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Friday, May 6, 2016

Local author gives presentation at PCPL program

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Local author Wanda Morlan Eilts brought her book "Floating Hogans in Monument Valley: Remembering the First Marina in Navajoland" to a brown bag lunch presentation at the Putnam County Library Thursday.

Eilts' book is the true story of her and her husband Terry's one year of working on a floating marina in Navajo Country, Ariz.

According to the author, an older woman who worked on the marina before her suggested she keep a journal of her experiences. After nine years of effort, Eilts turned her journal into a publishable piece of work.

"This book is about my experience with the Navajo Native American tribe," Eilts said. "I want people to read the book and not be afraid of the wonderful people of this culture."

A Reelsville High School graduate, Eilts said her down-home upbringing assisted her in her life on the reservation.

"Thank God I was raised in Putnam County on a farm in the '50s," Eilts said. "I knew how to sheer a sheep and butcher animals. The Navajos were surprised that a white woman knew how to do that stuff."

In the book, Eilts shares cultures and anecdotes of her time working on the marina. She said she learned many things from Navajo people, most of all how to live a less stressful life.

"Harmony, or Hozo as they call it, is the main theme of the Navajo existence," Eilts said.

Floating Hogans is available for purchase through Vishnu Temple Press and can be checked out at the Putnam County Library. Half of the author's personal proceeds will go toward developing a foundation for the education of Navajo children.

"If I was 20 years younger and single, I would be doing more to fight for their cause." Eilts said. "I really believe in these people."

The book will also be on display at the Indiana State Library Authors' Room for one year. To learn more about the book or to write a review, visit its Web site, www.floatinghogans.com.

Eilts said her publisher has approved her for a second book. The book, which Eilts has not yet starting writing, will be about the area of Hall's Crossing, Utah.

Eilts and her friend and promoter Loretta Young will be at the Putnam County Fair every weekday from 4 p.m. until the fair closes and all day on Saturday, July 19. The pair will have authentic Navajo jewelry for sale.

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