Local author writes inspiring book about her Louisiana family

April Adamson Holthaus has written a delightful book titled “Bayou Roots: Legacy of a Louisiana Family” that takes readers on a multigenerational journey starting with her great-great-great-grandmother, who was born in 1818.
Writing each section as Holthaus envisions that woman would tell her story, “in her own voice,” the author takes us through the triumphs and turmoil of five very strong and interesting women. We follow them as they describe their lives through happy marriages and some not so, through wars and financial crises as well as many joyous family gatherings. Each rich tale is carefully crafted to make you feel part of the stories as they unfold, drawn in by the events and the strength of the women experiencing them.
The idea for this book began when Holthaus found a cache of about 400 letters saved by her grandmother — “moldy but still readable,” as she describes them — plus family photos, journals and other memorabilia when she was cleaning out the basement at her mother’s house. This information inspired her to research that started in a small courthouse in Louisiana and lasted 10 years.
The last chapter in the book contains Holthaus’ reflections on what it meant to her to write her family’s story. We also learn more about her own life as a world traveler, as the daughter of an American diplomat and wife of a Naval officer. Her world view of people, places and the future has been greatly influenced by her many travels and her deep faith. She also loves history and genealogy.
Holthaus has lived in Pagosa since 2001, attracted here by her son, Chris Smith, his wife, Michele, and their family. Her older daughter lives in Breckenridge and a younger daughter and her family live in Orlando, Fla. She is active in the Wolf Creek Christian Writers group based here in Pagosa.
Holthaus says she is “elated to be a published author” — so much so that she has started writing her second book, this one about her father’s life.
She has donated a copy of her book to the library. If you enjoy warm, well-written family histories, you will enjoy reading about these impressive women — and you may also be inspired to do some research and writing about your own ancestors.
Did you know?
Did you know that your library has a collection of archived local newspapers from 1892 to present? In fact, there is one computer dedicated to archived local newspapers from 1892 to 2012, with local newspapers from 2012 to present currently in hard copy form.
To learn more about this and other resources offered by your library, please call 264-2209 or email to ruby@pagosalibrary.org.
This section is the fourth in a series being prepared by Cindi Galabota, development officer, that will appear periodically in future “Library News” columns. We hope you find the information interesting and helpful.
Early literacy librarian job opening
Paige Shook, our early literacy librarian, has resigned to take a library job in her home town, so we are looking for her replacement. If you are interested in the position, please go to the library’s website to review the job description, salary and benefits, requirements and how to apply.
Library closing
Your library will be closed on Sept. 3 for Labor Day.
All-ages gaming
Join us Friday, Aug. 31, from 2 to 3:15 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect with your friends and family.
Family storytimes and open play
In September, we will have family storytimes for kids of all ages on Saturdays from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and open play for ages 5 and under on Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m.
Storytime is a great way for kids to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers. Open play offers plenty of fun toys, puppets, puzzles and more for toddlers to socialize, pretend, play and pick up a few books while you’re here.
Paws to Read Saturday
Saturday, Sept. 1, from 11 a.m. to noon, youngsters from kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to share their favorite books with Hondo, a therapy dog who loves listening to stories, at a Paws to Read session. This is a great way for beginning readers to build confidence.
Computer class
Join us on alternating Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. for free sessions to learn a useful technology skill or application. Sept. 6 is Facebook basics. Sept. 10 is basic photo editing. Sept. 20 is Intermediate Microsoft Word. Sept. 24 is YouTube basics. No registration is required.
Adult education hours expand
Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) is expanding to its regular winter schedule — Mondays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more.
Teen gaming
Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. for teens in the seventh through 12th grades. Enjoy Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.
Teen role-playing
The free role-playing game for seventh- through 12th-graders takes place next Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters. You can join this group any time.
Spanish instruction
Join us for this free basic course next Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 4 to 5 p.m. to improve your ability to speak and understand Spanish when we will learn how to navigate and give directions in Spanish. No registration is required and previous attendance is not required.
Free tech sessions
Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m.
Teen advisory board
Next Thursday, Sept. 6, the teen advisory board will meet from 4 to 5 p.m. Bring your fun and innovative ideas to help us plan teen programs. Share an idea to pick out a free book.
Activities calendars
To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month. There are three versions — kids, tweens/teens and adults.
Thrillers, mysteries and suspense
“The Grave Above the Grave” by Bernard Kerik follows the aftermath of a shooting in Times Square. “Texas Ranger” by James Patterson and Andrew Bourelle features an officer who returns home to a murder charge. “The Reservoir Tapes” by Jon McGregor is set in an English village after a teenage girl goes missing.
Other novels
“Rich People Problems” by Kevin Kwan features the family of a wealthy Asian as she lies on her deathbed. “China Rich Girlfriend,” also by Kwan, reveals a world of Shanghai splendor. “The Overstory” by National Book Award winner Richard Powers tells of nine people, each summoned in different ways by trees. “Katie Bride of Virginia” by Sylvia McDaniel is an American Mail-order Brides story.
DVDs
“The Rider” is based on a true story of a rodeo cowboy after a tragic riding accident. “Little Pink House” is based on a true story of a small-town paramedic fighting politicians and big business. “A Quiet Place” is a thriller. “China Rich Girlfriend,” based on the book by Kwan, reveals a world of Shanghai splendor. “The Crown” is the complete second season.
CDs
“The Other Woman” by Daniel Silva is a Gabriel Allon mystery. “A Measure of Darkness” by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman is a crime story. “Paradox” by Catherine Coulter is an FBI Savich and Sherlock mystery. “The Money Shot” by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall is a Teddy Fay mystery featuring Stone Barrington. “Cottage by the Sea” by Debbie Macomber is set in a small Pacific Northwest town.
Nonfiction
“Talking Across the Divide” by Justin Lee offers guidance on how to communicate with people you disagree with — and even change their minds. “Herbal Remedies Handbook” by Andrew Chevallier provides home remedies for more than 50 common conditions from headaches to hay fever and symptoms of menopause. “Inside the Infrastructure Revolution” by Mary Scott Nabers offers a road map for rebuilding America’s essential services and infrastructure.
Large print
“The Templars’ Last Secret” by Martin Walker is a Bruno, Chief of Police mystery. “Toucan Keep a Secret” by Donna Andrews is a Meg Langslow mystery. “Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom” by Nancy Atherton is a spooky story set in England.
Programmed Nooks
We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure. The eight adult e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers. The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.
Thanks to our donors
For books and materials this week, we thank our many anonymous donors.
Quotable quote
“To learn to read is to light a fire.” — Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French poet, novelist and dramatist.
Website
For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books, e-books, CDs and DVDs from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at https://pagosalibrary.org.

This story was posted on August 31, 2018.