In a world filled with blogs and over-sharing, a place where opinions are like belly buttons, I decided to launch a blog. I know, what was I thinking? This blog is a creative outlet for me and over the past couple of years it has morphed into a place where I record my thoughts on the American Experience.
Unintentionally, it also became an archive of my intellectual journey and my growth as a writer. Buried inside this site are stories ranging from my childhood Little League experience to obscure stories about labor conflicts. Over time, three themes have slowly evolved: Family History, American History and Politics.
What I Believe
- I believe in the goodness of humankind, but I am appalled at the level of hatred that still exists.
- I believe in knowledge, but realize fear and ignorance are strong motivators.
- I believe America is a great country, but I feel her citizens are easily manipulated.
- I believe we all have a purpose, but I know many quit before they achieve it.
- I believe in treating everyone with respect, but I do not tolerate hate-filled responses.
- I believe I have an obligation to speak my truth, but I do not feel compelled to change your view.
What I do
In a nutshell: I read and write. I mainly write personal essays, although I still write for publications. The following four Kindle eBooks are available for purchase on Amazon.
My interest in American History was initially sparked as a teen when I learned the Claywells had lived in North America for centuries. Eventually I learned that Peter Clavell landed here as an indentured servant in 1664. In this hour-long read, I compiled stories about various Claywells living in the United States. Many of the stories are about pioneers including one about Warren Claywell who had the dubious distinction of being the first man hanged to death in the Kansas Territory.
In some ways, this is a continuation of the theme I first broached in My Hometown although the tone and style is different. In this essay I delve into how American citizens are really just consumers and this ‘business knows best’ approach to leadership breeds exploitation. Part of the motivation to write the essay came after my teen daughter was swindled out of $100 by a third-party ticket vendor. The book could be described as a controlled rant about some of the lies Americans are told.
For 25 years one of the most powerful GOP leaders, former Speaker of the House John Boehner, was my Congressman. In My Hometown, I blend statistic evidence with personal stories as I seek to understand how my hometown descended from the thriving community of my childhood to an impoverished area dealing with a heroin epidemic. The eBook opens with the story of William Bruce, the man who founded Eaton, Ohio, and compares Bruce’s concepts of government and community to the methods believed and practiced today.
This is the story that launched it all for me. Versa, a pound dog adopted by my daughter, was a cowardly, fearful mess burdened with fear aggression when we brought her home. In time, Versa adopted me as her owner and this long-read essay looks at how Versa’s struggle to overcome fear me taught me how to live a braver and more authentic life.