My Town Monday: Girls Rule… in the Air Force!

I’ve been considering a new direction for Mondays on the blog, which will probably include making My Town a once- or twice-a-month feature, rather than every week. But an announcement I read last week was just too cool to pass up: this summer, the  U.S. Air Force will see its first female four-star general – and she’s from the Dayton area!

General Janet C. Wolfenbarger

She’ll also serve here, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where she’s already spent over half of her 32 years of service. Now a Lieutenant General, Janet C. Wolfenbarger works in acquisitions at the Pentagon, a suitable step before taking the lead at  Air Force Materiel Command, which is headquartered at Wright-Patt. AFMC oversees acquisition and logistics, in addition to research and development, and support and sustainment programs for aircraft and weapons systems.

General Wolfenbarger has a long history with the Air Force. Not only has she spent over half her life in service, she was a military kid, with a father in the Air Force. Her husband also served many years as a pilot before retiring in 2006.

Born Janet Libby in Florida, her family moved several times before her dad was assigned to Wright-Patt just in time for her to spend her high school years at Beavercreek High School. While there, she and several classmates started a girls’ soccer team, which eventually evolved into the current, official school team and was the start of her decades of leadership. In 2004, she was inducted into the Beavercreek High School Alumni Hall of Fame.

General Wolfenbarger's past service at WPAFB included managing the B-2 program

When she graduated from Beavercreek in 1976, the Air Force Academy was just beginning to accept women, and Janet Libby graduated in the academy’s first class that included women. She then went on to earn several masters degrees, including one in aeronautics and astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2009, she received her third star, and became the highest-ranking woman in the Air Force.

General Wolfenbarger’s story is certainly inspirational. She’s proof that with determination, confidence, and simply doing one’s best in a job, one can go far. She hopes more young women will consider the Air Force as a career, one she calls “extraordinarily rewarding and challenging.” And with her new assignment, she’s glad to return to Dayton, and said, “I feel as though I am coming home.”

Congratulations to General Wolfenbarger, and best wishes for continued success in her new assignment!

You can read more about General Wolfenbarger in the Dayton Daily News, as well as on the official U.S. Air Force website.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you heard or read any inspiring girls-rule stories lately? What do you think of General Wolfenbarger’s story?

My Town Monday: Historically Delicious!

This past Saturday evening, 28 of us gathered to take a tasty trip back in time. Not like the people in my books, but figuratively: we were the participants and guests at Carillon Historical Park‘s Tavern Dinner that night.

Our hosts – three ladies and two men – already looked the part in their historical clothing, as they outlined our destination, and why they’d chosen that particular year: 1830. You see, the Miami and Erie Canal had been completed through Dayton the prior year, bringing with it much greater accessibility to supplies from the east, including goodies like sugar and flour. This allowed them to offer much greater variety in the food that could be prepared for a historically-accurate, end-of-winter feast.

The canal also drastically reduced the cost of such goods. A shipment that would have cost $125 to bring to Dayton via horse-drawn wagon or stagecoach, cost only $25 to bring out on the canal. Bring on the food, right?

Most of our meal was cooked here! Cabbage soup and sausage stew are in the kettles. Our hostess checks the oven.

Not quite! After the introduction, we all got a little hands-on experience in preparing some of the evening’s meal. Our group went first to the summer kitchen, where our hosts had been busy since that morning, putting on the cabbage soup appetizer, the main dish stew, and getting the ingredients ready for dessert. They’d baked bread in the stone oven a few days earlier, just as would have been done in 1830. But what’s bread without butter? That still needed to be done, so we all tried our hand at churning. Not a hard job at all, but one that would get tedious if it had to be done all at once, by one person, for it takes about a half hour of steady work. While we churned, our hostess answered questions about the food preparations, and explained how the fire had been going all day, and the soup and stew put on around 2 pm that afternoon. Ever think it takes too long to preheat the oven? This one takes a couple hours! But we’d have cookies by the time dinner was done.

Implements for tea and coffee preparation

Our next stop was the William Morris house, an authentic, preserved historical home which, like the summer kitchen, had been trucked to the park from Centerville, about 10 miles away. There, our hostess described how coffee and tea was shipped in, and the latter roasted and ground. The coffee mill was difficult to crank – luckily, enough had been already ground that we weren’t dependent on what we could do!

