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Spearfish Lake Tales
Spearfish Lake Tales Message Board
Welcome! This board is intended for discussion of Wes Boyd's writings as posted on Spearfish Lake Tales;
or other message boards. Discussion of other authors that frequent these boards or sites is not off topic.

Please keep it clean and somewhere close to being on topic.
Spearfish Lake Tales

Subject: Does this remind you of Blue Beauty


Author:
Andy Haworth
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 03:58:17 11/21/15 Sat

Just read this article in the news.
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/20/airline-loses-boston-marathon-bombing-survivor-prosthetic-leg

When will they get it right?
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Subject: 8Ncredible


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 11:50:03 10/16/15 Fri

I will be the first person to admit that I enjoy finding odd stuff on the Internet. Let's face it -- sometimes people's creativity goes off in directions that we don't expect.

Last week I came across one of those items that caught my imagination: a former NASCAR driver by the name of Jack Donohue recently set a new land speed record for farm tractors.

Now, many of us in this neck of the woods have some experience with farm tractors, and generally speaking, they aren't happy going much over about twenty miles an hour. Back in 1935 a Bonneville racer by the name of Ab Jenkins got an Allis-Chalmers up to 67 miles an hour, and he reported that it was like trying to ride a frightened bison.

For some reason -- probably involving sanity -- no one has tried to beat that record in eighty years, until Donohue showed up at the airstrip at Wilmington, Ohio, where an outfit called the East Coast Timing Association holds meets to time record runs. Donohue brought with him a somewhat modified 1952 Ford 8N, which had been fitted out with a 1953 Ford flathead V8 conversion -- not quite stock, but Ford tractor dealers used to sell the parts for the conversion back in the day. "We tried to use stock equipment wherever we could," Donahue reports.

Donohue's 8N, which he calls the "8Ncredible" looks pretty stock from about the steering wheel forward -- it looks like the familiar Ford 8N that it is. From the steering wheel back, well, not so much, because the shrouded wheels covering aircraft tires and the heavy-duty roll cage. Although Donohue wasn't saying, it was pretty obvious that there had been some serious transmission and rear end work done.

Ford quit building the 8N back in the fifties, but they are still commonly seen around here. Though they were smaller than most tractors of the era, they had some advanced features that were well ahead of its time. They were handy little beasts and were very useful for their size.

So how fast is it? Well, Donohue got it up to 96 miles an hour, and he was disappointed with that -- he'd hoped to crack a hundred on the Bonneville Salt Flats, but they were closed this year for the second year in a row due to deteriorating salt conditions. The mile and a half of runway at Wilmington was definitely a second choice, and apparently it was a pretty hairy ride -- the stock front axle doesn't seem to be real happy at that kind of speed, and Donohue plans to do some work on it before he goes to the flats next year, assuming they're open.

With apologies to the Beach Boys:
"Just a little Eight-N with a flathead mill,
but she'll whomp a John Deere like it's standing still"

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Subject: 2015 Holiday Special


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:00:34 11/22/15 Sun

Since it's the holiday season, the Spearfish Lake Tales Store is offering a couple of special deals at a considerable savings to you: all three posted parts of the Bullring Days series (On the Road, Bradford Speedway and Banners Flying) or the Full Sails series (Winchester Harbor, Blanche Tickle Girl and Distant Shores.)

The cost is as low as $14.99 per three-book package -- in other words, a third off the list price or more.

These offers are only available through the special Spearfish Lake Tales Store page, and not through Lulu, Amazon, Kobo or Barnes and Noble.

Sale ends December 25, 2015.

-- Wes
Subject: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:49:00 11/10/15 Tue

Today, November 10, 1975, is the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in the Great Lakes of the U.S.-Canada. The report I read said that cause of the sinking of the ship and the deaths of all 29 crew members still remains a mystery. I confess that the only reason I knew about the significance of the date was because I had read an article about Gordon Lightfoot visiting a museum on November 9th that memorializes the great tragedy.
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Subject: The Legend Lives On


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 13:32:30 11/11/15 Wed

Another column picked up from the paper:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down, of the big lake they call Gitchee Gumee . . .

Yes, believe it or not, this week it's been forty years since the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in a "witch of November" storm on Lake Superior, leaving behind a legend that echoes on down to us today, at least partly in thanks to Gordon Lightfoot's ballad.

The Edmund Fitzgerald was the last major ship loss on the Great Lakes, and it somehow seems surprising that it's been that long. In the twenty years or so preceding the fabled sinking there were several other ship losses. There was a commercial fishing boat lost on Lake Michigan back, oh, ten or fifteen years ago, but it's certianly not in the category of the Fitzgerald.

Most of us know the story -- how the iron ore freighter left Duluth on a late season run down the lakes, got caught up in the storm, and disappeared off the radar screen on the Arthur M. Anderson a few miles behind. In the radio conversations between the Fitzgerald and the Anderson there was some indication that the Fitzgerald was having some problems, but nothing serious; the last transmission from the Fitzgerald to the Anderson was the ironic, "We're holdin' our own."

There is debate to this day over what caused the big freighter to go down -- an inadvertent grounding, bad seals on the hatches, and a big wave causing the ship to break up have all been indicated, and none of them theories can be proven.

