ROW80: Moving Right Along

Not much to report this week. Had a good one as far as goals went, with most accomplished. The booksigning at Barnes & Noble was fun, if not very profitable (we’re having a very cold weekend here in Ohio, and attendance was not high. Even the big-name authors didn’t draw many readers).

Last week’s results:

  1. Design and print bookplates, stand-up placard, and excerpt brochures to hand out at book signing, plus signup sheet for reader newsletter
  1. Collect and write front/back matter for Time’s Fugitive – Author’s Note, Acknowledgements, etc.
  2. Investigate starting reader newsletter
  3. Write product description and determine tags for Time’s Fugitive; put together Book Info cheat sheet
  4. Review one marketing book (I have four to either read or re-read)
  5. Read last Golden Heart entry (#5 out of 5)
  6. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  7. Write one book review
  8. Bonus: any additional blogs

I only got in two interval workouts plus one short. I’d planned to do the last short workout today, but ended up being gone all day. Not a good excuse, just a reason. And I wasn’t feeling well earlier this week, hence why it and the interval workout didn’t get done then. But the Golden Heart judging is done, and my scores turned in to RWA – yay! I also got all of my front and back matter collected for my upcoming release, so that’s a big plus too.

For this week:

  1. Critique a chapter for a writing friend
  2. Book review
  3. Additional work requested for side job website
  4. Break down marketing task list into Yeses, Nos, and Maybes
  5. Brainstorm some articles I can write for my newsletter
  6. Review my last draft of my next book and get it ready for beta readers
  7. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts

How did you do this week? If you’re consistently not meeting all your goals, maybe you need to cut yourself some slack. Take an easy week, and jump back in next week. Or it may be that the goals you’re choosing just aren’t reasonable, given the other demands on your time. What do you think?

ROW80:Just Right

Sometimes you just need to take it easy and give yourself a break. I gave myself an easier list this week, and it shows: I got everything done!

After completing that brutal revision, I needed that easy week. This coming week may be easy or not-so-much. The list looks long, but most of the items aren’t difficult or time-consuming – it’s a lot of little stuff.  I’m participating in my first book signing at a local Barnes & Noble, and want to have a few things to give away or encourage readers to go download my Nook book. As always, I’d like to collect some more blogs so I’m not always spending my Sundays writing them, but that never seems to happen. Maybe this week!

Last week’s results:

  1. Launch plan and list marketing tasks for Time’s Fugitive
  2. Read one Golden Heart entry (#4 out of 5)
  3. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  4. Finish reading and review the ARC I got last week
  5. Finish web design side job I took on to pay off my publishing company start up costs
  6. Rework Time’s Fugitive cover – I’m not 100% satisfied with it – YES! It’s in my sidebar now.
  7. Bonus: Stockpile some blogs, so that I’m not writing them at the last minute
For this week:
  1. Design and print bookplates, stand-up placard, and excerpt brochures to hand out at book signing, plus signup sheet for reader newsletter
  2. Collect and write front/back matter for Time’s Fugitive – Author’s Note, Acknowledgements, etc.
  3. Investigate starting reader newsletter
  4. Write product description and determine tags for Time’s Fugitive; put together Book Info cheat sheet
  5. Review one marketing book (I have four to either read or re-read)
  6. Read last Golden Heart entry (#5 out of 5)
  7. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  8. Write one book review
  9. Bonus: any additional blogs

How did you do this week? If you’re consistently not meeting all your goals, maybe you need to cut yourself some slack. Take an easy week, and jump back in next week. Or it may be that the goals you’re choosing just aren’t reasonable, given the other demands on your time. What do you think?

Don’t Miss Don’t Know Jack!

Once again, I’m doing some reading outside of my normal fare. This time it’s Don’t Know Jack, by Diane Capri. I’m not sure how to categorize this – mystery? Thriller? Suspense? It’s all three! One thing it’s not is romance. Normally, I like at least a little romance in my books, and there’s none here – and it totally works!

What IS in this book is nonstop action, answers that only lead to more questions, and more twists than the Dragon’s Tail.* The main character is FBI agent Kim Otto, a young FBI agent on her first assignment as Number One, who’s determined to prove herself in that role. Her second is Carlos Gaspar, seasoned agent and father of four who’s managed to hold his post despite an injury that’s left him with constant pain in his leg.  The two are tossed together by “the Boss,” a mysterious, enigmatic figure who they never name, and speak to only when he calls on the special cell phones he provided. Their assignment? An “under the radar” mission to build a file on Jack Reacher.

