You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

I am sitting in my study, as I do four days a week, writing.  Each afternoon through mid-evening I teach private lessons. But prior to teaching, I have three-scheduled hours of writing time, cheerfully followed by errands, and household chores. I am fortunate to spend my mornings, somewhat leisurely, writing, simply because one lady told me I could write, and then, she showed me how to write.

Darren Paquin

Although my younger siblings cringed when Darren Paquin pulled out my high school essays, written nearly a decade earlier, they also expressed some pride that their eldest brother was still remembered in the classrooms, and hallways, of Elwood Community High School. They often razzed me for my writing skills, but they never realized how much effort, time, and work, I put into writing, and especially, depending on the topic, research, and outlining.

Since the fall of 1982, I have continually used the “rock of writing” learned in Mrs. Paquin’s classroom: an outline. I can remember the encouragement, and insistence, that was her daily mantra, “Outline.” I always knew, when I ran into writing issues, the first question I would be asked, “Where’s your outline?”

One day, Mrs. Paquin hovered over my shoulder as I struggled with a particular paragraph in an essay. “Let me take a look at your outline.” It was such a casual request, yet one I was dreading that morning. I had no outline. I admitted that I had skipped a procedure in the very thing I now promote as a teacher: PROCESS. Mrs. Paquin straightened, looked down, and just stood there with a ‘are-you-kidding-me-? smile. For several seconds, she said nothing. Finally, using her red flair-tipped editing pen, she tapped me on the shoulder, and said, “You know I expect more from you.” And with that, she moved on to the next student, but turned to reaffirm her statement with a smile, punctuated with a wink.

For my sons, former students, and current students, who are reading this, I am sure there is a breeze, accompanied by the sound of a flock of fleeing birds, as they shake their heads, and roll their eyes. “I expect more from you,” an oft used phrase in The Haasienda, runs a close second to our family motto: “Always do your best – always!” That morning in Mrs. Paquin’s advanced composition class seemed to add a new element to my life’s journey, and future career. Through the years, the phrase became ingrained in my soul as a constant marker, reminding me to continually challenge myself to do better in all areas of my life.

My favorite photo of Mrs. & Mr. Paquin

Several years after I graduated from high school, Mrs. Paquin began a new chapter of living as she began her own process of survival. Her heart specialists prescribed an outline for living, and this outline included a transplant from a heart donor. As you can see from the posted video below, she kept to the outline.

I always tell my sons that I will never be their friend, nor they, mine. I explain that my mother will never be my friend.  She is my mother. Yes, we have had a wonderful relationship for the past 47 years, but I could never reduce her status as anything other than the very reverent title,  Mother. The same holds for Mrs. Paquin, and several other Elwood teachers who have had a tremendous impact on my life. Yes, in many ways, Mrs. Paquin, has been a valued friend, but as she was thirty years ago, she still is, today, my beloved Teacher.

I continue to learn from this wonderful lady through the inspiration of faith, hope, and perseverance she demonstrates. I am so grateful that when God was designing Mrs. Paquin’s life-outline, I was included as one of the many subheadings.

And I must be honest… I did not create an outline for this particular blog-post. Sometimes, the heart has it’s own outline.

Mrs. Paquin, know you are loved…

25 Years of Heart Transplant at St.Vincent Heart Center

Note:  Mr. Gordon Paquin was my high school principal, and one of the best role models for a fatherless teenager. Mr. & Mrs. Paquin have two children, Dawn and Derek, who attended high school with me. 

I am finishing up the writing of a musical on the Wright Brothers, and in one particular scene, I recreate the concept of the hobble skirt when a modesty cord is tied around a young lady’s long, voluminous skirts prior to a flight with Wilbur Wright. A fashion designer happened to be in the crowd, watching these famed flights of 1909, and captured a new fashion design when the lady scooted away from the areoplane with the modesty cord still in place. In my research, I discovered the young designer was from Paris’ famed, The House of Paquin. You can bet The House of Paquin is mentioned in the musical!

From The Huffington Post…

‘Jesus Discovery:’ Jerusalem Archeology Reveals Birth Of Christianity

USAF Museum in line to get shuttle exhibit

Wonderful article on teens in foster care…

Advocates: Teens in foster care need a place to belong

From The Northwest Herald…

Morton: ‘Willie’ was second Lincoln child to die young

Navi, Chief and Flyer were not about to rouse themselves at 5:00am when The Haasienda began stirring as Quintin showered, and readied himself for a 6:00am rehearsal prior to the MEPA/Bellbrook HS competition.

After Quintin left, Mother and I talked most of the morning away over coffee, and enjoying the antics of the dogs who seemed to enjoy having a new audience for which to perform.

Fairmont’s percussion line did an exceptionally good job this morning, and walked away with a win in their newly elevated class.

Not too long after arriving home, Quintin was back, and we ventured to Hibachi Grill for dinner.

We lounged in my bed/sitting room watching episodes of THE MIDDLE, as well as Jerry Lewis’ WHO’S MINDING THE STORE, another movie, and now the end of The 2012 Academy Awards.

It’s been such a pleasurable weekend, and here are some photos to remember Mother’s visit…

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From The Huffington Post…

Planets Align: Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars & Moon To Appear February 26

From The Huffington Post…

Santorum: Separation Of Church And State ‘Makes Me Want To Throw Up’


Some very empowering stories and quotes…

Inspiring Stories & Quotes

Some great items here…

Create Your Own Miracles

Originally posted by David Emery on Facebook & All Pro Dad.

