Welcome to my new website. And now, the NEWS.
I am pleased to announce that my latest book, Sky Patrol 1938, was published in January 2018. Please click on the book's cover (to the right) or the books tab (above) for more information. At the moment, I'm starting work on two follow-on titles about the aviation thrills, spills, records, and disappointments of the 1930's, as seen through the lens of the Universal Newsreel camera. These volumes are tentatively titled: Flying Feats 1930 and Air Parade 1934. If all goes according to plan, the next title should be published in early 2019, with the remaining title a year later.
I'm also doing some fine-tuning on the transcriptions that I have made over the last few years of the 1220 newsreel stories produced by United News during WWII. There may be a book or two about this outstanding resource some time in the future.
In other news, an article I wrote for the National Archives magazine, Prologue, titled The Reel Story of the Great War is due to be published in the Winter 2018 issue.
That's about all the news I have for now. Please investigate the site and enjoy!
Within these pages you will find descriptions and related information for each of my published books. In addition, you'll find links to articles that I have been fortunate to have had published.
I write non-fiction that generally falls into the history, reference, or transportation categories. Thus far, all my published works have been related to the massive historic motion picture collections held in America's film vault, the U.S. National Archives. Why? Well that's a long story. The short version is that after decades of research I found a vast variety of subjects covered in the 360,000-plus reels of moving images preserved in the College Park, Maryland facility of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) unique. The wealth of visual information is almost overwhelming. Consisting of over 109,000 titles made by or for "Uncle Sam," along with a healthy sprinkling of donated films, they superbly document American activities throughout the 20th century. To me, a vast majority of the footage is Americana in motion. However, there is a problem. Most citizens of our great country don't know that these extraordinary collections exist, and those that do, rarely know how to find them. So I write to inform and educate.
Why you may ask? Well, after all these years of research, I've got a lot of knowledge stuck in my head and a ton of research papers in file cabinets. As I'm on the cusp of senior citizenship, I started thinking about what to do with it all. One answer was to do nothing--I would take the knowledge with me to the grave and my kids would take the files to the dumpster. Well, you can probably imagine my practical and emotional response to that idea. After much thought, the only viable option was to spread the word and I chose to write about it--in books, articles, and on this website. That's my motivation and now my mission.
Now that I've been doing this writing thing for a couple of years, I found that there is very little monetary gain in writing history or reference books. I do what I do purely out of a love for our country's rich collection of filmed history, its cinematic heritage, and a strong desire to ensure that it's preserved for future generations. These films are worth cherishing. It is also incredibly valuable to know what is in America's film vault and how to find a copy of it.