New Book Shares Lots of Leelanau County Laughs

Leland resident Scott Craig, author of the recently released Laughing in Leelanau or I Swear it’s True, spent a year searching for the funniest stories in Leelanau County. His book is just what we need right now.

In the course of writing the book, Craig traveled to coffee clubs, barbershops, kitchens, parlors, porches and taverns. He scoured past issues of the Leelanau Enterprise. At the Leelanau Historical Society, he found songs and poems about many of the county’s villages. In all, he gathered stories from more than one hundred people—like the fudgie who asked a local where was the best spot to catch smoked fish.

Craig is a retired television producer, director and writer who worked for NBC- and CBS-owned stations in Chicago. Craig and his work have won more than one hundred awards, including a National Emmy and 32 Emmys from the Chicago Chapter of the Television Academy, more than anyone in the history of Chicago television.

“In my 45 years of producing television programs, I received hundreds and hundreds of assignments,” Craig says. “I carried them out to the very best of my ability. I loved my job. However, my favorite assignment is the one I gave myself a year and a half ago: Go out into Leelanau County and find every funny story you possibly can. What a complete joy that turned out to be.”

Craig was inspired by the book Maine Humor, which was shown to him by a friend. The friend, who had gone to school in Maine, read some of the stories aloud, like the tale of a farmer trying in vain to give directions to a stranger. The farmer, finally exasperated, said, “You know, you just can’t get there from here.”

Craig thought, “I’ll bet we’re just as funny right here in Leelanau County. Maybe even funnier!” Turns out he was right.

Praise for Laughing in Leelanau or I Swear it’s True comes from Jeff Probst, host of the reality show “Survivor” on CBS, who says, “I knew within the first few words I was in for some great laughs.” And Ron Jolly, morning radio host at WTCM-AM in Traverse City, says the book has “at least one smile on every page.”

The book is published by Mission Point Press of Traverse City and is available through select local bookstores and online.