Ed Davis, author and rail-rider emeritus, will be in Estes Park this Saturday as part of a whistle-stop cross-country book tour via Amtrak. In a program spotlighting his newest book, “The Last Professional,” Davis will explore our fascination with stories of the road and great journeys, tracing the tradition back to Homer’s “Odyssey” and to American classics like John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley” and Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”. Davis will then give a reading from “The Last Professional”, a gripping road tale set amid the world of thundering freight trains and the vagabonds who ride them—explaining how it fits into the “road stories” tradition.
“’The Last Professional’ and Other Stories of the Road” takes place this Saturday, April 9 from 1 to 2:30 pm at the Library. From the Library events calendar, participants can sign up to attend in person, or sign up to attend remotely via Zoom.
Ed Davis began his writing career over forty years ago, pausing in boxcars, under streetlamps, and in hobo jungles to capture the beats and rhythms of the road as he caught freight trains and wandered across the Pacific Northwest and Canada. His short stories of him have appeared in numerous literary journals including “New English Review” and “The Penman Review”, and his collection “Road Stories” has been an Amazon bestseller. He and his wife Jan live in Northern California, not far from Jack London’s Beauty Ranch.
“The Last Professional” tells the tale of two men linked by a yearning to wander and experience a simpler way of life. Lynden Hoover returns to the rails fifteen years after a childhood trauma that still haunts him. He gets help from The Duke, an old hobo who adheres to a time-honored code. The Duke mentors Lynden on life on the tracks, told in the vibrant language of the boxcar life gleaned from years of crossing the countryside. The story reaches a harrowing climax when The Duke confronts his relentless nemesis of him, Short Arm, as generations collide and lives hang in the balance.
After the presentation, Davis will take audience questions and sign copies of his books, available for purchase that afternoon thanks to the Macdonald Book Shop. Sign up now at estesvalleylibrary.org to save a seat—in person or via Zoom.