Respite from the flood found in book events

The following is a guest post from UPM author Melody Golding.

First, I would sincerely like to thank everyone for their support of my new book Panther Tract: Wild Boar Hunting in the Mississippi Delta, just released by University Press of Mississippi. There have been eight fantastic events so far and there will be more scheduled to look forward to. At each book event, I bring a wild boar head - bamboo to recreate atmosphere, along with ten large prints from the book, and an action packed DVD of actual hunts taken at Panther Tract.

I have invited all of the people who are featured in the book to come and sign on their story or photo and to wear their camo or hunt clothes - dressed as they would for a hunt. We have had a wonderful time and the events have morphed into so much more than just a "book signing". They truly are "events.” My group of hunting and book signing buddies has now affectionately become known as my "Panther Tract Posse".

All of the book events have been great fun for us, for the book stores and also for the people who come get their special autographed copy. The group is on a roll now with toasts being given to the book, to the people in the book, to their story, photograph or both, and a toast to those people who just want to be in the book! We've taken the camaraderie from the field to the store.

On another note, our event at McCormick's in Greenville last week would be considered a smashing success. However, in spite of all the fun the mood was somewhat subdued with an undercurrent of anxiousness and fear of the unknown with many present dealing with this epic flood, me included. After much thought as to whether we should cancel the event we, the Panther Tract Posse, collectively decided to go ahead as scheduled. At the end of the day, the diversion of the Panther Tract event was regarded by all to be a good thing.

Howard Brent, owner of Panther Tract, with Gov. Barbour
This flood has already reached historic levels and tests anyone and everyone in its path. Panther Tract - the place - is now under water. Because a flood like this is somewhat predictable many have evacuated their homes and farms, and so much is already under water.

We are all praying that the levees will hold as they have never been tested like this before. This high water is unprecedented and we are living in history. The river is like a great savage beast headed our way with people scrambling and waiting for its arrival. Towns all along the river have been bracing for the worst and hoping to be spared from its merciless power.

Here in Vicksburg, my home is fine and my family is fine. However, the physical office of my family's business is completely surrounded by the mighty Mississippi River now and looks like a little tiny speck floating all alone out there in the midst of the swirling muddy water that is rushing rapidly downstream.

We evacuated the offices a week and a half ago and are now relocated just above the old location and safe from the rising tide. We realize that, though tested by nature, we are truly blessed and thankful for our family, our health, good friends and God's mercy.

Let us all be ever mindful of those who are adversely affected by the rising waters of the Mighty Mississippi and who may lose their homes, pets or livelihood. The river and its tributaries are a very complex and powerful system combined with lock systems and the back waters. The Mississippi River is a masterpiece of Mother Nature. It has become the Corps of Engineer's nightmare. And we are caught in the middle...