Flag Day

  “When are you going to get rid of that communist flag?” school kids would ask my Dad. He would chuckle, and say, “Go back to school and open your history book!” You see, during the Bicentennial, Dad was very … More »

It’s Turning (Olive) Green Outside!

The arrival of spring probably doesn’t impact our southern readers the way it does to us “Northerners.” While we are shoveling snow, chiseling ice or just trying to keep our garages warm enough that the radiators in our vehicles don’t … More »

How to Eat a Pig

During my many years as an “1840s farmer” at a living history site in central Illinois, I was tasked with engaging the public in dialogue. The goal was to demonstrate how people lived on the prairie at the time when … More »

Collectible Rocks

Waiting in line at our local Ben Franklin to pay for a PT-109 model back in 1975, I looked at a small stack of painted stones on the counter. The sign said, “Pet Rock—$3.95.” Though I have long since developed … More »

Fire Safety 101: Be Prepared

Whrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-CHURP! “Damnit! Again!” Whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr—“Now!”—CHURP! I knew what was going on when I heard these sounds over my shoulder as I built a chicken coop in my daughter-in-law’s backyard. Looking over to the road going up the hill along side their … More »

Building the Battlefield

“My son seems to really like military history, but he just sits in front of the television,” a young mother confessed to me this past weekend. “He really has a good imagination, but I am afraid it just won’t develop.” … More »

Giving Back

A few years ago, a friend of mine who collects WWII vehicles, called me. “John, you like WWI Tank Corps stuff, right?” he asked before describing an identified uniform and helmet he had just bought at a farm auction. “Is … More »

Life Lessons from Dad

Just before this past Christmas, Dad, Mom and I were sitting at a table waiting for the nursing home staff to deliver our “holiday meal.” As we looked over everyone gathered for the quiet celebration, Dad asked, “Did I ever … More »