Path of the Wright Brothers

Having just wrapped-up  The Wright Brothers  by one of my favorite authors, David McCullough, many parallels stood out between Orville, Wilbur and myself, as the movement of our family during my formative years followed the path of the Wright family.

First Flight - colorized  photograph by John T. Daniels at Kitty Hawk in 1903, one of the most famous photos of all time.

First Flight – colorized photograph by John T. Daniels at Kitty Hawk in 1903, one of the most famous photos of all time.

Continue reading

Hoosier Authors

Indiana is known mostly for basketball, corn, the Autumn scenery in the
rolling hills of the southern part of the state, the billowing steel mills in the northwestern region, its seemingly unending railroad tracks and the Indy 500. Until recently reading H.L. Mencken on American Literature, I had associated the state with only a few authors of note, namely Lew Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut and perhaps the most identifiable with the state of Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley.

Continue reading

Indiana 84th

For about as long as I can remember, the diary of Samuel B. Smith has been a cherished asset to the family. The first time I laid eyes on the relic was sometime in the early 1960’s and the manuscript was falling apart then. The last I saw of it, the heirloom was in the hands of Wanda Murphey, Jim’s wife. Jim Murphey was Lorraine’s brother. Lorraine was my Grandmother. Samuel B. Smith was Lorraine and Jim’s Grandfather. The scope of the diary is the days while Samuel served in the 84th Regiment Indiana Infantry during the American Civil War. His enlistment was for a 3 year term. Copies of the original diary were made in the 1970’s for all immediate family members. I have had 2 in my possession through the years and have read it so many times that I practically know it verbatim. At the back of the diary is a family tree which is fairly modern, the manuscript was actually penned many years after the events from Samuel’s notes.

Continue reading

Re-living Mississinewa 1812

A couple of weeks ago, I ran into an elderly fellow in the village down in the campus area. He was handing out flyers and doing a little PR work to promote an annual event that I, oddly enough, hadn’t really known too much about at that time. It happened that I was reading a book about the settling of the Ohio frontier in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s which devotes several chapters to the Indian wars that occurred during that span of history. There were several run-ins with the native American tribes, but they pretty much subsided at the conclusion of the War of 1812.

Continue reading