I’m coming at the book from a different perspective than most readers probably are: I’ve never read a Reacher novel, or anything else by Lee Child – a cultural shortcoming I’m planning to correct. For others like me, Reacher is a former special ops soldier turned mercenary? Government operative? No one knows. But he’s ruthless and will stop at nothing – including murder – to complete his mission, which is inevitably something for the greater good. Reacher lives so far off the grid, he hasn’t been seen or heard of in fifteen years, yet the Boss is certain he’s alive (and there’s no evidence to the contrary).

Otto and Gaspar meet in a small, Georgia town where they enlist the help of the police chief – a woman who knew Reacher way-back-when, and whose motives – and loyalties – are unclear. They immediately get wrapped up in her investigation of a simple, spousal murder that’s anything but. It should be a local matter, but every indication points to the Boss intending them to get involved.

The Boss himself is an enigma. He calls at the most opportune (or inopportune) times, and always seems to be one step ahead of Otto and Gaspar on this wild chase he’s sent them on. Their search eventually takes them to a high-end escort service in DC that Otto has a surprising connection to, to Switzerland, and back across the U.S. in a chase where the stakes increase by the minute.

If you like a good mystery steeped in action, Don’t Know Jack is a book you Don’t Want to Miss!

Don’t Know Jack (The Hunt For Reacher Series) is currently an Amazon exclusive, and can be borrowed for free if you are an Amazon Prime member. You can learn more about Diane Capri, and how this book came about, on her website.

Have you read Don’t Know Jack? Or are you planning to? Read any other good books lately? Feel free to share!

 

* U.S. Route 129 at the border of Tennessee and North Carolina – 318 curves in 11 miles

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 Etsy.com
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

ROW80:Too Much

Once again, I took on too much last week. I hadn’t done a test mile on how long it took me to type in second draft revisions, which are quite different than first draft revisions. As one might expect, they’re much less extensive, but not so much that I could go through a 140,000-word book in one day – which deluded me had thought I could do. Instead, I got halfway through it in one day – not bad, but it threw off what would have otherwise been an easy week. Live and learn! The good news is that it DID get done. And really, I got more done today than I expected. So I’m pleased. I came close to getting the web site done, but the form was tricky, the layout wasn’t working as it should have, and I finally had to walk away (and read the Golden Heart entry, so I got to mark that one green).

Here’s how the rest of the week went:

  1. Type in changes resulting from read-aloud of Time’s Fugitive and send to beta readers (finally!)
  2. Read one Golden Heart entry (#3 out of 5)
  3. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  4. Write and post review on Amazon & B&N of book I offered to blurb
  5. Finish web design side job
  6. Guest blog post (in addition to my own blogs)
  7. Go over two chapters for critique partner
  8. Cover design tweak promised to friend
  9. Tweak & validate epub file of Time’s Enemy and upload it to Lightning Source for distribution
  10. Launch plan and list of marketing tasks for Time’s Fugitive
  11. Bonus: do anything that’s on the launch plan list
  12. Bonus: dog walk or other activity in addition to #3

More green than red – we like that!

This week, I’ll focus on what I didn’t get to last week.

  1. Launch plan and list marketing tasks for Time’s Fugitive
  2. Read one Golden Heart entry (#4 out of 5)
  3. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  4. Finish reading and review the ARC I got last week
  5. Finish web design side job I took on to pay off my publishing company start up costs
  6. Rework Time’s Fugitive cover – I’m not 100% satisfied with it
  7. Bonus: Stockpile some blogs, so that I’m not writing them at the last minute

How did you do this week? Do you find yourself consistently taking on more than you can do, even when you know you do that?

You’re special! And so are you, and you, and you…

Worthwhile, or BS?

My daughter had to clean out her room – I mean, get everything out – before we painted it last summer. It was a huge job – she’s had that same bedroom, and the same furniture, same stuff on the walls, for years, so decluttering was long overdue.
On top of one box, was a blue ribbon she got one year at Field Day. This was one of the boxes that was headed for the garbage.

How could she just throw out a blue ribbon? Is she that un-sentimental?