10 Steps for You to Change the World

Penn Judge: Muslims Allowed to Attack People for Insulting Mohammad

This will be interesting to see how this evolves.

Man is a dog’s idea of what God should be.  ~Holbrook Jackson

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.  ~Mark Twain, letter to W.D. Howells, 2 April 1899

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My alarm went off at 5:10am.  I squinted through very eye-lids to see the bathroom door closed, and heard the sound of water smacking against the bathtub… whew… Quintin was awake, and showering.  I smelled coffee I knew Mother was awake.  Chief was stretched out, lengthwise, against me.  Navi was curled up in the chair, and Flyer in her usual spot by the closet door.

By 5:55am, Quintin came in to give me a hug before leaving, and I decided to rise.  The sun had not even come up, and the dogs were not their usual peppy selves.

Mother and I grabbed cups of coffee, and are now watching some television.  Shortly, we will get ready and head to Bellbrook High School for the winter percussion competition.

I could stand a few more hours of sleep, and am forecasting a nap this afternoon following lunch.



  • Leaps Tall Buildings In A Single Bound
  • Is More Powerful Than A Locomotive
  • Is Faster Than A Speeding Bullet
  • Walks On Water
  • Gives Policy To God


  • Leaps Short Buildings In A Single Bound
  • Is More Powerful Than A Switch Engine
  • Is Just As Fast As A Speeding Bullet
  • Walks On Water If The Sea Is Calm
  • Talks With God


  • Leaps Short Buildings With A Running Start
  • Is Almost As Powerful As A Switch Engine
  • Is Faster Than A Speeding BB
  • Swims Well
  • Is Occasionally Addressed By God


  • Makes High Marks On The Wall When Trying To Leap Buildings
  • Is Run Over By Locomotives
  • Can Sometimes Handle A Gun Without Inflicting Self-Injury
  • Dog Paddles
  • Talks To Animals


  • Runs Into Buildings
  • Recognizes Locomotives Two Out Of Three Times
  • Is Not Issued Ammunition
  • Can Stay Afloat With A Life Preserver
  • Talks To Walls


  • Falls Over Doorsteps When Trying To Enter Buildings
  • Says, Look At The Choo-Choo!
  • Wets Self With A Water Pistol
  • Plays In Mud Puddles
  • Mumbles To Self

Stage Manager:

  • Lifts Buildings And Walks Under Them
  • Kicks Locomotives Off The Track
  • Catches Speeding Bullets In Teeth And Eats Them
  • Freezes Water With A Single Glance
  • Is GOD

The dogs are all bathed for their presentation for Queen Grandma who will visit this weekend.

The last time I bathed the pups, they were not thrilled, and I figured I would have a chore on my hands getting them into the tub.  However, I started with Flyer who, even though blind, went right to the bathroom, and hopped into the tub. Navi and Chief watched this process, and when it came time for their individual baths, performed beautifully.

After baths were completed, the pups followed Flyer to the kitchen, and took their positions near the treat jar!  Amazing!  Flyer is such a trooper, and a dear, wonderful dog, and a leader for the pups – even though she probably does not realize it.

When I shouted out, “Let’s take pictures of our baths!” Flyer went right to the bathroom, hopped in the tub.  Then I remembered – the last several times she took a bath, I took a picture of her inside the tub! And she waited patiently until I got the camera, and snapped her picture.  Chief situated himself in his usual regal, studly pose, and Navi hid under the bed.

They do make life a tad bit fun!

Video clips of presidential funerals from William McKinley to Ronald Reagan, in order of their presidency.


This is believed to be the oldest known recording of any U.S. President. It was recorded on an Edison wax cylinder sometime around 1889.

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” – Richard Nixon

This morning, while relaxing, I watched the movie, FROST/NIXON (2008), starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, and directed by Ron Howard.  I found the movie superbly crafted, and the lead actors were indefinably believable.  

Ironically, the other night, as I was preparing to fall asleep, ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN came on television.

“Always remember that others may hate you but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them…       And then you destroy yourself.” – Richard Nixon

I was between the ages of 7 and 9 year when Watergate was hot on the airwaves.  I preferred watching the Watergate hearings on television over baseball practice – but, I had to go to practice.  The drama that engulfed our nation was inescapable, even at my age.  When my grandparents took me to Washington, DC in mid-July 1974, the air was thick with tension, and uncertainty. A few weeks later, my parents and I were vacationing at Myrtle Beach.  Mother called me in from the hotel’s swimming pool, and commanded me to to hurry up to the room. Within a few minutes of settling in front of the television set, President Nixon appeared before the camera, offering to the nation his resignation of the presidency.

President Nixon’s history continues to be researched, and translated, and probably will throughout my life-time. Now, that we have entered the 40-years anniversaries of the events that unfolded during Watergate, we will surely be reminded of the darkest hour of our country’s history that defined the end of the twentieth century, and redefined the presidency.

Before President Nixon died in April 1994, he had already defined his legacy through the many contributions throughout his years as an elder statesman.  I’ve always believed this president’s choices were similar to his predecessors, and those who followed, maybe more, perhaps less. I still believe he served the country with great courage, and tremendous dedication.

“Certainly in the next 50 years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do.”

“Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

For some reason, I always associate President’s Day with several of my Washington Elementary School teachers.  Washington Elementary School, located on the West side of Elwood, Indiana, was built in 1894.  My great-great aunt, Florence ___ Barmes, was one of its first students.  Years later, my mother, her brothers, and cousins, all attended Washington.  It is the only remaining school of its generation still standing in my hometown.

