Chicago’s 1968 Convention

 

 

Chicago 1968: Personal Reflections & Other Stories by Neal P. Gillen

Woodside Press. Available at Booklocker.com and Amazon.com for $16.95

chicago gillen

“We witnessed a crazed young policeman begin to hit a young man and one sitting next to him with his night stick. Incredulously it went on for about 10 seconds before his colleagues pulled him away and rushed him out of the hotel.” So writes Neal Gillen of his  personal remembrance from Chicago.

Neal Gillen’s latest book is a treasure trove of fact and fiction. Its lead story is a fascinating and detailed look at the maneuvering that took place at the Democrats’ ill-fated 1968 National Convention in Chicago. Gillen had an inside perspective before the convention as the deputy director of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey’s delegate monitoring operation for a powerful voting block of states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. During the convention, his floor responsibilities put him in the middle of the drama that occurred during that hectic August week in the Windy City. He also shares his wife’s, Mary-Margaret Gillen, perspective as counsel for the Vietnam Subcommittee of the Platform Committee. It’s a peek at history in the making that has never been reported. In many respects it’s a gripping look at how politics really works.

neal gillen eswa

Neal Gillen

There are 32 stories in all, 28 of them true stories, with the suspenseful events of the Chicago convention comprising about one-fourth of this 270 page book. The other well-written, entertaining, and comical stories reveal the realities of life of some well-know people including Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Breslin, and Donald Trump’s father, Fred. The Trump story, written in 2015, provides some insights as to why Donald never wanted to work under his father’s thumb. Gillen briefly worked for Fred Trump on a construction project in Coney Island, He describes Trump’s micro managing of every aspect of the job including his taking the coffee and lunch orders to make sure the workers remained on the isolated job site.

The four works of fiction are interesting and compelling stories that you will enjoy. A great memoir and well worth your read.

Review by Thomas Hollyday, Boston, January 7, 2019

 

 

Advertisements

Great chase mystery

whitehill dog and bitch

Reading Dog & Bitch Island, the new novel by Robert Blake Whitehill, was an armchair pleasure.(Dog& Bitch Island, Amazon Kindle, $6.99)  Being an Eastern Shore Marylander like Whitehill, I certainly feel homesick when I discover  a Chesapeake novelist  of this caliber and sit back with a whiskey to enjoy his stuff. Unfortunately this book is an exciting page turner, so it doesn’t give me a very long sit back. But if you’ve never been in an Eastern Shore country western honky tonk, get ready to enjoy the fight at this  bar.

The story is about helping the government suits discover the perp who murdered Travis Cynter , Ben Bradshaw’s SEAL buddy.  Get ready for a chase scene, the best I’ve read in a long time, around the staid streets of Bermuda. Also, if you like submarines, here’s a story  to match the movie U-571.  And, all the time Bradshaw  chases the killers, his pregnant wife is tagging along, shooting her share of villains.

In this technical age, readers love an author who writes detail. Whitehill will inform you, as soon as he mentions a gun in the hand of a fighter, what make and model  it is and sometimes even its ballistics.  Whitehill  has won plaudits at the Hamptons International Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Film Festival for his incisive, often humorous, and definitely powerful style.

So get ready to enjoy a writer who will impress even the Clive Cussler fans. Whitehill’s books so far also include Deadrise, Nitro Express, Tap Rack Bang and Geronimo Hotshot. His website is http://robertblakewhitehill.com/                   Review by Thomas Hollyday

whitehill face

Great Chase Mystery

whitehill dog and bitchReading Dog & Bitch Island, the new novel by Robert Blake Whitehill, was an armchair pleasure.(Dog& Bitch Island, Amazon Kindle, $6.99)  Being an Eastern Shore Marylander like Whitehill, I certainly feel homsick when I discover  a Chesapeake novelist  of this caliber and sit back with a whiskey to enjoy his stuff. Unfortunately this book is an exciting page turner, so it doesn’t give me a very long sit back. But if you’ve never been in an Eastern Shore country western honky tonk, get ready to enjoy the fight at this  bar.

The story is about helping the government suits discover the perp who murdered Travis Cynter , Ben Bradshaw’s SEAL buddy.  Get ready for a chase scene, the best I’ve read in a long time, around the staid streets of Bermuda. Also, if you like submarines, here’s a story  to match the movie U-571.  And, all the time Bradshaw  chases the killers, his pregnant wife is tagging along, shooting her share of villains.

