Former Iowa lawmaker to discuss climate march memoir

Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 12:00 p.m.

Contact Kathy Byrnes at (515) 491-8468 or [email protected]
Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or [email protected]

Former Iowa lawmaker to speak about memoir from 3,100-mile march

Local musician, Andy Juhl, to perform with former Rep. Ed Fallon before book reading

LE MARS, IOWA — At 6:00 p.m. at Lally’s Eastside Restaurant, former Iowa lawmaker and 2006 candidate for governor Ed Fallon will perform with local musician, Andy Juhl, prior to Fallon speaking about his book from 7:00-8:00. The book, Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim, is Fallon’s memoir from the 2014 Great March for Climate Action, when a core of 35 marchers walked 3,100 miles from Los Angeles to Washington, DC. The March came through western Iowa in August of that year. Fallon was one of five marchers to walk every step of the way. He will read from the book and discuss growing concerns about the climate crisis. Hardcover and paperback books will be for sale at the event, and Fallon will be available to sign them.

“My primary motive in writing Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim was to chronicle history’s longest climate march and fire-up people to take action against the existential threat of climate change,” said Fallon. “The urgency I felt during the March is now greater than ever, especially in light of last fall’s UN report and the National Climate Assessment.”

Fallon’s account is deeply personal. With humor and candid introspection, he weaves four threads through the narrative:

(1) A changing climate regularly threatens the vulnerable March community,

(2) As the miles unfold, Fallon struggles with his search for love and meaning,

(3) Climate change is already impacting people marchers meet along the way, and

(4) Internal disputes threaten to tear the March apart.

Here are a few excerpts from the book:

“We arrive at our campsite in a park in Gibbon, Nebraska, to an almost warlike scene. Large hail stones have broken glass and smashed cars. Siding has been ripped off buildings, paint stripped from houses. In the park, mature trees that normally would provide shade are half naked, their foliage shredded by hail. I try to imagine what would have happened to our tents, vehicles, and bodies had we camped here the previous night when the storm struck.” (from Chapter 25)

“The 19-mile march to Gary, Indiana takes us through East Chicago and Whiting, past the most disturbing industrial carnage most of us have ever witnessed. We pass miles of smoke stacks and flaming towers — garish monuments exposing the lie behind modernity’s sanitized facade. Of all the ugliness we’ve seen on the March, this is the worst.” (from Chapter 34)

“The March is now less than 200 miles from Des Moines, and several friends join me for a day or two. Dr. Charles Goldman drives past me on the road and doesn’t even recognize me. At camp, he says, ‘You look pathetic. I can’t believe how skinny you are. Here, eat these sardines,’ as he hands me three cans of protein-rich medicine. ‘Doctor’s orders?’ I enquire. ‘Yeah, and cheaper than anything I’d prescribe from Big Pharma.’” (from Chapter 26)

Ed Fallon lives in Des Moines, Iowa. His life of public service includes 14 years in the State Legislature and campaigns for Governor and US Congress. Since 2009, he has hosted a weekly talk show, the Fallon Forum. He also directs Bold Iowa, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build rural-urban coalitions to fight climate change. Fallon lives simply in an apartment in Des Moines. With his partner, Kathy Byrnes, he grows much of his own food, raising hens, bees, and thirty varieties of fruits and vegetables. Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim is his first book.

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