Tuesday, May 31, 2011

War Memorials - Concord, Massachusetts

Here are just the plaques on the town war memorial in Concord, Massachusetts.

The memorial dates from the Civil War, which gave us Memorial Day, so we start there. Some towns have a few names for the Spanish-American War.

Then the World War took more men from town, and added some names to the town monument.

Then World War II did the same, for some towns, a lot of names. A small addendum for the Korean War, another for Vietnam. Here we have one name for the conflict in the Dominican Republic. Not too many people remember our invasion there in 1965, where some 44 Americans were killed.

Some towns have separate monuments for the fallen of separate wars, and some have the names of all the fallen clustered in a small granite and bronze universe, with only a new wreath every summer to mark the time denied them. That their names are permanently fixed here is perhaps more a comfort to us than to them.

More recent wars, and newer plaques, because the need to honor them never diminishes, just as the pain of their loss never fades.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Myths of the Modern Man

This is to announce my latest novel published as an ebook through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords: MYTHS OF THE MODERN MAN.

A late 21st century time traveler battles bards, druids, warrior queens, and Roman cohorts for survival during the Celtic rebellion against the Romans in Britannia, 60 AD. Fun for all.

Time traveler John Moore’s fate is determined by four women: the Celtic warrior queen Boudicca; Tailtu, a gentle slave purchased from another clan; Dr. Eleanor Roberts, a severe, jealous and brilliant woman who spearheads the time travel mission; and enigmatic Dr. Cheyenne L’esperance, herself a time traveler from an even more distant future. Moore’s mission to survive three battles against the Roman legions coincides with survival tactics and backstabbing in the modern government department. The savage past clashes swords with the desperate future in a time continuum of treachery. All this, and a smattering of Latin for $2.99! What a deal!

For those without a Nook or a Kindle or other e-reading device, the Kindle software can be downloaded to your computer for FREE (see link in the sidebar), or you can download the novel from Smashwords in a variety of formats that you can read right off your computer.

Please visit my Another Old Movie Blog this coming Thursday for the coupon code to download your copy of MYTHS OF THE MODERN MAN, free for a limited time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Essex Steam Train - Essex, Connecticut

Our tribute to National Train Day is a bit delayed, but you can be sure the trains at the Essex Steam Train in Essex, Connecticut run on time. Take on ride on this historic excursion train from Essex Station to Deep River Station (where you can then take the Becky Thatcher riverboat up to Haddam and back.)

The train trip is 12 miles round trip, and is fun, educational, and glorious way to watch the seasons change in New England, chugging through some of the prettiest countryside along the Connecticut River.

This is a view that’s been enjoyed by generations of New Englanders, as far back as the first run in July of 1871. This little branch line of track has seen it all.

It had been a link in those days between the state capitol of Hartford, and the shore village of Old Saybrook. In the 1880s the Hartford & Connecticut Valley Railroad joined as a branch of the New Haven railroad.

In the 1950s when the automobile had a lot of new highways to explore, the number of passengers on the old railroad dwindled, trains ran less often. By the early 1960s, only a couple freight trains per week used the struggling railroad line. The last train ran in 1968.

Then, as it so often happens, a group of heroes, otherwise known as volunteers, worked to keep the new owners, Penn Central, from tearing up the rails of the abandoned railroad. The Penn Central leased the branch to the State of Connecticut in 1969, and the following year, the Valley Railroad Company was authorized to use over 22 miles of track for freight and passenger service. The Essex to Deep River steam train run was born.

Come ride this beautiful train excursion yourself and see what life was like on before the interstate, when small towns and villages were linked by a local railroad. For more information on the Essex Steam Train and the Valley Railroad Company, have a look at this website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Moment of Gratitude

This giant American flag hangs in the impressive and beautiful Union Station in Cincinnati, Ohio.  My post intended to celebrate this coming Saturday's National Train Day (May 7th) will be postponed until next week, when we have a look at the Essex Steam Train excursions in Connecticut.

For now, to mark the death of the terrorist Osama Bin Laden at the hands of U.S. special forces by order of President Obama, we pause under a great flag for a quiet moment of gratitude that there is one less monster in the world.