(cross-posted from Little House Travel)
This is Jim Hicks. He teaches physics at a high school in Illinois. His students call him “Uncle Jim.”
Besides being a physics teacher, Jim is a literary traveler. He has written for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Lore, the newsletter of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet, South Dakota. He has written for the Homesteader, the newsletter about Laura’s homesites across the country. He writes about moving through Laura’s world, measuring it, recording it, recreating it. History + literature + science = Jim Hicks.
Two years ago, Jim addressed a ballroom audience in Mankato, Minnesota. For this audience of Little House fans, he reconstructed, in great detail, the trip that Almanzo Wilder and Cap Garland (allegedly) took during the hard winter of 1880-1881, the trip that (allegedly) kept the town from starving when blizzards prevented the trains from coming, as described by Laura Ingalls Wilder in The Long Winter. He talked about sled speed. He talked about wheat-sack weight. He talked about friction. He talked about the phases of the moon. And he had that audience absolutely enthralled for a full thirty minutes.
That’s why he’s an award-winning high school teacher.
He’s an award-winning high-school teacher who also happens to be a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books.
The audience he spoke to was at LauraPalooza 2010, and in July of this year, he’s coming back for an encore.
Less than 10 days left to register for this year’s event. If you don’t want to miss it, don’t.