My Grandfather and the Great Depression

Next to the Civil War, the Great Depression was the single most major event in American history that impacted nearly all Americans.   John Steinbeck wrote the story of the “Okies” who lost their land and were forced to move west to sustain their families, but they were only part of the story of this event.   553 more words

American History

Windows What?

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against technology.

I flew F4s, the technologically most advanced aircraft in the early 1970s. So over the years, I have learned a lot about tweaking new technology.   748 more words

American History

Freeman Norvell and The Detroit Free Press

Although his time during the Civil War was marked by controversy, in the years after the war things seemed to settle down.  About 1866, my great-grandfather Colonel Freeman Norvell and his brother-in-law, Henry Nelson Walker assumed the ownership of the Detroit… 489 more words

American History


Flying the F4 E aircraft in Alaska was especially challenging, given the unforgiving terrain and the wide range of termpertures that the birds operated under.  The winter of 1970-71  was the first winter that the F-4E aircraft were exposed to such an extreme climate. 532 more words

American History

At the Wall

In the 1980s we moved to the Washington DC area and lived there nearly 9 years.

It was almost inevitable that I would visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, also known as “The Wall.”  One of my ROTC instructors at Hobart College had died in Vietnam – Major Theodore “Ted” Shorack in 1966, and a good friend of mine Pvt James Kirkby was killed on an Army patrol in South Vietnam about 1970. 447 more words

American History

4th of July long ago

More than anything else, the holidays we celebrated together demonstrated and defined our sense of community. In our little town of Hannibal New York, each holiday had its own special rituals and observances, this was especially true of the 4th of July.   424 more words

American History

Washington in the 1830s

We often see politicians as living exciting lives today filled with much media attention. It wasn’t always so.

In a letter dated December 18, 1835 John Norvell, soon to be a US Senator, wrote to Kate Mason commenting on his life in Washington: 494 more words

American History