It’s A Book!

Feb 02, 2023 by Tempe Javitz
              It’s A Book!

I started blogging over a year ago in January 2022,
in preparation for the launch of my photo book regarding
my talented grandmother, Jessamine Spear Johnson.  Today
I have wonderful news, my book “Bighorn Visions, the 
Photography of Jessamine Spear Johnson,” will be released
on April 11th by the South Dakota 
Historical Society Press.  You will be able to preorder
by early March.  I will keep you posted via my blog and website.

It’s been a long but rewarding experience learning how to 
scan, document, and catalog Jessamine’s large collection 
of photos, diaries, letters and notes.  I’ve learned so much
about her and her love of taking images while recording the
activities of her long life.  If you haven’t already, check 
out my website,, for further
information about the book, see more images in the gallery
section, and review the exciting media page.

Birthing a book is not for everyone.  This challenge took me
over four years. Persuading a publisher to take on my manuscript
was not an easy process.  Nevertheless, those of you that love
exploring family history, don’t stop.  Write down stories you 
have heard from your grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles.  
I didn’t begin to do that until I was in my 20s.  My mother and
dad used to regale us at the dinner table with incidents from 
their childhood.  I now wish I had noted those conversations in
a diary or a notebook.  Luckily my great grandparents and my 
grandparents kept diaries.  We forget that we are living history.  
Get the facts down now while the details are fresh.  You don’t 
have to write a book, but a notebook with stories to pass on to
your kids is priceless.  I’ve been humbled by the positive reaction
to my website, the blog, and my two published magazine articles.  
I’m terribly excited to see this book in print.