Two men stand silhouetted against an sublime sunset, scholars perhaps, contemplating their place in the cosmos. Such is the cover image,suggested by author Scott Abbott, by 19th -century German Romantic landscape painter, Caspar David Friedrich. Friedrich’s paintings characteristically set a human presence in perspective in expansive landscapes, reducing the figures to a scale that, according to the art historian Christopher John Murray, directs “the viewer’s gaze towards their metaphysical dimension.” A smart, appropriate and elegant cover for a smart and elegant book . And then, of course, a mountain bike ran over it. (see it here)
The best thing about publishing has been the people we meet. Scott Abbott and Sam Rushforth are smart, passionate, highly educated men. Not to mention strong enough to conquer mountain bike trails that put younger men to shame. Last night they opened Wild Rides and Wildflowers at the incomparable The King’s English Bookstore in Salt Lake to a standing room only crowd. Before the reading we grabbed dinner next door to the store with Scott and Sam and the women they dedicated the book to, Lyn and Nancy. Sam and Nancy have just retired from Utah Valley University while Scott and Lyn continue their stint there a while longer. Dinner conversation ranged from publishing to how death and dying is taught and covered in the humanities. You should have been there.
Next door, as Scott and Sam elegantly took us through the book, alternately making us laugh and cry, I was hit by one of those moments of clarity where I was glad to be a publisher and proud that we had a part in making this work see the light of day. These men are full of heart and love. The proof is in their lives. No fewer than three of their sons came up to Kirsten afterwords thanking her for publishing their dad’s work. I think she was feeling pretty happy too.