Columbus Museum kicks off free Third Thursday event tonight

September 20, 2012 

I've known Donald Tipton for years and years. He's a fine photographer, doing mostly underwater photgraphy. And he's a musician, too. His jazz group, the Solar Quintet, has been playing around town for some time now.

He is also a filmmaker. His movie, "Dreaming Into Blue," shows dolphins, humpback whales, California sea lions, sharks and other sea creatures that he filmed in waters all around the world.

The film features Tipton's daughter, Katherine, then age 9, swimming with eight bottle-nosed dolphins. She's now 17.

The screening is 6-8 p.m. tonight at the Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road.

The film is not narrated and is accompanied only by the score. For this screening, the Solar Quintet will play the score as the movie is shown. Pretty neat.

I can't wait to see the movie. I've seen trailers for it and it's spectacular.

The museum will hold events like this the third Thursday of each month. Guests can listen to live music, take tours of special exhibitions and participate in artist talks for free.

Call 706-748-2562.

'Brittle Innings'

If you like to read, Michael Bishop is an author you should know. He's an Air Force brat who ended up living in Pine Mountain. Although he hasn't published anything in a while, he was an active writer. He's starting to get back into that again.

He emailed me last week and I called him and we chatted.

We didn't speak of it, but I'm sure one of the reasons he took a break from writing was taking time to grieve the loss of his son, Jamie, a German professor who was killed on the Virginia Tech campus on April 16, 2007. I don't now how anyone can live with that kind of loss.

Michael and his wife, Jeri, seem to be coping now.

Michael is celebrating the reprinting of his novel, "Brittle Innings," which has been out of print for a long time. It was published in 1994 by Bantam and is about minor league baseball played in the Chattahoochee Valley League. I found the book in a used book store and absolutely loved it.

In fact, you just know that the Highbridge Hellbenders is the team from Columbus. I can't remember if he even mentions Columbus. I know that Michael must have been in Golden Park at some point in his life because of the description of the ballpark and its surroundings.

Because it is Michael, it's not just about minor league baseball. There's a supernatural element to the story, which I won't divulge.

"Brittle Innings" is in trade paperback form this time, published by Fairwood Press in Bonney Lake, Wash. It retails for $19.99 and should be available at the big box bookstores and online.

He had hopes for the book to be made into a movie because it was optioned by a major Hollywood studio. In fact, the studio bought the rights, but nothing has come of it. That's too bad. I'd love to see it in a movie version.

A second book, a collection of short stories, "The Door Gunner and Other Perilous Flights of Fancy," was published earlier this year.

So he's doing some publicity about the books now. He spoke to a group of people at the Harris County Library Tuesday and is planning similar events in Columbus.

I for one, am really happy that he's started writing again and is going out and about.

In the meantime, if you like well-written science-fiction, go find one of his books.

Sandra Okamoto, who covers the arts, can be reached at or by calling 706-571-8580.

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