The part of the story that has always rung loudly for me is what happened after the Anderson told the Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie that the Fitzgerald had disappeared. The initial reaction of the Coast Guard was muted; they did not appear to take the report seriously. While the Coast Guard may not have been willing to go out and search for the missing ship, that didn't stop the Arthur M. Anderson and the William Clay Ford along with a couple of salties, from turning around, leaving the relative safety of Whitefish Bay, and steaming back out into the worst Great Lakes storm in years in the faint hopes of somehow relieving their fellow sailors.

Some years ago I saw a painting of the Anderson searching for survivors, a single searchlight futilely reaching out in hopes of finding something, someone. You all know I'm always interested in stories where someone reaches out to help someone else, in spite of danger or difficulty, and it shows up very strongly in the Fitzgerald saga.

Perhaps it's the fact that for forty years the Fitzgerald has been the most recent major ship sinking on the Great Lakes has had something to do with the legend, and if it continues that was for another forty or hundred and forty years, it will be just fine with me. But there have been a number of books written about the sinking of the Fitzgerald, at least two plays (I've seen one of them,) and many TV shows. I'm actually a little surprised that there has never been a movie -- it would be a good one. There is a pretty good museum at Whitefish Point that has a lot of Fitzgerald history and memorabilia.

But the story of the Fitzgerald is more than just the story of a ship sinking -- it's the story of the twenty-eight men who died when it went down, twenty-eight lives snuffed out. A long time ago, I worked in Rogers City, where there are many men who work on the lake freighters hauling stone out of Calcite. In 1958, one of those boats, the Carl D. Bradley, sank in Lake Michigan, and only two men survived. There were several Bradley widows still around when I worked there, and children of the men who died in the sinking. Perhaps that gave me a little different focus on history -- at least a little better focus on the human angle.

But yes, the legend lives on . . .
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Subject: Missing Links in Hannegan's Cove


Author:
wexwiz543
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:25:21 11/07/15 Sat

I have been rereading Hennegan's Cove and the chapter link in Ch 24 to 25 returns a message file not found 404

The links in the table of contents for chapters 25 to 30 returns the same

Wex
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Subject: Illegal home invasion by New Jersey CPS could cost taxpayers $60 million


Author:
Jack
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:07:50 11/03/15 Tue

Illegal home invasion by New Jersey CPS could cost taxpayers $60 million. Sound familiar, Wes had it right again in Distant Shores. Full story in link below.

http://www.naturalnews.com/051810_illegal_home_invasion_New_Jersey_CPS_homeschooling.html
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Subject: Costume fun


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:27:37 10/23/15 Fri

Another column picked up from the paper:

It's getting to be the time of year for ghosties and ghoulies and long-legged beasties, of trick or treating, candy, and costumes. It's also the time for parties and fun, and not all of it is for kids -- there are adult-themed Halloween parties out there, and the sheer joy of dressing up in outlandish costumes is part of the fun.

As adults we don't often get the chance to dress up in something off the wall just for the sheer fun ot it. Unless you are into some special activity, there's only Halloween out there to take advantage of.

Now, there are other activities -- various conventions of like-minded people who enjoy what they call "cosplay," dressing up like Japanese cartoon characters or zombies, or a lot of different things. Some people will travel across the country to take advantage of such events, and the costumes -- well, outlandish is a word that can be used, and daring is another one. If you are going to Miami or Los Angeles for a convention, or "con," at least the neighbors aren't going to notice if you dress up like a superheroine from a Japanese cartoon, in an outfit where a high percentage is pure skin.

And then there are the renaissance faire people, and there are at least a few of them in this neck of the woods. Heck, I used to hang around renaissance faires a little, and there were some pretty off-the-wall outfits to be seen. Bear in mind that, at least for women, a renaissance fair costume will involve a promiently worn corset. Even though hemlines are usually barely high enough to keep from dragging the ground, some of the costumes can still be pretty daring.

I've got to go to a renaissance faire again sometime. It's been several years and I miss them. But, I digress.

I went out for breakfast on Sunday to the place I usually go on weekends. Things weren't real busy -- I guess I hit them in the seams -- and one of the waitresses said that she hoped the Halloween costume she had ordered made got here in time for the party she planned to go to.

"That's cheating," I said. "You're supposed to make your own costume, or at least assemble it yourself. That shows creativity. When you order something online, all you're doing is excercising your credit card."

"Yeah, but . . ." she temporized. "This one is pretty special."

She didn't say how special it was, leaving me to believe that if she wore in in the wrong part of some larger cities she might be subject to arrest, and yes, you can read into that statement what you will. I have a feeling that I would like to go to that party -- or at least would have liked to go to it when I was younger and more capable of withstanding all the alcohol in the witch's brew that passes as punch. Oh, well, that's just another downside of getting older -- I just don't have the energy to have fun like that any longer.

For most of us, though, Halloween is still for kids, rather than adults. However, my dictum applies: building a costume involves creativity, while buying one just exercises your credit card.

I have really enjoyed the downtown trick or treating we have had here in town for the last several years. I see some real creative costumes on kids. Granted, a lot of costumes are store-bought, or involve store-bought items, but I always appreciate the off-the-wall designs that show some thought. On Saturday morning last year we had something over eight hundred kids wandering around downtown, going through candy like a swarm of sugar-crazed locusts. In this day and age a lot of the magic and fun has gone out of our holidays, but there's still some left for Halloween. Don't let the squares and the naysayers take it away from us --- life is dull enough as it is.

