Oakland Lives Its History

The people of Oakland, Oregon, sauntered back in time this weekend to live their rich history during Living History Days, and I joined them with my books that delve into these early times.

Betty Tamm, Owner, Triple Oak Wine Vault
Triple Oak Wine Vault

Betty Tamm kindly invited me to set up my book signing table in her Triple Oak Wine Vault in downtown Oakland, a unique Tasting Room located in a renovated 1892 bank building. In the photo above she’s displaying the art of spinning, which many in our past have done.

Sign on Front Door

Not every tasting room has a bank vault for wine storage, complete with safety deposit boxes. And despite the sign on the front door you would not have found me back in the deep vault sipping wine. I believe the whole establishment counts as the vault.

I actually had a lovely table in the front of the room to set up my books.

My Oakland Living History Days Book Signing Table

Nancy Anderson and Diane Brown brought historic treasures–exquisite quilts, vintage clothing, old news stories, and more–to be displayed in the Tasting Room, so they joined me at my table and we shared some delightful conversation and a bit of delicious, decadent food.

Me, Nancy and Diane

Things seemed to be going quite well. A good crowd meandered through to taste some wine and check out our handiwork, many of them in costume in this town where history resonates through the streets and in every downtown building. So I gave little thought to the gentleman in hat and boots, a gun on his hip, until he stepped to the door with sudden alarm.

What are you doing out here, rebel boy?

Who knew the North and South would be at it again? But there it was on the historic streets of Oakland, yet one more battle brewing between the union and the confederates.

Johnny Reb is looking for a fight. Tension mounts.
The battle’s on. Blasts rake the ears. Smoke fills the air.
A yankee goes down.
After it’s done, it’s time for fun.

All in all, the weekend event was, as I promised, a rip-roaring good time.


Missouri Welcome

Returning to the Missouri roots of my Maupin ancestors, I enjoyed a friendly welcome at the River Reader Bookstore in Lexington, Missouri, last weekend. Proprietor Pat Worth arranged a reading and signing for me during my trip when I drove east with my daughter on her move to a new teaching job at Kansas City Art Institute.

But the welcome was much more than I expected.

Pat and her husband Gary had a big surprise for me. “Robbie Maupin and his friends are riding over here on horseback,” she said when we got there. She asked, “Do you know who Robbie is?”

Delighted, I smiled. “Yes, I know.”

One of our more colorful cousins, Robert “Robbie” Maupin is a Civil War era reenactor, well known in the area. Here he is with his wife Debra and another reenactor. And they were coming to my signing party.

Robbie’s in charge of a big Civil War reenactment of the Battle of Albany this October in Ray County, Missouri, depicting the death of local hero Capt. Bill Anderson in this Civil War battle. And he has another big reenactment of a bank robbery by Frank and Jesse James set for Outlaw Days in September.  I had considered attending the October event, but then this opportunity came up to drive east with my daughter in August. Now it looked as if I would get a chance to meet Robbie after all.

Word came that he was ten minutes away, so I went ahead with my reading, prepared at any moment to put the work down. I was especially happy to see a couple of people there who had done so much to help me with my Missouri research for this book—Jenne Sue Layman from Ray County and Glen Hill Jr. from Carroll County.

I completed the reading, and enjoyed some Q&A with the friendly group of listeners, before we all heard the excited announcement.

The riders had arrived.

Dressed in full Civil War era regalia—long hair, full beard, and all—Robbie strode into the store, hand extended to greet me.

After saying hello he asked if I would please sign his copy of my book, which I gladly agreed to do.

We Maupins take pride in the accomplishments of our cousins, whether close or shirttail.

I haven’t sorted out Robbie’s line yet to see where he fits on the family tree.

Outside, he introduced me to his horse Toby. The picture shows the beautiful Lafayette County Courthouse behind us.

Lafayette County is just south of Ray County where my great-great-grandfather Garrett Maupin grew up. Lexington borders the south bank of the Missouri River, which runs between the two counties.

Robbie and Toby pose to show off Robbie’s copy of my book, A Place of Her Own: The Legacy of Oregon Pioneer Martha Poindexter Maupin.

A company of riders had joined Robbie to visit our event, all decked out in authentic mid-1800s period dress, including a young boy. They attracted quite a crowd outside the River Reader Bookstore on Lexington’s Main Street. It’s a pretty town with a historic Southern feel. Just think away the cars and you could easily imagine yourself back in time.

Finally it’s time to put the book in the saddlebag and get ready to ride.

That’s proprietor Pat in the purple shirt looking on.

A tip of the hat and they’re on their way, having given me a delightful book event like none I’ve had before. A bit of the Maupin flair for sure. Martha and Garrett would have loved it. What a fun afternoon! And for the horse Toby’s efforts on this warm day, there’s ice cream waiting at the next stop. Toby loves ice cream cones. 🙂