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CLOUDS GO WILD

The late Edmund Faltermayer, Class of '49, who graduated with honors in English and went on to gain a Master of Arts from Harvard in Russian Studies in 1953, and who worked as a journalist for The Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine for most of his career, produced a children's book as one of his last acts. (He passed away of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, "Lou Gehrig's disease", in 2003.) The book, Clouds Go Wild, is an environmentally-sensitive story about the wonders of nature and the dangers of overdevelopment, told in a style reminiscent of Dickens combined with Borges' "magical realism"; it combines brilliant description with moral impetus as narrative drive. Based on some real-life situations, it tells how sixth-grader Roderick Ringley is able to use his love of snow to block a project that would have replaced a beautiful cross-country ski area with an ugly strip mall:

"Snow was war and peace: giggling snowball battles by day and incredible quiet at sunset . . . icicles dripping, tires spinning, shovels clinking . . . Tall, bare oak trees . . . etched against a cold pink-orange sky . . . and the smell of log fires . . . where dinner was steaming away . . . Right after a new snow, life is as close to perfect as it gets."

Faltermayer began Clouds Go Wild after the blizzard of February, 1978, when 18 inches of snow hit the Westfield, New Jersey, area where he lived. As his disease progressed, he let his wife Frances and daughter Charlotte Faltermayer Dolling, a Time magazine contributor, know that since he'd labored so long and lovingly on his work of fiction, he'd prefer that it not be heavily revised, as is the case with most journalism during the normal editing process. (It's a sentiment dear to non-fiction writers everywhere.)

So after a period of negotiating with New York publishers, Frances Faltermayer and Charlotte Faltermayer Dolling decided to self-publish, and that process is in the works. At present, both Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble are involved, and also copies may be ordered by visiting www.cloudsgowild.com or by calling AuthorHouse at (888) 280-7715.

Charlotte Faltermayer Dolling gave birth to her son Max on January 4, 2005, exactly two years after her father died. She says she believes "there is some kind of completion there."

 

The Climbing Stone, by Peter Rockwell '58, is located outside Magill Library.

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