-- Wes
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Subject: Re: Offenhauser 97-110 Series Midget Engine


Author:
Gordon Alberg
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 02:31:12 10/19/15 Mon

Hi. I am very interested in your 110 Offy. I have a 1968 Kurtis Kraft Midget that is in excellent shape and was bought new with a 110 Offy in it by Weldco LTD. It now has a injected Chey 11 engine in it. This is quite a prominent car on the West Coast all the way down to California. This car was a Gordon Reelie car out of Vancouver B.C.Canada I also live on the West Coast of Canada. I would think your engine would be perfect for this car. I ammmmm going to do a 100% restoration on this car so I must have a 110 Offy in it. Thank you for your time and consideration. Any info or help you might have will be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Gord.

>Power for one of Mel's cars in the Bradford Speedway
>Museum?
>
>From Hemming's Motor News.
>
>link (with photos): >href="http://www.hemmings.com/parts/item/Engine//NOS-Of
>fenhauser-Midg/4639.html">http://www.hemmings.com/parts
>/item/Engine//NOS-Offenhauser-Midg/4639.html

>
>This is a very rare opportunity for a serious
>collector or for historic automotive museums.
>I have for sale aOffenhauser 97-110 Series Midget
>Engine . This engine is Brand New Old Stock. It has
>never been started. It is a true time capsule. This is
>one of the last engines produced by Drake Engineering.
>It has all the latest style parts that were being used
>at the end of the Offenhauser Legacy. To my knowledge
>every part is brand new. With the exception of the
>rebuilt Hilborn fuel pump and the rebuilt Joe Hunt
>Magneto. It is fit with a Moldex crankshaft and
>Carrillo connecting rods. This engine was assembled by
>the late Bob Nowicke . Bob was a successful USAC
>Midget car owner from the 1950"s and on. Bob had a
>long list of USAC notable drivers including, Mario
>Andretti, Gary Bettenhausen, A J Foyt, Elmer George,
>Parnelli Jones, Lloyd Ruby and Bob Tattersall. He
>accumulated numerous USAC victories. He was also well
>known in the Indy 500 circles as the representative
>for the Primmer Hardware Co. providing fasteners to
>the Indy 500 teams for years.
>As you can see the engine is complete right down to
>the Kurtis Kraft style throttle linkage.
>I have been involved in rebuilding Offy Midget engines
>for over 30 years and have never come across such a
>butiful Midget engine. It is a true collector"s piece.
>I don"t think you will find a more complete NEW NEVER
>STARTED OFFENHAUSER ENGINE in existence. I also have
>other Offy midget engines and parts.
Subject: Kirtland’s Warbler Story


Author:
Greg Taylor
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:57:45 10/17/15 Sat

I just came across an NPR show with a segment on the Kirtland’s Warbler, including some discussion of the lengths taken to keep it from becoming extinct: Interesting listening: The section on the Warbler is the middle of the show, and discusses the ongoing control of Cowbirds as well as the unintended death of a wildlife expert in an attempted controlled burn of wildlands as part of the ongoing efforts on behalf of the Warbler.


Show: Radiolab Season 8 episode 1: "Oops. In this hour of Radiolab, stories of unintended consequences."
http://www.radiolab.org/story/91721-oops/
Subject: Three from Bradford now available from Amazon, B&N and Kobo


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:07:11 10/16/15 Fri

Three from Bradford, consisting of the novellas Dodging Mom, Peeking Over the Fence, and With A Little Help are now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

The three novellas are all available in one volume, or may be purchased separately, from the Three From Bradford SLT Store page.

In addition, I have made many price cuts, mostly on epubs and PDFs of earlier books from Lulu.com, and made some cuts to some newer ebooks. For details, see the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Page.

-- Wes
Subject: Brandy Wine -- serious attitude


Author:
Ed / Dallas
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 00:26:26 10/09/15 Fri

I just finished a re-read of "Bird on the Field". Shame on me, I guess. I LOVE this woman! It's not about her PhD in geology, it's all about her attitude. She doesn't suffer fools lightly, and she accepts no excuses. Kinda like Yoda: "Either do, or do not. There is no "try"".

I suppose we all have our favorites in the Spearfish Lake universe. Brandy is mine.
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Subject: Road number for Busted Axle Road


Author:
wexwiz543
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:12:58 10/04/15 Sun

I was just rereading Busted Axle Road. In Chapter 13 it is referred to as County 542. On the Spearfish Lake Maps it is shown as CO 427. Was there a number change somewhere??

Wex
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Subject: story-site glitch


Author:
Leo Kerr
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:12:34 10/02/15 Fri

a slow mind and a crap memory is a terrible combination.

First read of A Bird on the Field, everything's fine (chapter at a time.) Subsequent skims, and I always miss the Harold/Brandy scene at the beginning. Start to think I was imagining the scene.

Paid attention.

FINALLY.

The "Next Chapter" link at the bottom of Chapter 1 takes you to Chapter 3.

Direct link from the side menu works. "Last Chapter" from the bottom of Chapter 3 does take you back to Chapter 2.
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Subject: Super Moon Eclipse


Author:
wexwiz543
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:37:00 09/27/15 Sun

There is going to be a super moon (Moon at perigee) eclipse beginning about 10:15 EDT. This is one for the kids to see

Wex
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Subject: Hiking the AT


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:12:04 09/20/15 Sun

I guess you never know who you'll on the AT.



http://news.yahoo.com/man-facing-8-7m-embezzlement-case-hid-appalachian-154442168.html
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Subject: What goes around . . .


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:26:20 09/12/15 Sat

I ought to be working on the current book right now, but instead I want to tell you a story -- and in this case, it's a true one.

