I heard about your latest book through the article by Diane Montz in the Ironwood Daily Globe and would like to receive a copy of A Tree Grows in Trout Creek. I’d also like a copy of The Wishing Years; please send details. A few facts from the “It’s a small world” tradition. My wife’s paternal grandparents farmed in Trout Creek about two miles west of town in the twenties. My sister was born in Stambaugh and I was born in Beechwood. The log cabin on this farm was later donated to the Iron County Museum in the early 1970’s by Art Ranta the last owner. My mother graduated from Iron River High School. I expect that reading your book I will find many more “It’s a small world” facts. Ron Wilson, Ironwood, MI

I can’t wait to get your second book. I have read and re-read The Wishing Years. I am amazed at the way you described my grandmother’s house and also my Aunt Nancy. I felt like I was back there again. (Please send me a book and one to my mother.) Thank you! Laura Mincheff, Green Bay, WI

It took a while for it to occur to me to have your book sent to my sister who used to play with your brothers Jim and Jerry when she and my parents were in Iron River to visit my grandparents. When I emailed her to tell her I would order a copy for her, she was delighted. She has my mother’s copy of your first book. It’s fun for us to connect with good memories from our childhoods in Iron River. She will have as much fun as I reading the book. Thanks! Judy Reed, Iron River

I loved your book!! I can relate to so many things—Indian cemetery, your photos of the 50’s & 40’s and on and on!! Again, I loved your book!
Marie Colombo, Traverse City, MI

I received your book A Tree Grows in Trout Creek. I’m sure enjoying it!! I’m enclosing a check for another book to be autographed and sent to my brother and sister-in-law who live in Rio Vista, Calif now, but who were both raised in Caspian and Stambaugh area. They will surely enjoy reading it. I spent a week with them in Calif last week and I think it would be a nice Thank You gift to them!
Eileen Dean, Ocala, FL

Just to let you know I really enjoyed the story, “Morning Glory” and “The Best Ice Cram Cone Ever” in your book A Tree Grows in Trout Creek. I also have the book The Wishing Years. The rest of the stories were also very good! I picked the book up and the first night I read it 3/4 through and the following night I finished it. Now, no other author has kept me glued to a book that long! Your book is wonderful!
Marion Giddings, Jackson, WI

I just got off the phone with my sister Susan, who was a friend of your sister Connie. I was telling her about your books and how much I am enjoying them. I thought I would have you send them to her for her birthday! Your pages bring back so many good memories for me. I do not want them to end! Paulette is also enjoying hers. She skipped right to the Perfect Theater chapter – she worked there in high school!
Gladys Kochinsky Martin, Hudson, OH

Hi Coralie: Finished your book last week, and I must say, I REALLY enjoyed reading it. All the stories made me laugh because it reminded me of MY youth growing up in Caspian. I especially liked the story of you trying to get to the Big Dock. I remember when Loretta and I first swam to the First Log. We nearly died getting there too. I remember eyeballing the big Dock and saying to Loretta, “One day, pal, you and I will be sun bathing on that dock with the rest of the “big shots!” And eventually we did make it. I think we sat on that dock for about 3 hours because we knew it was a long way back to shore!

I loved the potato patch story. I could just see you and your brother yelling and throwing those seeds in the ground! Ha!! Loved the Pearl Senical story. How I remember making an apron in her class that had all knots in it and barely hung together.

So, as I read each story, I took a walk through my own childhood and it made me smile. I loved it!!!! Thanks for the memories, kiddo!! I really loved reading the book. What a talent you have, Coralie. Good for you!!
Carole Stewart, Chicago, IL

I enjoyed your first book The Wishing Years, but even more so A Tree Grows in Trout Creek! Growing up 5 miles east of Negaunee, between Marquette and Negaunee on the old U.S.41, a lot of your experiences are about the same as mine. As you can see by the picture (photo is of Judy and four friends at Fortune Lake Bible Camp in 1956) I am sending, this book took me back to 1956. Keep your books coming! Thanks!
Judy (Granlund) Daft, Clinton, MI

I enjoyed your book very much! Could not put it down! It is very interesting and it brought back many old times. Also happy to read about your Mom. She was such a lovely person and always had a kind word I can just still see her singing and she was so active in our Guild and the Daughters Of Isabella. I’m ready to get the next one you put out. Thank you for some hours of enjoyment! Mary Jacobson, Iron River, MI

Thank you for A Tree Grows in Trout Creek. It takes me back to my younger days. You’re not going to believe this. I was reading about your ice cream cone and the lucky 1944 penny when my wife said she was ready to go uptown. I put your book down, stood up and checked the coins in my pocket. There was a wheat 1944 penny. Now tell me how often you can find a wheat 1944 penny any more. I said, “Penny, I know where you’re going.” This is your penny, the one you gave away a long time ago! Stan Mastie, Tecumseh, MI

The Upper Peninsula—God’s Country! The Wishing Years was given to me by Lowell Lepisto many moons ago. It brought tears to my eyes. Ah, so many memories—how safe we were—no one locked their doors—we could run free, surrounded by so much love.

