Veteran journalist and published author Kristi Eaton has cartwheeled in China, stared down bison in South Dakota and was lost in Samoa. That’s how she grabs your attention – with tidbits of adventure.
Described by international organizations as a “global journalist” Eaton will be the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s featured author at Duncan’s original National Day of the Cowboy Celebration on Saturday, July 27.
Kristi Eaton with her book, The Main Streets of Oklahoma” will be at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, Saturday, July 27, 2019.
Eaton’s first book, “The Main Streets of Oklahoma: Okie Stories from every County” published in 2014, was only possible by visiting at least one Main Street in each county in the state – including Duncan.
The idea resulted from her childhood – of weekend trips out of Tulsa with her parents to a small community in Kansas.
“I had an amazing time learning about Oklahoma through its Main Streets. I criss-crossed the state visiting every corner and learning about the state’s unique history. I tried to focus on the people, places and events that showcased the unique way Main Street shapes a community.”
Eaton’s introduction in the book should make anyone who has spent time in Oklahoma smile.
“In Oklahoma, Main Street is also where people can see hulking horse statues pieced together from leftover metal parts or memorabilia from the movie Twister or watch an old-time bank robbery come to life.”
But, these days, the Tulsa Artist Fellowship writer is targeting stories in Oklahoma that draw attention to the incarceration of women, and men – and the impact that has on their families. She writes about programs like Girl Scouts Beyond Bars and social enterprise and as of May 2019, has eight published stories in The Tulsa Voice.
Eaton’s Oklahoma “Main Streets” adventure could have been the impetus for her current writing projects. “Yes, writing about the people in Oklahoma – after being away for a little bit – helped me gain insight into the state.”
“I know we’ve held the distinction for incarcerating more women than any other state for a while, and I wanted to share the women’s stories so they aren’t forgotten.”
Eaton also knows firsthand the importance of shaping a writer. She started writing when she was 7, and claims her first books published were picture books about her puppies. In 2018, she wrote about the looming teacher walkout, interviewing teachers and the struggles they faced. She posted on her Instagram, “I’ve been around the teaching profession my entire life. At one point I thought I wanted to become one. Talking to teachers about the struggles they currently face was eye opening.” That article was published in Rewire.News.
She’s also written for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Silcon66; and she’s an editor for Alive and Thrive, an initiative to promote positive nutrition practices around the world.
“I’m passionate about the issues facing women and girls, global poverty, social entrepreneurship and historic preservation,” she said.
The Chisholm Trail Heritage Center’s National Day of the Cowboy Celebration is in its 9thyear and is one of its most popular events. Many activities are planned to interest everyone – from families to single folks, cowboys, music lovers, art lovers, senior citizens and even international visitors.
Having published authors available at the Heritage Center has been one of the popular activities as guests get a chance to actually visit with the author, whereas at book signings in big stores, that often doesn’t happen. In the past, authors have included children’s writers such as Una Belle Townsend, cowboy cartoonists, rodeo stars like Fred Whitfield, and more. Having a writer of Eaton’s caliber join this year’s National Day of the Cowboy Celebration is exciting and we believe she will have some great stories to share with guests.
We hope you’ll visit us on National Day of the Cowboy and meet Kristi. She’ll share her stories of those wild adventures and we can’t wait to hear more about her stare-down with a bison!
Be sure to mark July 27 on your calendar. The entire day is planned so that no matter what time you visit, you’ll get to experience the National Day of the Cowboy Celebration. Doors open at 10 a.m. and close at 5.
Each week leading up to Duncan’s original National Day of the Cowboy Celebration we will highlight our special guests and activities.
Next week – Pauline Asbury, basket weaver and owner of Habasketry out of Oklahoma City.