Thursday, November 13, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: James Whitcomb Riley

I've always loved James Whitcomb Riley. Hoosiers know him best. How many of us have climbed the hill at Crown Hill Cemetery to put pennies on his grave? Riley Children's Hospital in downtown Indianapolis is named after him, and has saved countless lives. After all, children loved him. Most of us know his famous line, "er the gobble-uns 'll git you ef you don't watch out!" His poems were always written in Hoosier dialect, which has really helped me be able to write books set in historic Indiana. So I was pretty excited when I found this book in my grandma's house. It belonged to my great-great grandfather, Elmer K. Oder.

The Hoosier Book of Riley Verse
On the inside of the book, just for us Hoosiers:
"There's ever a song, somewhere, my dear,"
sang Riley in his day;
And though he is gone his songs are here
To cheer you on your way.
This volume, we hope, will gain a place
Among your treasures rare,
And may you find in each page a trace
Of Hoosiers smiling there.
- William Herschell

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