On the Scene at the Book Launch in Napa

by Kate Farrell on January 1, 2014


Amber Lea Starfire, Osha Belle Hayden, Linda Joy Myers, Venus Ann Maher, Julie Ann Schrader

Sunday, December 15, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Napa BookMine
964 Pearl Street, Napa CA 94559 

Written by Patsy Ann Taylor

For me, the decades of the ’60s and ’70s stand out as a time of uncertainty. As a young wife and mother I was not sure if my parents and teachers had prepared me for the changes I saw happening all around me. Fear and excitement in equal measures surged through me as I followed TV news, read The Feminine Mystique and Cosmopolitan, and watched girls and younger women rebel, some of them, my friends. While I continued to keep house, plan meals, and care for my toddlers, I wondered what kind of world my children would inherit from the flower children.

I needn’t have worried. The generation grew up and joined the mainstream: a changed mainstream. What those younger women, and some of us older ones, did for the world is still happening. Women have accomplished so much from a groundswell of protest and active participation in politics.

These were some of the thoughts running through my mind as I entered BookMine, the venue for the Napa book launch of The Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s & ’70s. I wanted to hear the first-hand stories of some of those young women, experience through their voices what they had experienced.

Laughter and chatter and music filled the store. At once I was back in the day. Some of the women were wearing vintage clothes and jewelry pulled from the back of closets and drawers. All seemed to have reverted to their rebellion years.

Music by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other bands of the time played in the background as editors Amber Lea Starfire and Linda Joy Myers launched their anthology. I settled in for an afternoon of amazing histories of acid trips, abortion, women in “men’s” jobs, pot busts, and just plain teenage rebellion.

Presentations began with Julie Ann Schrader, who read “Earth’s Children,” followed by Ana Manwaring reading “Collage,” and then Linda Joy Myers with her piece, “The Baptist Girl.” Each author held a lively question and answer period after her turn at the podium.

Following a break, Julie Royce’s work, “Headed North on a Southern Highway,” was read by Amber Lea Starfire. Venus Maher read, “Tripping on High.” “A Clean Glass Ceiling,” by Osha Belle Hayden completed the author readings.

Linda Joy Myers closed the afternoon by reading the poem, “Who Wrote the Book of Love?” by Dianalee Velie.

After listening to the stories, the audience was invited to join the editors for the remainder of their Blog Tour, which offered followers an opportunity to win copies of the anthology.

I left the book store energized by the enthusiasm of those special women, women who dared to join a movement that changed the world. Indeed, The Times They Were A-Changing.

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