The indefatigable Dick Cory, former science and math teacher, Nebraska native, and passionate Chicoan, has created a love story for a wolf. This is wolf OR-7, so named by Oregon Fish and Wildlife biologists who used a GPS collar to track the animal over his 3000-mile trek from Oregon to California and back again. Given the name “Journey” in a contest, the wolf attracted worldwide attention, especially when it strayed into our neck of the woods.
Cory imagines diary entries made by the gray wolf in a whimsical book for kids of all ages, complete with colorful maps and wolf images. The book is called “Journey The Lonely Wolf: The Travels Of OR-7” ($15 in paperback, self-published; available at Made in Chico or from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a donation made to Teichert Ponds Foundation for each book sold).
“Finding food is not my problem,” Journey writes. “Finding a she wolf mate is. I have heard that I’m the first wolf to be seen in California in one hundred years. Still I have hopes.” The entries end in 2014, three years after Journey started his travels, with his mate Wanderlust raising three pups. All is well, at least for now.
Sentiment is never far from Cory’s pen. A second recently published book, “Days Of Love Songs And Roses” ($30 in paperback), pairs lyrics to some of Cory’s favorite romantic songs with pictures of colorful roses, courtesy of the Butte Rose Society. “You Are My Sunshine” (1933) features the dark orange rose, symbolic of enthusiasm and desire. The Beatles even get in, with “And I Love Her” (1964), paired with the red rose of love.
In a third book, “Dust!” ($20 in paperback), Cory assembles seventy-three short reflections on just about everything, from the Teichert Pond Project to puppy love, from manners and dress codes to “lessons I remember.” Writing on this side of 80 years, Cory notes that dust has always been with him, from cement dust when he worked concrete, to chalk dust when, as a teacher, he went for the abstract.
And found his voice.