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July 2006

July 9 * Guest Speaker- Sunday Book Club at the Newburgh Central Library, Newburgh, IN

Well, I was originally going to take July off as a breather, but I got a call to attend a meeting of the Sunday Book Club at the new Newburgh Central Library. I had to say yes. The old library, the one where I did some of my research for Thunder from a Clear Sky, was down on the Ohio River waterfront in the old part of Newburgh. The new library is a grand, beautiful building and will be a great service to the community for many years to come. It doesn't have the million dollar view of where Adam Johnson first stepped foot on Indiana soil on July 18, 1862, but it has many other things to recommend it. Among those things is Diane Sprick. Many people have heard me tell the story about how I first learned that there was no previous book published on the Newburgh raid. I went to the Newburgh library, asked the librarian, and was informed that there "was no book." This story now has a name for the famous librarian involved. Her name is Diane Sprick. It was Diane who first looked me in the eye and informed me that there was no book published on the Newburgh raid. That was the day that set me on the path toward writing Thunder from a Clear Sky. At that time I didn't know Diane at all. Diane is also the one who invited me to speak at the Sunday Book Club. I really enjoy book clubs. The part I enjoy the most about giving talks on Thunder is the questions I get to ponder from the audience. Although it was a small crowd, I thought it was a pretty lively discussion and some great questions were asked. I got to talk about a bunch of things I've learned since the raid and I wound up selling some books. I had a great time. Thank you Diane- for everything.

July 19 * Book Presentation- At the new Newburgh Town Hall on Jennings Street, Newburgh, IN
Newburgh Council
In a picture I snapped during the relocation of the Newburgh Town Council, the council rolled their chairs from the old Town Hall to the new while being led by the Sons of the American Revolution. The entire event was according to protocol.

This is why I love Newburgh, Indiana. After 40 years in which town hall proceedings were held in the old 1853 Presbyterian Church on State street, the Newburgh Town Council moved to new quarters in what used to be the top floor of the Newburgh Library on Jennings Street. The library had recently moved to a new location closer to where most of the people now live in Newburgh- further north. When that happened the town council took the opportunity to renovate and move into the vacated former library building. The old library had a million dollar view of the Ohio River (if any view of the Ohio could be worth that much). Now it is the modern digs for the Newburgh Town Council. That would be story enough, but when the council moved they literally rolled their chairs down State street onto Jennings and rolled them right behind their new rostrum. This was all according to the protocol of how seats of government are to be changed. On hand for the ceremony were Reg and Shirley Porter from Newburgh's sister city, Newburgh, England. I asked Frank Hijuelos if it would be appropriate for me to present a copy of my book to the sister city representatives and Frank thought it was a good idea. I got up and gave a short blurb on the book and gave it to Reginald. I was nervous. He graciously accepted the book and was going to have the council in Newburgh, England read it. So, Thunder From a Clear Sky is going international.