WSCC kicks off author series with discussion on Stearns book.

October 5, 2015
Mike Nagle

Mike Nagle

VICTORY TOWNSHIP – West Shore Community College’s professor of history and political science Mike Nagle will open the college’s Business and Community Education program/Authors Series with two presentations later this week.

On Thursday, October 8, at 2 p.m., Nagle will present “Justus S. Stearns, a Research Project” for students, those enrolled in research-oriented course work, and others who might be interested in the steps involved in researching such a book. The program will be held in the college’s Center Stage Theater.

The same evening, Nagle will deliver a presentation titled “Justus S. Stearns, Ludington’s First Citizen” at 7 p.m. at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA).

Last month, Wayne State University Press released Nagle’s new book “Justus S. Stearns: Michigan Pine King and Kentucky Coal Baron, 1845 – 1933,” where he addresses key events in the first few decades of Stearns’s life and his initial foray into the lumber industry.

Subsequent chapters explore Stearns’s political career, his timber operations in Wisconsin, and his coal, lumber, and railroad operations in Kentucky and Tennessee.

American history scholars, as well as general readers interested in Michigan’s lumbering era and Kentucky’s mining history, will enjoy this biography of an exceptionally industrious and influential businessman.

Following each event, books will be available for sale and Nagle will be available for questions and to autograph books.

The book can also be ordered online in either hardback or e-book formats at

The second event in the series will feature Mary Ann Payne, M.A., and author of “Hadley: An Autism Journey.”

“Hadley” is a heart-warming story of the author’s daughter and the Payne family’s journey into the autism culture.

Payne will share what it is like to live with an individual on the autism spectrum, outline current definitions of autism, dispel myths, and review the controversy that exists regarding the cause and treatment of autism.

The program will be held on Thurs., October 15, at 7 p.m. at the LACA.

On November 12, 7 p.m., Sharon Bluhm, professor emeritus in the English and Communications Division, will present on her book, “Manierre Dawson: Inventions of the Mind” at the LACA.

Manierre Dawson was America’s first non-representational abstractionist and a 55-year resident and fruit farmer in Mason County.

From 1908-1940, Dawson kept a journal recording many aspects of local fruit farming and living in the early 1900s.  Bluhm’s presentation will highlight some of these recordings of early Mason County history.

The final event of the semester-long Author Series will take place on December 3, again at the LACA at 7 p.m.

Professor John Wolff will present his newly published book, “The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering the Zen in American Poetry.”

This volume is the first full-length collection of Sharma teachings based on the poems of some of America’s greatest writers.  He will provide an enlightening and enriching look at American poetry from an original perspective.

Wolff, who is a professor of humanities and chair of communications division, is a Zen priest and transmitted Dharma heir.

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