Monday, September 2, 2013


. . . and where has the time gone?

This summer has been another of great transitions. . . . We do not change easily; we must be jerked from the ground sometime. I have learned to trust God when I do not have the answers. Our lives are spent learning to trust God.

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So many wonderful things are happening. Lone Chimney Films will debut The Road to Valhalla on November 2 in Newton. I was so proud to be one of the on-camera historians for this important piece of Kansas and American history. With appearances by Buck Taylor and Michael Martin Murphey, music by Jed Marum, all springing forth from the scholarship and vision of friend Ken Spurgeon, it will be a documentary that stands the test of time. Watch the trailer:

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This weekend marks the Kansas Book Festival and Michelle Martin will be here Thursday when she closes up shop at the Little House on the Prairie. We will present to a class at Washburn Rural High School on Friday, attend the reception at the Governor's Mansion on Friday night, and the Book Festival on Saturday at the Kansas Statehouse! Here is the lineup of distinguished authors:

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A chance to pair once again with Wideawake Films and be a part of their exhibit and reenactment of the issuing of Order # 11. Visit Commerce Bank at 10th and Walnut in Kansas City. Their Box Gallery is outstanding. The exhibit is excellent and I was proud to speak, along with fellow historian the incredible orator, Ralph Monaco. Visit when you get a chance. I believe the exhibit is up through October. On September 14, there will be a reenactment of the execution of Order # 11, where families in western Missouri were put off their farms and exiled.

The extraordinarily gifted photographer Bob Szabo made this wet plate photo of my addressing the crowd in front of the Pacific House on Delaware Street in Kansas City. General Thomas Ewing, brother-in-law and foster brother of William T. Sherman, issued Order # 11 on August 25, 1863, in response to Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence.

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I have so many reviews to get to. Jenny Lasala sent me a wonderful book about her dad's military service, Comes a Soldier's Whisper. It's wonderful. Charlie Lesueur sent me his audio cds on western movie cowboys which are absolutely awesome! I have a couple of other books to get to as well. Maybe the fall will bring more time for reading and writing. Oh, and along the way this summer, I won an Arty Award for Literature. It was presented by my good friend, Diana Friend, of the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library. Sarah Fizell, head of Arts Connect, said:

We give a literary award because we believe that Topeka has a rich history of literary involvement that is deserving of recognition. Deb was given the award because of her promotion of the history of our state, her involvement in our community and, well, because she is so very awesome!!! 

Well, there is just a lot of awesomeness going around in our community. Speaking of which, here is a photo of me with my friend Michelle Levian that night. She is most remarkable!

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