- Local Guide
ST. MARYS — A local author and columnist recently released the second volume in his five-part series collection.
The Evening Leader Columnist John Andreoni released volume two of his series “Going Wild With Forda Birds.” The series encompasses a collection of Andreoni’s outdoor columns, which he started writing more than 40 years ago. Each column included in the collection is preceded by Andreoni’s present thoughts on the issue addressed.
“I’m going back and taking what I think are the most significant newspaper columns over those 10 years and then prefacing them up-to-date,” Andreoni said. “ I think it’s a heck of a historical account as to what has happened around here and in the outdoors environment.”
The books, he said, serve as a record of the town’s history.
“I wanted to make a record so it’s around,” Andreoni said. “A small town like this should have that.”
Each volume is defined by a decade of time. Volume one covered 1969-79 and volume two covers 1980-89. Andreoni said he is currently working on the third volume of the series and hopes to continue writing the books until he reaches the fifth volume.
“I’m working on the 90s now which will probably come out in the spring or summer,” he said. “Now I’m in the fifth one (decade of writing) but I have to survive and get through that one because I don’t have the material for that yet.”
The process of creating his books starts with Andreoni reading through his old columns.
“I have all the columns on file,” he said. “So I simply go through the years and read through them again and I figure out what was significant. There’s stuff that people have forgotten.”
Andreoni’s columns featured in the second volume cover a slew of topics.
“Hunting and fishing and the environment and how it’s changed over the years and how people look at it differently, how people used and abused the land and how it was accepted and now it’s not,” Andreoni said of the issues he wrote about.
He noted that he also wrote about Grand Lake St. Marys and the treatment of the lake.
“I wrote about the possible consequences of mistreating the environment, but the majority of people never really comprehended it,” Andreoni wrote on the back of “Going Wild with Forda Birds Volume Two.” “Consequently, as I was writing this volume, I had to suffer through the long, hot summer when the lake turned into a cesspool. It had to happen. Scientists knew it was only a matter of time before the lake became a disaster area.”
Andreoni said his experience writing the books has been interesting.
“I’m a cause and effect kind of guy, and it’s interesting to see these things have happened and how the effects have changed over the years,” he said.
Andreoni said his books can offer people perspective on what has happened in the past in hopes that the same mistakes are not made repeatedly.
“If you don’t read history, you’re destined to make the same mistakes,” he said. “You’ve heard that thing. That’s exactly what this is.”
Andreoni’s books are available for $14.95 plus shipping costs on FordaBirds.com, where more information on Andreoni and his blog can also be found. Andreoni also encourages those interested in the outdoors to “Like” the “Forda Birds” page on Facebook.