Authors Ruth Anne Abel Schneck and Janice Abel, will be speaking at Hawkins Memorial Library on Wednesday, April 3, at 6 PM. The Abel sisters will share from their books From the Wishmore to You and its companion book, From The Wishmore to You Cookbook.

The Wishmore book is about sisters growing up in a main street café, The Wishmore, in La Porte City, during the 1940’s.  Using an exchange of letters and dialogue, the sisters recreate typical scenes from the café and Main Street of the 1940’s. The Abel sister’s letter exchanges, combined with their father’s photography, offer a creative and effective presentation of family and local history.  The book is a model that will encourage other families to document everyday life events, places, persons and stories.

It started with popcorn.  In 1920, while recuperating from an inflammatory bone marrow disease, teen-ager, George Abel started thinking about his future.  He decided to open a popcorn stand on Main Street. It was at that stand in 1928 that he first gazed into the brown eyes of Faye Burrows.  After a courtship of four years, George and Faye were married in 1932.

From popcorn to sandwiches, to homemade pies and catered dinners, the Wishmore was a Main Street fixture for 40 years.  The café was originally named after a brand of spices used to mix with hamburger.  Over the years, “Wishmore” came to mean “with all wishes and more.”  The café was a place where people congregated before or after movies, after church, or anytime to swap stories, discuss events and make friends.

From the Wishmore to You will freshen memories of the World War II era with all the flavor of patriotism, big band music, childhood playtimes and school enthusiasm. It will only take a sentence or two to bring back memories of folks of the 1940’s generation, while today’s families will enjoy hometown tales from La Porte City’s history. Relive some of these stories written on the pages of the Wishmore as you walk down La Porte City’s Main Street with the Abel sisters.

The Wishmore Cookbook, a companion to From the Wishmore to You, contains 200 pages of recipes from from Faye Abel’s recipe file, in addition to those from friends and family. Along with appetizers, baked goods, main dishes, desserts and snacks, the cookbook is sprinkled with many historical tidbits about the development of the café and city events of the time. Enjoy sample menus and meals (at that time) for $1.35 or less! More than a collection of recipes, The Wishmore Cookbook is an historical treasure, one that offers a glimpse into La Porte City’s past.

Following their presentation, the Abel sisters will sign copies of From the Wishmore to You and From The Wishmore to You Cookbook, which will be available for purchase. In addition to the book signing, samples of some of the recipes from the cookbook will be served. From the Wishmore to You is available in both hardcover and paperback. All of the proceeds from the sale of these books will be donated to Hawkins Memorial Library. “From the Wishmore to You” promises to be an enjoyable evening of fun and history at Hawkins Memorial Library.