How I Got This Way...
It was Thanksgiving of 1977. Laura and I, plus two dogs, clambered into a 1966 Chevrolet ½ ton Step Van and departed “almost-Arkansas” Missouri for a holiday visit to Central Illinois. The good thing about driving a 1966 Chevrolet ½ ton Step Van is there’s more than enough room for everything. The bad thing about driving a 1966 Chevrolet ½ ton Step Van is driving a 1966 Chevrolet ½ ton Step Van. Nevertheless, at first light we headed north, intending to make grandma’s house by suppertime. It started to snow.
An l966 Chevrolet ½ ton Step Van on slick roads is a lot like a hog on ice: independent, willful, stubborn, confident, and a danger to itself and others. After driving nearly blind for over three hours in the blizzard snowfall, we decided to stop at the next town. We had no choice. The Oregon County highway department had lost his shovel. The next town was Willow Springs, Missouri. Distance from almost-Arkansas…63 miles.
There were not a lot of motels in Willow Springs. There was not a lot of anything there. The one motel we did find was only 12 dollars a night and would let us keep the dogs inside as long as we promised not to abandon any messes they might make. We had lunch, fed the hounds, spent the afternoon fiddling with the rabbit ears on the 13 inch black and white TV, enjoyed a succulent Thanksgiving dinner of chicken fried steak with bad gravy and lumpy potatoes, and went to bed. The bed was slightly lumpier than the spuds.
Friday morning dawned bright, clear, and very cold. So cold, we had to call a service truck to thaw out our gasoline so we could continue our trek. By eight a.m., we were back on the snow. I say “on the snow” because there was over fourteen inches of it. Driving meant staying as close to the center of the area between the fence posts as possible and not, for any reason, stopping. By six p.m., we crossed the Illinois State Line, and the road became occasionally visible. By dark, we encountered Effingham and stopped for the night at a Holiday Inn, still over one hundred miles from our destination.
We left Effingham at dawn on Saturday morning, heading for Laura’s parent’s home near Metamora, Illinois. Arriving there shortly after noon, we had a lunch of leftover turkey and such, loaded two 55 gallon barrels full of shelled corn in the back of the Step Van, (traction for the snow-bound roads, food for the back-home pigs) and again hit the road for my grandparent’s house. Elapsed family time: approximately two hours and thirty minutes.
On the way to my hometown, it began to snow again. The forecast called for six inches or more. We arrived at my grandparents shortly after dark, had a supper of leftover turkey and such, called my mother to wish her a happy Thanksgiving and to inform her we were heading home, filled a sack with leftover turkey and fixin’s, filled the thirty-six gallon gas tank, and rumbled off into the snowy night. Elapsed family time: one hour and forty-five minutes.
Sunday’s dawn found us fifty miles south of Effingham, under clear skies and with an additional seven inches of snow on the road. By lunch, we were in Missouri, by suppertime approaching Koshkonong. By eight that night we were at home.
It took four days to drive 900 miles, spend less than five hours with relatives, and eat lots of leftover turkey. But, when I stopped the Step Van beside the house, I felt pretty good about the whole thing. After all, I spent the entire four-day weekend with Laura. Hence the term, Happy Thanksgiving.
Just a side-note:
According to the Missouri Climate Center, the winter of 1977-78 was the coldest winter on record. Missouri's average temperature that year was 24.3 degrees, and the snow for the season was 54.9 inches.
The picture above is not one of ours, however it is an archived picture from the winter of 77-78.
SIX CUT KILL Book Release:
November 3, 2017
The story line:
A series of vicious killings lead Crockett to investigate a wealthy businessman and his deeply twisted bodyguard. The discovery of a cache of illegal weapons brings in the FBI and the Missouri State Police, and lives are on the line. Things are touch and go, and no one is safe from the threat of the SIX CUT KILL.
The book will first appear only on Amazon and Smashwords. It takes a few days more for it to get to other major distributors.
(This picture courtesy of Nathan)
If you'd like to contact us, please use the email address below.
TRAIL SERIES UPDATES
David's audio of Glory Trail is polished and completely finished as far as our end of the process. Now, it's up to the publisher to get the final product distributed. Hopefully, it will be out soon!
And, the new Trail book is still coming along. David is on the downhill side of bring the story to its conclusion. The book should be completed by late Spring 2018.
We named the channel David R Lewis. So, you can just type in David's name, and the YouTube search engine will pull it up, or you can click on any of the links below.
David performs some excerpts from his books, shares some memories of his youth, and rants a little about the writing process.
AND, HERE'S A DIRECT LINK!
David R Lewis
The Crockett Series
The CROCKETT series:
Remember: eBook #1 of the CROCKETT series, FEAR OF THE FATHER, is still free everywhere. Here's the links:
Amazon Fear of the Father
Barnes and Noble Fear of the Father
iBook Fear of the Father
Kobo Fear of the Father
As we have mentioned, David has written a total of 8 Crockett books. At present, 7 are out. Number 7, Behind the Badge, was released in eBook format, January 27, 2017 on Amazon and Smashwords and has made its way to other major distributors now. Number 8, SIX CUT KILL, will be released Friday, November 3, 2017!
Take to the TRAIL
DEER RUN TRAIL is free on Amazon and other distribution sites in eBook format. GLORY TRAIL was released on December 25, 2016. That makes 8 books in the TRAIL series.
Passing that information on to all your friends would sure be appreciated. Below, we've included a few of the links.
Amazon Deer Run Trail
Barnes and Noble DEER RUN TRAIL
iBook Deer Run Trail
Kobo Deer Run Trail
See ya again on December 1st! If you enjoyed this newsletter; please tell all your friends to visit our website and sign up for the fun.
Ironbear eBook Facebook link
Heartland Memories story page