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Book launch via helium balloon lands in Scotland
TARA MULLOWNEY THE TELEGRAM
Ross Traverse is out $100 today, and he couldn’t be happier. Traverse, who owns Traverse Gardens in Torbay, launched his first book, “Ask Ross Traverse About Gardening: Practical Advice for Gardeners in a Cool Climate,” Sept. 21, and came up with a unique promotional tool for the event.
He got a red camper’s fuel cylinder — which is aluminum, lightweight and water-proof — and filled it with bookmarks, information about his book, and a note, saying whoever found the cylinder and contacted Traverse would receive a $100 reward.He then tied the cylinder to a small peat pot, which disintegrates in contact with water, and tied the peat pot to a dozen foil balloons filled with helium. At the book launch at Traverse Gardens in September, Traverse and his wife, Marcie, let the balloons go.
“We let them go over land, and we were never even sure they made it to the water,” Traverse said. “They almost crashed first when we let them go, but then they rose up and sailed away.
“It was an idea we had, but we never expected anything to come of it.”
Traverse was surprised, then, when on Sunday he got a call from David Beaumont in Oronsay, a small island in the Inner Hebrides in Scotland.
“He was part of a group of ecological researchers cleaning up a beach, and he came across this red cylinder,” Traverse said.
“He threw it to his friend, who opened it and found the bookmarks and the note.
“We were so excited to hear from him, my wife organized a party right away and we had some friends in.”
Beaumont told Traverse everything inside the cylinder had arrived in perfect condition, and the location couldn’t have been more perfect, since some of the habitants of Oronsay — of which there were five in the 2001 census — are organic farmers.
“On the phone, he never even mentioned the $100,” Traverse said with a chuckle, “but I told him I’m going to send him the book and the money. He’s going to send me some pictures and we’re going to correspond by e-mail.”