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November 15 * Guest Speaker- Newburgh Kiwanis Club, Newburgh, IN
Having not spoken in about six
weeks as I wind my speaking schedule down, I though to
myself that I would be awfully rusty for the twenty-minute
speech at the Newburgh Kiwanis. Strangely, it was not the
case. I felt strong (despite being deathly ill the two
previous days) and I felt invigorated by the interest of
the crowd (about 30 people). I did an abbreviated version
of my longer speech and took some questions. I met a Mr.
Mike Collins at the meeting and it turns out he is a member
of the Pancake family, the subject of my next book. He put
me in touch with his brother, Godfrey, who had a bunch of
Pancake family related info not previously known to me. I
guess that's how it happens. If you're out there sharing,
someone will eventually share with you.
It was a real bittersweet thing for me to give my last Newburgh speech in Newburgh, but it was the largest Newburgh crowd I ever had in Newburgh and I felt really good about it. Sold a nice pile of books too.
November 29 *
Guest Speaker- Reitz Home Carriage House- Evansville, IN
This was my last tri-state area
speech. It was very difficult putting something aside that
has meant so much to me, but I was happy to introduce my
new project for the first time as part of my speech.
There's usually seating for between 50 to 70 people at the
historic (1871) Reitz Home Carriage House and there were 91
reservations for the evening. I think the fire code was
stretched for about an hour in order to pack that many
people in. I've said it a thousand times and its still
true- I don't know what's going to strike me or what
exactly I'm going to say once I start. This evening was a
little different in that I promised to read two letters
from Albert Pancake pertaining to my new Civil War book. I
also read an excerpt from my new book, which was fun.
Basically, I tried to fit in everything I could in the
short time I had. I went way over on time, but no one left
while I was talking. I sold a nice pile of books.
To me, it was a perfect way to sign off for now to Thunder From a Clear Sky. I continue my research into the events of July 1862 in order to get a more complete picture of how and what happened to Newburgh during the Confederate raid and I intend to return to Thunder at some point with a deeper understanding of those historic events. But for now, I immerse myself in the letters of a Civil War soldier from Pike County, Indiana.
I wanted to thank all my special friends for supporting me and supporting this project for the last three years. Don Johnson, Susanne Siria, Historic Newburgh, Inc., and so many others were there to hear me one last time and I am eternally grateful. Thank you.
One more thing, Don Johnson taped the entire speech I gave on November 29 and it will be posted on my redesigned website sometime in 2008. For all those who may have missed me, you'll get a little taste by checking out the video once it is prepared for posting.