Friday, June 12, 2009

Pics from Gettysburg Trip

Here are some pictures, courtesy of Savas Beatie Marketing Director Sarah Keeney, from the Gettysburg visit weekend before last. Savas Beatie Managing Director Ted Savas and Sarah spent a few days in Gettysburg following their trip to Book Expo in NYC. It was the first time I'd met Sarah (a beautiful and very talented lady) and the second time I got to join Ted at the hallowed ground.

Above is a shot taken at one of our favorite watering holes and eateries, O'Rorke's. I'm in the blue shirt, and Ted is wearing white. The fellow in dark blue standing with us is my good buddy from "across the pond," Mark Peters, who hails from England. His better half Yan is in the foreground. Mark has made at least two trips here to the US to meet with our Civil War Discussion Group Online at the annual muster, which had taken place that weekend. I wasn't able to arrive in Gettysburg until later on this particular Sunday, so Mark and Yan actually stayed in town that evening so I could see them. I was really honored and tickled that we could see them, since I was afraid I would miss their visit. Mark is a very, very sharp student of the American Civil War and all military history, and I love talking with him. He owns all my books, and I know he enjoyed being able to meet Ted and Sarah too. Mark is a big fan of Savas Beatie and their books, and seeing all of them able to meet and talk was a special treat. (Sitting at the table in the background is my co-author of The Complete Gettysburg Guide, cartographer Steve Stanley - probably telling more of his famous lies.)

Above, Jim Glessner is flanked by Steve Stanley on the left, me on the right. Jim manages what are known as the Habitat stores on Steinwehr Avenue for the Bardot family. Jim has done a wonderful job with the American History store at the corner of Steinwehr and Baltimore Street, which was the former Greystone store. Jim has the store stocked chock full of Gettysburg and Civil War books, DVDs, historical flags, and a fabulous selection of historical Gettysburg maps. He really has turned it into the premier book and reference store in Gettysburg. Here, Jim is holding up his very own copy of The Guide, which Steve and I signed for him. He didn't think he was getting one this early (we had only gotten a small supply of pre-release copies for the Civil War Preservation Trust Conference and Gettysburg Discussion Group muster the following weekend). Jim's copy was literally one of the very first couple copies put in private hands, and his copy he's holding is literally the first copy of the book signed by both Steve and I (we marked the book as such, too). Knowing Jim, he's probably already sold the book for beer money. (Kidding, Jim!) Jim will hopefully be selling lots of the book in his store, and we were proud and honored to present him with "the first."

This time I'm the one being flanked - by two beautiful ladies, Sarah on the left and Tammy Myers on the right. Tammy manages the Gettysburg Gift Center and Museum (formerly known as the Gettysburg Wax Museum) on Steinwehr Avenue. Tammy has a big job managing this popular place, and they have a great selection of books. I'm also guilty of buying lots of my shirts and hats here! I had just signed copies of my first two books (Plenty of Blame To Go Around and One Continuous Fight) that they had and are shown on the counter. Tammy's a great lady, and she's always very willing and helpful during book signings. Steve and I also got to spend time with her at the CWPT Conference last weekend, and I found out there that she does not like mushrooms on her pizza... sorry, Tammy, next time I'll remember! (Hhmm... wonder if she likes sardines or anchiovies?)

Another merchant that we visited on Monday was Gallery 30 just off the square. It's primarily an art and crafts gallery (and they really have some awesome items), but they carry an impressive selection of books. Not just Gettysburg and Civil War books, but of many genres. Before I even got to know the owners well, I had purchased a number of books on a variety of subjects there. They had a supply of my books there and above I'm shown signing one. Customers really prefer books signed by the author (I always have), and it's nice that merchants like for us to do that.

Sarah and I are pictured above with one of the owners of Gallery 30, Peggy Rock. I'm holding my first book, Peggy is holding the second, and Sarah is holding up a copy of the newly-arrived The New Civil War Handbook by Mark Hughes (Savas Beatie 2009). Folks, you must get this book - it's chock-full of interesting and useful facts, figures, trivia, charts, you-name-it about the Civil War. It's a book you'll enjoy sitting down and reading through, and referring back to again and again. In fact, I'll probably never write another article or book without referring to it profusely.

Here's a shot of Ted and I at the monument of the 24th Michigan Infantry of the Federal Iron Brigade, along Stone/Meredith Avenue on the first day's field. Eric Lindblade, a fellow who works for Jim Glessner at the stores, took us on an enjoyable tour of Archer's advance of July 1. We started down at Willoughby Run close to the Country Club property and followed the advance up the slope to the monuments here. It's a neat little walk I've long enjoyed making. Just check yourself for ticks when you're done! (I volunteered to check Sarah, but she wouldn't allow me. My medical degree non-withstanding, too.)

Above, Ted and I are up in the Warfield Ridge (or Longstreet) tower. Man, Ted loves climbing these towers. I'm leaning on the rail after getting up here, hacking, wheezing, throwing up, and catching my breath. Well, okay, not really - I'm in pretty good shape. Ted is leaning on me, and I think there's a metaphor here...

A really nice shot of Monday night's dinner at Mama Ventura's just off the square. Going around the table clockwise beginning from the left: Kyrstie, Steve Stanley's much better other; Steve; Ted; Licensed Battlefield Guide George Newton; me, just digging into a wonderful plate of pasta and clams; Licensed Battlefield Guide Jim Hessler; Sarah; and Antietam Ranger John Hoptak. George's Silent Sentinels book about Gettysburg artillery was a great resource for me when writing The Guide, and Jim's new book on Sickles at Gettysburg is awesome and one everyone must have. John is a great researcher and has enlisted to help Steve and I with the next guide book in the series - The Complete Antietam Campaign Guide.

I had to leave for home right after dinner Monday night, so I regret I had to miss the traditional gathering at the Reliance Mine Saloon. It was nice of Sarah to send the above picture of everyone. From left to right: Steve Stanley, holding a copy of The Complete Gettysburg Guide; Jim Hessler, holding his Sickles book (which has one of the neatest-looking covers ever); John Hoptak; Sarah Keeney; Ted Savas; the Gettysburg legend William Frassanito holding one of his books; Jim Glessner; Eric Lindblade; and my good buddy Duane Siskey.
Thanks again for the pictures, Sarah! Be sure to check out her own blog, On Marketing (Working With Authors) for more details and pictures of their own trip that week.


  1. Hey J.D.eeeeee

    It looks like you and I were doing the same thing at the same time . . . =) Thanks for posting these on your blog too, and for such a great time. Lots of memories I enjoyed re-living while scrolling through the story. Have a great weekend!


  2. The metaphor is that at any moment, I could throw you off the tower.

    Nice write up.


  3. Ted,

    OW!... I was thinking of a different one... :)


    It was one of my best trips ever thanks to you two.


  4. Given the paltry writeup of your new book on your former co-authors website the other day, one would think he was jealous and envious of your success. He gives more ink to strangers books then he did to your new Guide. Says a lot about him. I have yours on order and am looking forward to it, Mr. P. Congrats.


  5. I noticed that as well, and it raised my graying eyebrows. Sheesh. Guide book looks great. Better get a copy!


  6. JD,

    The honour was all mine, and it was great meeting Sarah, Ted, and Steve. I only wish it could have been for longer. Until next time ...

    Best wishes,