Jerry Schumm, “The Paddlin' Pastor,” will share stories from his trip down the Mississippi River during event at Hannibal Public Library

HANNIBAL — Hannibal Free Public Library will host an author event featuring tales from the Mississippi River at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 200 S. Fifth St. Jerry Schumm, “The Paddlin’ Pastor,” will provide a short presentation on his canoe trip down the Mississippi River.

His presentation will be followed by refreshments and a book signing. The title of Schumm's book is “PASS THE PADDLE: Mississippi Dreamin’ Come Hell or High Water.” He will have copies of his book available for sale at the program. The public is invited to attend this free event.

Authors Gerald “Jerry” E. Schumm Jr., John Maybin DeFraites Jr. and Jeanne Shay Schumm invite readers to share a reading experience about one man, one canoe, 19 friends and one majestic river. The book is Schumm’s memoir of his journey down the Mississippi River — it is the story of how his lifelong dream to canoe the length of the river became a reality.

An excursion like no other, Schumm never paddled alone. Friends and family members signed up to journey sections of the river and passed a ceremonial paddle from one canoeist to the next in a giant relay. For fellow adventurers, the book provides a day-by-day documentation of the Mississippi River voyage from the headwaters at Lake Itasca to New Orleans. It also is the story of family, friendship, spirituality and the goodness of folks met along the way. More importantly, it is the tale of a man who has the qualities needed to actualize a lifelong dream: Schumm has a positive attitude, is persistent and is patient.

Rev. Dr. Gerald “Jerry” E. Schumm Jr. is a retired United Church of Christ minister and Dade County Public School social studies teacher. He and his wife, Jeanne, (now married 50 years) have always had the bug for travel adventures. This has included many trips abroad and setting foot in all 50 states. Schumm is most comfortable in the outdoors — participating in activities like canoeing, sailing, boating fishing, camping, golfing or simply working in the yard. John Maybin DeFraites Jr. is a geospatial information manager for the City of New Orleans. He is a skilled “map maker” who studied both landscape architecture and urban planning. DeFraites is married to the Schumms' daughter, Jamie, and is the father of grandchildren Jack and Sophia. Dr. Jeanne Shay Schumm is Professor Emerita from the University of Miami. She tells her grandchildren she had the best job in the world — as a professor she got paid to learn. Schumm is the author of multiple textbooks books and articles based on her research on struggling readers.

More information about Schumm may be found at www.jerryschumm.com. Information about Hannibal Free Public Library is available by visiting www.hannibal.lib.mo.us, calling 573-221-0222 or stopping by 200 S. Fifth St.