Washington Elementary School had something over her sister schools, Oakland and Edgewood.  For a number of decades, Elwood Junior High School teachers were known to comment, “You can tell the difference from the students who went to Washington.”  Some junior school teachers thought Washington students were better behaved, and very team-oriented.

Walking up the front steps, and through the arched opening, was quite overwhelming to a six year old entering kindergarten.  Once inside the front door, there was a wide flight up green marble steps that led to the main floor of four large classrooms with long cloak rooms.  The classroom doors were tall, heavy, carved-wood structures topped with transoms (windows that were opened with a metal turn-rod to allow cool or warm air to move through).

On the North side of the main level, an imposing flight of marble stairs led to a midway level, then split up each side of the East and West walls in its ascension to the second floor where four more classrooms, and the library/office (depending on the era) collected around the large culdesac.

The basement contained the kitchen, cafeterias (two separate rooms), the teachers’ cafeteria off the main student cafeteria, restrooms, and some storage rooms.

The playground, across the street, took up half a city block with playground equipment, a basketball court, a baseball diamond, and several large areas.

I will always have the fondest memories of this building.

During my seven years in the building I had Mrs. Naden for kindergarten, Mrs. Singleton for 1st grade, Mrs. Cassidy for 2nd, Mrs. Hennegen for 3rd, Mrs. Lane for 4th, Mrs. Brugger for 5th, and Mr. Pyle for 6th.  The collection of educators truly made this school the heart and soul that impressed fellow educators at the junior and senior high schools.

Two teachers, in particular, had a tremendous impact on my love for history: Diana Lane and Garnetta Brugger.

In the fourth grade, I learned my passion for reading, and will forever be grateful to Mrs. Lane for fostering this love which was instilled, and modeled by my mother at home.  One of my most favorite memories of fourth grade was Mrs. Lane reading to the class in the afternoons – ironically, my favorite time to read is in the afternoon.  I can still vividly recall her vocal inflections for each character, the emphasis on the more colorful words, and the energy she invested in the story.  My favorite stories were OLD YELLER…  FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER… MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE… and another about the ponies of Assateague Island.  These books I also ordered from the book club Mrs. Lane made available to us. I still have my paperback copies of these books on the bookcase by my bed. In 1999, I took a three week vacation which included, finally, the islands of Assateague and Chincoteague so I could actually see the wild ponies.

My fifth grade year I was introduced to the formidable Garnetta Brugger. Perhaps because Mother had been a fifth grade student of Mrs. Brugger’s, I was not intimidated; however, many of my classmates were. I found her to be a wonderful advocate of my Lincoln fascination.  We all knew that one of our major assignments was to memorize the Gettysburg Address, and recite it before the class, and this was sheer heaven for me. As we neared Lincoln’s birthday, Mrs. Brugger pulled me aside one day, before heading out to recess, and asked, “Mr. Jolliff, what ideas do you have to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday? I figured you would be my best resource.”  I took a pencil, and notepaper, out to the playground, and made a list of ideas while laying flat on the teeter-totter.  Mrs. Brugger looked over the list, made a few suggestions, and a few weeks later, my class enjoyed a half-day honoring the life of President Lincoln. There were readings, several movies (on the film projector), songs with Mr. Brugger (our legendary band director in Elwood), food from several of the moms, and me reciting The Gettysburg Address. It was quite a moment!

I was a lucky little guy at Washington Elementary School, and thirty-five years after leaving the school, still feel so blessed for such wonderful educational experiences.

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Photographs of Washington Elementary School courtesy of the Facebook group, You might be from Elwood, IN if….

Since March 1973 I have collected books, and other Lincoln memorabilia.  My most prized possession… the bust of Lincoln given to my by my uncle, Ron Barmes, 1973.  Another is a framed card de visite of Mary Todd Lincoln – signature on back; in emerald frame, a gift from my grandmother, Donna Barmes. 

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My grandfather, Leroy Barmes, enlisted for WWII, and was stationed in Florida when he contracted Rheumatic fever.  He had been studying radio operating with the Army-Air Corps up in Wisconsin.

Here are some of the nurses and soldiers at the military hospital, June 1942.  What was so great – Grandpa wrote their names and addresses on the back of the photos.  Tonight, I researched each individual, and discovered nearly all have passed away.

Melvin Rippentrop, Rapid City, South Dakota

Melvin Rippentrop died 1 Jun 1986 in , Blue Earth, MN.

Lt. Carol Gutzmann, 115 Lake Street, Osh Kosh, Wisconsin

Willis Eggspuehler, Iowa Falls, Iowa

Willis D Eggspuehler was born on 11/24/1922 and died on 06/09/2008. Willis Eggspuehler is buried in Clinton-garfield Cemetery, which is located in Rolfe, IA.

William Blanford, 112 Holland Dr. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Coy Durham, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Coy Dunham died Jul. 23, 1998, and is buried in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery, North Carolina.

Wayne Harrigton

Wayne M. Harrington, age 91, of Holland, Michigan, passed away Friday, January 27, 2012 

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I found this little bank account book that once belonged to my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty-Barmes.

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Here are some photos of embroidered, and crocheted pillow cases, as well as a quilt made by my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty-Barmes.  Since she died in January, 1953, they were probably completed a bit before that time.

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While going through several boxes of items belonging to family, especially my grandparents, Leroy & Donna Barmes, I came across the jewelry box containing some neat items….

The locket contains two photos I’ve never seen.  The top photo is of my Grandmother’s brother, Ronald Monroe Clary, who was killed at age 15, in 1936. The bottom photo is of my grandfather, Leroy Barmes, 1921-2004.

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Quintin has been enjoying his time with the Fairmont Winter Percussion ensemble, which has been sweeping up contests, left and right.

Here is a glimpse of Quintin’s primary love at the moment.  Several of the photographs are courtesy of Patti Rogers.

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Edward Baker “Eddie” Lincoln (March 10, 1846 – February 1, 1850) was the second son of Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln. He was named after Lincoln’s friend Edward Dickinson Baker, and the youngest Lincoln son to die.  Eddie died one month short of his fourth birthday.

Eddie’s remains are buried at Lincoln tomb at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois, USA. Both parents were devastated. Some historians believe Eddie’s death began Mary Todd’s journey to instability. A week after Eddie’s death, a poem entitled “Little Eddie,” was printed in the Illinois State Journal (a newspaper).  Despite a century dispute over the authorship of the poem, the author of this blog firmly believes it was written by Mrs. Lincoln for his mother spelled his name “Eddie,” while his father spelled it “Eddy.”

Those midnight stars are sadly dimmed,

That late so brilliantly shone,

And the crimson tinge from cheek and lip,

With the heart’s warm life has flown –

The angel of Death was hovering nigh,

And the lovely boy was called to die.

The silken waves of his glossy hair

Lie still over his marble brow,

And the pallid lip and pearly cheek

The presence of Death avow.

Pure little bud in kindness given,

In mercy taken to bloom in heaven.

Happier far is the angel child

With the harp and the crown of gold,

Who warbles now at the Savior’s feet

The glories to us untold. Eddie,

meet blossom of heavenly love,

Dwells in the spirit-world above.

Angel Boy – fare thee well, farewell

Sweet Eddie, We bid thee adieu!

Affection’s wail cannot reach thee now

Deep though it be, and true.

Bright is the home to him now given

For “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”‘

The final line is on the boy’s tombstone. The next child of Abraham and Mary, William Wallace Lincoln, was born ten months after Eddie’s death.

* The photograph included in this post has been in dispute since its discovery.  Some believe it is Eddie Lincoln, some believe it is his younger brother, Willie.  I, personally, have always believed it to be Eddie Lincoln.

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

from T. S. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom

At 5:15am, The Haasienda was ablaze with lights, and much activity, as Quintin got ready to leave with the Fairmont Percussion Ensemble for a major contest in Indianapolis.  The dogs were confused with the activity, as this morning’s routine was slightly different than the typical weekday/weekend morning.  After Quintin left at 5:55am, I settled back in my bed, prepared to sleep; however, I was wide awake until 7:00am. I did manage to doze a bit, but felt the day wasting away.

After getting the dogs through their morning routine, and eating my own breakfast, I began rearranging, and cleaning the living room.  By Noon, CNN was broadcasting Whitney Houston’s funeral.  I listened to the marathon-service while completing my chores.  I spent a good 9o-minutes rearranging, and adding more hanging photographs to the living room wall.  Once that was completed, I swept the entire house, and then deep-cleaned all the carpets and rugs.

By 4:00pm, Whitney’s funeral was finally winding down, and my chores were wrapped up with a thorough kitchen-cleaning.  I showered, and drove to Fox & Hound restaurant near the Fairfield Commons to have a three-hour dinner with my very dear friend, Suzanne Grote.  We had an absolute blast, as we always do.

At 8:00pm, I entered Gabriel Brothers, and found some great deals.  I ventured on to Kroger for a few groceries, and returned home to the enthusiastic greeting from Navi and Chief.  After another 90 minutes of additional tidying-up, I am now settled in bed with Chief and Navi at my feet.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I will relax, teach a few lessons, and eagerly greet my son upon his return from Indianapolis.  The ensemble placed 3rd out of 18 exceptionally good drum-lines today, so tomorrow will be an exciting day!

Thursday, a Facebook friend sent me a private message.

“Several of us think you post too many things on Facebook. It gets old reading all your posts. Why don’t you only post the most important things.”

I had to laugh because the person reporting this information posts slightly less than I do.  I replied that:

  1. It is my Facebook site; therefore, it is my business
  2. You do not need to be my friend on Facebook
  3. You can adjust it so you do not receive my posts
  4. Get a life

I went ahead and assisted the individual.  They won’t be able to read any of my posts.

I think Facebook is a wonderful tool for connecting with the rest of the world: family, friends, hometown friends, college friends, colleagues, students, former students, parents of students and former students, etc..  I have gotten to stay in touch with so many folks these past four years, and have loved renewing life with cousins, and friends in distant places.

Most of my posts occur in the morning.  I work at my desk writing, or researching, for fifty minutes, and then take a 10 minute break.  This is when I generally scan down my Facebook page, and hit the “share” button so I can read things late at night before going to sleep.  Most of the motivational quotes are specifically for me so I can stay focused, and continue pushing forward.  If it has anything to do with American history, it will find its way on to my Facebook page so I can read.  If I find things of interest for others, I send it to their page, or acknowledge them so they, too, can read the article.  Sometimes I post things to serve as my personal journal, filled with quotes, items from my day, thoughts about my day, photos, etc..  So often, folks post such positive comments, and some even send me private notes.  This note, written two months ago, I just discovered this morning:

Darin, I just wanted to say thanks to you. I read your posts every day and they are filled with joy for all of us who read them. You have a wonderfully positive attitude that turns a dark day into one with hope and inspiration! Even though a subject may be dark, you have a look of light through the darkness. For this, I thank you! You are a bright spot. I am glad that we have reconnected!

So, for the petty little group of individuals complaining, to the one who sent me the private message to complain, to the band director from another community, to the bitchy band parent who was upset I don’t post photos of their child, and to anyone who doesn’t like the number of posts… too bad.  You can easily delete me on Facebook.  You can adjust your settings so you do not see my posts.  If these items are a challenge, then, I invite you to get a life.  Find something productive, and more positive to do with your time, and with your life.

God bless!

In This Issue
From the Director
Modern Slavery Exhibit
Survivor Goods
Specialty Tours
Interview with Brad Myles
Upcoming Programs
Cottage Conversations

March 15
Stephanie McCurry

April TBD

All Programs:
Reception – 6:00pm
Lecture – 6:30pm
Lecture: $10
Reception & Lecture: $20
Members $100+: Free
To Purchase or RSVP:
or (202)829-0436 x31232

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From the Director

Erin Carlson MastDear Friends,
Our winter newsletter is the one we most look forward to creating for you each year. It marks the anniversary of our opening to the public on Presidents Day (four years ago in 2008), Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 (203 years ago in 1809), and gives us an opportunity to share our accomplishments from the past year as well as our plans for the coming year with all of you.


New Exhibit Opens Friday

2012 Exhibit Opening this Friday, February 17, this special exhibit will challenge perceptions of slavery in America today and raise awareness of a growing humanitarian crisis. By posing the question, “can you walk away?” this exhibit will inspire people to engage with the modern abolitionist movement and to see that slavery is an ongoing issue that requires big thinking and direct action, just as it did in Lincoln’s time.


Survivor Made Goods Now Available
earrings In honor of President Lincoln’s legacy, the Cottage is taking a very active role in selling Fair Trade merchandise, including survivor made goods. These items can be purchased in the Museum Store or on the online store. Each Fair Trade product comes with a brief description card about the company or organization and the artisans that created the product.


Specialty Tours at the Cottageexterior

Our Premium and Director’s Tours are designed for those who are looking for an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Lincoln, his beloved Cottage, and the historic grounds of the Soldier’s Home. Take advantage of this unique opportunity! To schedule a Specialty Tour of the Cottage or email or call (202)829-0436 x31232


An Interview with Bradley Myles
BMylesCallie Hawkins, Curator of Education at President Lincoln’s Cottage and the creator of Can You Walk Away?, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Bradley Myles, Polaris Project CEO, to discuss the work Polaris Project does to fight modern slavery.


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President Lincoln’s Cottage | Upshur Street at Rock Creek Church Road, NW | Washington | DC | 20011


The Human Race Theatre Company
2012-2013 Season General Auditions
General Auditions for Adult Actors (ages 16 +)

General Auditions for Young Actors (TBA)

Adult Auditions:

Dayton, Ohio – Plays & Musicals

Saturday, April 21, 2012 (10-5pm) – Musicals or Both (Accompanist provided)

Sunday, April 22, 2012 (11-4pm) – Plays or Both (Provide your own accompanist orCD/Ipod/MP3 player)

Chicago, Illinois – Plays & Musicals

Monday, June 11, 2012 (10-3 Equity only, 3-5 Non- Equity) – Musicals or Both

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 (10-3 Equity only, 3-5 Non- Equity) – Plays Only

New York auditions are by agent submission or invitation on a show-by-show basis.

If you wish to be considered, please e-mail your headshot & résumé to: kryss

Young Actor Auditions:

Dayton, Ohio – Young Actor Auditions


(Details to follow at: )

ADULTS Auditioning for:

MANAGINE MAXINE, by Janece Shaffer

OLIVER!, Book, Music, and Lyrics by Lionel Bart

LOMBARDI, by Eric Simonson

RACE, by David Mamet

AVENUE Q, Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx;

Book by Jeff Whitty

Musical Theatre Workshops, July 23 – August 5, 2012 New Works TBA (Workshop Contract)

Marsha Hanna New Play Workshop – October, 2012 TBA (Workshop Contract)

In-School Tour: TBA.Non-equity only. Daytime commitment.

NEXT TO NORMAL (part of the Victoria Theatre’s Broadway Season)

Please visit our website for a short blurb about each show and an audition character list:

The Human Race Theatre Company is a professional theatre that works under a Small Professional Theatre Contract (SPT 6) and performs in The Loft Theatre, a 219-seat thrust stage.

Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director. Tara Lail, Managing Director.

NEXT TO NORMAL will be performed under a Letter of Agreement to LORT D Contract at The Victoria Theatre, a 1100-seat proscenium.

Rehearsals are primarily Monday – Friday evenings, and daytime on weekends.

Auditions are open to Non-Equity and Equity Actors (unless otherwise noted), with Non-Equity actors having the opportunity to join the Equity Membership Candidacy Program.

Procedures for ADULT auditions:

CHICAGO– Adult Generals:

Plays only: Come prepared with 2 one-minute contrasting monologues.

Musicals only: Come prepared with 2 contrasting songs. Bring your own music. An accompanist will be provided. No a cappella singing or recorded music.

Both: Come prepared with 1 one-minute monologue and 1 song. Bring your own music. An accompanist will be provided. No a cappella singing or recorded music.

* You will be auditioning for Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director and Tara Lail, Managing Director. *

DAYTON- Adult Generals:

Plays only: Come prepared with 2 one-minute contrasting monologues.

Musicals only: Come prepared with 2 contrasting songs. Bring your own music. An accompanist will be provided SATURDAY ONLY. Sunday musical auditionees must provide their own accompanist or CD/Ipod/MP 3 player with song to be sung. No a cappella singing.

Both: Come prepared with 1 one-minute monologue and 1 song. Bring your own music. An accompanist will be provided SATURDAY ONLY. Sunday musical auditionees must provide their own accompanist or CD/Ipod/MP 3 player with song to be sung. No a cappella singing.

* You will be auditioning for Kevin Moore, Producing Artistic Director and Tara Lail, Managing Director. *

To schedule your audition:


Appointment calls will be accepted on and after WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2012. (Monday – Friday, between 10:00am – 4:30pm).




Appointment calls will be accepted at the AEA office the week before the audition date. Check the AEA website for additional info. Non-AEA friends in Chicago should call Kryss at 937-461-3823 ext. 3112 to schedule an audition appointment (Monday – Friday, between 10:00am – 4:30pm EST), on and after WEDNESDAY, MAY 30, 2012.

If you cannot attend our General Auditions and wish to be considered, submit your updated resume and headshot with a letter explaining the shows and role(s) of interest to you.

Please do not e-mail Kryss to set-up an audition time.

2012 – 2013 Season Dates

Managing Maxine

1st rehearsal: Aug. 13, 2012

Production: Sept. 6 – Sept. 23, 2012

Under A Red Moon (Special)

1st rehearsal: Oct. 1, 2012

Production: Oct. 18 – Oct. 28, 2012


1st rehearsal: Nov. 5, 2012

Production: Nov. 29 – Dec. 16, 2012

(Possible extension thru Dec. 22, 2012)


1st rehearsal: Jan. 14, 2013

Production: Feb. 7 – Feb. 24, 2013

In-School Tour

1st rehearsal: TBA

Production: TBA

(non-equity only)


1st rehearsal: March 11, 2013

Production: April 4 – April 21, 2013

Next to Normal

1st rehearsal: April 8, 2013

Production: May 7 – May 19, 2013

Avenue Q

1st rehearsal: May 10, 2013

Production: June 6 – June 23, 2013

Music Theatre Workshops – TBA

1st rehearsal: TBA

Production: Throughout the Season

Marsha Hanna New Play Workshop- TBA

1st rehearsal: TBA

Production: October 2012

The Human Race Theatre Company
126 N. Main St. Suite 300
Dayton, OH 45419
(937) 461-3823


I took this photo of the mourning doves several years ago when they lived above my deck.  I incorporated two lines of the text from Joseph Martin’s THE AWAKENING.


“I dreamed a dream, a silent dream, of a land not far away
Where no bird sang, no steeples rang, and teardrops fell like rain.
I dreamed a dream; a silent dream.
I dreamed a dream of a land so filled with pride
That every song, both weak and strong, withered and died.
I dreamed a dream
No hallelujah; not one hosanna!
No song of love, no lullaby.
And no choir sang to change the world.
No pipers played, no dancers twirled.
I dreamed a dream; a silent dream.
Awake, awake! Soli deo gloria!
Awake, Awake!
Awake my soul and sing, the time for praise has come.
The silence of the night has passed,
A new day has begun!
Let music never die in me;
Forever let my spirit sing!
Wherever emptiness is found let there be joy and glorious sound.
Let music never die in me; forever let my spirit sing!
Let all our voices join as one to praise the giver of the sun!
Awake, awake!
Let music live!”

Today was the first time I’d ever seen the musical, THE 25th ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE.   One of my voice students, Heather Barker, portrayed Logainnr Schwartzandgrubenniere, and Heather was absolutely hilarious! 

Heather began studying with me when she was in high school, and I had the pleasure to serve as the music director/conductor for Beavercreek High School’s production, THE PAJAMA GAME, in which Heather played the lead, Babe Williams.  Heather, then a senior in high school, was so impressive during the rehearsal process – always well-prepared, attentive, mature, and very professional in her manner, and behavior.  She ventured on to Arizona State University, and is now returned to Ohio to study theatre at Cedarville University.  It is a joy to be reunited with Heather as student and voice teacher, and to be a part of her continued growth as an actress.  Today’s performance as Logainne was re-confirmation that Heather is a very capable, talented theatre student.  I am so proud of her!

I was also very impressed with the quality of this Greater Hamilton Civic Theatre production!  It was class from the parking lot to the curtain call.  The facility, located on Miami University’s campus in Hamilton, Ohio is a very nice venue.

I would like to see more productions by this company!  It is definitely worth the drive!

And, again – KUDOS, Heather!!!

The pure, the bright, the beautiful
that stirred our hearts in youth
The impulses to wordless prayer
The streams of love and truth
The longing after something lost
The spirit’s longing cry
The striving after better hopes
These things can never die

“I just have to do something,” said Rev. Bob Smitley, interrupting his own closure to his brilliant homily for Rev. Greg King’s service of celebration. “When we go to a great show what do we always do at the end to show we loved the show?”

The applause began immediately, and the enormous crowd, nearly filling the large cavernous Ascension Catholic Church of Kettering to capacity, rose to its feet.

While the celebration induced the activation of the tear ducts, the heartache was continually battled by the superior force of laughter.  I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed so much, and so hard, throughout a “celebration of life” service than the one offered in the memory of Rev. Greg King.

To know the King family is to know God’s truer message… love one another, and for crying out loud, laugh as much as you can.  I’ve been fortunate to know Greg’s beautiful wife, Patti, and two of his equally beautiful four children, Greg and Kristen.  I mostly saw Rev. Greg at band concerts, band contests, musicals, and at the church for a production of GODSPELL, directed by his wife.  I did not know him as well as Patti, but upon each meeting I was greeted with a deep warmth, and joy, that always re-ignited my own inner joy. He definitely had “a way” with people… with life.

Within twenty minutes of the service honoring Rev. King, I was thinking, “I wish I could have known him.”

The timid hand stretched forth to aid
A brother in his need;
A kindly word in grief’s dark hour
That proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high
The sorrow of a contrite heart
These things shall never die

The tributes from two of his children, son Greg’s through song, as well as his brother, sister, nephew, and nieces, were moving, inspiring, filled with hilarious anecdotes, and so much love, and magnificent affection.  It was one of those rare moments when I realized that this is the type of man I aspire to be.  Greg King is my role model.

I was overjoyed when I learned that he, too, wrote notes to his children all the time. I believe this, as a dad/parent, is vital.  Mother has written me notes, and sent cards, since I was a tiny fellow, and I believe I have nearly every one in my collection.  As a dad, I write little notes, and letters, to my sons.  I always believed I would find them tossed in the waste basket, but they are always tucked away in a special place.

Had I not attended the service, I would never have known just how much life was lived by this man, and just how much fun he had with life.  I felt so reassured that a father can joke, tease, wrestle, play practical jokes, sing silly songs, act crazy, elect to spend time with his children, be creative with parenting and discipline, talk to his children, throw food, and clown around with his children.  I always felt out of place in the parent-world because I am quite unorthodox as a single dad. I cannot wait for those moments to do things with sons – especially, laugh, and have fun. These are the same memories I want my sons to cherish – so many like the ones I know the four King children will always cherish. The stories from Rev. Greg’s family supplemented my belief that I am on the right track, and that I should proceed, full speed, ahead.

Once we become adults, we tend to let go of heroes, role models, and fellow teachers.  I love moments when my path crosses that of another who offers hope, confidence, and an opportunity for me to “look up” to someone.  Greg King has become that person for this chapter of my life.  Since childhood my number one hero has been Abraham Lincoln, and it only seems ironically appropriate that I write of Rev. King on President Lincoln’s birthday.

Let nothing pass, for every hand
Must find some work to do
Lose not a chance to waken love
Be firm and just and true
So shall a light that cannot fade
Beam on thee from on high
And angel voices say to thee
“These things shall never die.”

I heard the word, legacy, mentioned several times.  And what a legacy Rev. Greg King has with those who who loved him, and knew him best.  It is the kind of legacy we often dream of leaving… Greg King’s legacy is one we should all leave.

The King, as in Greg King, has left this earthly building; however, the spirit of the man – the husband, the father, the son, the brother, the uncle, the minister, the neighbor, the friend, the counselor, the mediator, the organizer, the worker, the leader, the follower, the instigator of pranks, the laugher, the clown, and the ultimate servant with a great servant’s heart – remains.  He shared with the world his own personal recipe for life.  Sadly, so many of us seldom realize that the same ingredients are also within our own reach until we are reminded by great men like Greg King. I am so grateful that I have been reminded that this same recipe is imprinted in my own spirit, in my own mind, and on my own heart.

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Photos I obtained/stole from Patti’s Facebook site.

** THINGS THAT NEVER DIE, by Charles Dickens, and inserted throughout the blog.

From the 1927 Grand Council of American Indians


“The white people, who are trying to make us over into their image, they want us to be what they call “assimilated,” bringing the Indians into the mainstream and destroying our own way of life and our own cultural patterns. They believe we should be contented like those whose concept of happiness is materialistic and greedy, which is very different from our way.

We want freedom from the white man rather than to be intergrated. We don’t want any part of the establishment, we want to be free to raise our children in our religion, in our ways, to be able to hunt and fish and live in peace. We don’t want power, we don’t want to be congressmen, or bankers….we want to be ourselves. We want to have our heritage, because we are the owners of this land and because we belong here.

The white man says, there is freedom and justice for all. We have had “freedom and justice,” and that is why we have been almost exterminated. We shall not forget this.”

Photographs of the Preble County Historical Society park, taken November 2010.


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I walked into a classroom in The Teachers’ College at Ball State University one day, and on my student’s desk was a sheet of paper with the following life instructions from Charles Schwabb. I read the information, and slipped the sheet into my folder. For the past twenty-eight, or so, years, I have lived by these rules. I still have the sheet at my desk.

1. Hard Work: Hard work is the best investment a man can make.

2. Study Hard: Knowledge enables a man to work more intelligently and effectively.

3. Have Initiative: Ruts often deepen into graves.

4. Love Your Work: Then you will find pleasure in mastering it.

5. Be Exact: Slipshod methods bring slipshod results.

6. Have the Spirit of Conquest: Thus you can successfully battle and overcome difficulties.

7. Cultivate Personality: Personality is to a man what perfume is to the flower.

8. Help and Share with Others: The real test of business greatness lies in giving opportunity to others.

9. Be Democratic: Unless you feel right toward your fellow men, you can never be a successful leader of men.

10. In all Things Do Your Best: The man who done his best has done everything. The man who has done less than his best has done nothing.

-Charles M. Schwab

Some will scratch their heads for a second as they try to recognize this lovely lady.  Some will immediately go to the link.

This is the photograph:

If you cannot figure out who she is, go to Mystery Actress

Photographs from the Preble County Historical Society, and the cemetery just outside of Gratis, Ohio.

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Navi went into surgery at 10:00am. After driving into Gratis to get some coffee, and take photos of the cemetery, I returned to the Preble County Historical Society to take photos of the cabin, and other items.

Navi was ready to go by 12:15pm. She is home, alert, and being protected by Chief who will not leave her side.

This morning at 8:30am I was at the endocrinologist’s office for a bi-monthly check-up, and blood draw. After that I hurried to the middle school to teach until 1:00pm, rushed home to scarf down some lunch, take a 30 minute nap, and then teach. As always, our Wednesday Pizza-TV night was filled with Papa John pizza, and tons of laughter with the ABC line-up of THE MIDDLE, SUBURGATORY, and MODERN FAMILY.

Thursday morning, I will drive Navi to Gratis for her surgery (spaying), return home for teaching. Quintin will have his percussion lesson after school, and percussion ensemble later in the evening.

Friday I get a fairly low-key day. A few lessons, and time alone while Quintin has percussion until 8:00pm.

Saturday morning will be a bit harried as I accomplish a few house items, get Quintin out the door for percussion ensemble rehearsal, and his late-afternoon MEPA competition at Nutter Center. At 2:00pm I will attend the life celebration of Rev. Greg King, and hurry to Nutter Center to catch Quintin’s competition at 5:42pm.

Sunday morning will see Quintin out the door again for more rehearsal time, followed by another MEPA competition at Trent Arena on Fairmont’s campus. I will head south to Hamilton, Ohio to watch a student perform in THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE. I am looking forward to seeing her in this performance.

A busy weekend filled with percussion music, moments to celebrate the life of a great man, and musical theatre. This is life!

Since Jeffrey Carter and Mark Rogers have posted old photos of themselves, I thought I should follow suit…

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This morning, my brother, Destin, and I received an email from Mother: As of February 3rd, I am retired from the Elwood Police Department.

Despite the fact Mother had expressed some consideration along this topic, we were not aware that she was actually setting the process into motion, and so abruptly.  The new administrative changes throughout the city’s leadership were becoming quite stressful, and the air of low-morale, and consistent uncertainty were affecting Mother’s health.  When she initially broached the subject over Christmas, I thought it a bit premature since the elected-changes had not yet occurred.  However, as she began experiencing the health issues, I was somewhat relieved, yet still surprised, by her announcement.

I was sixteen, and a sophomore in high school, when we became a part of the police family.  I suddenly had about 15 police-uncles, several police-aunts, and a ton of police-cousins.  I knew that I always had folks looking after my family.  This was especially comforting when I left for college.

The police department was like any other family – the good times, the not-so-good times, celebrations of weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, births, graduations, and successes.  The family came together at those less celebratory moments, especially when death shrouded a family unit.  The worst was the loss of officers’ children who were teenagers with me.

For the past thirty-one years, I’ve seen Mother joyfully embrace her work with the Band of Blue, and even during the more stressful moments, I never knew her to waiver in her dedication.  Mother was often a big sister, a confidant, a friend, and whether appreciated, or not, always honest with requested advice.  One of her most incredible talents is her ability to organize, and produce.  I am so grateful I received this genetic component from Mother!

I am proud to be the son of this woman who gave so much of her self to her career.  I am relieved that her retirement from the police department is not a retirement from being Mother/Mama to my self, and Destin. The retirement from the EPD will allow her more time for her Grandma-responsibilities!

My grandfather, Leroy ‘Red’ Barmes, joined the department in 1952.  Sixty years later, our immediate family’s connection to the Elwood Police Department has finally come to a close.  I must admit, it is a tad bittersweet.

Mother: Congratulations on 31 years of such fine service to the department, and the community; and, congratulations on your well-deserved retirement.  I am so grateful for, and proud of your career, and so happy (and a little tearful) to know this chapter has now moved on to the next.

Know you are loved…

I’ve been entertained by a plethora of varying reports on Madonna’s Super Bowl half-time production. The boards are lighting up with armchair-choreographers and directors this evening, and critiquing the 53 year old Queen Mum’s performance.

Fifty-three? Wow! And she can still move! Impressive!

It seems that most of the reports, both amateur and professional, were extremely favorable.

Quintin and I watched the performance on:

The basic critique from the camp that were not as impressed:

  1. Madonna was lip-syncing her entire performance
    1. Her mouth was not always together with the music
    2. She was dancing too wildly to have been singing

My thoughts…

  1. Lip syncing? No big deal for me. Considering the venue, and the fact that this is one of the most viewed moments in television the entire year, it would be a safer approach.
    1. If you’ve ever been in a large facility such as a gym, a football stadium, or huge concert arena, sometimes there is a very slight sound delay. Watch Jim Nabors singing “Back Home, Again, In Indiana” prior to the start of the Indy 500 – slight sound delay.
    2. Dancing too wildly? That was wild? Anyone who has ever seen a Hoosier show choir knows they sing and dance with far more motion, movement, and intensity that what I saw on the video feed.

Honestly, I thought it a great production. This is 2012. We expect spectacle. In past years we even got a peek at some boobage during a half-time show. How’s that for spectacle?

Madonna delivered a very entertaining product for the Indianapolis Super Bowl.

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February 2012