After that, we stopped outside the tavern to learn about the musket that might have been used to kill the night’s meal, had we actually been in 1830. Since the group before us jammed the musket, we got to see how the term “flash in the pan” originated, when the musket didn’t create enough force to fire the bullet, but the gunpowder burnt prematurely.

Finally, we headed inside Newcom’s Tavern, Dayton’s oldest building, for dinner.

It's Historically Delicious!

As dusk descended, it certainly felt like a trip back in time to eat in the old, log building by candle light. And the food was wonderful! We started out with bread that was baked in the summer kitchen with the butter we’d churned, and cabbage soup, which was much tastier than it sounds, thanks to its beef broth base and herb seasonings.

The main dish was the sausage stew, which was a mild, savory sausage in a tomato paste base, served with locally-grown rice. The sides were a thick bean-and-corn dish, and apples and onions, which were baked in a crockery pot and dutch oven piled under ash in the summer kitchen’s fireplace. Apples and onions sounds like a strange combination, but it was really good. We also had roasted diced potatoes, with onions, carrots, and turnips.

Candlelight dinner in the tavern

After dinner, we were in for yet another treat. A trio of illusionists who said they’d just ridden in on the stagecoach from Cincinnati performed a few magic tricks and card tricks for us and got more than a few laughs. We capped off the evening with dessert – stewed pears, with the sugar cookies that had just been baked in the summer kitchen. All in all, a fantastic meal!

Have you ever eaten a historic dinner, prepared by historically-accurate means? What do you think of the menu – does it sound like something you’d like to try? Have you ever churned butter or fired a musket?

My Town Monday: March – Nice Day for a White Wedding

Around here, there are two things you can count on in March: basketball fanaticism, and crazy weather.

We’ve had record-busting temperatures here since last Wednesday, where we’ve broken into the upper 70’s each day. Previous records have been 71-73 degrees. Then there have been years where the temperature never stayed above freezing for the whole day. 1997 and 2004 were cold in mid-March, with lows in the teens and twenties.

Average temperatures in the Dayton area in mid-March hover around a high in the upper 40s, and lows in the upper 20s.  In the space of a week, we can go from snowstorms to sunbathing weather. Planning ahead? LOL. At any time, any kind of weather can happen!

So why on earth would anyone plan a wedding in March? I can answer that question because eighteen years ago today, I married my own romance hero. 😀

March: a great day for a white wedding!

We got engaged the prior May, on the day between our birthdays (mine is May 15th, his is the 17th). But we already knew it was happening before that, and I actually had bought my wedding dress about a month earlier. I don’t normally recommend this route, but this particular dress was the perfect dress, and it was half-off in a closeout sale – no trivial savings! And it was long-sleeve. So a summer wedding was out. Sure, we could have gone downtown and gotten married any time (this would have been fine with my husband), but after being a bridesmaid seven times, I wanted the big t0-do like my friends had – which means planning in advance. And if you’re going for one of the more popular months, reception halls, churches, and service providers often book more than a year out. Besides, I never like being part of the crowd, and had no interest in the quintessential June wedding that might conflict with someone else’s, or where our guests were likely to already have wedding fatigue.

January was out – plan something like that around here, and you’re asking for a blizzard. February’s iffy too. So March it was. We chose the 19th because the reception hall we wanted and the church both had the day available. We knew we were taking a risk – anything from snowstorm to sunbathing weather! But the luck o’ the Irish held an extra two days for us: we got the latter. And thank goodness for that, because we were able to get the maximum enjoyment from our very special wedding  “limo” – a 1970 Pontiac Bonneville convertible, that my husband and his best man had spent the past year restoring for our special day. And yes, we still have it!