In this technical age, readers love an author who writes detail. Whitehill will inform you, as soon as he mentions a gun in the hand of a fighter, what make and model  it is and sometimes even its ballistics.  Whitehill  has won plaudits at the Hamptons International Film Festival and the Hudson Valley Film Festival for his incisive, often humorous, and definitely powerful style.

So get ready to enjoy a writer who will impress even the Clive Cussler fans. Whitehill’s books so far also include Deadrise, Nitro Express, Tap Rack Bang and Geronimo Hotshot. His website is http://robertblakewhitehill.com/                   Review by Thomas Hollydaywhitehill face

A barn swallow shows us how

the story of fufu

The Story of Fufu, Stephanie Kendall, Available at Amazon as a colorful paperback ISBN 1514647273  $17

The Story of Fufu is a classic photo story of barn swallows bringing up children, no two ways about it.  When I gave a copy to a little girl I know, she ran off and devoured it, the way interested children do, as if the barn swallow mother were talking only to her. To her, I think, these bird parents taught about their similarity to human parents, something good for a child to know. It is perhaps an insight into parental love, as well as survival.

It’s primarily a children’s book but it could be interesting to adults too. Just for fun, I looked into children’s literature and found characteristics that all good books in this genre follow.

First off, Stephanie portrays the wonder of everyday life, especially motherhood and family. Second, she has a happy ending. Third, she shows the simplicity of natural family life. Fourth, she details this life in an easy to understand way, using photography.  Fourth, she shows the happy results of perseverance towards a goal.  Fifth, and so important for many readers, in the writing, she uses simple phrases and words to tell the story.  Plus, the photographs are professional and taken with attention to color. The author is known in her home area, on the southern Eastern Shore of Maryland, as “fuji” for her constant use of Fujifilm in her nature work.

If you have ever wondered who started putting out all those bluebird nesting boxes in fields across the country, well, it was Stephanie’s grandfather, the famous birder and bluebird expert, Doctor Lawrence Zeleny.  He was a pretty good influence for such a graceful birder as our writer.

Check out Stephanie’s Internet store for her other wonderful Chesapeake nature products at www.bonanza.com/booths/tolbunt5

Stephanie, give us more of these stories. They are good for all of us.

Summer’s Squall

Summer's Squall

A few lines from Summer’s Squall  By Amy Schisler.ISBN-13: 978-0692982945 2017  Chesapeake Sunrise, Bozman, Maryland:

     Summer shrugged as she  cut the slices. “All the time.  If I have a student who I am just not getting through to, I say a prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas.”

    Lank raised his brow as Summer prepared their plates and put them on the table, refilled her ghlass, and took a seat. Lank sat beside her and nodded his head as she said the blessing.

   “So who is this Thomas person?” he asked before taking his first bite. He sucked in air to cool his tongue and regretted being in such a hurry to eat.

    “St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of students. When Johnny was in Iraq, I prayed to St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of those in battle. And when he was hurt, I prayed to St. Gemma, patron of back injuries.”

     “How in hell, sorry, how the heck do you know all that?”

Summer’s Squall relates a story of horses, a young girl who is terrified of a stalker, a policeman’s love,  Native American lore, and young adult religion. It attracts all of us with its freshness and its open discussion of many current social themes in the modern American world. As well as being description of young emotions, it is a fast moving thriller, which keeps us guessing right to the last page. Totally recommended for the whole family to enjoy.

amy schisler

The Christian Science Monitor’s editor Majorie Kehe has written that the Christian titles in available novels these days are “a surprisingly empowering guide to adolescence.”  Certainly Illumination Awards prize winner Amy Schisler is a prime example of the kind of writers in this genre.

Amy’s first children’s book, Crabbing With Granddad, is an autobiographical work about spending a day harvesting the Maryland Blue Crab. Her debut novel, A Place to Call Home, was released in 2014 by Sarah Book Publishing. A second edition was published in March of 2015. Picture Me, A Mystery, as well as the critically acclaimed novel, Whispering Vines, were awarded the Illumination Bronze Award for being among the top Christian Romance books of 2015 and 2016. Whispering Vines was also awarded the LYRA for best ebook romance of 2016. Amy followed up her success with Island of Miracles in 2017. All of Amy’s books may be purchased in bookstores as well as online on all major print and ebook sites. Amy grew up in Southern Maryland, received her Bachelor’s Degree from Salisbury University, and graduated from the University of Maryland with a Master’s in Library and Information Science. A former librarian and teacher, she now lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs.