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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Traditional PreFestivePeriod

This is probably the fastest moving part of the yearly calendar. Once it hits Thanksgiving the following weeks fly-by. Maybe not to the younger generation but for us -- it screams past.

There are but five days until Thanksgiving and about 32 days until Christmas and New Year's just a week later, which finishes off 2017. Amazing.



This is one of the ways I view the coming weeks -- large packages of protein. Of course, there might be changes in the menu in actuality e.g. to a turkey burger, ham sandwich, or a hot dog-on-a-stick . . .

Whatever the meals are, we will enjoy the season. So to start we will be going out today or maybe tomorrow to begin the poultry selection for next week's "big" dinner and of course all the trimmings.

It is of course -- TRADITION.

Unfortunately, we are daily reminded of the recent fires and the thousands of stories and realities that must be dealt with by so many.


The above picture appeared in the "Press Democrat" and it is a picture taken by Will Chubb who has shared this photo in the media to hopefully provide some comfort during this period of loss.

The "Red Barn" was built in 1899 -- burnt to the ground in October 2017. It was a sight most of us viewed daily or weekly as we drove to Santa Rosa. It advertised Fountaingrove, the area of homes that lost thousands.

Thanks to Will and the "Press" for sharing this iconic image for all of us.

A lot of my research time this week and for times in the past have been spent searching among the branches of the "Gillett" family tree. It is from the Gilletts that so many of our connections can be traced, so it is not uncommon to spend so much time rooting around there.


The above is just some of the many many Gilletts that I have researched and put into the tree. Every day almost something or someone new is added to the Gillett branch.

Interestingly, growing up in our household I almost never heard of the Gillett name as being related to us. It was even only after I started working on family history that I found out about James Norris Gillett, Governor of California in 1907.

And now I have been able to add so many more interesting Gillett folks into the tree. Just like there is a "HILES" Wisconsin, there is a "GILLETT" Wisconsin. just north of Green Bay. I'd like to visit that town some day.


AND I have been a user of Gillette products for years. My daily shaving involves several Gillette products. The Gillette family may still be involved in the company, I do not know, but P&G owns the Gillette brand these days.

The company owes it's starting to King Camp Gillette.

The "e" on the end of the surname used to keep me from pursuing searching, but these days I have uncovered the fact that even within a family, there may be GILLETT and GILLETTE being used by the members, for whatever reasons.

So, lately, I have been researching this branch. There certainly seems like there must be a connection and maybe we'll uncover that.

And, wonder of wonders -- the Niners won their first game this past week.

They are now -- one win, nine losses. It might even get better as the last few games may include the new quarterback  . . . we'll see.

There have been other well-known head coaches who have started with poor seasons, only to become long-term winners.

While the postseason will not include the Niners, we'll look forward to a few good games played by some other favorite teams.

Lastly, a word of caution -- "Be careful out there" as this is the season:


Such are the dangers while holiday shopping, it can be a spur of the moment thing.

That is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few" !





Saturday, November 11, 2017

Reminisce -- Remember -- Recall

This time of the year I find myself doing all of the above. But today especially I try to focus on what it means for veterans and what it means with respect to their time of service. As I have mentioned in previous posts, most military records are associated with war. And our country has been involved in  many.


The celebration of Veterans Day, or Armistice Day as it was named back in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I, is now in remembrance of all the wars and times served in the military.

Our family tree has many many veterans in it. When searching these vets, the ones who served primarily or only in peacetime are often overlooked in terms of readily available facts and details.

And as mentioned before -- the great fire in the St Louis Military Records Center in 1973, destroyed about 80% of those records for those who served in the Army between 1912 through 1960. That, unfortunately, included the records for my father -- who served in peacetime and then had his records destroyed.

For my father, I can recall some family information about certain places and events that he was involved with -- e.g. patrol along the US/Mexico border, service in Hawaii -- Hickam Field, and hospitalized in Plattsburg, New York after an accident that caused him to lose a kidney.

But I have no official documentation of his military records. I do have a few photos of him during military service, but not much detail. There may be some records "out there" and maybe they'll surface at some point.

And in very recent memory:


It has only been one month and a couple of days since the devastating fire destroyed 6000 or so homes -- some only about 15 minutes away from us.

