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Book Captures 1950’s Tuolumne County

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First time book author Jo DeEds along with James Reveal have co-authored a fictional story that takes place in the very real Tuolumne County of the 1950s.

DeEds (also known as Joanne Knowles) was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Knowles, a long time resident of Columbia, was born in San Francisco and discovered the magic of the Sierra Nevada during her childhood. She attended Stanford University, San Jose State, and the University of San Francisco, garnering a BA, an MA, and some lifetime credentials.

James L. Reveal (also known as Jim Reveal) moved to Pinecrest as a child in 1947 and is now a retired professor of botany who spent thirty years at the University of Maryland and is now an adjunct professor at Cornell University. Reveal is the author of more than 500 scientific papers and books on systematic botany and botanical history.

Both Knowles and Reveal wanted to let others know what Tuolumne County and the Emigrant Basin Wilderness was really like during the 1950s. As they wrote several lists of various items that they wanted to share, they realized that all they really had was a large listing of people, places and things.

This was when they came up with the entertaining idea of creating a fictional story of a fourteen year old girl with a horse, who loves riding in the high country of the Sierra.

Interspersed in the book “Between The Icebox And The Stairs” are some very real people who were a part of Tuolumne County during the 1950s (complete with real names) along with real streets, buildings, schools, businesses and more.

Knowles has already heard from several local people who were pleased to see that either they or members of their family were named in the book.

When Elizabeth Knuchen, the over-protected daughter of middle-aged parents, purchases her first horse, just two months after her fourteenth birthday, she escapes on horseback, headlong into a new-found freedom of self-reliance, belonging and responsibility within a sub-culture of ” summer cowboys ” and seasoned packers guiding tourists, fishermen, and hunters into the Emigrant Basin Wilderness.

The book’s cover illustration was made by her Husband, western artist Chuck Knowles.

There will be a book signing featuring a large number of local book authors (including Knowles) at the Tuolumne County Library on April 25th.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45am.