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Announcements Video

Less than 24 Hours Remain to Pre-Order Tales of Coles County!

Lock in your 10% discount and get the book early by preordering before midnight tonight (September 30th)! The new edition of Tales of Coles County is chock full of new content and you won’t want to miss it. Why wait until tomorrow and pay full price? Click the link below to order!

I’m no longer accepting pre-orders because the book has officially been released! Order it today on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and GooglePlay.

Categories
Announcements

Less than Three Days Remain to Pre-Order Tales of Coles County

Pre-order the sixth and final edition of Tales of Coles County, Illinois by September 30th and save 10%!

Whether you’ll be picking up this book for the first time or you already own an older version, you won’t want to miss this sixth and final edition! The original stories have been completely revised and updated. New stories, more history, one hundred additional pages, five brand new illustrations by Katie Conrad, a comprehensive bibliography, and over a dozen new photos await you inside.

This edition also includes a foreword by local genealogist Ann Winkler Hinrichs and an index.

I’m no longer accepting pre-orders because the book has officially been released! Order it today on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and GooglePlay.

Categories
Announcements

New Edition of Tales of Coles County Ready for Pre-Orders!

Pre-ordering for the sixth and final edition of Tales of Coles County, Illinois is now available.

Own a previous edition? You won’t want to miss this! The original stories have been completely revised and updated. This edition also includes an index and a foreword by local genealogist Ann Winkler Hinrichs.

One hundred additional pages, five brand new illustrations by Katie Conrad, comprehensive bibliography, and over a dozen new photos await you inside.

I’m no longer accepting pre-orders because the book has officially been released! Order it today on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and GooglePlay.

Categories
Announcements Video

Tales of Coles County Sixth Edition Unboxing

The proof copy of Tales of Coles County’s sixth edition is here! Let’s see it for the first time together as I do an unboxing video.

The book has officially been released! Order it today on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and GooglePlay.

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Announcements Roadside America

A Celebration of American Diners

Look for a new diner post every Tuesday in 2019.

Longtime followers of this blog may recall my 2017 “All-American Diner Tour“, in which I wrote reviews of over two dozen diners in Upstate New York to indulge my own sense of nostalgia and share my love for diner culture. I’m happy to announce that every Tuesday this year, I will be featuring a new diner. Each post will include a short blurb about the model and history, as well as photos. These posts will focus more exclusively on traditional diners, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo by Michael Kleen

Diners are quintessentially American. They represent affordable dining for the working class, mobility, entrepreneurship, and mass production. The earliest diners were lunch carts pulled by horses. Entrepreneurs parked them outside factories to feed hungry workers as they came on and off shift. Many stayed open 24-hours to accommodate all shifts. Walter Scott began the first lunch cart/wagon service in Providence, Rhode Island in 1872.

Casey’s Diner

Soon, specially designed diner cars could be purchased and sent by rail anywhere in the country. Some of the earliest models still have train wheels attached. Manufacturers like the Worcester Lunch Car Company, O’Mahony, Kullman, and Silk City mass produced hundreds of prefabricated restaurants. The original diners were made of wood, and later, of attractive polished stainless steel.

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Announcements

Coming in 2019…

Whether you’re a regular reader or stumbled on my website by mistake, I’ve got a lot in store for you in 2019. You’ve probably already noticed a few major changes, with all my posts organized into several main categories (for more info on these categories, check out this post).

Each weekday will feature a regularly-scheduled post, including a movie or book review, spotlight on a historic diner, article on a historic site, museum, or battlefield, photography from historic cemeteries, and photo Fridays. Here’s how it shakes out:

  • Monday: Reviews will focus on past or present books and films that piqued my interest, with an emphasis on historical or period films.
  • Tuesday: Spotlight on a vintage diner. If you’ve read any of my past diner reviews, you know I love these greasy spoons. I’ve learned so much about this slice of roadside Americana over the past few years, and have visited dozens of these places. They are so iconic that some have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Wednesday: An in-depth article or gallery post of a historic site, museum, or battlefield, with a special emphasis on forts and battlefields. If you share my passion for military history, or just history in general, you should be excited about what I have in store for you. Many of these sites are obscure and you won’t find much information on them anywhere else.
  • Thursday: A visit to a historic cemetery. Every Thursday, I’ll post a picture I took of an interesting monument at one of the many cemeteries I’ve visited over the past year. Once a month, I’ll feature a more in-depth post about a historic rural cemetery, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. You can learn a lot about American history through these monuments and sculptures.
  • Friday: Fridays will continue featuring photos I’ve taken on my travels, particularly of interesting signs and roadside attractions. Every photo has an individual story, and I hope you’ll experience as much joy viewing them as I experienced taking them.

Of course, I’ll still continue posting updates, announcements, and opinion pieces as they come along, as well as some of my own genealogy, but rest assured that there will be at least one regularly scheduled post every weekday in this coming year. I hope you continue to stop by and share my love for America’s wonderful history.

Categories
Announcements

Reorganizing My Website

For those of you who noticed a dramatic redesign of my website in the past few months, this post is long overdue. For those who haven’t noticed, well, now is as good a time as any to explain these changes.

As I began to update my blog more frequently, I slowly realized its old structure just wasn’t working anymore. I needed posts to be easier to find, and at the same time get organized in a way that both made sense and encompassed the wide variety of subjects I wrote about.

I decided to organize my posts around general themes, the majority of which would fall under “About” (for announcements, personal appearances, etc.), “Musings” (for my reviews and commentary), and “Explore” (for my travelogues). I retained separate categories for my fiction and photography, which really don’t fall under anything else.

Here’s a short explanation of my website’s new organization (click “more…” to expand the list):