Back when I first started getting interested in short track auto racing, I happened to meet a young man by the name of Todd Metz, Jr. Todd was a nice kid, very friendly, and I learned a great deal about the sport at the time. He even let me hot-lap his current race car, which if I recall correctly was an older Dodge Spirit, running in the four-cylinder class popular at many tracks in the area.

Now, Todd is the kind of guy who isn't satisfied with "good enough." Todd isn't rich; in fact, he's a welder who works in a factory, and the funds for his racing come mostly from out of his pocket. He wanted a faster car, so that winter he built one, a Dodge Neon, which is the fast car in the class in this neck of the woods. He kept working on it, improving it, going faster with it, until it ultimately became the fastest and most-tricked up Neon in the area.

Along the way, Todd got his father interested in racing, then his mother. He and his father, Todd Metz Sr., (also known as Yogi, for what reason I know not) built a second race car for his dad to use, and it's just about as fast. The best short track race I ever saw featured the two Todd Metzs at a 3/8 mile track. They went 25 laps just absolutely door to door, nip and tuck all the way, and lapped the whole field in the process. Junior won by a nose, but that was just how it happened to work out. Todd's mother Glenda was later a season champion at the same track.

Todd, (and from here on I will use that name to talk about Junior, and Yogi to describe his dad,) was more than just a racer. He is the kind of guy who is a friend to everyone. If someone needed help with something, he helped. If someone needed a part to make a race, he would provide it. If someone needed advice on how to get their car to go faster, Todd was always willing to help. He made a lot of friends along the way by doing that kind of thing, and just by being himself.

We haven't seen Todd run much recently; he's been running in a different series that doesn't often come to the tracks we go to frequently. But three weeks ago we drove out of our normal area to watch Todd and Yogi run. There was a big accident the two of them got caught up in; Yogi's car was battered but could race. Todd's best car got smashed up beyond easy repair.

The car that got smashed was a little too hot for some local tracks, so a couple years ago Todd built a second race car that was not quite as energetic -- still very fast, but legal at some places where the first was not. A week ago last Friday night, Todd was in a race with it at Spartan Speedway in Mason, MI, and got shoved into the wall; the car was also smashed up well beyond easy repair.

The next morning Todd was sitting around the house wondering how he was going to get either car to run in the biggest race of the season a week away. About that time, a couple of friends dropped by to see how bad the car was smashed up, and the talk started. Within an hour they were out in the garage, building a whole new race car from scratch. What goes around comes around -- all that friendship, all that help he'd given to others came back to him.

Word got around, and racer friends that Todd had made over the years started to show up, a total of fourteen of them. They worked until 3:30 the next morning, got a few hours sleep, and started in again. It was going to be a rush job, but at least he could scrounge an engine and parts off of the older cars. Fortunately, it was Labor Day weekend so they had an extra day to work on it. Finally, with the car well along, Todd had to knock it off Monday night as he had to get up to go to work at 4:30 Tuesday morning, but after work he and his friends were right back at it.

The one chance Todd had to give the car a test before the big Saturday show was Friday night at Spartan Speedway again, where they were having an "open" four-cylinder class in which none of the normal rules apply. The car wasn't even done yet, but it was as close to it as he could get in the time available when he loaded it on the trailer at 4:50 Friday night. An hour later he unloaded it, ran it through tech, and had enough time for a few hot laps before qualifying was under way. I was in the stands when he rolled it out on the track for the first time, and I could tell he had a pretty fast car although they didn't have the timer on so I couldn't tell how fast.

It was fast all right. When qualifying got under way a few minutes later, he threw the new car around the quarter mile track in 15:21, which is darn fast for that track if not a class record, which I think he holds in one of his earlier cars. There are V-8 modifieds that don't go that fast on that track. The only other car within a second of his qualifying time was, guess who? Yogi, of course.

Todd won his heat easily. Between qualifying and the heat someone found a roll of tape and put a temporary number on the car -- that's how new it was. He went on to win the feature, with Yogi second. They had a pretty good battle toward the end of the feature, but Todd stayed in the lead. There was only one other car left on the lead lap, and if the race had gone on another lap or two they would have passed him as well.

Needless to say, Todd was pretty happy in the winner's circle. It wasn't just his work, but the work of his friends and family that had taken him from two badly crashed cars and an aging, worn-out grocery getter to victory lane in a frantic week. "You know," I told him. "I think you're going to have a pretty good hot rod there when you get the bugs out." The car needed more work to get it ready for the Saturday night affair, but he had a whole day to get ready for that.

I haven't heard the details, but Todd was at the big race on Saturday; I wasn't able to go. He didn't win, but he was there and gave it a good try, which under the circumstances is a victory in itself. Good going!

One final thought: Todd and some of his friends have a loosely affiliated racing team the name of which I think says it all: Never Dead Racing. I think they got that one right.

Photoposts the next two weeks will be from Friday night, but here's one:

Glenda, Todd and Yogi Metz in the winner's circle. A racing family!
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Subject: Promises to Keep posting begins


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:46:46 09/13/15 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Promises to Keep. There are 33 chapters.

RTF files, mobis, epubs, and PDFs are available from the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Promises to Keep page. Sales on Lulu for hardcopies, epubs and PDFs have also been enabled.

Preorders have been shipped.

Very often when I put up a new story there are html bugs that don't show up when I tested it locally. I will be around until around Midnight EDT to deal with any of those issues that you bring to my attention, or to ship out orders that have come in.

