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August 2006

August 21 * Guest Speaker- McGrady-Brockman House, Vincennes, IN
Announcement board on the street corner near the McGrady-Brockman House
where I spoke on August 21, 2006.

After missing the Kentucky Genealogical Society Annual Meeting on August 5, I was extremely anxious to get back on track spreading the word about Adam Johnson and Thunder from a Clear Sky. Luckily, Vincennes possesses a jewel at the McGrady-Brockman House who is responsible for the fantastic success of the program on August 21. The name of the jewel is Brian Spangle. I met Brian years ago when I was just starting my research on the original book that I wanted to write before I bumped into Adam Johnson. He was a great help to me then, opening up the archives to me and making sure I had everything I needed. He's the type of person you aren't going to forget after he helps you. I didn't forget. When it came time for me to talk to a group in Vincennes about my book, Brian's name came back to me. I knew, once again, he would be helpful- and he was, big time. Brian organized for me to come to the McGrady-Brockman House on August 21 to coincide with a regular genealogical society meeting. Brian also got the word out to the community, big time.

The author signs the last few first edition copies of
Thunder from a Clear Sky at Vincennes

        I got there early as I always do and talked to Brian for awhile. The first group came in at 6 PM for a 6:30 PM talk- this was a good sign. I started talking to people right away and by the time 6:30 came around the room was completely full, people were setting up chairs in the next room, and more folks were still coming in. There must have been between 35 and 40 people in the room. As some of you know, I no longer speak from notes. I gave it up last year after I wound up looking at them on the way home after every event. I decided tonight to talk a little about the project that got me started years ago and is the project I'm working on now- the 80th Indiana. The 80th Indiana has a serious Vincennes component and many of the people in town today have ancestors that go back to the regiment. Anyway, I can't remember much of what I said, but everyone seemed to like it. I took several good questions and sold a nice pile of books. All the profits from the books will be donated to the Civil War monument restoration project in Vincennes. Here's the best part. I'll be appearing again in Vincennes on September 9. Most publishers say I'd be crazy to appear twice in the same town within weeks, but I'm really looking forward to their Civil War days on September 9. I asked everyone at the event to tell others about my return on September 9. The profits from that appearance will also be donated to the Civil War monument. The bottom line was that this was a terrific event and I felt energized by the knowlegeable crowd. I am grateful to Brian and everyone in the town of Vincennes. I hope everyone comes by to see me on September 9. I'm really looking forward to it.