I remember the day she brought it home. She was in third or fourth grade, and stuck it on the mini-bulletin board on back of her door. “You got a blue ribbon?” I was a bit surprised. You see, when I was in school, Field Day was fun for a lot of kids. A day out of the classroom, where we got to run and play and do sports. To me, it was sitting outside in the hot sun (it was always close to the last day of school) being bored out of my mind – on top of being an all-day reminder that I suck at anything athletic. You know, the slowest time in the 100-yard dash, last one picked for any team, guaranteed to strike out in softball and get hit with the dodge ball every time. My husband, on the other hand, is very athletic. But in that area, our daughter is more like me.

So her getting a ribbon in field day surprised me, until I took a closer look: “Participation,” it read.

"When everybody's special, no one is!"

“Everyone who didn’t win something got one of those.” She shrugged. “It’s stupid. One of those things they think is good for our self esteem.” She said “self esteem” in an air-quotes enunciation. LOL! Even at age nine, my daughter had already developed a healthy BS-detector.

Because that’s pretty much what it is. When I was a kid, only the winners got ribbons. If I’d gotten one, I’d have known it for what it was, too. Kids aren’t dumb. Most of them know this stuff is supposed to make them feel good, but it usually ends up just being patronizing. I don’t think not winning any Field Day ribbons gave me any major self-image issues. On one hand, it’s important to recognize the ones who do have special talents, especially when that may be all they have. My husband struggled in school, but he excelled at sports. If he’d gotten a ribbon for “participating” in a spelling bee (which he’d have probably been the first one eliminated), he’d have called BS, too.

What do you think? Does everyone deserve to be “special” or is this just needless pandering that everyone knows is BS?

My Town Monday: When it Sucks to Live in Ohio

No, I’m not talking about the weather (although there’s plenty to complain about there). This is something else entirely, although it is seasonal. Some years, it doesn’t really start until late September or early October. Other years, it gets going early. I’m talking about when you’re enjoying a relaxing evening at home (is there such a thing? LOL). Or you’re at least spending time with family, getting chores done, doing some writing (in my case), or that old classic, sitting down to eat dinner.

They should just leave me alone

Then they call. Not the telemarketers – we’re on the national Do Not Call list, so that’s cut down on them a lot, with the exception of GE Home Security (but that’s another rant).

I’m talking about political campaign calls. Sometimes it’s a computer. Sometimes it’s a human. Sometimes they’re taking a survey, but most of the time, they just want to tell you why you should vote for their candidate, or for/against a particular issue. If you’re registered to vote and you have a landline phone, you’re vulnerable.

It’s worse in some places than others. It’s really bad here in Ohio, because we’re a swing state – meaning any year, which party gets the lion’s share of our presidential or congressional votes is up for grabs. And while we have a little less clout than in prior years (we lost two congressional seats this year) we’re still a significant number with 20 electoral votes.

This guy took the high road - yes, it can happen

It doesn’t matter which party you’re registered with, but if you’re registered to vote but not for either party (i.e., that sought-after animal called an Independent), it’s probably worse.

Several years ago, one poor sap called at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, when my husband had just happened to wake up. Now, my DH is a master of improv, and he was excited to answer it, especially when a human came on the line. Well, DH launched into the rudest, most offensive rant I’ve heard in years, and I think the guy hung up within ten seconds. That party has not called since. Big WIN for being obnoxious! Now we just have to think of some way to offend the other party so they’ll stop calling too.

Of course, there are still the TV ads. Incessant blathering, all of it so biased as to be worthless. I hardly ever watch TV, but my family does, so there’s no escaping them. In that vein, I would like to thank U.S. Congressman Steve Austria for deciding not to run for re-election. Because of the redistricting in our state, Congressman Austria’s district has been chopped up, leaving him in the same, redrawn district as fellow incumbent Mike Turner. Both have similar qualifications and voting records, so while Turner has been in office much longer, it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion as to who would have won, had the two been pitted against each other in a primary. Austria decided not to run because he wanted to avoid an expensive, negative primary campaign. (And I did not want to watch the obnoxious commercials.) So thank you Congressman Austria, for taking the high road.

Now I just have to figure out how to get my husband to turn off the TV so I don’t have to listen to the other bozos screaming about each other.

Do you find election season a pain in your area? Are you in a swing state, or do the telecampaigners pretty much leave you alone?

More at the My Town Monday blog

ROW80 Update: Eat Lunch In

One thing that’s helped me achieve my fitness goals on the intake side is that I stopped going out to lunch. It helped a lot that my coworker who was the main instigator of lunch out, also wanted to lose a few pounds and stopped, well, instigating.