We actually have not attempted to take a drive near the remains of those homes. We do remember one of the homes that burnt as we had had a couple of dinners and other gatherings there, but for another, we had not yet visited and so we'll have to wait a few years to visit if they rebuild.

The recent rains were and are welcome, but they brought concerns about toxic waste being spread into the water. The entire area has to be cleaned out and taken somewhere for disposal before any
rebuilding could start.

For whatever reason, there are examples of untouched homes in the midst of blocks and blocks of ashes. These families have to endure going and coming to their homes in what has to be the most depressing of daily routines. They have a huge need for consideration for having to put up with the entire situation. They are lucky in that they still have their belongings and memories, but their daily lives are impacted none-the-less.


And, I remember when "Black Friday" really meant something and had a real impact.

Nowadays that impact is lessened due to there being "Black Friday" deals everywhere and already having taken place.

Black Friday started being the day after Thanksgiving and was given to super pricing on popular items. I have always enjoyed the day after Thanksgiving for a variety of reasons -- shopping and leftovers are a couple of reasons.

The good news is that there are many more deals out there and the ability to take one's time to be selective on what deals to take advantage of . . .

Since 99% of our purchasing comes online, along with free shipping, we are satisfied. We still have to venture out to "brick & mortar" stores for perishable items -- but that is changing as well.

I still remember going out shopping with my grandmother in Chicago, before the days of the "supermarket" and discount stores. She would visit, the produce stands, the butcher shop, the grocery store and of course -- the bakery.

Mamie had a two wheel cart that she pulled and it was an adventure (for me) to go along with her on those trips. I particularly remember the scents and smells associated with each store. And usually,
there were some extra treats purchased at some of the stores and maybe even some samples handed over the counter -- like a slice of summer sausage maybe.

Speaking of scents -- recently I opened our cupboard that houses the recycle and garbage and immediately was transformed to another time and place -- primarily the alley behind our grandparents home in Chicago -- the scents of decaying elements from dinner preparation needed to be removed.


DNA, it's what's for dinner learning about some very interesting details of ancestors.

The maps to the left are from Ancestry.com's DNA section and it gives a nice display showing the migration patterns of some of my ancestors.

On the bottom left it clearly shows that most of the HILES early immigrants did, in fact, come from Germany. This information is validated by the various folks who match my DNA -- and there is an increasing number all the time.

On the right side is a more detailed look at where the immigrants landed and started their early lives in America. The regions around Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and as time went on, Wisconsin and points all over the map.

I still struggle with trying to connect many of the matches to folks in the tree -- but that will eventually be done. Part of the problem is that many of the matches do not share information about their trees that would allow for a match-up.

But the future is bright as it pertains to connecting folks. I think about the genealogists of just a couple of decades ago the did everything via snail mail and/or physical visits.

And then just reminiscing . . .

Hey, we eat raisin bran (albeit Kellogg's) every morning.

But who wouldn't want to collect these Western Badges found in their morning cereal boxes?

Hopalong Cassidy was one of my favorite shows growing up (William Boyd, I think) and he rode a beautiful white horse (Topper, I think).

So, we don't get badges in our cereal but probably one of these days we'll see these "badges" being offered for sale on Antiques Roadshow or on Pawn Stars.

That is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few"!







Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Timely Fall (For All)

What could be more timely than a time-change -- this time, falling back one hour and it feels right. We have already been getting up a bit later each morning and so we will fit right into the new zone. So tonight we'll begin the task of resetting the clocks, our semi-annual chore. We'll adjust much easier than the spring change . . .


We even had some rain this week. Less than an inch, but it felt good to not have to water the lawn this week. The rain though is presenting some problems due to the debris left from the over 6000 homes that burnt to the ground recently.

Toxic materials from the charred remains are the object of filtration and keeping them from emptying into our water supplies -- if that is possible. There is more rain forecast for next week and most likely in larger amounts. Drinking bottled water is the desirable way these days.

One event that happened last week produced the picture to the right.

The Houston Astros won their first ever World Series Championship.

It happened to be one of the most exciting collections of seven games ever.

Houston deserved to win with their performance.
Congrats to that hurricane recovering city!

The unfortunate thing for us is to how to fill in the void of almost nightly baseball viewing. It won't be until almost the next time change (March 11, 2018) before we'll get to watch another baseball game. We'll make-do -- there is always MMA -- NOT!

