More than a year ago I got an email out of the blue from a writer in Britain basically asking if she could have Kelly Hardwick.
Or more accurately, a photo of him:
Dear Mr Owen and/or somebody in Alumni/Archives at Camp Stephens:
I found your article on the Camp Stephen's web page from 2008 re: Kelly Hardwick's Left Hand.
There is a photograph accompanying the story of Dr Hardwick etc. in a canoe on the river.
The reason I am writing is because I have authored a book which will be published by Seren Press in the United Kingdom next Spring 2014 and I would absolutely love to reproduce with permission from Dr Hardwick, The Camp Stephens archive, and the photographer, to use the photo as the cover for the book.
It is a full-length text, fiction, about kids on the Susquehanna River in southeast Pennsylvania, USA in the mid-1970s.
If you could please let me know if it would be possible to obtain permission/rights/release to use the photograph I would be very grateful.
Thank you very much.
This is the photo she spotted while reading this blog, specifically this 2010 post: The Left Hand of Kelly Hardwick. It's the story of what happened to him during the 1976 six-week trip as told by him and the other participants.
I replied to Fielding:
Are you sure it's the same Kelly Hardwick?
I think so.
She sent me the photo from the blog and I identified the two people in the centre of the photo; Kelly Hardwick walking a canoe with an injured John Maclean seated inside.
The photo was taken by tripper Neil Robinson, so I replied to Fielding he was the best person to ask for permission.
Thanks so much! I shall try to contact him.
P.S. i went to summer camp in the pocono mountains in pennsylvania and used to go on overnight canoe trips down the delaware river...but six weeks on the river? -- canadians are amazing!!
Neil gave permission (obviously).
Your wonderful photo really captures the essence and spirit of the time. And of course you would be given the photo credit...!!
I read the story online and was really amazed, actually. Kelly must have been in excruciating pain. And far from the world except probably bears that would like you for a tasty snack.
Now that the book is published, Robinson says in a recent email he and Hardwick are arranging a get-together.
Kelly and I are trying to get together as I have a copy of the book for him. Apparently, I am now acting as his agent for all present and future engagements.
American Sycamore is available online at Goodreads and Amazon.