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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Getting to know local author Tom Mattson

E.M. Schultz
Posted 12/3/19

TOWER— Biwabik native Tom Mattson has traveled the world and his eclectic recollections of those adventures have been compiled in his new book, The Other Worlds: Offbeat Adventures of a Curious …

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Getting to know local author Tom Mattson

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TOWER— Biwabik native Tom Mattson has traveled the world and his eclectic recollections of those adventures have been compiled in his new book, The Other Worlds: Offbeat Adventures of a Curious Traveler.
Mattson, who has ties to the Tower-Soudan area, sat down here on a recent Saturday to talk to friends and former neighbors about his book over refreshments at Sulu’s Espresso Café.
His book recounts Mattson’s wanderings over four continents and includes plenty of nods to the Iron Range and Lake Vermilion. According to Mattson, the Range deserved its own chapter because it’s one of the most interesting places he’s ever been.
For those who attended, it was a morning filled with casual conversation and more than a little laughter as Mattson recounted his overnight experience in a Tijuana jail, his 400-day trip around the world, or his visits to his shack in the mountains of Guatemala.
While he said it’s too hard to choose a favorite destination, he also said he enjoys visiting his friends in Cuba, one of whom grew up in a village frequented by revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and has many incredible stories to tell. Mattson said getting to know the locals is one of the best parts of traveling for him.
Mattson was raised in Biwabik, but his mother, Elmy Erickson, grew up in Tower, and he recalls attending Old Settlers celebrations with her years ago. His connection to the East Range was apparent when he started talking with some of those who had come to meet him and discuss his book. One of them had worked for the Biwabik Times, which is where Mattson got his start as a writer. Another had been his next-door neighbor growing up. The longer he spoke, the more obvious it became that while he loved traveling, he was also appreciative of all that the Iron Range has given him. 
In fact, Mattson’s first book, written with contributions from a cohort of eleven other Virginia junior college students, was The Mesabi-Vermilion Iron Range, first published in 1965. Reprints of the book, which explores the history of different area cities, were available for purchase at the book signing event and will be available at his future events.
Mattson says he has even more stories to share, which will hopefully appear in a second book someday down the road. While he wanted to include everything in this first book, his publisher told him it would be better to keep it on the shorter side. He may also choose to share some extra stories on his upcoming website, which he expects to launch before the end of the year.
The book itself will be available to the public on Jan. 7 through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Those wishing to claim a copy now, may do so at one of Mattson’s upcoming events. He will be at the Nelimark Homestead Museum on Friday, Dec. 6 from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and the Biwabik Weihnachsfest on Saturday, Dec. 7.
To learn more about The Other Worlds: Offbeat Adventures of a Curious Traveler, and Mattson, visit www.TomsGlobe.com or head to one of his upcoming local events.

tom mattson, books

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