The other event that happened this week was of course -- Halloween -- and what an event that was . . . In days past a couple to the left are shown celebrating the dress-up affair at SFUSD.

Thanks to Aura for sharing the remembrance of her and Gail as they put on one of their remarkable events.

I think we probably still have that bow-tie around here somewhere, Gail has maintained a cache of costumes, just-in-case . . .


And now, what to do with all those pumpkins . . . actually this year
we forgot did not display any pumpkins but that doesn't mean that we can't make some pumpkin soup . . .

This is now soup weather and that is such a good thing. We have all the ingredients to make several different kinds of soup and we'll start in a day or two probably with chicken soup and work our way to pumpkin or other heavier soups, all to be served with maybe cornbread or another muffin-type.



And of course, one of the most fun activities for me is communicating with -- COUSINS.

And there was a lot of communications with already known cousins and then some communications with newly found cousins.

A few years ago, in a post in this blog, I had written about a favorite cousin of my mother -- Charles Keith Bumgardner.

And recently some relatives of "Keith" wrote comments relative to that post. And I'm happy to say that we have shared some emails back and forth and I have learned some new facts and have met some new cousins.


In my post of a couple of years ago, I wrote about Keith and his second marriage which took place in Japan. I knew that he had been married earlier in the U.S. but I only knew the first name of his first wife.

Now I know the full name of his first wife -- Christine Sutherland, and I know more details of their child, Eunice June Bumgardner (1928-2006). Eunice eventually married and had four children. It is with two of those children that I communicated with last week.

It is amazing the power of the Internet which allows for this type of communications. In the "old" days, it would be highly unlikely that such random connections would have been made. I know that there are so many more cousins to meet . . .

And to add icing to the cake, so-to-speak, this week's Wednesday's webinar at Legacy was on "Taking Your German Brick Walls Down Piece by Piece".

So timely now that we are pretty sure that on our paternal branch, we came from Germany . . .

I might even have to try to brush up on my college German -- though that may be troublesome. I think that I'll have to rely on Google translations . . .

So, that is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few"!



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Back to (Semi) Normal Things . . .

The weather is back to semi-normal, but way too hot for this time of the year -- in the 90s again. But it is supposed to change little by little throughout the coming week. In a couple of weeks, it may even get back to "meat-loaf" weather. which we love, baked potatoes and the such.

In the meantime, an important day for the youngsters especially falls this Tuesday when the annual day of sweets and dress-up occurs once again along with the lament of the school on Wednesday.


That is Dino in the middle wearing his costume for this year's trick and treaters. Last year we maybe had ten or so . . . it might be different this year and we are prepared.

Things are generally quieting down after the non-stop fire concerns. There are changes happening in the real estate environment as thousands are looking for places to move to -- for now. Rents are way up and climbing plus we have heard of some really outrageous prices on some homes as they re-list the homes to reflect the current market conditions.


Things are back to normal in terms of the grape harvest -- in our backyard anyway. To the right is a picture of our grapes ready for processing . . .

We realize that we are a bit late compared to the vineyards around town that harvested a lot of their crop just prior to the fires. We, on the other hand, have different priorities as to the crop.

The question always is whether or not to increase or decrease production -- that decision will be forthcoming.


The searching this week too was leaning more "back-to-normal" as I was across the board in my efforts to find ever more documenting facts.

The pic pile to the left is representative of the family members that I sought to enhance.

I usually find Ancestry.com hints for someone and then find myself wandering going from one hint to another and before I know it I have touched numerous lives.

And, before I know it -- the week has been filled up again with things that I previously had not known . . .

I hope that I can eventually share all this information in some manner to those that might be interested. For now, much of what
I find I include in the HILES tree in Ancestry.com.


In the last two weeks, I have been privileged to be in possession of two books that have or may have strong ties to our HILES branch:



The book on the left -- "Descendants of Johan Christian Hile" I was able to receive through the magical efforts of our cousin Lora who first of all convinced the author, Mickey Lee Hile, to take the DNA plunge and eventually proved to be a match for us. We owe her a huge debt of gratitude.

The second book, "One 'Heil' of a Family" by Robert A Heil I happened to find while searching for the first book -- and I was able to snag a copy online. I am not sure if our branch links up with that HEIL branch -- but years ago I did match DNA with a HEIL family and have not made the connection as yet -- maybe this book has the answers.

