‘The Great Galomp’ arrives at last | PostIndependent.com

‘The Great Galomp’ arrives at last

John Colson
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post IndependentLocal author Bob Boyle presents a copy of his new children's book, "The Great Galomp."

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Bob Boyle gleefully admits that his latest venture, a children’s book entitled “The Great Galomp,” has been some three decades in the making.

But his smile only broadens as he points out that, while the beginnings of this tale are fairly far back in time, it took less than a year from the time he finished writing to get it printed and on bookstores’ shelves.

And, he’d likely tell you if you asked him, it’s not the amount of time that it takes to write a book that’s important, it’s the amount of fun that it gives to readers.

Boyle, 69, is a long time local resident, raconteur, historian, train buff and gun-slinging entertainer.

For much of his 30-plus years in the Roaring Fork Valley, he ran a fanciful gift shop called The Watersweeper and the Dwarf, adjacent to the Grand Avenue Bridge in downtown Glenwood Springs. He also became a proud member of the National Historical Railroad Society – Colorado Chapter.

He has portrayed Dr. John “Doc” Holliday in the annual Ghost Walk events in town and at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and been one of the gunslingers in local ad man Michael Chandler’s “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” street-theater performances.

Having essentially retired in 1997, with the sale of the Watersweeper store, Boyle decided he would give free rein to the “would-be writer” that had always lurked in his soul.

Another decade (and then some) went by, but with the help of his wife, Caroline Metzler, and their friend, illustrator Dolores Wilson, he has now finished the children’s book.

Metzler, he explained, designed the book and got it ready for the printer, while Wilson had long ago come up with a series of watercolor paintings that became the illustrations on every page.

As the book’s website describes it, it is a “charming story of budding love told in rhyme against a backdrop of beauty and peril.”

Its 28 pages relate the tale of a town of seamen who ply the oceans, a fearsome monster that stalks them, and how a young sailor figured out … well, it’s never wise to give the story away completely.

But the rhyming is clever, if sometimes a little obscure, and the story is meant to provide the elements that keep children engaged – love, fright, surprise and satisfaction.

The book, which sells for $16.95, is available through the website, http://www.greatgalomp.com, and at a number of outlets up and down the Roaring Fork River Valley.

These include Through The Looking Glass, the Book Train and the Frontier Historical Society, all in Glenwood Springs; and at Mary’s Wondrous Things in Rifle, and Explore Booksellers in Aspen.

Since it is a self-published book, funded by selling his trusty RV, Boyle himself does the marketing, giving away books to libraries, trudging from store to store and using social networking websites to drum up business.

All the while, he is working on other projects, such as a promised Old West Reader that he hopes to finish soon.

Well, as soon as it’s finished, anyway.


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