Also, I can leave early = more writing time. I don’t usually eat at my desk, as part of the purpose of having a lunch break is for workers to get away from the work for a short time, and hopefully come back a little energized. But instead of going out, I usually go to the kitchenette area and eat with coworkers. Side benefit? I eat with some really cool people, and two of them are now my readers!

Granted, this is not a very useful tip for those who work at home (including stay-home parents) but for us paycheck peeps, it’s a great way to save a half hour or more. And every half hour counts, right?

ROW80 goals this week:

  1. Finish read-aloud of Time’s Fugitive (about 10 hours)
  2. Read one Golden Heart entry
  3. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  4. Write and post review on Amazon & B&N of a friend’s book I just finished re-reading
  5. Bonus: type-in changes from read-aloud and send Time’s Fugitive to beta readers
  6. Bonus: dog walk or other activity in addition to #3

I did not get to either of the bonus items, but didn’t really expect to; hence why they’re bonuses.

I got in all three interval workouts, but missed one of the short ones due to the fact that I was gone all day one day, and wasn’t feeling well a couple of other days. But the writing got done!

This week, I’m going to spend getting caught up on related stuff. Here’s what’s on tap:

  1. Type in changes resulting from read-aloud of Time’s Fugitive and send to beta readers (finally!)
  2. Read one Golden Heart entry (#3 out of 5)
  3. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts
  4. Write and post review on Amazon & B&N of book I offered to blurb
  5. Finish web design side job I took on to pay off my publishing company start up costs
  6. Guest blog post I offered to do for my friend Michele Stegman (in addition to my own blogs)
  7. Go over two chapters for critique partner
  8. Cover design tweak promised to friend
  9. Tweak & validate epub file of Time’s Enemy and upload it to Lightning Source for distribution
  10. Go over stuff I learned with the release of Time’s Enemy plus stuff I’ve gathered from email lists, blogs, etc. and put together a launch plan for Time’s Fugitive
  11. Bonus: do anything that’s on the launch plan list
  12. Bonus: dog walk or other activity in addition to #3

It looks like a lot, but it’s mostly little stuff. How about you? Got any time saving tips for lunch, whether you’re a paycheck peep or a stay-homer?

Out to Lunch sign via Microsoft Office Images

Reading Outside Our Usual Genres: Northcoast Shakedown by Jim Winter

I first read Northcoast Shakedown by my friend Jim Winter, back in 2005, when it was first released in print by a small press. It’s a fast-paced, engaging story with a quirky main character who’s so real, it’s hard to believe he’s fictional. Upon the re-read, my original opinion stands: P.I. Nick Kepler’s a piece of work (in a good way!) and never fails to entertain.

The majority of my reading consists of romance, suspense, fantasy and science fiction; preferably a combination of two or more of these. However, it’s good to take a departure from the usual every now and then and try something different. For me, the occasional “different” is usually a cozy mystery or straight fantasy, or perhaps something more mainstream. Occasionally, I pick up something more straight-suspense, usually upon the recommendation of a friend, or in this case, something written by a friend.

Northcoast Shakedown is crime fiction, a P.I. story with a bit of noir that doesn’t cross the line into too dark and dreary. Main character Nick Kepler is a P.I. with the perfect, cushy gig of tracking down workers’ comp fraud and the occasional cheating spouse. When the book opens, he’s investigating just that, plus a questionnable life insurance claim that’s more a matter of saving an underwriter’s job than saving the company money. But the more he digs in, the more questionable the life insurance claim appears, and not for the reasons the company thinks. Before Nick knows it, he’s in over his head in a world of swingers’ clubs, political cover-ups, and murder, and finds himself next on a killer’s hit list.

What made this book really enjoyable was Keper himself. He’s a very relatable character, a regular guy who just wants to get his job done and kick back with a beer and watch baseball afterward. His quirky dislike of SUVs and ability to be distracted by an attractive female are among the little details that make him real and fun. He has certain principles that he refuses to compromise, and others that aren’t so rigid, and reading him wrestling with these choices is what really made me want to root for him, especially when he deals with the aftermath of a choice between shitty and shittier. While totally a man’s-man, his emotions are 100% real and believable, and Winter didn’t pull any punches getting them on the page.