In any event, both books are really good reading for me. I feel closely tied to both and would love to connect all the Hile, Heil and Hiles branches -- it could happen.


What could be more normal than watching the fall classic during
these days -- than the World Series.

While I am a Dodger fan in this series I realize how important it is for Houston to grab a win in the series.

Houston has suffered greatly due to the hurricanes this year and really wants to win.

And at this point, they are -- two games to one. I don't believe that Houston has ever won the World Series so this would be B-I-G.

Actually, I have to root for the team that does play the best and so would deserve the win. The only time I don't agree with that is when "the home team" -- Giants -- is playing.




And, the season is going strong with Finding Your Roots. The featured celebrities have been very interesting and the thoroughness of the findings have been phenomenal.

It is midway through the series and I hate to think that it will end before I know it.

Henry Louis Gates does a super job presenting the people and the findings.


And that is a bit of our normal week (it is day 301 of the year) -- see you all "in a few"!






Saturday, October 21, 2017

Almost Containment -- Now What?

While we here in Healdsburg can express relief -- so many of our neighbors, friends, and relatives have so much to do now.

We spoke to one of our friends that lost their home this past week and they are not sure of exactly where to begin the next step. They keep having to tell themselves -- "Oh that, it was lost in the fire". And then they have to shake their head and find an alternative solution to whatever they were referring to . . .


Most of the flames in the four main fires are gone but the remains of the contents of almost 6000 homes are sitting in piles around the North Bay. Over 200 square miles have been burned and there are still some fires burning in places like Santa Cruz.

Just yesterday and today inhabitants of burned homes have been let into their neighborhoods to sift through the ashes and maybe recover something of their memories. We have seen some really emotional responses to some of what has been found.

We, in our family, are still with packed suitcases in the car ready to go. Today we will slowly begin the process of unloading the car and reorganizing our closets and other living areas, so thankful that we still have all of that "stuff" AND a place to put it.

We can only imagine the horribleness of what so many of our fellow residents of Sonoma County are going through during this time.

We have been totally distracted from so many things this week. Our relief for it being "over" is starting to set. There is some optimism again in our everyday thought. The extremely good news that came midst the worrying about fire, that of finally breaching the HILES brick wall, crept into my thinking ever since I talked with Lora and she shared the wonderful news of "life" before John Hiles Sr.


Now, the dilemma of "what's in a name?" has my mind whirling with a new way of looking at the family tree. Early on I pretty much focused only on references to names that were spelled HILES. Now, for sure I have to accept many other spellings and am very happy to do so.

I always knew that there were numerous ways to spell our surname and now I have to reconcile that
even in some families our name was spelled differently. I look forward to opening up the tree so that the numerous accepted ways to spell our name can be shown.

Since it looks as though our family indeed comes from Germany, the more English spelling of HILES gives way to some more Germanic spellings. But the DNA points to the same people no matter how they spell the names.

So, life goes on with all the issues and concerns that were present before the fire scare. We found ourselves glued to multiple TV newscasts for any update to our particular geographical location.
We tried not to breathe the ever-present smoke and stayed inside as much as possible.

We kept the phone next to our bed (with the ringer on) to be sure and receive any evacuation recommendations. AND we reexamined the use of cell phones for other than emergency purposes when our land-lines and Internet went out.

Lastly, in the coming week besides digging into the HILES discovery, we'll try to re-establish some basic routineness in our everyday lives by enjoying the World Series:



The World Series will begin next Tuesday (also my brother's 83rd birthday) and it will be played in Los Angeles to start. I have to say that I was rooting for the Cubs to beat the Dodgers, but I do like the Dodgers as well.

I was born and raised for 19 years in the Chicago  area and so the Cubs will always have a special interest for me. But, the next 19 years I lived in the Los Angeles area and loved the Dodgers. So I will be rooting for them when they play either the Yankees or the Astros.

I will hopefully be able to use the World Series for the diversion from everyday life that it usually has been in the past. It would be disheartening if there were any hint of the controversy such as the NFL has currently.

That's a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Call of the Wild . . . Fires

It has been anything BUT a quiet week around these parts and it is not over yet! We have received numerous automated evacuate-now calls and fortunately, they have not been for the part of Healdsburg in which we reside.

But we are on alert. Mostly for any increase in the winds that could happen this evening. Last evening the winds did not increase as they did last Sunday night.

