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Madison — Rural life author Jerry Apps shares his memories of water — from its importance to crops and cattle on the farm to its many recreational uses — in his newest book, Never Curse the Rain: A Farm Boy's Reflections on Water. From hauling buckets of water from a windmill pump into the farmhouse to listening to rain pattering on the barn roof on a rainy afternoon, Apps details why he and his brothers learned at young ages to "never curse the rain."

On the small family farm during Apps's Depression Era youth, rain was cause for celebration. Indeed, the family's very livelihood, even survival, depended upon its arrival, as did many of a young boy's pleasures like fishing, canoeing, and "puddle jumping." Rain has remained a celebratory touchstone throughout his life, Apps writes, in a variety of ways as a source of recreation, comfort, and creativity. 

Published this month by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, "Never Curse the Rain" is the third in the Society's series of rural-life memoirs by Jerry Apps. The series includes The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters and Whispers & Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir. All three are companion books to popular Wisconsin Public Television documentaries, including Jerry Apps: Never Curse the Rain which airs this spring.

About the author

Jerry Apps is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of many books on rural history, country life, and the environment. He has co-created four documentaries with Wisconsin Public Television and has won several awards for his writing and a regional Emmy Award for the program A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps. His books for the Wisconsin Historical Society Press include The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters and Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir. Jerry and his wife, Ruth, have three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandsons. They divide their time between their home in Madison and their farm, Roshara, in Waushara County.

Special events

  • Sunday, January 29 — Book Launch Celebration, 2 pm,  Midvale Community Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd., Madison, Wis., 53711. Join celebrated author and rural historian Jerry Apps as he debuts his latest book, "Never Curse the Rain," in partnership with Mystery to Me bookstore. Jerry will share some of his memories of water from the book and discuss his concerns about the future of water as well.
  • Saturday, February 4 — Book Launch Celebration, 10 a.m., Patterson Memorial Library, 500 Division St., Wild Rose. Join author Jerry Apps at his hometown library for the launch of his newest Society Press book "Never Curse the Rain." A book signing will follow. 
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