Archive for August, 2018

Jim Thorpe’s Biographer is Interviewed

August 19, 2018

Back in May, I reported on the Jim Thorpe movie that is being made with the involvement of Angelina Jolie and others. Because, to a great extent, the film in development is based on his definitive biography of Thorpe, Bob Wheeler is being interviewed about Thorpe, his research and the movie. Here are links to videos of some of his recent interviews:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gaK7rdZgpEcstHfye0buBCWt7aTANU16

The Big Biz Show: https://vimeo.com/281652412/002da7695e

BizTalk Discovery: https://vimeo.com/281653077/23660f3772

Wheeler’s odyssey in tracking down Thorpe’s contemporaries while they were still alive is a story in itself. Hitchhiking cross-country when it was possible but frowned upon by some, including President Eisenhower, was the only way a grad student with no money could travel to all the places he had to go to conduct his research.

Even getting an oral history approved as a valid project was a challenge at that time. It’s better I stop and let Bob tell his own story.

Wheeler's book

 

 

 

 

 

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More Acknowledgements

August 16, 2018

The stack of books in my office in which I am acknowledged as being a source continues to grow. Most have to do with Lone Star Dietz or Carlisle Indian School football players but the most recent sports book has nothing to do with them or football. It is a baseball book of sorts.

The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team that Helped Win World War II by Anne R. Keene includes a couple of passages on the Craighead twins and references to Glorious Times. Keene’s father, Jim Raugh, grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where, at age nine, he suited up in a Cloudbusters’ uniform as the Navy’s pre-flight training base’s baseball team’s batboy and mascot.

But his daughter didn’t learn about this until after his death. Her book is as much a story of her personal journey to uncover her father’s history as it was to tell the story of a thrown-together team of future hall-of-famers and other professionals.

Ms. Keene discovered the Craigheads in her research about the team and the training the players underwent prior to becoming pilots. Intrigued by them, she stopped by for a visit at Craighead House while she was on a book tour this summer. She also gave me some hints on writing press releases.

This week I received an acknowledgement from another author, but not of a book. This one came on the Green Bay Packers website from their team historian Cliff Christi. Ron from Appleton, Wisconsin had asked him about any Oneidas who had played for the Packers. In his response, Christi mentioned me and my book, Wisconsin’s Carlisle Indian School Immortals, as an important reference. His article can be found here: https://www.packers.com/news/packers-fan-from-ukraine-asks-about-team-s-first-coach.

Cloudbuster NineWisconsin

 

 

The Great American Read

August 13, 2018

On Thursday, August 9, Heather Woolridge of WITF, the Central PA PBS affiliate, conducted interviews at Craighead House for a 5-minute segment they are producing in conjunction with the upcoming PBS series The Great American Read. She interviewed Johnson Coyle, President of Craighead House Committee, Sarah Fischer, Education Coordinator, Twig George, daughter of Jean Craighead George, and me.

The topic was Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain, a book that has changed many people’s lives. Why it didn’t make PBS’s top 100 list is a mystery to me. Perhaps its readers aren’t ardent PBS viewers. I have no idea. Even though it was overlooked by PBS, WITF is giving it a look.

I don’t know what John, Sarah and Twig said but I tried to emphasize the impact My Side of the Mountain has had on so many people. It has turned numerous nonreaders into readers, some of which have become voracious readers. Trish Carlucci’s story in the Summer 2016 edition of Craighead House Chronicles discusses one such example. Summer 2016 5.5 x. 8.5 cropped Trish

Men and women alike constantly tell me that My Side of the Mountain was their favorite book growing up and want their children to read it. It is even in several states’ curricula.

It is my understanding that each of the five one-hour theme episodes that follow the two-hour launch episode will be organized into 10-minute segments that PBS affiliates can choose to show or replace with pieces of their own. WITF’s segment will cover John Updike and Jean Craighead George. It’s not clear when this piece will run. We hope to find out before the series kicks off on September 11.

JCs MSOTM.png