is thrilled about them reading the book. Once the it is completely read, a CD recording will be made available for certain libraries in the state.
"The book is fabulously well-written. I usually read fiction but this man is a story teller. He takes a vast amount of information and weaves it into a story about all of these different people and you hear about them and see how it is affecting these people and you are engaged. I picked it up very causally and I was hooked from page one," said Gibson.
Gibson said it is a great way for ULM and the university community to participate in a project together.
A number of people connected to the university including Bob Eisenstadt, Marsha McGhee, Bette Kauffman, Ann Smith, John Rettenmeyer, Sue Edmunds, Susan Allain, and Holly Casey are participating.
Elisabeth Grant-Gibson is the coordinator of the reading project and Mark Wilson is the engineer.