Posted in Quotes


In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.    Harry S Truman

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–53), assuming that office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the waning months of World War II. He is known for launching the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economy of Western Europe, for leading the Cold War against Soviet and Chinese communism by establishing the Truman Doctrine and NATO, and for intervening in the Korean War. In domestic affairs, he was a moderate Democrat whose liberal proposals were a continuation of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, but the conservative-dominated Congress blocked most of them. He used the veto power 180 times, more than any president since then, and saw 12 overridden by Congress; only Grover Cleveland and Franklin D. Roosevelt used the veto so often, and only Gerald Ford and Andrew Johnson saw so many veto overrides. He is also the only world leader to have ever used nuclear weapons in war, desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces, supported a newly independent Israel, and was a founder of the United Nations.

Posted in Tending the Stones for the Lock

Tending the Stones for the Lock, Part XXV

25th part of the new weekly story.  (1st Part)   The inspiration for this came from an off hand comment I made on Facebook, and since people seemed interested I decided to follow through.  Happy Reading. 

(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26)


Brodie got back to the yurt after an hour away.  The door was closed and he wondered if he should knock or just enter.   He stood there for a few seconds when the door opened and Austin just about walked into him.

“Oh you are back?  I was just about to come looking for you.”  Austin said motioning for Brodie to enter into the door.

Brodie’s eyes adjusted to the dim interior and his eyes automatically searched for his employer she had not moved since he left, he saw that she was fast asleep and the book rested peacefully on the slow steady and rising of her chest.  He also noticed that her bare feet were touching the ground.  Brodie laid her computer laptop on the cot near her and moved away slowly.  Brodie joined Austin in the kitchen, he was offered a glass of water by Austin who poured himself another the two leaned against the counters drinking in silence.  The silence was comfortable until Brodie snapped his fingers.

“I got something for you, Holly gave it to me, but I think it originally came from Mary.”  Brodie pulled the folded piece of paper in his pocket and handed it over to the doctor.

Austin took the note and unfolded it, Brodie watched as his face changed from curiosity to dread.  “What’s up Doc?”  Brodie said smiling, he had always wanted to say that and it seemed like the only chance in his life to say it.

“Do you know where you  guys are headed next?”  Austin said looking around the room nervously.

Brodie shrugged.  “I have not had any idea where I am going to be from one hour to the next, let alone where this crazy carnival is going to land next, Timbuktu, Istanbul, maybe Cleveland, Ohio.”  Brodie sighed and raising his hands up dramatically.

“Do you think I can hop a ride to where you are going next?”  Austin asked.

Brodie laughed.  “I don’t know Doc, the leader of this three ring circus is in there with her bare feet touching the earth and the High Pilgrim who is back at the plane playing volleyball with the local children in his monk robes.

“That man does love his volleyball.”   Austin said chuckling.

“What makes you want to leave all this in such a hurry.”  Brodie said motioning around the yurt.

Austin raised up the piece of paper Brodie had handed him, he flipped it around so Brodie could see it, upon first glance he realized it was in the format of an e-mail when Austin spoke.  “Mary sent an e-mail to my mother telling her where I was.”

Brodie looked at him.  “Your mother does not know you are in Mongolia”

“My mother thinks I am in San Francisco.”  Austin said rubbing his chin.

“Why does your mother think you are in San Fransisco?”  Brodie said confused.

Austin focused on him for a few seconds.  “Because I told her that’s were I was living.”  He stated as if that was the most obvious thing in the world.

“But you are not in San Fransisco.”  Brodie said.

“You know that, I know that, and everyone else knows that but my mother does not know that.”  Austin looked around the kitchen area and Brodie took the glasses they had been drinking from and washed them in the sink. He could hear Austin opening drawers and moving things around. Brodie shrugged and looked in on Mrs. Emily.  The lady was opening up her laptop and he could here it starting up she pulled a slip of paper from he book and looked up at Brodie.  “How are things going with you.”

