I’m both honored and flattered to be invited to my hometown of Monroe for a “meet the author and book signing.” It will be at the Monroe Public Library, 416 Buchanan St., at 10 a.m. on October 15. You all come. My book “Task Force IED” will be available there.
Thinking back to the last time I was at the Monroe Public Library, I was a little kid. My mother used to send my sister and me to the library on a hot summer afternoon, mainly to get us out of the ground. If I remember correctly, the Monroe Library was a one room affair at the back of the fire station, facing the old water tower. Many things have changed since then. The Monroe Public Library is now in its own very modern building reflecting the needs of a progressive community.
I also started writing to Monroe. I was a senior in high school and the class clown. Realizing that my buddies were going to college and I wasn’t, I decided for the first time to take grades and studying a little more seriously. There was a first grade English teacher (I don’t need to mention her name) who gave us a little story to write. I threw myself into the assignment and wrote down what I thought was pretty good news. I returned the story and it came back to me the next day with a big fat red F at the top of the page with a note, “Plagied!” I didn’t know what “plagiarized” meant, so I looked it up. Shocked, I confronted the professor and she told me that I had no talent for writing such “creative prose” and must have copied it. Suffice it to say, we got it all sorted. The F was replaced by an A-, the least for my misspellings. But I learned that I had a God-given talent for writing and that’s how I wanted to spend my life – writing. A degree in English from Iowa State University followed a few years later, and I’ve spent my life writing, mostly business, a free newspaper column, “Empty Nest,” and several books. I even teach creative writing in our house.
I wish I could locate this teacher and thank her.
Not only will there be a book signing in Monroe, but my high school class of 1966, since we missed our 55th class reunion last year due to COVID 19, will be having a class reunion after the book signing . It will be at Karlin and Darrell Hjortshoj (pronounced “Hortsoy”), 5394 Hwy. F70, Monroe, 1 p.m. It’s a potluck with Karlin and Darrell providing the meat. All who attend the autograph session, Class of 1966 members or not, are welcome. It should be a gala affair. BTW: Karlin and Darrell’s house is right next to where I grew up in Maple Hill. So it’s quite a nostalgic adventure for me.
Suzanne Johnson is largely responsible for making many of these arrangements with the library and the Hjortshojs. Suzanne is married to my old high school history teacher, Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson had the audacity to give me an hour of detention once (I’m sure I deserved it), which caused me to be late for football practice. I had to do laps for this infraction. When Mr. Johnson handed me the “green slip”, he said, “Swarm, you’ll never be worth much.” Today we are best friends.
My book, “Task Force IED” is about the deployment of the Iowa National Guard to Iraq. It’s a barn burner and it sells pretty well. “Task Force IED” has a five-star rating on Amazon. It would be a privilege for me to sign your copy. See you in Monroe on October 15th.
Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant
at 319-217-0526, email him at
[email protected] or visit their website at