The unusually titled, “Don’t Let the Fire Go Out: Stories to Tell and Retell” is Anita Mallinckrodt’s newest history publication about Augusta.
Two vital history traditions of the Heartland are reflected in the title – the early admonition among Native Americans to retain their tribal histories by continual storytelling to children; the second tradition is the later frontier reminder to family members to be constantly alert and caring of each other’s welfare.
Three aspects of local history and welfare, therefore – Ancestry, Language, and River – constitute storytelling “Fires” Mallinckrodt believes especially Augustan generations should be retelling. First to be related is the story of the earliest, permanent, German-speaking settlers (1832), their adaptation of familiar customs and the learning of surprising new ways (cornbread!). Second, is the storyteller “Fire” of multi-languages, or the passing along of mother- and father-tongues and the learning and recording of newer modes of speech. And then throughout and around the other “Fires” there is the constant third set of stories about the Missouri River and its not always friendly behavior toward neighboring communities.
Mallinckrodt initially presented these local and essential “Fire” stories as public talks in 2017; then at year’s end they were recast as the new 53-page, illustrated, 8 x 10-inch, spiral bound book. The book is available for $12.00 at Gallery Augusta5558 Walnut Street in Augusta, or from the author (636-228-4821).