I had a few nits with the book, although they may be more genre conventions than anything else. One thing I’ve noticed is that mystery writers sometimes spend a lot of words getting a character from one place to another, nothing street names, traffic patterns, and scenery along the way. For the most part, that stuff works in Northcoast Shakedown, as Nick’s often being tailed (or fears he is). I’ve read other books where the driving becomes a travelogue (and a place to skim).

Another genre thing is the need for suspects and red herrings in a mystery often results in a large cast of characters. Northcoast Shakedown is no exception. However, there are so many minor/extra characters in this book, I found it hard to keep track of them. In this case, I’m not talking about the long list of persons of interest – the book does very well there. But Kepler is a former cop, and has associates in several different departments in addition to other government types and colleages/customers at the insurance company – enough that they eventually ran together in my mind.

Finally, I’ve talked about dated books before here. In his author’s note, Winter mentions that the book was written in 2002. There’s definitely the occasional reference to outdated technology (Windows 2000? Firewire?). Kepler also doesn’t appear to have a smartphone, GPS, or even an MP3 player – and while I can see Kepler as a guy who refuses to use a smartphone, I can’t imagine him not owning an mp3 player these days (or at least using his computer as a stereo while he works). Knowing that the book was written ten years ago, I could deal, but stuff like this did momentarily take me out of the story. Still, these things are minor, and Northcoast Shakedown was as enjoyable a read now as it was when initially published. So if you’re looking for an entertaining, fast-paced suspense, check out Northcoast Shakedown at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Do you stick to mostly one genre when you read fiction? If so, do you occasionally step outside? Do you notice things that you think are probably genre conventions, but clash with what you’re used to?

My Town Monday: We’ve Come a Long, Long Way

Indie filmmaker David Schock didn’t listen to more than the first few minutes of the odd, unlabeled tape in the box full he’d received for his film that day in early 2008. He was collecting audio of performances by poet and theatrical performer Herbert Woodward Martin for his film Jump Back, Honey, and that extra tape clearly wasn’t one Schock needed for his project.

Who knew something like this could contain a treasure?

He was a little curious about the tape, of the old reel-to-reel format. It started out with someone noting that it was taped at the University Dayton in November of 1964, and introduced Dayton City Commissioner Don L. Crawford, and Charles Wesley, the president of Central State College. He set the tape aside and went on with his work.

Over a year later, the project was finished, and Schock attended a well-received premiere at U.D. But he remembered that odd, unmarked tape he still hadn’t listed to, so he dragged out his equipment and gave it a listen – this time, to the whole thing. Sure enough, it started with opening remarks by president Wesley and Commissioner Crawford, who was the first African-American to be elected to that office. Then the featured speaker came on: Dr. Martin Luther King.

Dayton Daily News pics from 1964

Calls to U.D.’s archivist confirmed that Dr. King had, indeed, visited Dayton on November 28, 1964, and had given a speech at the U.D. Fieldhouse to a crowd of 6,200. In his usual, eloquent style, King addressed how “we’ve come a long, long way” in terms of racial equality, but noted that we still had a long way to go. He advocated peaceful protest and using the ballot box as the way to effect change, and highlighted the need for legislation to abolish discrimination. The tape cut off fifty minutes into his speech. The rest of his talk remains lost, the whereabouts of any other, complete recordings of it – if any exist – are still unknown.

Schock contacted Mr. Martin, the subject of his film, who’d provided him with the box of media. Martin had no idea where the tape had come from, or how it came into his possession. He hadn’t listened to it, nor was he aware of its contents.

King was not universally welcomed

Later newspaper articles about King’s speech surfaced, and revealed how, while King spoke to an enthusiastic crowd, there was a different scene outside the Fieldhouse, where protesters gathered, bearing signs with racial epithets and calling Dr. King a communist.

Despite this, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just a few weeks later, and gave almost the same speech there as the one he’d given in Dayton.

It’s easy for me to think we’ve come a long way, since I wasn’t around at the time King gave this speech, but one only need to watch the news to see that there’s still a long way to go, even now, almost 50 years later. You can hear Dr. King’s speech, digitized by David Schock, on the Jump Back, Honey website, as well as read a transcript of it.

What do you think? And can you imagine finding a treasure like that tape in a box of stuff you’d obtained for something completely different?

More at the My Town Monday blog

Reel-to-reel tape photo via ehow.com
Dayton Daily News photos by Bill Koehler via jumpbackhoney.com