Flag Day 2021 — Strange times we’re in: cicadas eating plants, dogs eating cicadas, humans stepping on cicada carcasses, the world seemingly falling apart, the pandemic over or not? What does one little book matter in the middle of all this? It matters a great deal.
History is important. It’s how we learn when we bother to pay attention. Unfortunately, history isn’t in fashion now, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. I fear that generations of students do not hear about the bondage of Africans in slavery to whites, the Great Depression, the Trail of Tears, the anguish of the Civil War. Lack of context of our past breeds deniers.
Hear me out: nothing I’ve written is as important as “Centennial Farm Family,” my new book that launches two weeks from today. Why? Because it records a time long gone, a time many of us shared, and a time from which we can learn.
When my maternal grandmother passed, she left me boxes of information—land deeds from the 19th century, pictures, items, history books, and letters. “Centennial Farm Family” took me 29 months as I looked for more information and validated what I already had.
I found some ugly truths about my family. My ancestors Henry and Philip Long, owned slaves in Virginia. I felt sick when I found out, but the story needed to be told. Henry’s son Lewis left Virginia for the free state of Ohio. How I wish I knew if he was opposed to slavery or just experienced wanderlust. My family also benefited from the inexpensive, rich land that the federal government usurped from the native Americans.
This is not “Gone with the Wind,” I don’t gloss over the terrible things that happened in the family. The first chapter alone will shock the reader with a mysterious poisoning that has never been solved. A family member died after Vicksburg in the Civil War and was buried 300 miles away from home. His death changed the course of ownership of the family farm, benefiting me. I hope you are inspired to tell your own stories to your children or even preserve them somehow.
Read “Centennial Farm Family.” On June 28, it will be available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book. Please write a two-to-three sentence blurb of what you learned, what you liked, and what struck a nerve with you on Amazon or Goodreads. Indie books fight for recognition, and I need your help. I’ve been blessed already with several editorial reviews from writers and historians. But I need your words. If you’ve been an advanced reader, go to Goodreads or Amazon and placing your short review. Yes, I’m talking to you. It would mean the world to me, and it would encourage others to read the story.
Don’t get me wrong. This has never been a money-making adventure. I am donating many books to historical societies, museums, high schools and universities, and libraries in the coverage age. I am not as concerned about covering my costs as I am about getting the book into the hands of those who will share their own history. (As you may know, I’m an eccentric billionaire living on an island in the South Seas.)
- Ask your local library to buy the book or purchase it yourself.
- Please read it.
- Write honestly about what your thought and post on Amazon or Goodreads.
(Paperbacks are now available on Amazon, hardcovers in pre-order in/at Barnes and Noble or Amazon, e-book coming June 28. The book is in the Ingram catalog and can be purchased there by any bookstore or library.)
Yes, I’m a brazen hussy, but you are already over it and recovering from dealing with my obnoxious self-promotion.