Retired English teacher publishes memoir

Former instructor, Gary Jones, discusses new book

On Thursday, Nov. 7, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., author and former UW-Platteville instructor Gary Jones gave a talk on his first published book “Ridge Stories: Herding Hens, Powdering Pigs, and Other Recollections from a Boyhood in the Driftless.”

From this memoir, Jones read part of the introduction to the book and the anecdote entitled “Burying My Father.” He also showed a picture of him graduating from the eighth grade and a picture of him graduating from high school in his pictorial introduction.

Before retiring, Jones was a high school English teacher at a number of different schools and a freelance writer. After retiring, Jones taught freshman composition at UW-Platteville. When asked about the subject of his memoir, Jones responded that it “consists of a series of related essays, each with a narrative component along with commentary that provides a cultural/historical context.” 

This event was well-attended with about forty people showing up. Jones started out his talk by showing photographs from his life growing up in Pleasant Ridge, WI, across the river in Iowa County near Richland Center. When talking about growing up in this region, Jones said, “If truth is to be known, I would have preferred a horse to a tractor.” 

Jones said his editors chose the sub-title because they thought it was “clever and amusing.” 

Jones stated he chose to write memoirs “because I wanted to record the past and my life.”

Platteville Librarian Karina Zidon explained that when selecting people for presentations they “look for people they think the residents of Platteville will be interested in hearing about.”

The university bookstore will also carry Jones’ book.