Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bobbie Jean Ashley

Bobbie Jean Ashley is the seventh daughter of eight girls of Bud and Opal Ashley. She graduated in 1991 from Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois with a degree in Radio/Television communications. She has been singing since the age of four and writing songs since her teens. From 2000 to 2002, she sang with a band called Southtown and opened for Kentucky Headhunters at the Effingham County Fairgrounds. Boofuhluh is her first album.

How long have you been interested in singing/songwriting, and what inspired you to create this album at this time?

I’ve been writing songs since the age of 14/15 and have written close to 300 songs so far. Most I will never share with another person because they just aren’t ready for another’s ears but maybe one day I can rework some of them so that they are ready. The inspiration for this album came after a prayer I made to God and asked him why my life has been spared so many times at deaths door.

I’ve nearly died over 9 times. I was walking when I said that prayer and I looked down and saw a piece of string on the floor and I took that as a sign that I need to do my music. I wanted this album to be filled with inspiration, love, and beauty because of that sign and I dedicated this album in part to God.

Do you have a favorite song on the album, and why?

My favorite is “The Hope and the Love” which is the song I wrote for God. I’ve had several people tell me that this song was just what they needed during this time of COVID.

Historic America

Interview with Local Historian and Preservationist David Kent Coy

David Kent Coy is a retired social worker, having a career of over 40 years working with people with developmental disabilities, severe mental illness, and also senior citizens. He is a Life Member of the Coles County Historical Society, the Coles County, Illinois Genealogical Society, and the Association for the Preservation of Historical Coles County. He is a Past President of the Illinois State Genealogical Society and was awarded their highest honor, the Lowell Volkel Medal of Honor.

Tell us a little about your background. How did you become interested in genealogy and local history?

When I was born, I had 12 living ancestors. I had both parents, one grandmother, two grandfathers, all four great-grandmothers, two great-grandfathers, and one great-great-grandmother. I can remember them all, except for one great-grandmother, who died at 86 when I was just a few months old. Two of my great-grandmothers lived until I was 16 and I started writing down their stories a little over a year before they both died in Oct. 1969. They each remembered a few of their great-grandparents – so that got me started. Going to college at E.I.U., in Charleston, Coles County helped, because several of my ancestors had pioneered there at an early time.

What do you think makes Coles County so unique?

The first thing I think of was that the boundaries of Coles County once were much larger and included Cumberland County and Douglas County. I think the presence of Eastern Illinois University has made a big impact on the county. The connections to Abraham Lincoln have always fascinated me also.

Historic America

Interview with Genealogist Ann Winkler Hinrichs

Ann Winkler Hinrichs was born in Charleston, Illinois but grew up in Greenup where both her parents were school teachers. Both sides of her family are from Coles County, as earliest as 1828. Ann has been a RN for 40 years but if she could change careers, she would be a Historical Archivist. She loves figuring out the genealogical/historical mysteries of the past and where they lead us. Ann was Chairperson of the 150th Anniversary of the Charleston Riot and is currently vice president of the Coles County Genealogical Society.

How did you become interested in genealogy and local history?

I loved listening to my Paternal Grandfather and Maternal Grandparents tell stories about their families. At 14 my Maternal Grandparents bought me a family tree book for Christmas, which they sat with me and helped to fill it out. I still have the book to this day. My Paternal Great Aunt wrote a great deal about our family, going back to the Revolutionary War. There is so much Coles County history in her writings since they arrived in 1828. My 3rd GGrandfather who served 7 years in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War is buried NW of Ashmore.

What do you think is so unique about Coles County?

The Lincoln connection is what I think is so unique. When most people think of Lincoln, they think of Springfield. Outside of Springfield/New Salem I think Coles County has the richest Lincoln history. The County was the home of Lincoln’s parents, he was involved in many court cases, one of Lincoln Douglas debates occurred here and the Charleston Riot.


Interview with Maria Sigle, Author of the Marley Parker Series

I hope you enjoy this interview with the charming Maria Sigle, author of the Marley Parker Series. Check out Marley Parker, A Rumor of Ghosts, and Redletter on I had the honor of editing Redletter, and I think it’s the best of the series. We filmed this interview over the summer.

A former model and TV spokesperson with a degree in psychology, Maria Sigle drew from a wealth of personal experience to craft these fiery tales. These are stories that young women especially will enjoy. Follow her on Goodreads.


I talk “Witchcraft in Illinois” on the Michael Koolidge Show

Here’s another interview I forgot to post last year, but for those of you who missed it, I talk about my book Witchcraft in Illinois with Michael Koolidge, recorded October 6, 2017. The Michael Koolidge Show is the only statewide-syndicated radio show in Illinois and is one of the few independently syndicated shows of its kind in the nation.


I talk “Witchcraft in Illinois” with Bobbie Ashley on WIKK

Not sure how I neglected to post this interview last year, but for those of you who missed it, I talk about my book Witchcraft in Illinois on the Bobbie Ashley Morning Show, WIKK 103.5 The Eagle in Newton, Illinois. Recorded October 5, 2017. The audio is a little soft, so you might want to turn up your volume!

Mysterious America Video

Tinker’s Shadow – Mark and Dean Interview Highlights

Join Dean Thompson and Mark Schwabe from Ghost Head Soup as they recall their first impressions of Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum and Gardens and discuss a few unusual events they witnessed there. Then head over to Amazon Video Direct to watch Tinker’s Shadow: The Hidden History of Tinker Swiss Cottage in HD!

It’s available in HD to rent for $2.99, buy for $9.99, or watch free with ads. Click on the Amazon button below to watch: