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May 2007

May 1 * Guest Speaker- North Park Library, Evansville, IN

I wish every appearance could be as relaxed and easy going as my visit to the North Park Library. Michael Campese invited be to come and share my thoughts on Thunder with his reading group. Michael is the librarian at North Park Public Library. The reading group would spend the month reading my book and then I would come in and talk and answer questions. You can tell Michael loves books and reading and he really cares about his book club. Michael approached me about appearing at North Park last year and I am very glad that I was able to come.
       I've done a number of library programs and you never know what to expect. This was probably the library program where I had the most fun. Michael offered me a nice rocking chair from which to sit and talk to everyone and for some reason it just set a wonderfully comfortable tone to the entire evening. I felt like I was at home just talking to friends about Adam Johnson in my living room. I starting talking about how the book got going and touched on some of the dramatic events leading up to the raid. I wanted to share a few things about Adam Johnson's post-Civil War career and had a great time going over some of the incredible adventures in his latter life. I sold a good number of books and everyone seemed to have enjoyed what I had to say.
       My special thanks and congratulation to Michael Campese who received a phone call in the middle of my presentation announcing the birth of his new grand-baby. Thanks Mike and good luck!!

May 8 * Guest Speaker- PEO Group, Holiday Retirement Village, Evansville, IN

I was invited to speak to the PEO Group more than a year ago and I have to tell you that there was more than a little mystery to it. The PEO Group is a women's philanthropic organization. I could never quit find out what PEO meant, but I had a great time speaking to the gathered members. There were maybe 20 members who sat around a long rectangular table. First, we shared a dessert-type dish and then I got up an spoke for maybe 20 minutes. It seemed like just a flickering moment and it was gone. Everyone was very kind and welcoming and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The profits from books sold at the PEO appearance will be donated to the PEO who in turn will donate the money to a college they support. My sincere thanks for the invitation and I wish PEO the best of luck in their future endeavors.

May 12 * Guest Speaker- McHenry County, Illinois, 9th Annual Civil War Symposium
Yours truly at the 9th Annual McHenry County Civil War Symposium

After the Decatur, Illinois, Symposium last year the show bookseller, Robert Murphy, recommended that I look into the McHenry County Symposium outside Chicago. I contacted Ed Urban and Ed agreed to have me on the schedule as one of four presenters for 2007. I am extremely glad I went as I had a great time and it was a very welcoming crowd.
       I flew up to O'Hare Airport on Friday night before the presentation. Everything went well on the flight, but Friday traffic leaving Chicago was very heavy. Even on Route 90 headed west traffic was 35 miles an hour all the way. I wasn't expecting a 90 minute car ride after arriving in Chicago, but I guess I should have. I ate a little something and then went to bed early. I woke up about 5AM and just stayed in bed thinking about Adam Johnson and the speech I was getting ready to give. Going through his incredible life.
       I arrived at the venue early and started talking to folks, getting ideas about what to focus on in my talk. Soon I was selling some books. I was on the agenda first because I had to catch a plane back on Saturday. As usual, the speech was over all too quickly. I think things went well. Everyone seemed to like it. I had a great lunch and drove back to the airport. The flight back was uneventful.
       My thanks to Ed Urban for the great time I had at the Symposium.

Yours truly taking a question after my May 12 presentation

May 19 * Book Vendor- 2nd Annual Newburgh, Indiana Winefest

My last entry in a long May. I wanted to do one last appearance at Newburgh before moving on to my next project. I wanted to spend the day selling books on behalf of the Newburgh Scholarship fund and my May 19 appearance was a great success. Frank Hijuelos took me under his wing and set me up with a prime spot in the Historic Newburgh Inc booth. I spent the whole day glued to my post and wound up selling a very nice load of books. The weather could not have been better for an outdoor event. It was a long, beautiful, tiring day for me. Another great memory.