Have fun reading Promises to Keep!

-- Wes
Subject: Polio Virus Living in Gut for 30 Years


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:49:28 08/29/15 Sat

For those who are enjoying "Forgotten Killer", the following link may be of some interest.


http://news.yahoo.com/man-polio-virus-living-gut-30-years-150956673.html
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Subject: Bravo for Forgotten Kller


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 03:30:57 09/12/15 Sat

Kudos for a great story and wonderful characters, maybe your best group ever: Matsons, Clarks, Gravengoods and and many others. Might I suggest that this is makes the stories so popular.
Subject: Rocinante


Author:
byte mangler
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10:42:10 09/11/15 Fri

From A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg - a mailing list about words. wordsmith.org/awad

Rosinante

PRONUNCIATION:
(roz-uh-NAN-tee)

MEANING:
noun: An old, worn-out horse.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Rocinante, the name of Don Quixote’s horse. Don Quixote took four days to think of a lofty name for his horse, from Spanish rocín (an old horse: nag or hack) + ante (before, in front of). Earliest documented use: 1641.
Subject: Bad Behavior on the AT


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 16:49:53 08/30/15 Sun

I'm not surprised. One only has to read the news to be aware of all the bad behavior going on around us.


https://www.yahoo.com/movies/s/hikers-behaving-badly-appalachian-trail-partying-raises-ire-134417126.html
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Subject: Next book, Promises to Keep, now available from Spearfish Lake Tales


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:19:24 09/06/15 Sun

The next book from Spearfish Lake Tales, Promises to Keep, is now available for preorder.

This book is an "independent" in that while it's in the same universe as other tales, it doesn't tie directly into them. It's also one of my favorites. It's a little different than most of my books, but I like to make most of my books a little from each other.

Here's the summary:

Jeff and Eunice Harrington have had a long and successful, if unremarkable life running a business and raising a family, unlike their nearly lifelong best friend Eric Snow, who has lived a life of adventure -- mountain climbing, sailing, backcountry canoeing and much else. Eunice and Eric have faithfully cared for Jeff during a long illness, but after he dies the two have to come to grips not only with his death but also with their past, the opportunities each of them have missed, and the changes Jeff's passing will bring.

There are a total of thirty-three chapters.

You can preorder Promises to Keep for as little as $19.99 through the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Promises to Keep page. Preorders will be sent sometime on the afternoon of September 13, Eastern Daylight Time.

-- Wes
Subject: Bird on the Field


Author:
Bill Hamilton
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 08:58:56 09/03/15 Thu

Minor html problem in Bird on the Field, Chapter 18. The end of the chapter is missing the forward link to chapter 19.
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Subject: Lake Mead


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 16:23:44 08/21/15 Fri

I just read that Lake Mead is at its lowest level since 1930s when it was created and first filled. I wonder how the rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is being affected?
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Subject: Yooper makes the dictionary


Author:
Jim Moore
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:57:19 08/31/15 Mon

Hard to believe it hasn't been in for years. http://ww.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/yoopers-upper-peninsula-new-word_n_5042423.html
Subject: "Forgotten Killer," new book from Spearfish Lake Tales, now available for preorder


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 19:37:19 07/19/15 Sun

The next book from Spearfish Lake Tales, Forgotten Killer, is now available for preorder.

While this is a "Tale from Spearfish Lake," it's not one of the "Bird" stories involving Jack, Vixen and others involved in those stories. Except for a couple of short sections set in 2015, it's mostly set in 1955, and contains no spoilers for upcoming books. At least in part, it honors the sixtieth anniversary of the release of the Salk polio vaccine. There are getting to be fewer and fewer who remember the impact of that event, and I thought it ought to be memorialized.

Here's the summary:

It's all but forgotten now, but two things scared people in the first half of the 1950s more than anything else. The atomic bomb was one of them, and infantile paralysis - polio - was the other. While polio could strike people of any age, it mostly targeted children, often crippling them for life, and sometimes killing them despite the best possible efforts available to stem the disease. When polio came to Spearfish Lake in 1955, there were only two choices that everyone faced: run and hide, or stand and fight against unknown and seemingly impossible odds, doing what little they could, however they could, for sake of the lives of the town's children.

There are a total of twenty-one chapters.

You can preorder Forgotten Killer for as little as $19.99 through the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Forgotten Killer page. Preorders will be sent sometime on the afternoon of July 26, Eastern Daylight Time.

-- Wes
Replies:
Subject: Dress in '65


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 13:50:33 08/26/15 Wed

Another column picked up from the paper -- but this time with a couple of updates.

With the combination of the fact that school starts next week, the fact that I had my fiftieth class reunion a couple of months ago, and the current novel I'm working on having significant sections set in the spring through fall of 1965 featuring a girl leaving high school and starting college, it's no trick to figure out where my thinking for this column came from.

When writing a period piece (which, though I'm loathe to admit it, a novel set in 1965 has to be) it's important to get the details right, if for no more reason than to help the reader with willing suspension of disbelief (and this book, if it works out, is going to require a little more willing suspension of disbelief than is normal for my writing.) So, I've been thinking about how we dressed in 1965, and especially, how we dressed for school.

School clothes back in that day were generally a touch more formal than they are today. Boys usually wore jeans in high school, and usually a print shirt. Outside of school the print shirt was usually replaced with a white T-shirt -- and not one with a logo or a quasi-obscene statement printed on it, either. When the weather got cooler, sweat shirts and flannel shirts started to make their appearance.

