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Posted on: May 12, 2022

Longview Public Library Presents Author Melanie Holmes

Join us in person at the Longview Public Library in the Main Reading Room on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 5:30pm for an evening with author Melanie Holmes as she discusses her second book, A Hero on Mount St. Helens, which is a biography of Dr. David Johnston, who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 1980, when Mount St. Helens erupted. In his role as a volcanologist, working for the U.S. Geological Survey, Johnston was one of two USGS scientists focused on gases as a possible precursor to an eruption, and his words were bookends for the devastating event. Standing at what was once Timberline parking lot, with TV cameras rolling, he called the volcano, “a dynamite keg with its fuse lit.” Then, when Mount St. Helens erupted, standing on the observatory post on a ridge 5.7 miles northwest of the summit, he saw the beginning of the eruption and radioed his colleagues in Vancouver, Washington, “This is it!” The ridge where he was killed is the site of the Johnston Ridge Observatory, a science/learning and visitors center. 

Holmes will read from her book and participate in a discussion with staff and participants. The event will be in person at the Longview Public Library in the Main Reading Room.

From the Publisher:

Melanie Holmes is the author of four books, the first of which won a Global Media Award in 2014 from the Population Institute, Washington, DC; The Female Assumption. Her second book, A Hero on Mount St. Helens, is a biography of Dr. David Johnston, who was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 1980, when Mount St. Helens erupted. Holmes brought out two more books since the Johnston biography, including one in the “Images of America” line (Arcadia Publishing, 2020) about her hometown of Manteno, Illinois – a once small rural town fifty miles south of Chicago. Holmes’s fourth book is a meditation on vintage postcards, called The Secret Life of Postcards: Tracing Art and History Through One Woman’s Collection

Holmes spent the bulk of her career in the business world before embarking on a writer's path. From her first job clerking at the U.S. EPA, to a stint as 4-H Secretary for a county extension office, and later, as Board Liaison for the President’s office of the Chicago Zoological Society, Holmes has always found herself writing and endeavoring to learn more about history, diversity, and cultural influences. 

 All events are free and open to the public.