Monday, June 22, 2009

"Beginning" again...

Those of you who have read my Introduction remarks in The Complete Gettysburg Guide may recall the story that I tell of first learning to write my name at a very young age. One evening, I asked my father, David, how to write my name. He knelt down beside me on the floor, took one of my crayons, and wrote "D-A-V-I-D" on the page. I then traced over the letters, then wrote the name myself over and over, and I guess I haven't stopped writing since.

This past weekend, our local museum, operated by the Brockway (PA) Historical Society, hosted a talk and book signing for me. My father is one of the officers of the society, and a friend Tim Carnahan also is a valuable volunteer there. Tim did all the legwork setting up the event, and a nice little group attended on Saturday. Some folks also drove from about 15 miles away to get the new book. I was able to make a donation back to the museum from the sales, and it was a very nice couple of hours to spend talking about the book and signing them for attendees.

We had a picture taken, below, as I sign a book with my father looking on. I thought at that moment how what I had written about in the Introduction had come full circle. As he did those forty or so years ago, he once again looked on as I write my name - just as he taught me.

I know we both wish that my Mom, who went back home to God this past February, could have seen this book. She knew all about it as Steve Stanley and I worked on it, and even got to see some early images of the pages. I know that somewhere she is looking down, and perhaps also thinking back those many years ago when her "boys" wrote their shared name on paper for the very first time together.

I just wanted to let everyone know how special that story in the Introduction is to me, as special as the book itself is to Steve and I. Thanks, Dad, for showing me...

...the awesome power of words.


  1. No need to say anything else - you said it all

    Sal P - Gettysburg

  2. Very nicely written, JD. I hope my son is as thankful and grateful one day.

  3. First thing I thought of when seeing the photo was Mom not there. Then again, she was there watching over you both.

    See you in Gettysburg next week.


  4. JD,

    I'm touched, and am sure that your Dad is even more so.

    Keep well!

    Best wishes,


  5. Nice picture JD. Thanks for coming. I enjoy working at the museum with your dad.

    Tim Carnahan

  6. Thank you, Tim. I think we all can see how important history is to Dad, and I'm glad he has the outlet of the museum for it.

    It was a really nice signing event, and I enjoy hometown things like that every bit as much as all the ones at Gettysburg and other places. It really grounds you, and I really appreciate it!


  7. Ted,

    DT will be, trust me. I can already see it in his eyes. One day, when he doesn't have to worry about how "cool" (not) it is to tell your father you appreciate what he's done, he will. Heck, it took me 40 years and this book to put it in print.

    Some of us just take a while :)


  8. I really think having the museum as an outlet has helped your dad get over the passing of your mom. Have a good trip this weekend.

    Tim C