Spring Creek Chronicles (Vols. 1 & 2)
January 05, 2005
[$15] This isn't really a boating book. But then none of my offerings are easy to categorize. (That's the whole point. Reality isn't black'n'white...or a genre or a niche.)
The dedication of the book might give you a better idea: the author gives thanks to the Florida Game Wardens: without them busting him and taking away his commercial fishing license for two years he wouldn't've had the time to write the book.
...Or the raised pride, probably. Fishermen are always under fire, but getting busted for fishing sensibly as his family has done for generations must've really got his dander up.
The result is a fine collection of lively, punchy stories and artworks of the life of a Gulf Coast fishing family and community. It's candid, it's fiesty. It tells you the truth of today's coastal reality like you won't find elsewhere.
There's now a second volume in the series. If you want one, I have a few in stock. Just order as usual and make me a note---maybe best in all caps!---that you want the SECOND volume.
The Lovels---the author Leo and others in his family---run Spring Creek Restaurant on the Florida Gulf Coast an hour south of Tallahassee. They catch the fish they serve at the restaurant. (This is what several restaurants that I know of in a 100-mile stretch along the coast there do.)
I see that three different Lovels get credit on the book cover. It's a family affair.
(One thing that gets illuminated in a direct way in the book---and in other alternative media in the area---is that the biggest national swindle of all time is going down there at present. No national media coverage. Disney, under another name, is forcing firesales and buying up tons of the Panhandle coastland. And the condo-mansion people are legislating away the decent fisherfolk to grab all their beachfronts as they go under. It's the next big boom area and its glitz is going to make you shield your eyes like Vegas wished it could, even as the water will be the most polluted anywhere in the land.)
Leo mentions in one of his stories that a typical day for him starts at 4 a.m. It has fishing, cleaning, opening the restaurant, running it, closing down and cleaning up, and going to bed at 10 p.m. A sizeable day for an oldtimer like Leo, who's in his 60's, I figure, at least.
No publisher or book wholesaler has been interested in helping him sell his book. I'm not sure if many bookstores in the area carry it. However...he's sold *15000* copies in a few years himself. Mostly at gas stations and bait shops. He drives copies around himself and makes the displays look nice. He's a hustler. He believes in his story. All that work for one book. Too bad the book people aren't interested in it, it being a unique and popular book and all. (He says he sold *1000* copies thru the area Borders but that they refuse to stock it in the next area over.)
To me that shows a small bit of the disjunction between the corporate market and the real market. It's not that corporations couldn't sell independent art. They could sell tons of it. They simply don't want to: indy art makes corpo art look bad.
6x9, paperback, 240 pp. About 100 stories and 50 art sketches.
Here's a scan of the cover of volume 2: