I’ve been around some great writers and storytellers. Some days I can turn a sentence that makes me feel pretty good.
This weekend, though, I got to talk with and listen to Michael Wallis, a self-described “Son of Missouri,” who held an Altenburg audience spellbound Saturday night (except when my phone started reading out Wife Lila’s text message in the middle of his presentation).
In these days of LOLs and OMGs and 140-character Tweets, it’s refreshing to hear someone paint pictures of the mind using whole sentences.
Sitting next to Stan the Man
I was just going through the motions Friday night when he told how winning a Triple-A essay contest on being a patrol boy got him into the Cardinal dugout sitting next to Stan Musial on a night when Number 6 belted one out of the park with the Cards down 2, with two on and two out in the ninth. On the way home in an Augie Busch limo with his dad, there came that moment in the dark when he thought, “You know, this writing’s not so bad.”
When I got home, I listened to the digital recorder that had been stuffed in my pocket, then looked at some of the photos I had snapped off and thought, “maybe I can cobble something together out of this.” His words are definitely stronger than my photos, even if the audio is a little ragged in parts.
Wallis has written 18 books, but my kids will probably know him better as the voice of Sheriff in the Disney-Pixar Cars series. He lived upstairs in the Last Chance / First Chance Tavern when he was a student at SEMO and is considering writing a novel about Cape.
I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to Pinterest. Still, when I think about it, I’ll “pin” some of the more interesting photos on the blog to my board. In some ways, It’s kind of cool how you can see the wide scope of pictures I’ve written about. If you click on the photo above, it’ll take you to my Pinterest page.
Thanksgiving turkey is most popular image
The most “pinned” of all my photos is Son Adam carving the Thanksgiving turkey at his house in 2010 I’m seeing more folks looking at the photo now, so thoughts must be skipping over Halloween and jumping straight to Turkey Day.
Top on my list of things to be thankful for will be that it’s after election day. I may not be happy with who won, but at least the ads and phone calls will stop.
Projects under control
I finally got my presentation for Altenburg whipped into shape. I’ll decide what to cut after the preview show Oct. 16 at 6:30 pm. Son Matt is busy printing two calendars and the show catalog/book. All I have to do now is load the car and drive 1,100 miles. My tentative day of departure was Oct. 10, but I never get out of town on time. If I load up on the 11th, I should be able to go wheels up early on the 12th. Early for me is anything before 2 in the afternoon.
If I see anything interesting along the way, I’ll post it; otherwise it’ll be slow for a few days.
My Altenburg friend Warren Schmidt was riding herd on a youth group that stayed overnight at the museum. He posted this as his Facebook status: “I think the effects of trying to sleep on a church pew in the museum last night are catching up with me. I don’t suppose I should make up for it by sleeping in a church pew tomorrow morning.”
My parents put together a scrapbook of my first grade experiences at Trinity Lutheran School. It had photos, school papers, drawings and my lessons. Dad was away working Kennett during this period, so we kept in touch by phone a couple times a week and on weekends. I think he must have been responsible for the diary portion of the scrapbook.
Seeing Warren’s status report made me think of this entry from Sunday, September 19, 1953: “The whole family went to 8 o’clock church. I didn’t wiggle very much. To pass the time away, I counted 13 bugs on the wall….”
I’m going to be doing a preview “picking party” slide and video show at the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum Tuesday, October 16, at 6:30pm. I have more material than will fit into the slot allocated for my presentation at an immigration conference scheduled for the next week, so I’m looking for folks who can help me trim. (“All of the above” might be the correct answer, but, please, be gentle.)
I’d love to have folks see the photos hanging in the exhibit and have a chance to hear my war stories. (I’m pretty sure some of my old teachers figured that I had pretty good chance of hanging, but they were thinking of Jackson’s Hanging Tree, not a museum.)
This is one of the reasons I’ve been working to document the German communities in Perry County. I showed up at the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum a couple of years ago with my laptop full of photos I had taken in Wittenberg and the area, including some aerials of places I couldn’t identify.
Wilmar Degenhardt happened to be in that day and started looking over my shoulder. Here’s his reaction when he spotted the Seeltiz home he was born in and where he lived until he left for the Navy during World War II.