You wrote: Dear Joanne, “So great to hear from you! I remember you playing a pirate for a Thespian play. Was it Captain Hook? You came to the grade school! I was entralled!!!”

OH!!! I forgot that one! I was Captain Hook and I remember Jeanne LaBelle telling me, “How could someone so beautiful look so ugly.” That was Miss Duncan’s (our English teacher) art work on me. Denise Frighetto played Peter Pan—I wanted that part, but Miss Dunham said you are TOO TALL AND YOU WILL MAKE A TERRIFIC CAPTAIN HOOK!!! So Captain Hook I was. It was a big hit and if I remember correctly we played all over. DA YOOPERS loved us! Joanne Coffin Ilkin, Hayward, CA

Your book, A Tree Grows in Trout Creek, arrived today. I opened the package about 12:15, was engrossed in the book all afternoon and finished it at 6:30 p.m. I loved it!!
It really was fun to read about your experiences and to realize how alike our lives were! I shed a few tears over Bippo, having had a similar experience. I grew up with my Swedish side of the family and my Irish side. My mother played the piano beautifully. My grandpa and his brother, Uncle Frank, were in Vaudeville. Grandpa used to play the fiddle and dance the Irish Jig at the same time to the tune of “The Irish Washerwoman.” My dad kept the Swede side of the family going, so I grew up with spritz cookies, Kalve Silta (jellied veal) and lutefisk.

Roselyn and I were so much like you and Gail. We also would pretend to be cowgirls and both of us wanted to be Dale Evans, so we invented a twin sister for her named Deal Evans. Roselyn would be Dale one day and I’d be Dale the next. Hadn’t thought of that in years! We used to go Trick or Treating together and we’d dress up in majorette costumes (she had 2 of them).
Wonderful memories!
Mary Ann Reed, Las Vegas, NV

I like the site and it seems like a neat way of keeping “in touch” with the Stambaugh/IR “kids” of that era. I think your book is going to bring a lot of people together again after a lot of years. So “A Tree Grows in Trout Creek” will be accomplishing much more than being “just a book.” It’s an experience! I’m anxious to see the final product.
Arlene Mellstrom Shovald, Salida, CO

I’ve been sitting here all morning absorbed in The Wishing Years. What a great book you have written, pal. So much parallels something in my life. I am 80 years old now and lived through WWII times as an active participant, but I summered in Grand Marais and the U.P. from early childhood. Mom and Dad shared Menominee, MI stories (& Escanaba) for they both grew up there. I love your chapter title “Lullaby of the Loon”—I have heard a thousand sing!
Maybelle Kahle, Grand Marais, MI

I wanted to let you know I enjoyed your book tremendously. Even though our childhoods were as different as day and night, we still have some of the same U.P. memories. I, too, had my favorite rock on which to look up at the sky and dream. As we get older, we seem to appreciate our roots and hometown and mostly our childhood friends. Thanks for the memories.
Betty Lou McArthur, Crystal Falls, MI.

Enjoyed Coralie’s Book:
Letter to the Editor, The Iron River Reporter:
I just finished reading 301 pages of Iron River-Stambaugh nostalgia, “The Wishing Years” written by Coralie Cederna Johnson and enjoyed every page. Although I am a bit older than the author (a childhood acquaintance of her sister Corinne), the book brought back many memories. I shall share this book with my sister and recommend it to all natives who yearn for the ‘old days.’
Ethelyn Murray Griffin, Ypsilanti, MI

I have just finished reading your book, “The Wishing Years” and must tell you how delighted I was with it. Truly it was a jaunt through Memory Lane. The places you mentioned – Chicaugon, Fortune and Hagerman Lakes…are fresh in my mind. Hagerman Lake was known as a not too frequented place but I enjoyed visiting Uncle John who had a summer cottage there plus a potato patch across the road, but unlike you picking the rocks out of the lake, he hauled wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow from his potato patch and dumped them into the lake.
Ellsworth M. Peterson, Lansing, MI

