Former educator pens books for kids
ESCANABA — A former Escanaba School District educator has found a new passion while also tying in his love for educating children. Loren Veeser, who was teacher in Escanaba for 35 years, has published a series of children’s books — a dream which he said has been a lifelong goal.
Veeser spent most of his career as a special education teacher, but also served as a teacher consultant and worked in the student services area at Escanaba schools.
Veeser was active within the high school’s extra-curricular activities, as well, including Key Club and band.
After retiring in 2010, Veeser said he found himself in a limbo about what he could do in his new found spare time.
“I’ve always dreamed of writing books for grandchildren,” said Veeser. “That’s what I did.”
After battling some health issues, Veeser said he got down to writing the first book of a three -art series that revolve around Veeser’s wife, grandchildren, and their cottage located on Lost Lake on Federal Forest Highway 13.
Veeser explained the first book, titled “Mimme’s Cottage,” tells the story of how the cottage got it’s nickname “The Looney Bin” and why the cottage is so important to family. Mimme is French for “grandma,” added Veeser.
While on a pontoon ride at Lost Lake, Veeser said he noticed there was an old boat wreck and a bathtub at the bottom of the lake. The story revolves around how the boat got there via pirates transporting stolen toys and money from a ship named “The Canadian Duchess.” Later, Mimme finds some of the pirates money, “loonies,” which is a slang word for a type of Canadian currency because an image of a loon is on one side of the coin, said Veeser. That’s how the name of the cottage, “The Looney Bin,” came to be.
Veeser noted the main characters, “Max and Madeline,” are based ontwo of his grandchildren. The illustrations in the books are also connected to Veeser. They were drawn by his niece, Jamie Madalinski, and her cousin, Nolan Madalinski, who attended Bark River Harris and Escanaba schools. The second and third books of the series were also illustrated by students from Escanaba and Holy Name schools.
The other books titled “Mimme’s Rain” and “Mimme’s Mystery” hold the same “coming full circle” type of story like the first book, noted Veeser. However, the end of “Mimme’s Mystery” is unique because the last page is blank, said Veeser. He left it blank to allow kids to come up with their own ending to the story and draw from their imaginations.
Being one of his a long-term goals,Veeser said its been wonderful to see his thoughts and stories come to life.
“I’m proud of the fact I did it,” said Veeser.
Veeser said along with incorporating his local family ties into the books, he also wanted to use local resources to help publish his books. He looked to Johnston Printing and Offset in Escanaba to make the books come together. T&T True Value Hardware, located in downtown Escanaba, is currently selling Veeser’s books.