Manitoulin Adventures: I Was Mistaken For a Rich, Red, Ripe Tomato by Bonnie Kogos

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Where in the World is Manitoulin Island?

Here you can view excerpts to various articles written about Bonnie and her book, I Was Mistaken For A Rich, Red, Ripe Tomato.

Click on the links below to read the articles.

Manitoulin Recorder: June 22, 2001
The Sudbury Star: June 30, 2001
The Sudbury Star: July 4, 2001
The Sudbury Star: July 9, 2001
Manitoulin Recorder: July 13, 2001
Manitoulin Expositor: July 25, 2001
Bonnie and Friends at a Book Signing

Bonnie (centre) with some friends at a book signing
in Kagawong, Ontario displaying the cover of the book.

"Good Friend" of Manitoulin to hold book signing

by Tom Sasvari

Most people on Manitoulin will no doubt have met her, or read her column in The Sudbury Star. And for those who know her well, she is a good friend to many locally, as well as being a good friend of Manitoulin Island in general.

Bonnie Kogos, who resides in New York City and visits Manitoulin as much as possible, has published a book: Manitoulin Adventures.

"It has always been my dream to publish the best columns I have written over the past 10 years in the Sudbury Star into a goofy, loving, funny book about a journey of discovery on Manitoulin Island," said Ms. Kogos last week.

"If you think it is easy coming from New York City and adapting in the winter... it was a great challenge," she said, laughing. "Now, I try to come up to the island as much as I can to the exclusion of going to Paris, London or Rome."

"I've also been working with Paul Marcon and Tara Bailey, in the marketing division of LAMBAC to send people up to Manitoulin and the region," said Ms. Kogos.

Through the money earned over the years from her column in The Sudbury Star, Ms. Kogos said she kept all the money in Ontario, at the Toronto Dominion Bank.

As an added Manitoulin flavour to her book, Ms. Kogos pointed out that Dick Maloney is doing the cover while Jack [Whyte] and Dylon Whyte designed the back and front of the book, printed by Haring Printing.

"I hope to stay out of the ditches on this trip to the island," quipped Ms. Kogos.

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Star columnist releases book

by Liane Beam

When Bonnie Kogos first set foot on Manitoulin Island 11 years ago to spend the winter, she was "just a city clicker from New York."

Kogos, a travel agent specialising in the Caribbean, has chronicled her adventures on Manitoulin Island in Window Seat, her column in The Sudbury Star.

Kogos was hired to write Window Seat after sending in four columns to The Star about a New York City person's perspective of Canadian life.

Thirty-two of these columns, which describe life on Manitoulin in a "humorous, thoughtful and loving way" have been compiled in a book entitled Manitoulin Adventures: I Was Mistaken for a Rich, Red, Ripe Tomato.

"The book is about making mistakes," Kogos says.

One such mistake involved driving her car into a ditch. But that mistake led Kogos to the adventure of writing a newspaper column.

"And that led to the book," she says.

Through it all, Kogos has met and learned about people.

"That's what it's all about," she says. "You have to keep learning and reaching out to people every day."

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Book signing attracts friends

Rob O'Flanagan

Sudbury Star columnist Bonnie Kogos was doing her best imitation of a ripe tomato Tuesday night.

The New Yorker, who has a soft spot for Sudbury and Manitoulin Island, was dressed head to toe in bright red as she autographed copies of her book, Manitoulin Adventures: I was Mistaken for a Rich, Red, Ripe Tomato, at Chapters.

The book, a collection of her best Window Seat columns which appear every second week in The Star, was selling briskly.

A reader favourite for many years, Window Seat chronicles Kogos' humorous, touching and life-affirming encounters with Manitoulin- and Sudbury-area people. What accounts for its success?

"I'm not afraid to make mistakes, or be a jerk, or be a learner," said Kogos, who was swarmed by adoring fans, all of whom see her as a champion of the human spirit.

Among those who turned up for Kogos' book signing were a number of women who became subjects of Window Seat and, later, close friends with the author. Judi Cartman was one of them.

"I just love her exuberance for life," said Cartman, who owns and runs an appliance business in Sudbury and became one of Kogos' Sudbury subjects. "She finds something good in everything."

