About 16 years ago, some teachers from Fall Creek Elementary School in Fishers formed a book club. The women started meeting monthly in a member’s home to discuss the previous month’s assigned tome.
Because tastes vary, and so that everyone gets a chance to see her favorite genre featured, the club rotates who gets to choose the book. Generally, that falls to the month’s hostess. There are surprises. Sometimes a book is chosen that a member secretly thinks she will hate. Then she loves it! That’s a beauty of literature. (But of course the opposite can be true, as well.)
And so it goes every month for 16 years. The one thing the group has never resolved, however, is an official club name – even after a decade and a half.
So it was my special privilege Wednesday when visiting for the discussion of my second book, That Sweet Place: At Home in the Heartland, to be there when they named their club. I had simply asked them the name of it and they decided that by golly, it’s time to actually give it a name.
So they did! On the spot! I give you …
The Creek Readers Book Club.
The name seemed easy enough to settle on. Maybe they just needed a nudge. The Creek part comes from the women’s connection as either current or retired teachers at Fall Creek Elementary.
The group read my debut, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast, two summers ago. As for the first book finding these ladies, I have Mary Malone to thank. And Rita Smith. And I have Kay Marrero to thank for the second.
Mary is a friend from New Castle I’ve known for many years. A retired city councilwoman and director of ICAP Senior Services, Mary also served as one of The Courier-Times recipe contest judges through the years. Her best friend is Rita Smith – founder of The Creek Readers (tee hee, I’m now using their new name like it’s old hat).
Mary read my first book and recommended it to Rita. Rita, in turn suggested it for her book club. The ironic aspect is that since the club is full of Fishers teachers, and Brian spent 26 years in education with Hamilton Southeastern Schools, one would think it was Brian who was the Fishers connection.
Nope, that was Rita. But what’s also interesting is that he had many of the teachers’ kids in his buildings through the years. So that’s pretty neat.
Back to Wednesday night.
The meeting was at Mary Jo Moyer’s new Noblesville home and she prepared Mom’s Chili from the second book. She had never made chili like that, and some of the women mentioned they had never had pasta in theirs. Interesting, because “with macaroni” is the only way I grew up eating it. Then Brian’s mom always put spaghetti in hers.
Ellen King brought Old-Fashioned Macaroni Salad, from the second book, and Kay brought my friend Cheryl’s Mexican Dip from the first book. They filled in with even more snacks, as women are prone to do, finishing with a warm apple pie, ala’ mode.
They told me Hallmark should make movies based on my books. They are too kind and they don’t have a clue how much their interest and remarks mean coming from teachers (whom I love) and avid readers (more love). Attending a book-club discussion about a book I have written is truly an honor. It's ice cream on the pie, in fact.
My gratitude goes to all of you. Have fun reading the classic, Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier for your December read.
They’ll be watching the movie version when they get together for the discussion. And for their holiday exchange? Everyone is to bring a wrapped - wait for it - book. Of course.
Here's my friend Cheryl Bennett's Cheryl's Mexican Dip from my first novel.
Cheryl's Mexican Dip
1 lb. hot or mild sausage, to taste (Cheryl like it hot!)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup hot or mild salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown sausage and drain off the grease. Combine sour cream, salsa and cheddar cheese. Stir sour cream mixture in with sausage. Pour into baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with tortilla chips.