Want the rest of the story? Go download How I Met My Husband: The Real-life Love Stories of 25 Romance Authors and check out my entry, “Looking for Mr. Goodwrench.” It’s free on Smashwords, and will soon be available on other outlets. I designed the cover. 🙂

How’s March been treating you? I’d love to hear from you! Got any March news or history to share? Has the weather in your area been unseasonably warm this March? Or are you holed up watching basketball and haven’t noticed? 🙂

Weather facts from Weather Underground
Wedding photo ©1994 by Ron Perry

My Town Monday: Death from Days Gone By

According to the sign, the first burial was in 1803

Yesterday saw some beautiful weather here in the Dayton area – sunny, slight breeze, about 70 degrees. A perfect day for a little motorcycle ride.

I rode off to a place hidden away in the suburbs, nestled away behind strip malls, office buildings, and neighborhoods of 1960’s ranch homes. Beavertown Cemetery is a little piece of history. Although it’s less than a quarter mile away from busy Woodman Drive, visiting there is like stepping into another world.

The cemetery was built around a little farming town in what’s now the suburb of Kettering. According to the sign, the first burial at the cemetery took place in 1803. It’s currently owned and managed by the city’s Parks Department.

Shopping centers and busy streets are just out of view

Information regarding the town and cemetery is sketchy. According to one source on, the town had around 50 homes in the mid-nineteenth century. There is some more information on the Geocaching site, where it looks like someone hid a cache in 2008. According to this source, the cemetery’s two acres were donated by John Ewry, one of Beavertown’s early inhabitants.

There are two main sections of the cemetery. The one closest to the entrance is newer, and most of the grave markers date from the 1940s through the 1960s. The back section, inside the gravel drive loop, is where most of the older markers are. Many are unreadable.



The section beyond the gravel loop doesn’t appear to be part of the cemetery on Google Maps, and doesn’t contain marked graves. There’s a rumor noted on the Geocaching page that poor, black residents were buried there in the early days, but these are unsubstantiated. If there are any rumors of hauntings at Beavertown, I couldn’t find them.

What was a surprise to me is that every now and then, someone new is buried at Beavertown. I suspect these grave plots have been in families for years.

Even so, it’s a fascinating place to pick up little bits of history. One can see how much shorter the lifespans were 150 years ago, and how much bigger families were – because many didn’t survive until adulthood. Through death, we get a little glimpse of what life was like back then.

What do you think? Have you visited any historic cemeteries in your area? Do you like to wander through, and get a little snapshot of life in the past?

My Town Monday: The Road to Madness Starts Here

Next week, madness descends on Dayton. A very specific kind of madess: March Madness!

Okay, granted, March Madness will descend on pretty much everywhere in the U.S., and anywhere else where you can find fans of NCAA basketball. People will be huddled around lunch tables and water coolers comparing brackets, sitting at their computers filling out their best guesses as to who will advance to the next round, or engaging in some (hopefully) friendly wagering, while those who don’t follow the sport will be sick of the words “final four,” “bracket” and “seed” by next week.

And it all starts here in Dayton, Ohio, where the very first game will be played, at the University of Dayton Arena.

Dayton has hosted the initial NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship game since 2001, when the championship series was extended by one game to allow an additional two teams to participate. The event was a hit, and the community embraced the game with open arms (and wallets). Last year, the opening round was expanded to four games, now known as the First Four, and met with equal enthusiasm.

This year, the city of Dayton is taking it further, by holding the first-ever, First Four Festival in the nearby Oregon District. About two miles from the arena, this free festival will take place on March 11th, aka “Selection Sunday.” This is when the NCAA will select which four teams get to compete in the First Four. There will be something for everyone at the festival. The Oregon District is a historical neighborhood with many bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, so there will be plenty of places to gather for a beer or a bite to eat while watching the tournament announcements on the big screen. There will also be heated tents in the street, with more places to watch tournament events and get food and drink, plus live music and other entertainment, games for kids, and educational/informational displays about all kinds of cool Air Force technology that’s been (and is still being) developed in the area. There’s also a “First-Four-Miler” fun run associated with the event.

People around here loooooove college basketball, and the city expects to recoup the investment they’ve spent on the festival (and then some, they hope). Last year, the games alone contributed $3.5 million to the local economy, and this year, they’re expecting close to $4 million. In addition to the economic boost, the festival organizers are hoping the event will further the public’s association of “Dayton” with the “First Four.” Hopefully, it will also show the NCAA selection committee that Dayton should continue to be the site of the First Four for many years.