Sadly we have two close friends who have lost their homes and all their possessions earlier this week. The good news is that they themselves made it out okay. They are now left to begin their lives anew.


In the map above showing the fires and their locations, Healdsburg can be seen right in the middle of the danger zone -- the air here is heavy with the aroma and the sight of smoke. This evening if we see any embers drifting around or any red glow from Fitch Mountain (which is close to us, a mile or so) we are "down the road".

We have been semi-packed for a couple of days and need only about 10-15 minutes to finish and clear out. The major dilemma is "what to take" and what to leave . . . and that is perplexing. We know that we just could not take all that we would like to take.

We did have a nice visit from Lisa & Bob who flew in from Seattle for a week. Lisa won the airline tickets to anywhere in the continental U.S. and they chose to visit us here in Northern California. We are happy that they did but feel bad that we were under stress about the fire conditions.


Above are a few of the moments that we shared captured digitally. We had several nice dinners and even celebrated birthdays for all as our neighbor left us a wonderful lemon cake already decorated for a teacher at their son's school and because of the fire could not give to her -- so we benefited.

Lisa & Bob made a side trip to Grass Valley to visit Bob's son's family and they were there when the firestorm hit. They originally were going to just spend one day there -- last Saturday, and return on Sunday night, and it is a good thing that they decided to spend one more night as they would have been right in the path of the fire. They stayed three nights.

The fire curtailed a lot of the plans for how they were going to spend their time and they are now back home in Arlington, Washinton recuperating from the vacation before heading back to work on Monday.

And NOW amidst the chaos of fire warnings and breathing smoke and just not knowing what was about to happen -- another call came in that was earth-shattering to me.

Since the early days of doing the HILES family tree research (the 1970s) I quickly had come to the end of the trail regarding the HILES line. In other words, a giant brick wall was something I faced when it came to knowing any details past my 4th great grandfather John Hiles Sr.

John Sr was reportedly born in Pennsylvania but I had NO idea of who his father and mother were and from where or what country they had come . . . every time I thought that I was close to discovering the answer I was thwarted. And it seemed that no other HILES researcher knew either.

Until now . . . thank you, Lora Hiles, our cousin to whom I spoke to on the phone a few days ago and she shared with me the news that we all have been wanting to find. She told me about a Mickey Hile who had written a book (non-public) that detailed the answers to the HILES line.


Not only did I not know the name of John Sr's father, I did not know the country of origin. I always thought it was either England or Germany, but had no proof that it was either one for sure. But now if Mickey's facts are correct -- our family came from Germany.

So, I am hoping to be able to divulge the names and other details just as soon as we feel more comfortable with their veracity -- we Lora, is trying to obtain a copy of the book and then we'll be able to be more confident in what we see.

If all goes well, we will know the names of my 5th gr grandfather and maybe my 6th gr grandfather and their spouses and offspring. I had thought that that was something I should just get used to not-knowing.

I have started preliminarily plugging some of the information into my Ancestry.com family tree without the connections as yet. Once we get confirmation I'll make the appropriate connections.

What a week . . .

And here is a little-known fact from Gail's side of the tree -- Millard Powers Fillmore, the 13th POTUS, is her 3rd Half-Cousin, 4 times removed . . .he served 1850 - 1853.


Gail's father, Millard Calhoun Bouldron, was known as "Jimmy" throughout his life was surely named after the former president, though I never heard him say that.

And lastly:


We have DNA to thank for helping to figure out the next step in the HILES line. Apparently Mickey Hile, who is at or near 80 years old, tested as a 100% DNA match to those of us who have had their DNA tested.

I have to say that I had seen some of the names that were possible Hiles connections, but because of the varied spellings, I was put off. Heyl, Heil & many other variations caused me to not consider them.

Several years ago I communicated with a young woman who said that her father and I were a DNA match -- their name was HEIL -- and their line was from Germany. But because we could not ever determine the link we did not continue the search.

Now, it appears that we do have the link and the research will go on past that brick wall -- most likely there will be another brick wall soon begging for another DNA solution.

And that's a bit of our week -- you can google Healdsburg to see fire status -- Hope to see you all "in a few"!





