Last week was an entertaining and educational week. My father, who is now in his early 80s, is a wildlife photographer in his retirement. He and I visited with Lee Chichester at her home near the village of Meadows of Dan in Floyd County, Virginia. Lee is a falconer. She keeps two birds of prey near her home. One is a red tailed hawk. The other is a hybrid true falcon that was grown in captivity. We took the red tailed hawk to a forest not far from her house where it was able to attack and kill a squirrel. She also took out her falcon. It caught some meat that she swung from the end of a string. This experience was something I wish to write about in my second book, my novel. Her birds are beautiful, appealing, and intriguing creatures. It was a wonderful way to spend a gorgeous fall afternoon. Dad took several pictures. If you are interested in seeing them, please send me a message at my e-mail, email@example.com.
On Wednesday, I met my motorcycling friend Mike Gunther and we rode together to Burke’s Garden in Tazewell County. I have been asked by Blue Ridge Country magazine to do an article for them about motorcycling there. We had another beautiful fall day for this trip. The article will appear in that magazine sometime in the spring.
Speaking of Blue Ridge Country magazine, the current edition is about the Civil War. One of the articles in it is a profile that I wrote about Bob MacGraw, a Civil War reenactor from Tazewell, Virginia. Writing this article was a very emotional experience for me. When I met Bob a year earlier, he was approximately my age, in his mid-50s. He seemed to be in decent health. When I called on him a year later, he had a bandage on his ear lobe and said he had had a touch of melanoma that had recurred. During the week I was involved with submitting the article to my editor at Blue Ridge Country, I made a call to Bob to confirm his permission to have the article printed and to get some last-minute details. The voice on the other end of the line was unrecognizable to me. He explained that his melanoma had returned with a vengeance and that he was in hospice care. Three weeks later, he was dead. The article in the magazine hit the bookshelves only a week or two later. His wife, Anita, was very appreciative and she knew he would have been delighted.
My quest for a suitable publisher for The Spine of the Virginias is ongoing. If you have any contacts in the publishing industry or any suggestions for me, please do not hesitate to contact me.