U.D. Arena seats over 13,000, and as of last week, over 10,000 sets of tickets (to all four games) had already been sold. The arena has hosted more NCAA Division I tournament games than any other site in the U.S., and Dayton has been one of the country’s top areas for game attendance for many years.

I’d love to hear from you! Are you a college basketball fan? If you live nearby, would you go to the First Four games? Or maybe the festival? Are there any big sporting events like this in your hometown?

More information on the games and event can be found at Dayton Most Metro, the Dayton Daily News, and the official First Four website.

First Four logo ©NCAA, via Dayton Most Metro
U.D. Arena photo by flicker user Sonnett is used under Creative Commons license via Wikipedia 

My Town Monday: Arts and Letters, with a Leap Year Twist


Ann Bain (center, wearing red) at the "Exuberance" show opening celebration

She paints, she draws, she letters, she sculpts, she stamps. Local artist Ann Bain has been doing it all for six decades, and she’s celebrating her twentieth birthday this week.

Ann is my brother’s mother-in-law, and her birthday is this coming Wednesday, February 29th. To celebrate, she teamed up with several artist friends for “Exuberance,” a gallery showing and opening party at The Cannery Art and Design Center in downtown Dayton. And “Exuberance” is the perfect name for the event: Ann might have been on the earth for eighty years, but she has the energy and enthusiasm of a twenty-year-old! The name of the showing pays homage to poet William Blake, and reads in full as “Exuberance is Beauty — Energy is Eternal Delight.” The Dayton Daily News had a wonderful article about the exhibit and party in Saturday’s issue.

Ann's work adorns the walls at the Cannery Art & Design Center

A Pittsburgh native, Ann’s early artistic career included a stint in Alcoa’s commercial art department. That was over fifty years ago, and she still keeps in touch with her boss, who sends her birthday cards that are works of art in and of themselves. When she spoke to her guests and thanked everyone for coming, she brought out this year’s card, an 8-1/2″ x 11″,  multi-panel fold-out that contained drawings and photos of Ann with some comical modifications and commentary.

Ann paints in a variety of media – and on a variety of surfaces. One work features calligraphy in an outline style, on sheer fabric, hung over a colorful painting. She has handmade books, and sculptures (usually covered in handmade paper and painted with lettering).

Some of Ann's work - Metamorphosis Wheel is the tall, cylindrical piece, center right

Some of her work is normally displayed in her home studio. Metamorphosis Wheel, a piece I hadn’t seen before, was particularly intriguing. Some of her work was exhibited at the Schuster Center last year when the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Wright State University’s choir performed Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Several of her pieces, originally inspired by the Mass, were featured in the full color program as well.

Guests were invited to sign Ann's card, held by her cardboard likeness

The “Exuberance” exhibit will be on display at the Cannery Art and Design Center at 434 East Third St. through March. Ann’s work is also featured on an ongoing basis at the Village Artisans gallery in nearby Yellow Springs, and she accepts calligraphy commissions through The Mulberry Tree in Oakwood.

Ann’s website is at, which I designed and set up for her as a gift several years ago. It’s one of the more fun projects I’ve done as a web designer!

So if you’re in the area, consider stopping by the Cannery Art & Design Center, and check out Ann’s work! A lot of beautiful and fascinating artwork by the gallery’s resident artists is also on display. The gallery will soon move around the corner to a new home at 45 St. Clair St., and I’ll definitely return for another visit (and another blog entry)!

Do you have a favorite hometown artist and/or gallery? I’d love to hear from you! Give me some ideas on where’s a great place to experience art in your hometown!

Check out other fun facts and sights at the My Town Monday blog.

My Town Monday: Fight Club – in Dayton!

This Saturday night, 16 area business people, arts and charitable organization representatives, Dayton Daily News staffers, and other volunteers will participate in Dayton’s own fight club – for charity. These fighters and their audience of 2500 (if it sells out) will get to take a little trip back in time, too (figuratively, of course) as they take Memorial Hall back to its glory days, when it was the place to go to see the fights.

Inspired by the venue’s history, as well as the sport of boxing’s storied past in the area, Dayton History is teaming up with Drake’s Downtown Gym to put on Dayton Knockout VIP Fight Night, with the proceeds to benefit Dayton History and the AIDS Resource Center of Ohio. It looks like it will be a fun time!

Gene Tunney & Jack Dempsey at Memorial Hall - note how the audience is all sitting in folding chairs, on the floor

It’s probably because I’m not a big sports fan that I had no idea of the significant part Dayton played in football history until I began looking for interesting things to blog about for My Town Monday. Similarly, I also had no idea boxing was a big draw in decades past. But starting in the late nineteenth century, boxing clubs started popping up all over town, and before long, some had gained a national reputation. One of these was Dayton Gym Club, which produced several Golden Gloves teams and was voted one of the best fight clubs in the U.S. in the 1950s.

Dayton’s Memorial Hall was dedicated in 1910. The “Memorial” part refers to veterans of the Civil War and Spanish-American War, whom the citizens wanted to honor. It’s on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. I’ve attended many concerts and plays there, but never a sporting event. However, it was a popular destination for boxing until the 1940s, when raised seating was installed. The last public performance held there was Bill Cosby, in 2001. It used to be the home of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and other performing arts organization, who have since moved on to the Schuster Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2003. Memorial Hall closed that year, and reopened in 2010, when the county placed it under the management of Dayton History.

Memorial Hall in the early 20th century

Tickets are only $15, or $25 for a package deal that includes entertainment by local band Funky G and the Groove Machine in the lounge downstairs plus three drink tickets. Local entertainment magazine Dayton Most Metro is giving away five pairs of tickets too – if you’re local and want to win ’em, hop on over to their Facebook page.

Have you ever attended an amateur sporting event like this? I normally don’t care for boxing, but this sounds entertaining. Got any interesting sports history from your area to share?

Additional Resources:

Dayton Most Metro, “Boxing in Dayton, From Past History to Present ‘Knockout‘” by J.T. Ryder
The Dayton Daily News, “Taking a Punch for Charitable Causes” by Amelia Robinson 

Photos via Dayton Most Metro and Dayton History

My Town Monday: Ohio, the Heart of It All – for Romance Novels! released an interesting study last week: The Most Romantic Cities in the U.S. They based this on per-capita purchases by customers in cities of over 100,000 people – as in how many romance novels they bought, how many romantic comedy movies and television shows they rented or purchased, and purchases of CDs and sexual health products.

The results may surprise you; I know I was. Apparently, Virginia is still for Lovers, but not as much as last year – and not as much as Tennessee and Florida. New York certainly isn’t – NYC was at the very bottom of the list. The other surprise? Two Ohio cities made the top 20: Cincinnati at #5, and Dayton at #9!

So where are all the romance novels that take place in Ohio? It’s the first place that comes to mind when choosing a setting… oh wait, that’s just me. Or is it?

If you’re looking for a good contemporary romance, turns out it’s not hard to find one set in Ohio. Big name authors like Lori Foster, Jennifer Crusie, Toni Blake, and Diane Castell have all written a number of romances that take place in Ohio. Some are in big cities, like Columbus or Cincinnati, while others feature the ever-popular small-town romance, like Toni Blake’s series set in the fictitious town of Destiny. A recent read I enjoyed was Forever Material, a romantic comedy by Athena Grayson, which takes place in an unnamed suburb of Cincinnati.

Time's Enemy CoverBut what about historical romance, or paranormal? Those are a little trickier. The only historical that quickly comes to mind is Into the Valley, by Roseanne Bittner, which is several years old, but very good. For paranormal, there’s Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Waling urban fantasy series. I haven’t read these, so I don’t know how much romance is in them, if any.

Those all take place in Cincinnati. So where’s the love for #9 on the list, Dayton? Offhand, I can’t think of any romance novels set in Dayton except for one, and you need venture no further than this website for that. Time’s Enemy is historical, it’s contemporary, it’s paranormal. And it’s set in Dayton.

Do you know of any good romance novels set in Ohio? Especially historical or paranormal? Especially Dayton?? Bring ’em on! I want to read them.

