Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Today I am wearing a bracelet. It's plain, smooth, not at all decorative except for two simple logos and a name etched into it.

Oh, and a date. 09-30-68. That's the reason I chose this bracelet of all the ones on display at The Wall.

This wall.

On that date, I was a newlywed, a mere 16 day newlywed. My focus was on the future. When I chose the bracelet in 1996, my focus was on the sacrifice of someone I didn't even know. I couldn't help but wonder what he was doing the day I was married. Was it a normal day for him in Viet Nam, if there was any such thing? What was he thinking that Monday morning, September 30, 1968? And most of all, what happened to him? 

On that date, Pilot Mountain School was going through a normal day of operation, a Monday when a new week presented hope and promise. Teachers taught lessons. Children learned lessons. These were ordinary life experiences made possible by veterans through the years who fought for our right to exist as a nation.

So today I celebrate the life and sacrifice of the man on my chosen bracelet. Missing. Not forgotten.

Domenick Anthony Spinelli
ON THE WALL:Panel W42 Line 51
  Home of RecordOak Harbor, WA
  Date of birth:11/06/1925

  Service:United States Navy
  Grade at loss:O3
  Note:Promoted while in MIA status
  ID No:027145860
  MOS/RATING:1310: Unrestricted Line Officer (Pilot)
  Length Service:34
  Start Tour:Not Recorded
  Incident Date:09/30/1968
  Casualty Date:01/10/1978
  Age at Loss:52 (based on date declared dead)
  Location:Province not reported, North Vietnam
  Remains:Body not recovered
  Casualty Type:Hostile, died while missing
  Casualty Reason:Fixed Wing - Crew
  Casualty Detail:Air loss or crash over land

  This page Copyright© 1997-2013
Catch of the day,


Friday, May 2, 2014


I'm going to divert a little from the school theme and introduce my newest book to you. 


Just out. As in this past week.

It's another life story, this done with a co-author, Johnny Turner. As I explain in the author bio at the back of the book:
Gretchen Griffith’s husband, Van, introduced her to Johnny Turner, one of his golfing friends, who had a request. Could she preserve the stories of his Uncle Claude? That answer was an enthusiastic, “Yes,” and the months of research and writing began. With this latest book, she adds to her collection of true life stories from the North Carolina mountains. 
Note the final sentence, "...adds to her collection of true life stories from the North Carolina mountains." That's the sentence I'm most proud of, the reason I am already into my next storycatching project. I have found my niche through stumbling upon these wonderfully rich life stories of real people. While I am writing fiction (that manuscript is begging to be revised, revised and completed...and submitted) I find compelling stories in nonfiction that I could never have constructed in my mind. Truth truly is stranger than fiction!

This was a fun book to write, filled with all kinds of wheels and moonshine stills.

There's history and early car wheels...

There's roller skating wheels...

Stagecoach wheels...

Wagon train wheels...

And, yes, Moonshine stills...

I can't wait for you to read it. Available now from Amazon or from the trunk of my car. Coming soon in Kindle ebook version.

Catch of the day,