Friday, December 4, 2015

Conrad Pinkstaff

Conrad Pinkstaff was one of my bus drivers at Flat Rock Grade School back in the 1960's. He was quite a story teller and considered himself a bit of a poet as Charles Kuralt found out when he stopped for gas at Gordon's Junction.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

John Glenn in Friendship 7

Probably the most important of the early missions was John Glenn's Friendship 7 flight. Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, but more importantly, it signified that we had caught up with the Russians in the Space Race. It was the first step in fulfilling John Kennedy's promise of sending a man to the moon before the end of the decade. Listen how excited Walter Cronkite got in the back ground."Go Baby!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Launch of Apollo 11

As a boy, I tried never to miss a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral. Whether at home or at school, every blast off was a big event. Every astronaut was a hero. They were the best that America could produce. I remember more than one of my teachers leading the class in prayer for the Astronaut's safety. It was a different time and place. The country was more innocent and so was I. As I watch the old telecast of the launch of Apollo 11, I feel the same excitement that I did when I was a kid.I remember sitting under a shelter at Twin Lakes Park on July 20th 1969. I was attending a family reunion. But instead of riding the roller coaster I was sitting on my Daddy Ray;s  lap watching Walter Cronkite describe the lunar landing as it happened. Someone had brought a old black and white portable television. The picture was grainy, but it didn't matter. We were watching history. We were excited and at the same time scared that something would go wrong and the men would be stranded on the moon. But everything went according to plan and the men all splashed down safely a few days later. Fast forward to 2015. We have no astronauts. Who  do the young boys have to look up to now? You would think with all of the money that the government wastes, that there should be enough to send a a man to the moon every now and then for appearance sake. Every generation needs their heros.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The way things were

I used to watch Red Skelton every Tuesday night on Channel 10. Not only was he truly funny, he always represented himself as a gentleman. Today this message would be panned as sappy and naive, but I love it anyway, Time changes things over the years. But this still rings true today. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My First Published Work

Last week at my Grandma Peg's memorial, my Aunt passed around a scrapbook that my grandmother had put together several years ago. In the book was a poem I had written in 4th grade for a county wide contest in 1968. The poem somehow won first place and was published in a small anthology. I had long forgotten about the poem and and would have bet the farm that it was lost forever. And yet, there it was. My poem was just one of the forgotten treasures created by Grandma Peg's many grandchildren. In this scrapbook were drawings of stick figure people, animals, flowers and programs for school pageants. Each one of these trophies were proudly given to Grandma Peg to prove how smart or talented we all were. She in turn kept them in a book to prove how much she loved us. Learning that that she kept a poem I wrote 48 years ago was an emotional moment for me. It was one last "I love you," from a woman who told me that she loved me every single time we were together. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

God Bless America on Veterans Day

I try to be a live and let live type of guy, but I am seeing a trend where anybody who shows patriotism is ridiculed and labeled a bigot, I see us losing many of the rights we took for granted and nobody seems to care. I am unsettled and not sure what to do about it. I've been look for a new direction to take this blog. For the time being I think I'll post videos like this. I don't if anybody will look at the next few entries, but a the very least... it makes me feel better.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Grandma Peg

When I last saw Grandma Peg, it was only a couple of weeks before she passed away. I tried to ignore the fact that she had failed. She was still alert, but it was obvious she wouldn’t be around much longer.
“Why won’t God take me home?” she asked. “Why does He keep me here?”
Jokingly, I told her that God wanted her to say a few more prayers on my behalf on account of my wayward tendencies. She laughed and reaffirmed that she did indeed pray for me on a daily basis. Not only me, but she prayed every one of her children and grandchildren. Because her memory wasn’t what it was, she had actually made a list, so as not to forget anybody.
Faithfully she prayed every day. For her, it wasn’t going through the motions. She had a personal relationship with Jesus. In my entire life, I have never met anyone who loved him more.
She liked to tell the story about her operation. While on the table, she found herself floating above the grass of a green meadow, holding the hand of a man who she knew to be Jesus. They were in a place that she believed to be Heaven. She didn’t want to leave, but the man said she would have to go back and tell anyone who would listen that Heaven was real. Like a good soldier; she did as she was told.
Anyone who knew Grandma Peg got a sermon or two whether they wanted it or not. She wasn’t discouraged by ridicule or bad behavior. She simply continued to pray. It didn’t matter if you believed or not. You were going to get your dose of Jesus with your noodles, mashed potatoes and iced tea. She ministered in the only way she knew how…with love and food and prayer.
On that last visit, Grandma Peg repeated the story about Jesus in the meadow. It was exactly the same as the first time I heard it. Nothing had changed. She had clung to that experience like an old rugged cross that has now been exchanged for her crown.
I am sad that Grandma Peg is gone, but I am happy that she is where she wanted to be. For if she isn’t in Heaven, there isn’t much hope for me.
I hope she can still pray for me now.
She prayed for me when I was selfish,
She prayed for me when I was bad,
Sometimes when my life was the darkest,

Her prayers were all that I had.

New E Mail Address

Effective immediately, my new email address is

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Einstein's Desk

When I look at this picture, I am amazed that Einstein was still hard at it so late in life. It inspires me to keep writing and gives me hope that I can produce many more books over the next few years.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nice Post By The Lawrence County Historical Society

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rick Kelsheimer - November Speaker

November 24, 2014
7:00 pm  
Lawrence County Historical Society
Museum on the Square


Rick Kelsheimer
Author of  book
South Union

Kelsheimer's newest book is based on tensions between the Unionist families and southern sympathizers in the area along the Embarras River and county line near Flat Rock.

The book review on  describes the book as follows:
When Samuel Farmer answered Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to fight the Southern Rebellion, he promised his family that he would return home in a few months. Farmer, like most soldiers on both sides of the conflict, thought that the war would be over in ninety days. After battles in places named Fort Donelson and Shiloh, it soon becomes clear that the bloodshed wasn’t going to end anytime soon. As the months turned to years, Copperheads and Confederate guerillas bring a war of terror to the Wabash Valley. Friends and neighbors suddenly find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. The Farmer family along with the residents of South Union struggle to survive against the deadly attacks by Southern Sympathizers while their husbands, fathers and sons fight for the Union Army in the heart of Dixie. At ten years of age, Will Farmer finds himself caught up in a local war where the enemy doesn’t differentiate between men and boys. He is forced to become a man in a world that still views him as a child. Far from the glory of the battlefield and based on actual events, “South Union” is a story about the forgotten war waged by the families left behind. It is a portrait of courage and heartbreak faith in the darkest of times.

According to the biography on Amazon's Book page:  Rick Kelsheimer, author of The Hanging of Betsey Reed, Wa-Ba-Shik-ki and The Adventures of Wabash Jake, is a native of southern Illinois. After many years as a behavioral therapist and substance abuse counselor in Colorado and Texas, he returned to his hometown of Robinson, Illinois. He now owns a book store and the local bowling alley. He lives with his wife Angela and has five children, along with two grandchildren and one ill-tempered Chihuahua. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Book Almost Finished.

My new book "Paradise Bowl" is getting close the final chapter. Look for the release late Spring 2015. After that I will be finishing the sequel to the Lost Slab. The working title for that book is The Dark Bend. I hope for it to be released for Christmas 2015.

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