Dreams do come true in ‘PASS THE PADDLE: Mississippi Dreamin’ Come Hell or High Water’
In 2000, Rev. Dr. Gerald “Jerry” Schumm paddled the length of the Mississippi River. This fall he is reliving his journey — this time not in a canoe but on land (in his camper) — following the Great River Road from Lake Itasca to Louisiana. The Paddlin’ Pastor has scheduled over 20 stops to talk about his recently released book, “PASS THE PADDLE: Mississippi Dreamin’ Come Hell or High Water.” He invites local residents to join him in his journey and ask questions about his river adventure at a meet and greet on Tuesday, September 10, starting at 6 p.m. at Paperbacks & Pieces in Winona.
The book is Schumm’s memoir of his journey down the Mississippi River, the story of how his life-long dream to canoe the length of the river became a reality. It was an excursion like no other. Schumm never paddled alone; friends and family members signed up to journey sections of the river with him. A ceremonial paddle was passed from one canoeist to the next — a giant relay. One man, one canoe, 19 friends, one majestic river.
The book provides a day-by-day documentation of the Mississippi River voyage from the headwaters at Lake Itasca to New Orleans. It also is the story of family, friendship, spirituality, and the goodness of folks met along the way. More importantly, it is the tale of a man who has the qualities needed to actualize a life-long dream: Schumm has a positive attitude and is persistent and patient.
The book is relevant for outdoor adventurers, young and old, planning an extended excursion. Through this memoir of a “Paddlin’ Pastor,” readers will learn the importance of building relationships, dreaming big and planning meticulously — and having the personal persistence and support from community to overcome inevitable hurdles. For more information, visit www.jerschumm.com, or key in “Pass the Paddle” on YouTube.
About the authors
Rev. Dr. Gerald E. Schumm Jr. is a retired United Church of Christ minister and Dade County Public School social studies teacher. Schumm and his wife Jeanne (now married 50 years) have always had the bug for travel adventures. This has included many trips abroad and setting foot in all 50 states. Schumm is most comfortable in the out-of-doors, canoeing, sailing, boating, fishing, camping, golfing, or simply working in the yard.
John Maybin DeFraites Jr. is a geospatial information manager for the city of New Orleans. He is a skilled mapmaker who studied both landscape architecture and urban planning. John is married to the Schumm’s daughter, Jamie, and is father of grandchildren Jack and Sophia.
Dr. Jeanne Shay Schumm is Professor Emerita from the University of Miami. Jeanne tells her grandchildren she had the best job in the world — as a professor she got paid to learn. She is the author of multiple textbooks, books and articles based on her research on struggling readers.