My Town Monday: The First NFL Game

Hopefully you are all recovered from massive amounts of beer, junk food, and the best commercials of the year! Hopefully you had a good time, regardless of which team won. But did you ever wonder how – and where – it all started?

The Marker at Triangle Park today (click to enlarge)

Yup, right here in Ohio! Of course, it’s probably not news to many that the NFL was formed in Canton, Ohio, which is now home to the NFL Hall of Fame. Chartered in 1920, the NFL was originally called the American Professional Football League until the name was changed to the National Football League in 1922. And the AFPL’s first game? It was held in Dayton, with the Dayton Triangles defending against the Columbus Panhandles – a blowout with the Triangles winning 14-0.

The Triangles’ story is an interesting one in itself, a far cry from the multi-billion-dollar industry that the NFL is today. The Triangles roots come from basketball, and begin at St. Mary’s University, now the University of Dayton. Several of the college’s players wanted to keep playing after graduation, and formed a team with other alumni and students in 1912. A year later, they branched into football as the St. Mary’s Cadets and quickly gained a winning record and local business sponsorship.

In 1916, the Cadets reorganized as the Dayton Triangles, pulling their roster from the employees of their three corporate sponsors, DELCO, Delco-Light, and the Dayton Metal Products Company. The Triangles’ Manager, Carl Storck, represented the team in meetings in Canton that ultimately resulted in the forming of the AFPL.

The original franchise fee was $25 (can you imagine?!), there was no league president, no bylaws or standard rules. There was no league schedule – each team set its own. The initial meeting on August 20, 1920 included only representatives from five Ohio teams. The follow-up a month later also included representatives for teams from Illinois, Indiana, and New York. This time, the group adopted bylaws and set the league fee at $100 (which none actually paid). Although Illinois’ Rock Island Independents played on Sept. 26 following the league’s official formation, the first game between two AFPA teams was the one in Dayton, played on October 3, 1920.

The Dayton Triangles, 1920

In 1922, other NFL teams began recruiting top talent from the college pool, but Dayton continued to use local players. This was the beginning of a slow, painful decline culminating in the sale of the team in 1930 to a Brooklyn syndicate, where they were renamed the Brooklyn Dodgers. All of the other eight NFL charter teams had already moved, been renamed, and/or been sold, leaving the Triangles as the last charter team in its original incarnation.

But who knew that the first NFL game was played in Dayton? And if you’d like a little more trivia, the very first touchdown in an NFL game was scored that day by Dayton Triangles’ fullback Lou Partlow.

Did you know about the Dayton connection to the NFL? Until I read the linked article in the Dayton Daily News, I didn’t. Got any other cool sports history trivia? Please share!

Dayton Triangles Logo © The National Football League
Historic Marker photo via
Team photo via Dayton City Paper 

Additional resources:
90 years ago today, NFL began in Dayton,” Dayton Daily News, Oct. 2, 2010
Dayton Triangles,” Wikipedia
Original Class of the NFL,” Dayton City Paper, Nov. 22.2011 

My Town Monday: A Room Fit for a Time Traveler

The Algonquin in 1904

What do you do if you’re stuck in Dayton’s past, bad guys are after you, and you need a place to hunker down until you can return to the twenty-first century? If you’re time-traveler Tony Solomon, you approach the problem logically, and go to the first hotel you think of that was there then – and is still there in the twenty-first century, and is still a hotel.

The obvious choice would be the Gibbons, now the Dayton Grand Hotel.

Initially named the Algonquin, the building was constructed in 1898, and helped establish Dayton as a place to do business, whether you’re visiting from across Ohio, or across the Atlantic Ocean. According to one newspaper, “People can no longer point to Dayton as a one-street city.”

The Gibbons Hotel, from a 1930s postcard

The Algonquin made the news during the Great Flood of 1913, where some 250 people were trapped in the upper floors. They were better off than most people stranded by the 12-15 foot waters, for they had food and a relatively comfortable place to sleep.

Real estate developer Michael J. Gibbons bought the Algonquin in 1918, and changed its name to the Gibbons Hotel, which it remained until 1963, when it became the Dayton Inn. Either then or later, it became part of the Hilton properties, going through several names. It was the Doubletree from the late 90s until just a couple months ago. It’s now called the Dayton Grand Hotel.