Brodie shrugged and gave a thumbs up.

Mrs. Emily nodded knowingly and looked a the piece of paper.  “Can you make out this letter F or a T?”

Brodie looked at the piece of paper.  “That is a T, Dr. Strange.”

Mrs. Emily nodded.  “That made sense.  Austin is a big comic book fan.”

Brodie shrugged his tastes were very old, Melvile, Austen, Shelly and the like Mark Twain was about a current a writer that he read.

Mrs. Emily concentrated on her laptop for a few minutes and Brodie picked up the book that Mrs. Emily had laid down.  Jules Verne he had thought about diving into the man’s works but he had not done the research yet to know where to start.  Brodie was a very slow and deliberate reader taking notes a he read.

“Austin.”  Mrs. Emily said yelling out and standing up suddenly and folding up her laptop.

Brodie was alarmed, Mrs. Emily never yelled. In the years he had been around her he had never even heard her raise her voice.  Austin rushed in from the closed off part of the yurt that was his sleeping area.

“Yes ma’am.”  Austin said with a look of alarm on his face as well.

“I heard your discussion with Brodie in the kitchen, do you want to go with us?”

“Yes, yes I do, what is wrong?”

“We will be leaving within the hour, if you want to go with us you had better be on the plane because we are heading for Korea.”  While she had been saying this she had motioned for Brodie to bring her her shoes and socks which were placed near the door. She started to slip on the sock and Brodie helped her.

“I really don’t suggest you go anywhere until you have had a least another twelve hours of contact with the Earth.”  Austin said, Brodie could tell by his voice he was only making a statement that doctors typically made when they knew their patients were not going to really listen.

Mrs. Emily looked around the improvised couch area and then back at Brodie.  “Check and make sure we did not forget anything.”  Brodie looked around the area and did not find anything and when he was done he simply nodded to his employer.

“One hour Austin, then we leave with or without you.”  Mrs. Emily said slipping on her heavy thermal jacket with Brodie’s help.

“May I ask what the rush is?”  Austin said as Brodie held the door open for her.

“They have Meredith.”


(1st Part) (2nd Part)  (3rd Part) (4th Part) (5th Part) (6th Part) (7th Part) (8th Part) (9th Part)(Part 10) (Part 11)(Part 12)(Part 13)(Part 14)(Part 15)(Part 16)(Part 17)(Part 18) (Part 19) (Part 20) (Part 21) (Part 22)  (Part 23) (Part 24) (Part 25) (Part 26) 



Posted in Freelance Article

The Battle of Bushy Run

This was my first freelance article and moved me from hobby writer to a professional freelancer.  I completed the assignment in five days and Sunflower published it with very little editing.  There was a small amount cheating involved, I grew up very close to this park and have spent hours in the museum and the battlefield.  (My brother’s Eagle Project was to plant trees here, which I am proud to say are still there.)   So, I  did not have to do much research to complete the article.  

There is one flaw The Battle of Bushy Run was during Pontiac’s War, not the French and Indian War as the sub-title states, but it is a common mistake.  I wish they would have used different photographs but that was something beyond my control.    

I do not own the rights to this article they are owned wholly and fully by Sunflower Publishing and any discussion for reproducing this article in part or in whole must be done with them.

Other articles for Laurel Highlands Magazine:

Fort Necessity 

Fort Ligioner 


Posted in Quotes


I’ve learned that you don’t need a lot in life. If it can’t fit into a suitcase, you don’t really need it.     Joyce DiDonato

Joyce DiDonato (née Flaherty; born February 13, 1969) is an American operatic lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano notable for her interpretations of the works of HandelMozart, and Rossini. She has performed with many of the world’s leading opera companies and orchestras, and in 2012 and 2016 won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo.

Joyce DiDonato sings during a video shoot for NPR Music’s Field Recordings series at the Stonewall Inn in New York City