It was different for girls -- it usually is, after all. I can't recall if girls were actually required to wear dresses or skirts in high school, but that's mostly what I remember them wearing. Oh, when the weather was cold and blowing snow they might wear jeans under their dress when they came to school but they'd take the jeans off when they got there.

Again going mostly from memory, hemlines were largely knee length or below, although this was changing rapidly in the spring of '65 as the miniskirt was on the way in and rapidly gaining acceptance. Not easily -- I remember one girl who spent hours one evening raising the hemlines of all her school skirts, only to be told the next day they were too short. She was not happy, to say the least.

We all know that fashion changes rapidly, but looking back I don't recall any period in my own past where it lurched back and forth so quickly and solidly. Girls wearing pants became more common quickly, although not universally. Slacks became acceptable office and school wear -- I seem to recall they were when I went to college in the fall of '65, which seems surprising in retrospect since the college was pretty conservative. Guys were expected, but not required to wear ties, and I never did. In fact, I still don't.

The miniskirt pretty much came and left in less than a decade. I recall being in a doughnut shop in, oh, it must have been '76 or '77 when a couple of high school cheerleaders came in with cheerleader-short skirts. "Wow," I said to the next guy in line. "I sure miss the miniskirt." He agreed that it had been a while.

Skirts and dresses, at least on younger women, pretty much went away after that. They were still appropriate when more formal and businesslike attire was required, but not universal. I know that for years, when I had to get photos like fair queen candidates or homecoming court, I made it known that I wanted girls to wear dresses or skirts, if for no more reason than it kept them from showing up wearing ragged, worn cutoffs and a T-shirt with a beer logo on them. (I still expect it, although I haven't had to get on anyone's case about it for a while.)

But you know what? I looked up here a while ago, and realized that without any fanfare, skirts and dresses seem to be on the way back. It has been literally decades since I regularly saw girls of single-digit ages riding their bikes around town or playing in their yards wearing dresses. It's not universal, but I'm seeing it more. What's more, their mothers are wearing them too, just as casual wear. Even a few years you wouldn't have seen that outside of an office or a church. To top it off, one day last week Amanda came to work wearing a skirt. Now, this is a woman of whom I would have bet good money that she hadn't owned a skirt for a couple of decades, at least until the last year or two.

I don't know what this has to do with 1965, but I guess what goes around comes around.

-- Wes
Replies:
Subject: A Blast From the Past


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:00:47 08/14/15 Fri

Another column picked up from the paper.

Although we don’t go as much as we could, or perhaps should, my wife and I enjoy going to concerts. Usually, they aren’t big ones, but small, intimate things like folksy evenings listening to well-performed and thoughtful music.

But once in a while we break the mold. Monday night, we did it big time: we went to a county fair and a Beach Boys concert.

Yes, the Beach Boys have been around seemingly forever. Some say they ought to be known as the “Beach Geezers” as the remaining original members are in their seventies. Yes, they’re best remembered for their sixties hits, and not much attention has been paid to some of the interesting and innovative stuff that followed the surfing music days.

The fact remains that if you are of a certain generation, the Beach Boys represent something of a common denominator, a universal touchstone that everyone can identify with. Those early songs represent something of an impossible vision that I think most of us would like to have shared, one that only a relative few lucky Southern California kids could have shared, but that many of us would like to have shared in spirit.

Come on now, admit it. Given a choice, at least once in your life wouldn’t you like to have been -- or would like to be -- oh, eighteen, slender and good-looking and fit, innocent of things like Vietnam and race issues and all the other negatives that have come down since those seemingly halcyon days, riding with your fun-loving boyfriend/girlfriend down to the beach in a woodie with surfboards strapped to the top? Of course you would! That vision is perfection of a sort, the way it could never have been but would have been nice to experience. From a viewpoint fifty years later, it seems to be an unattainable nirvana.

But it’s nice to look back and dream.

If you do -- and if you don’t share at least a little bit of that dream I fear there’s something wrong with you -- you can be confident that you are not alone. That was something I learned last night -- there were plenty of people at the concert that were more or less my age, but who were sharing the same shared vision, one of youth lost and not recapturable. Ah, well, at a concert like that it’s at least possible to taste something that never was for most of us, even though we dreamed of it.

While there are a couple of the original members of the band still touring, most of the group was younger — membership has changed over the years, and there has hardly been unity most of the time. But at least for the crowd at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, we could overlook that.

The opening act was Rare Earth, the Motown bank known for such things as Celebrate and Get Ready. These guys were a big deal in the same era as the Beach Boys, perhaps a little bit later, and like the better-known group, have gone through any number of personnel changes. The current members, well, they’re not young, either. I don’t know the actual ages, but from looking at them I would have to speculate that the average age is over seventy. They can still belt out a big sound, and you can hear the input of each instrument. Still, they only set the stage for the Beach Boys.

So, all in all, it was a fun evening, and I think especially fun in that the crowd was enjoying the shared heritage of days gone by. As I said above, the Beach Boys are a universal touchstone, a common denominator for a generation. I can’t help but wonder when the Boomers have left the scene and the Millennials have their day, what their shared musical heritage will be?
Subject: Deadliest Catch


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 00:20:08 08/12/15 Wed

There were news reports that one of the stars of the TV reality show,The Deadliest Catch, had died while attending the bike rally in Sturgis, SD. Captain Tony Lara was reported to have died of a heart attack. Wes has mentioned that this was one of the few TV shows he watched.
Subject: March of Dimes Coins


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 18:57:26 08/08/15 Sat

After shopping today, I noticed several commemorative coins (quarters) among my change: Homestead Nebraska 2015. I checked the US Mint webpage for recent commemorative coins and noticed they have released a 2015 Silver Dollar for the 75th Anniversary of the March of Dimes. Profiles of the faces of President Franklin Roosevelt and Dr Jonas Salk were on one side and picture of a new born held in a parent's hand on the other with words March of Dimes.
Subject: Forgotten Killer posting begins


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:08:35 07/26/15 Sun

I just posted the first chapter of Forgotten Killer. There are 21 chapters.

RTF files, mobis, epubs, and PDFs are available from the Spearfish Lake Tales Store Forgotten Killer store. Sales on Lulu for hardcopies, epubs and PDFs have also been enabled.

Preorders have been shipped.

I will be gone Sunday afternoon and early evening Eastern Daylight Time, but will be back in the late evening. Very often when I put up a new story there are html bugs that don't show up when I tested it locally. I will check in when I get back to deal with any of those issues that you bring to my attention, or to ship out orders that have come in.

Have fun reading Forgotten Killer!

-- Wes
Replies:
Subject: army canteens and coffee


Author:
Leo Kerr
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 17:05:45 08/03/15 Mon

"He poured himself a plastic cup of it, remembering how his old Army aluminum canteen cup could burn his lips." -- "Forgotten Killer" chapter 4

we had an old show about the Japanese-American internments during WWII as well as the 442nd Infantry troop of Japanese-Americans in Europe, including some oral histories. Rooting around on the table, one of the guys picked up a canteen cup, held it up, and, "this is an _amazing_ heat-transfer device. You fill it with hot coffee. It burns your fingers, and burns your lips, but the coffee's cold!"

Huh; we're not far off from the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066... (February 2017.)
Subject: Killer - chapter 3 erector set


Author:
Julian Thomas
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:46:34 07/30/15 Thu

Brings back memories of the erector sets that I had when I was a kid! For years later, my parts box still had some of the screws and bolts and small stamped metal pieces from the sets.
Replies:
Subject: Blue Beauty lost harp


Author:
K Thomson
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 17:06:42 07/26/15 Sun

I was rereading Blue Beauty and the lost harp brought this story to mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
While not quite the same it is an interesting story. If this has been mentioned please ignore.
Subject: DS ch 33 word choice error?


Author:
Nigel
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 16:31:38 07/24/15 Fri

The line

I’m dreading having to go back to Toronto and having to lie and dissimilate to Bertie and Josette about what I’ve really been doing

seems to have a bad choice of word: dissimilate means 'to make dissimilar', I think a better choice would be dissemble (hide, conceal or disguise), or more likely the synonym dissimulate, which seems to refer specifically to 'one's thoughts, feelings, or character', since this is a very similar spelling (although I hadn't met that word before looking up disemble to double-check its meaning).

I'll often double-click, right click, search Google if something doesn't quite seem right, but it's rare for me to do that in Wes' work for that reason; usually with Wes it's to look up something (like getting a map of the Fort Myrers area).
Replies:
Subject: Songs?


Author:
Kirby Lambert
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10:18:01 07/23/15 Thu

Wes:

You have had personalized references to songs in several of your stories. I am thinking first of the garage band at the chili cook-off in "Absent Friend" and their load and bad performance of "Proud Mary".

In "Facing the Storm" you have Jennifer and Blake play it at Phil and Brandy's wedding party and of course they dedicate it to Mike and Kirsten. You also have them play "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and dedicate it to Phil Wine. Is there any -lace that you tell the back story of Phil's version "The Night They Kicked Old Dixie's Ass"? If there is I am unable to find it.

Kirby
Replies:
Subject: St Mary's River ?


Author:
Mike
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05:20:12 07/22/15 Wed

Colour me confused (not a particularly nice shade of puce, but ...) but where is the St Mary's River ???

I've gone onto Google maps for Adam's journey to Detroit, and am fine until I hit the entry to Port Huron - I'm told that the river to Lake St Clair is the St Clair River (makes sense to me ...), but the story says St Mary's River ??? Indeed, Adam sails under the Blue Water Bridge on the St Mary's River - which Google Maps says crosses the St Clair's River ?

Eh ???

Mike
Replies:
Subject: Ch.32 not up yet ?


Author:
Mike Dunn
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 05:03:43 07/15/15 Wed

Normally here in the UK, the next chapter is ready & waiting for me in the morning (unsure what time, it's just been there); not so today.

Anyone know if there are problems today ?

Mike
Replies:
Subject: Missing stories


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:46:54 06/27/15 Sat

I really enjoyed Bruce Bretthauer's stories and will miss his writing following his recent death.

There are at least three "Marge" stories that were on BTFH until recently; the only one I can remember the title of is "Marge Joins the Militia." The only ones left I can find are "The Trouble With Queens," "The Affair of the 45" and "Double Tap, Double Confusion."

Is there any chance anyone here has any or all of the missing "Marge" stories archived and can copy them to me?

-- Wes
Replies:
Subject: Fast Moving


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:43:51 07/14/15 Tue

I just read that some ultra-marathoner completed the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, 8 hours. It beat the old record by 3 hours. Amazing.
Replies:
Subject: Wes Boydisms


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:54:50 05/06/15 Wed

I love Wes Boyd's books. I've read them many times. The following are phrases that Wes uses many times in his books. If I came across them without knowing who wrote them, I might guess that Wes was the author.

