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September 9 * Book Vendor- Vincennes Civil War Days, Vincennes, IN
When I first contacted Junior Fischer
about attending the Civil War Days event in Vincennes I
thought it would be a natural. The audience was built in,
Vincennes is less than an hour from my home, and there were
going to be other Civil War sutlers or vendors present.
There was one little catch, I had to appear in appropriate
19th century clothing. There were two problems with this:
1) I had never appeared in 19th century drawers before and
didn't know if I wanted to, and 2) I didn't have any period
appropriate clothing and wasn't going to buy any just for
this one event to sell books and donate the money to
charity. So, at first I thought I wasn't going. However,
the Civil War Days committee wasn't done with me yet. They
said I could come if I wore 19th century clothing and then
promptly gave me a set of clothing for the event. How could
I refuse after all the Civil War Days committee had done
for me? I'm sure glad I went as the event was huge success.
Jon Andrews is my guardian angel in Vincennes. I think we first met at Loogootee, Indiana, several years ago at an 80th Indiana event. We've kept in contact ever since. When it came time for me to come to Vincennes for Civil War Days Jon literally opened doors for me in town. I don't mind telling you that my emotions were all over the place as I drove to Vincennes in my outfit- uncertain about my physical appearance, uncertain about the event, uncertain that I would sell any books. Jon made everything all right. He met me at the event gate, got me set up, introduced me around, got me lunch and dinner, and helped arranged for a special tour at the George Rogers Clark monument. He was my personal guide and I can't thank him enough.
It was a beautiful day. This is the second annual such event and by all accounts there were twice as many folks participating and attending as there were last year. Vincennes is known for its big Revolutionary War event called "The Rendezvous" in May every year. I'm certain the Civil War event will be built to match the Revolutionary War event.
Yours truly at Civil War Days in Vincennes, Indiana
(notice the 19th-century garb)
was the first event where I was selling the Star Edition
of Thunder from a Clear
Sky, so I
was secretly nervous that there was something about the
book that people wouldn't like (after my endless
obsession to make it as perfect as I knew how). As
usual, all the worry was for nothing. I sold a
substantial pile of books including a nice count of
hardcover books. The action was steady all day as I sold
my last book as I was packing up. After the event wound
down at about 4:30 PM Jon walked me over to the Clark
monument. If you've never seen it, you need to. It
reminded me of the great European monuments with
floor-to-ceiling murals, audio tour, and a huge bronze
of George Rogers Clark. I was then treated to dinner
with the re-enactors and called it quits for the day. I
am so glad things worked out for me to come to Vincennes
for the event. The profits from Civil War Days are being
combined with those of my August 21 speech at the
McGrady-Brockman House and will be donated to the Knox
County Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument
restoration fund. Just another one of those
once-in-a-lifetime events, I guess.
September 29 * A feature newspaper article in the Madisonville Messenger titled "When Cannons Roared" discusses the Battle of Browning Springs in Madisonville, Adam Johnson's Partisan Rangers, Thunder From a Clear Sky, and yours truly. I was one of the sources for the article as Don Perryman interviewed me by phone for 30 minutes a week earlier. It is a very nicely done piece. Don used the same imagery to invoke the Browning Springs battle that appears in Thunder.