Above is the hotel as it is today. The building next to it was the Post Office in the 1930’s. That building currently houses the Federal Bankruptcy Court. The parking lot, outlined in green, is accessible from Third Street by a narrow alley between the buildings, and plays a key role in Time’s Enemy.

Photos: Algonquin Hotel in 1904 via Dayton History Books Online, courtesy of the Library of Congress
1930s Postcard of the Gibbons Hotel via
Modern-day photos via Google Maps and Google Street View
For reference:  Dayton History Books Online

Here’s a short excerpt from Time’s Enemy, in which Tony discovers that perhaps the Gibson wasn’t such a good place to hide after all.

Tony paced across his room at the Gibbons, the only downtown hotel he was aware of that still existed as such in his time, although it had a different name. He threw open the window and gazed over the parking lot, already darkened by the lengthening shadows of the buildings that surrounded it on three sides.

He’d blundered around for hours after he left Charlotte, then took in a movie, something about a lion tamer. He sat through it twice—not because it was good, but because it had enough action to take the edge of his mind off Charlotte.

He paced to the door, then back to the window again. What was he thinking? He was a man who led through knowledge and order. A man who rearranged the magazines on people’s coffee tables. Not the kind of guy who threw a punch without thinking. Or at all, for that matter.

Never mind that it had felt damn good.

Through Charlotte, he’d discovered his heart wasn’t dead, and he could still feel excitement, anticipation and wonder. She was the first woman he’d found remotely interesting since Dora’s defection.

The woman who had the answer he needed but wouldn’t give it to him. Hopelessness settled over him like a new fallen snow. In his quest for knowledge, he’d failed. Was the one thing he wanted—his daughter’s life—too much to ask?

He sat and took off his shoes. If he got extra sleep, maybe the mental energy he needed to bring on the pull would build sooner.

He peered around the room. Bed, dresser, nightstand. Not much different than any of those he’d stayed in on his many travels, other than the absence of a TV and phone. And quiet. At his request, the desk clerk had given him a luxury room with a private bath on the sixth floor. There were no other guests in the wing.

It would be an adequate place to live—exist—until the pull returned him to the twenty-first century. Hopefully, the room would be unoccupied in his time. After he warped, he’d check into the modern-day hotel, then crash.

He wandered back toward the door when someone knocked.

“Yes?” What the hell did someone want this late?

“Room service,” a man in the hallway called.

“I didn’t order anything.” Tony hoped the intruder heard the irritation in his response.

“It says Room 639 right here on the order… Open faced beef sandwich with mashed potatoes, green beans, apple pie…”

Hmmm, that sounded good. Tony hadn’t eaten since breakfast, hadn’t been hungry, but eating might also speed the renewal of his mental energy. Better take them up on it, even if he didn’t order the dinner. He yanked the door open.

The black man in the hallway wore a white server’s uniform, but his hands were empty. Tony glanced down the hall in both directions. Where was the cart? “Where’s the food?”

“My apologies, Mr. Solomon, but I need to talk to you—”

Tony glowered at the man. “Who are you and what do you want?” Something about him struck Tony as familiar.

“My name is Theodore Pippin.”

Fear shot an icy tentacle down Tony’s throat. He couldn’t move. Moisture trickled down his back beneath his undershirt. God, how could he be so stupid? Charlotte and his failure had clouded his mind so much he’d forgotten all about the Saturn Society’s threat.

His stupor snapped. He shoved the door, but he man blocked it with his foot. “I’m with an organization called the Saturn Society… perhaps you’ve heard of us?”

“Yeah, and I’m not interested.” Tony leaned against the door, trying to dislodge Pippin’s foot. “Get out—”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple, Mr. Solomon. Now if I could come in, we could discuss this like gentlemen…”

“There’s nothing to discuss.” Not with the man who’d been lauded for subduing more time-criminals than any other Society member in known history. Tony leaned harder against the door, but Pippin’s foot held. “Get out of here, or I’ll—” Somewhere outside, a woman shouted. He glanced at the window. Big mistake. Pippin took the opportunity to wedge himself through the door.

More information on Time’s Enemy