Brad Edmondson is an independent journalist who resides in Ithaca, New York. He’s published two books, Postwar Cornell: How the Greatest Generation Transformed a University and Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry’s. He’s also written regularly for AARP the Magazine and The American Scholar, and a few of his recent consulting clients include The Private Label Manufacturing Association and the National Bicycle Dealers Association.
In the anthology, he’s published an essay entitled “One Day in Ithaca: May 17, 2013.”
What made you want to publish in the anthology?
The Finger Lakes has a thriving and under-appreciated community of writers. I was honored to be asked, and eager to join an effort to draw attention to local writers.
What made you want to submit this piece in particular?
I have studied Ithaca for 35 years as a reporter, parent, music lover, and Fall Creeker. It’s a strange and wonderful place. I wanted to share my view of it.
You’ve also written two nonfiction books. Is your process for writing whole books different from essays or articles?
For me, books are like lots of articles all stapled together. I learned how to write and spent decades doing 2000-word pieces for newspapers and magazines, and I’m afraid it’s too late for me to change my ways,
Your piece focuses on both community and corporations, which seems to be a theme in your work. How did you become so interested in social activism?
I attended Deep Springs College, a unique institution whose mission is to prepare students for lives of public service. Once I got involved, I quickly noticed that activists have more interesting lives and throw way better parties than other kinds of people do.
When did you start writing? What were your first writings like?
In kindergarten, in 1964, I wrote and illustrated a book (in crayon) about a scientist who builds a rocket and goes to the moon. My teacher and my mother both said it was great. The praise I got from storytelling hooked me.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Bicycling, swimming, and cross-country skiing with my wonderful wife Tania; and traveling to see my wonderful grown children, Will and Emma, and a large extended family.
How can readers learn more about you? Do you have any social media accounts?