This section will highlight the efforts of creative people who are writing, working,
and making a difference in how we think about the natural world and hence are following
in Rachel Carson’s footsteps. They describe their work in their own words.
Sherrida (Sherri) Woodley
Author of Quick Fall of Light
(See Books About Carson)
"Rachel Carson came into my life in my 12th summer. I can still remember my mother
and me reading Silent Spring together on a vacation trip we made that year
and thinking long and hard about the loss of songbirds because of man’s carelessness.
Her concern stayed with me over all the years, and when I wrote Quick Fall of Light,
it wasn’t just a pandemic I wrote about. Exploitation of an incredible bird took
the story very close to Carson’s warnings. Her work continues to inspire mine and
I suspect always will."
"The novel I’m working on now, though not as noticeably connected to Carson, is
still something I believe she might’ve challenged me to do. Again, I look at extinction,
this time of a giant breed of dog, the Molosser. Originally war dogs, they could
take on anything. In this novel one such animal baffles a family, then a medical
community, in its ability to remedy disease. It is the haunting whispers of a culture’s
history that remind me of Carson, this time in the form of a young girl who chooses
the healing power of a gentle dog over medicine’s indefinite cures."
( Woodley lives and writes just outside Spokane WA. near Turnbull Wildlife Refuge,
Environmental activist and conservationist. Owner and restorer of the bird sanctuary
that once belonged to Olga Owens Huckins on Powder Point in Duxbury, MA.
"Stuart and Olga Owens Huckins had a bird sanctuary with three small ponds behind
their modest home in Duxbury, MA in the 1950s. Their bird sanctuary and ponds were
among those devastated by aerial spraying of DDT mixed in fuel oil by the State
of Massachusetts in the summer of 1957, after which their birds died terrible deaths,
the ponds were contaminated, and the mosquitoes were even more abundant than before.
Protests in the Boston newspapers against the aerial spraying prompted Olga, a writer,
former literary editor at the Boston Post, and a friend of Carson’s, to
pen a blistering letter published in the Herald in January1958 luridly describing
the death of her songbirds and the contamination of wildlife on her property. She
also wrote to Carson to see if she could find someone who could help `stop the spraying
of poisons from the air everywhere.’ Huckins’s letter helped convince Carson to
turn her literary efforts to alerting the public about the dangers of chemical spraying."
Judi and Terry Vose rescued the property from developers, renovated it, and have
renamed it "The Spring House" in honor of Carson. (June 2011)
John D. Juriga
As a teenage nature enthusiast in western Pennsylvania, John Juriga wrote his American
literature term paper on Rachel Carson. Little did he know at the time that a bond
with Carson would persist into his adulthood. An avid birder and observer of nature,
Juriga was the guest curator for two major exhibits that touched on Rachel Carson’s
work at the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury on Maryland’s Eastern Shore,
where Carson travelled on Audubon birding trips. He also guided the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service with "Awakening Nature’s Voice" (2007), the Rachel Carson centennial
exhibit held at the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. With the approach of the
Bob Hines centennial year, Juriga completed a full-length biography Bob Hines: National
Wildlife Artist, 2012.
A busy pediatrician, Dr. John Juriga and his wife, Fran, now live in New York state,
renewing their ties to the earth through birding, beekeeping, and gardening. He
advises young people to take their education seriously, "Your education may unexpectedly
carry you on a magic carpet ride."
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