I enjoyed seeing the article about you and your book in the JCC publication Alumni and Friends. I have heard fine reports on the sales of your book. I hope your book is still selling well. We have one copy at home and one at our “camp” near Marquette. We suggest it for reading to our U.P. guests.
Bryon Ennis, Jackson Community College

Little did I know when I first opened the pages of your book that it would lead to friendship, our writing group and publication! Thank you for your encouragement and support! Thank you also for writing such a wonderful book and for your friendship!
Carol Richard, University of Michigan

Just want to tell you how well your book has been enjoyed. It meant so much to me personally since your mother and I had been friends since we were ten years old. My friend Virginia asked if she could read the book and enjoyed the stories. Then she told her nephew’s wife about it and she asked to read it, too. Then another friend Gloria read it. All great comments received! My brother Ole really loved it. It’s wonderful that you wrote it. I’m going to reread it!
Irene May, Kenneth City, FL

Today, I’m determined to let you know how much I’m enjoying your book. It is very well written—so descriptive, interest-holding and with marvelous characterizations. I feel that I’ve met each of your family in an at-home setting. I recall your friendly mother from church. Now I feel that she is a neighbor I’ve known for a lifetime—through your book. Your closeness as a family is wonderful. Keep on writing!
Audrey Carli, Iron River, MI

I love “The Wishing Years”! I especially like your descriptive passages. And your theme makes it a necessity for the local history collections in the Stambaugh-Iron River area, as well as the Michigan collections in Lansing, Ann Arbor and the northern peninsula! Your book made me want to get into the car and visit the area—which is what we are going to do on a warm summer day! My congratulations to you, Coralie!
Gloria Birkenmeier, Escanaba, MI

What a treat! Being born and raised in Stambo, I relived so many of your memories. I have read some things you have written before, in a magazine about the U.P. Thank you for a trip through a time only to be remembered.
Jane Anderson Idzkowski

I want to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. My sister sent me a copy and I devoured it! Your book triggered so many cherished moments. I think we grew up in a pretty ideal time and place. Thank you for telling your story in the charming way you did. I especially want to commend you on the tone of your writing. It is so positive and non-judgmental, a great joy and rather rare. You brought so many smiles to me. Write more!
Betty Anderson Mullins, Santa Cruz, CA

I just finished reading “The Wishing Years” and I wanted you to know that I just loved it! It was sent to me by a friend. We’re invited for a pasty dinner at friends from home. It will be a great surprise to bring your book, as it was a surprise for me to receive it. You captured so much, and I’m so proud of what you did. I love where I grew up & am grateful for it all. I’ve just ordered 2 copies from Wildwood Press!
Joanne Peruzzi Cristofano, Salinas, CA

Just a brief note to tell you how much we have enjoyed “The Wishing Years.” We received a copy of the book yesterday and are most impressed with your writing skills and talents. For sure, Coralie, you have brought back a ton of happy memories. All of the anecdotes were told with such good taste and authenticity that “The Wishing Years” will always be on the top shelf of our library.
Christine and David Gagne, Caspian, MI

I enjoyed your book very much! It was fun to read about people I knew and know and places I’ve been. The photos were great. When I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down. I hope you’re selling lots of books. And I hope your next one is as much of a success. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has really enjoyed it. I’ve heard all good comments about it!
Dianne Jacob, Iron River, MI

A copy of your book arrived today, a gift of memories. I’ll never forget the memorable week spent in Stambaugh in 1955. We stayed at the cabin—fished at 5 a.m. which seemed so early then. The water was so clear, deep and blue. I marvel at how so seemingly effortlessly you flesh out the details and dialogues. What a great book!
Katie Joyce, Ketchikan, AK

You can hardly imagine what a delight your book is to us! We “wallow” in it. I keep dipping in it, here and there; later settle down to page after page. Takes me back through the years. Thank you for making our days so good!
Ella Cole, Mesa, AZ

What a good writer you are! We thoroughly enjoyed your book. And, of course, we could identify with the characters, places and events. Do continue your writing. Is a sequel in the works?
Mary Ann & John Bilski, Hanover Park, IL

“The Wishing Years” brought back many memories! You did an excellent job of capturing the times as they were then. Your attention to detail was excellent, having been there, it made the times come alive again. Keep writing! I’ll look for your next book!
Richard King, Newberry, MI

Oh goodness! I loved our book! Wow!! Sure did stir up memories! Can’t believe how many traditions we share/shared!!
Marie Colombo, Chelsea, MI