Criminals in the Family

Every family has a skeleton in the closet. In our family, Willard Smith Norvell and Bayard Boyd Norvell fit the bill. They were the sons of my great uncle Edwin Forrest Norvell, who had served in the Civil War, as an aide to General George Armstrong Custer, and Margretta Smith Norvell. 476 more words

American History

Norvells in World War I

Two of my uncles, Jack and Steve, and an aunt Emily served in World War I.

They were the only ones of that generation to do so in my family.   437 more words

American History

Arctic Survival

The cold air rushing down from Canada today, its about -3F as I write this, reminds me of when I attended Arctic Survival School in Alaska. 607 more words

American History

Grandpa Wires His House, or Electricity 101

My grandfather was a remarkable man.  But he almost met his match and burned down the house when he decided to wire it himself in the 1930s.    481 more words

American History

Leaving Home

I have been reading a great memoir of the Second World War: Quartered Safe Out Here, by George MacDonald Fraser. It details his experiences in the Burma Campaign as a 19-year old private in the Border Regiment fighting the Japanese during 1944-45. 527 more words

American History

The Real "Postmaster" of Detroit

When John Norvell was elected one of the first U.S. Senators from Michigan, he was faced with a serious problem. Although he was a lawyer, his income came mainly from his position as postmaster of Detroit in the early 1830s.    461 more words

American History

November 1965

When I was a college student,  November seemed to have a significant event each year.

1962  End of the Cuban Missile Crisis

1963  Death of John F. 513 more words

American History