J.F. Frana Book Signing
Jan 11, 2011
from 07:00 PM to 08:00 PM
|Where||Decorah Public Library|
|Contact Name||Kristin Torresdal|
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Decorah Public Library will host a book signing for author J.F. Frana of Spillville Tuesday January 11 at 7 p.m. Frana recently published two books: a memoir called “Trains Don’t Fly” and a novel titled “Of Today and Yesterdays.” The program will include a short presentation and reading, with books available for purchase afterward.
In “Trains Don’t Fly,” Frana, a retired train dispatcher, tells of his long career with the Milwaukee Railroad at various stations and division points both in the Midwest and the West (though he cautions that “the identity of the railroad and many of the locations mentioned in the book are thinly disguised in order to protect both the innocent and the guilty.”). The author recounts his time on the Milwaukee with both humor and pathos. Covering approximately 1953-1995, Frana’s stories range from working at branch line depots in the last days of steam power to working in the dispatchers’ office during the tumultuous last years of the Milwaukee’s operations. In between are accounts of the many personalities the author encountered and the many incidents which prevented life from ever being dull for a train dispatcher.
Frana’s novel “Of Today and Yesterdays” tells the story of four generations of a family that had its roots in Austria and the Czech Republic. Beginning with the life of a peasant, then a game keeper, to that of a settler and then to that of a large rancher in the new world. It tells of the creation of oneo f the largest firms on earth and its relationship with the United States at the time of the Civil War.
According to Frana, he wrote the book “To entertain the reader with romance and adventure while imparting knowledge of the customs of the times.” Speaking the language of the region and learning many of the customs described in the book directly from the older folks in Prague and Vienna give the book an authenticity that would not otherwise be possible.