01) Gee, zow!

02) ... and that is that.

03) Oh, my, yes...

Maybe you have some favorites you woulf like to share.
Replies:
Subject: Walton 36 and Pearson Triton pics


Author:
Greg B.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:54:50 07/07/15 Tue

I know everyone here isn't as interested in sailboats as I am, but I also know that a picture is worth 1,000 words (maybe fewer for Wes and more for me).

The Walton 36 was a bit of a puzzler, since I'd never heard of one. But while Wes can be intentionally vague about locations, he usually doesn't obscure the names of cars or boats. However, I was able to find a boat named a Grampian Classic 37, which was also sold by a dealer named Walton as the Walton 37. I may be wrong, but it seems to be very much the kind of boat Adam wanted, fits the description in chapter 28 and, as Grampian was a Canadian builder, quite likely to be found along the Great Lakes. It's a typically graceful Sparkman & Stevens design and you can see it here:
Walton 37

As for the Pearson Triton, it's well known as one of those boats claiming the title of the first production fiberglass sailboat and is much easier to find online. It's a Carl Alberg design and the debt owed to the designer of the Folkboat is unmistakable:
Pearson Triton

I think there's more than a little resemblance between the two designs, don't you?
Replies:
Subject: Let's be careful up there


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 22:47:49 07/07/15 Tue

I just read where a F-16 fighter jet crashed into a Cessna 150 over South Carolina. Tragically, the two people on board the Cessna were killed. The jet pilot was able to eject but his plane crash landed. The F-16 weighs 10 tons while the Cessna tips the scales at 1500 pounds.

The 150 is the model of airplane that JennLynn Swift first owned and flew in "Magic Carpet".
Replies:
Subject: Chapter 27 access


Author:
John
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:30:09 07/02/15 Thu

The index on the left above the photo post will not let you get to chap. 27. I got to it from forward to next chapter on the bottom on Chap. 26. I do not know if it is a problem or an oversight.
Replies:
Subject: Forgotten anniversaries


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 14:34:02 05/11/15 Mon

Another column picked up from the paper. I was going to post this last week but I got sidetracked.

I spend a fair amout of time following the national news, mostly on the Internet, and then mostly because I can pick and choose which stories interest me, rather than hearing more useless stuff about the Karadashians, which doesn't strike me as news at all.

At least catching news on the Internet allows me to avoid some of the more obnoxious television commercials, although the popups and addons in the Internet are getting to be just about as irritating and useless.

But I digress.

Several times in the past few days I've been impressed about things that haven't made the news, or if they have, they're barely been mentioned.

For example, last Thursday, April 30, was the 70th anniversary of Hitler's death, one of the important landmarks of the twentieth century. I saw a grand total of one story on the subject.

I did see a couple of very brief mentions of April 12 being the anniversary of FDR's death, but that was about it.

The only lesson I can draw out of that is that neither Hitler nor Roosevelt mean much of anything to most people, especially those in the news media.

April 15 was the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln's death. Barely a mention on the news. I did see a little more coverage of the anniversary of Lee's surrender at Appomatox Court House, but only because I know a Civil War re-enactor who was there and had to report on the interesting time he had.

Yeah, but that was the Civil War, a hundred and fifty years ago, so who cares?

How about a more recent landmark date: April 12, 1955, sixty years ago, when Dr. Jonas Salk announced that field trials of the polio vaccine were a huge success? I'm just barely old enough to remember it. You have to be at least as old as I am to remember the annual fear that came when polio season arrived -- but not a mention of the commemoration of this event did I see in the news. Yet, those of us in those days learned an important lesson, one that appears to have disappeared from the common sense of people today.

It's all in the past, and I guess that means in this so-called modern day and age the past doesn't mean much of anything any more. Philosopher George Santayana is remembered for saying, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." He is right, but there aren't many people who remember who Santayana was. He was in the past, after all, so therefore irrelevant.

I guess I'm just being crabby and in a bad mood. We are all results of what happened in the past, and we wouldn't be here if the past had not happened.

I for one think that knowledge and respect of where we came from and what happened in the past are important. Granted, things are changing, and what was important to us or to our ancestors, sixty or seventy or a hundred and fifty years ago may not have a great deal of relevance to us today. But still, there is some relevance, some lessons learned by our ancestors that we would do well to take to heart.

Now, all that said, May 8 -- Friday -- is the seventieth anniversary of V-E Day, the day World War II ended in Europe. Naturally, I've seen very little news coverage of this story except for some minor stories out of Europe, where the story probably had more impact than in the US in 1945, where we used to celebrate VJ Day on August 16 -- not that we do any more. After all, it's in the past, and not relevant to people in the modern world.

Or is it?
Replies:
Subject: Philmont Scout Ranch


Author:
Boyd Percy
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:07:43 06/29/15 Mon

In Rocinante, Mark and Jackie are flying in northern New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Mark tells Jackie that the Philmont Scout Ranch is located near there and he wished he could have gone there. I just read that a 15 year old scout was recently killed by a flash flood while camping there.
Subject: Server problems


Author:
Wes
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:31:03 06/26/15 Fri

Spearfish Lake Tales is having some server problems. The company is aware of it. Hopefully the site will be back up in a few hours.

-- Wes
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