Sunday, October 8, 2017

Day Late . . . $ $ $' s Short

Okay, so I'm a day later than usual, but I have good excuses reasons . . . first of all, this has been an unusual week in that almost all of our appliances and electronic devices (it feels like) have acted up in one way or the other.  On the other hand, it is still "harvest time around our town":



Apparently, the high heat that we experienced has caused a huge reaction in the wine industry and their efforts to pick the fruit before it becomes like raisins.

And certainly, a few glasses of vino would have helped us to better deal with the equipment malfunctions except that we are precluded from wine and spirits replaced with other medications -- what a dilemma . . .

First -- as you recall from a mention last week, our wash machine was screaming like a jet engine. Then the ice maker in the freezer compartment stopped producing ice which is critical to the happiness of Dino and then the filter went out and needed replacing. To complete the kitchen woes, the dishwasher needed attention after once depositing water in the cabinet next to it . . .

Further frustration came when the plug-in charger for our Dyson portable vacuum bent and would no longer produce a charge . . . we have other vacuum options but the portable is so nice when needing a quick sweep . . .

Then, for no known reason the plug-in "chime" for our "Ring" doorbell quit after we moved it to another location requiring (after a couple of tech calls) a replacement to be sent.

But the clincher of the week was what did us "in" . . . the router needed a firmware update and in the middle of doing that our cable modem malfunctioned -- which effectively disconnected us from the outside world -- no telephones, no Wi-Fi service, and no tech until "sometime" Saturday.

And, we have out-of-town visitors again this week -- Lisa & Bob are here from Arlington, Washington for the week. It is really nice to see them after almost two years when they visited last.

But, back to our tech mess. After I canceled our service repair appointment with Sears (and I am so glad that I did) I had made an appointment with a small business appliance repair from our town that had really high ratings on the Yelp website (including mine now too).

Ron, the appliance repair genius came late Thursday and in less than an hour, fixed the washer, the ice maker, the fridge and the dishwasher -- absolutely astonishing. He even scouted around to see if there were other appliances that he could tend to . . . his contact info is vital now.

On Saturday, mid-morning, Xfinity came by and after a couple of hours and replacing the malfunctioning modem we think that we are back in business for now. I never felt so "out-of-it" when we had the service disruption and it points out how horrible it must be for the folks in the hurricane-ravaged areas. We at least have electricity and some of our appliances working -- those folks have nothing working including the basics like water and heat or a/c.

So, back to some of the "regular" things that happened this week:


In one of my searches in old newspapers, I spotted the above story and it was of interest for a variety of reasons. 1) it was about HILES people  2) it takes place in a town very near where we lived in Illinois & 3) just because.

I am sure that there are countless stories that are similar due to war times and conditions. I do not know yet if our branch of Hiles is related, but I'm checking into that. The above article was published in the Decatur, Illinois newspaper in 1990. It sounds like movie material to me . . .



And then it is always fascinating to me when I spot something in a newspaper about one of our relatives that is "news" to me.

Stewart Nelson Bumgardner is my Uncle, my mother's brother.  I knew of many of his career changes over the years but this one mentioned here -- "Diabolt", they must have meant "Diebold", is one that I do not recall ever hearing about -- maybe it was short-term.  (Chicago Trib, 1962)

And speaking of Stewart . . . and "Jimmy" Bouldron:


There is a new museum being created in honor of WWII veterans and to remember the huge impact of that war.

Millard Calhoun "Jimmy" Bouldron, Gail's father along with Stewart will have recognition displayed in that museum for their service during the war.

The interesting thing for me is that while I know of Jim's service and have some photos of him in the military during the war, I never really knew of Uncle Stew's service, nor do I have any photos of him at that time. But there are several records mentioning Stewart's service.

In 1945 Jim Bouldron was 31 years old and he served in Japan. That same year Stewart was 19 and while he served in the Navy, I do not know where he was serving.

And lastly,

On the Nightstand Actually on the iPad in the Audible app, we have listened to this book being read by the author -- and have enjoyed it very much.

It is an amazing story of someone rising way above their initial place in life and how all of that took place.

It was a combination of just plain hard work, the support of many others and some good old-fashioned luck.

We look forward to reading possible future writings by this author.
He is still a young man and has such a great potential to enthrall us more in his captivating way of describing his life.

One interesting thing about the success of this person is that he was born and raised in this country when so often we read about the success of someone "coming" to this country and taking advantage of the "American" dream.


That is a bit of our week, see you all "in a few" !