Kogos said she writes as though she were an intimate friend of the reader.

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Book an ongoing story about making mistakes

Rosalind Waples

She calls herself a New Yorkers, but, if her work is there, her heart is on Manitoulin Island and her fans know it.

It was a packed house for Sudbury Star columnist Bonnie Kogos Sunday at the Park Centre in Kagawong at a book signing for Manitoulin Adventures: I was Mistaken for a Rich, Red, Ripe Tomato.

The book is a witty, ebullient, energetic passage of the rites of becoming a Haweater-- anyone born on Manitoulin Island or who aspires to call it home.

More than a decade ago, Kogos met the love of her life, Will Mudge, who was born and raised in Kagawong. Her close relationship with him dovetailed into a love affair of all he loved-- the island's beaches, tall trees, friendly people. Kogos said it also was a learning experience.

"I look at myself as a woman who became successful in her work in New York City, came to Manitoulin Island and drove into a ditch," chuckles Kogos.

"The book is an ongoing story about making mistakes in the summer of your life and how you learn from them."

Those lessons inspired her to develop a column for The Sudbury Star called Window Seat. The book compiles many of these musings of the last 10 years. The inspiration for her book came from walking on the dock at Kagawong, says Kogos.

"I heard so many stories from, and about, people, that made me grow. I was enhanced spiritually, physically and in fellowship with others."

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Residents attend 'Island friend' book signing

Tom Sasvari

About 300 of her closest friends showed up for a book signing last Sunday. Friends and fans alike were on hand to purchase Bonnie Kogos' book Manitoulin Adventures: I was Mistaken for a Rich, Red, Ripe Tomato and to wish congratulations to this lady who has made Manitoulin her home away from home in New York City.

The Manitoulin Tourism Association (MTA) had set up the come-and-go tea book signing at the Park Centre in Kagawong.

"One of the main reasons the MTA wanted to do this because this lady has done so much to promote Manitoulin Island," said Sharon Alkenbrack, president of the MTA.

"What was so fulfilling about the day was there were so many people I had interviewed through the years who showed up to support me," [said] Kogos.

One of those people was a gentleman from Espanola she met one day at La Guardia Airport in New York City.

"I was standing in line and I asked the man in front of me, Jerry Placken, where he was going. He said he was travelling to Espanola and I said, 'Me too, I'm passing through to Manitoulin Island,' " explained Ms. Kogos. She continued, noting Mr. Placken is an engineer.

"So I asked Mr. Placken if I could interview him, he said yes, and I asked him questions on the plane from New York to Toronto and from Toronto for Sudbury. I was so happy he was one of the people who showed up today."

Ms. Kogos said one of her main reasons to penning this book was to "enhance the value of this region to the rest of the world and to keep Manitoulin Island even more green with currency."

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New York hothouse tomato writes about becoming a hardy northern plant

Michael Erskine

It is impossible not to be affected by the enthusiasm and spirit of Manitoulin's Manhattan marvel and chronicler, Bonnie Kogos.

Daughter of a New York book publisher, who specialised in the garment industry and travelled the world over, Ms. Kogos was a hardy and well-seasoned traveller herself long before she came to the Island in search of love and peace a number of years ago. She soon found herself smitten, both by her fiancÚ and the vast unsullied beauty of her new Island home.

Her philosophical musings can take an encounter with the ubiquitous poison ivy plant and relate it in a manner, so filled with a combination of naive big-city wonder and tongue-in-cheek pronouncements, that it cannot help but bring tears of laughter to the eyes of the more "sophisticated" Islander.

Sprinkled liberally with the very real characters, both big and small, who make up the Island's unique personality, the books is a testament to the force of personality of Ms. Kogos, who manages with New York City speed to become a part of people's lives in a time period that would take others all their lives to accomplish.

Her book is written with the well-crafted smooth delivery of a tremendously experienced professional writer, and conveys her personality to the reader while drawing them deeply into the subject matter at hand.

Ms. Kogos' New York manner may seem a touch frenetic to her more laid-back Manitoulin friends, but she is obviously deeply in love with the Island, and that alone means she is nobody's fool.

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