Author Archives: dewisant7

About dewisant7

Author and Genealogist

Memoir Books

Writing is My Drink: A writers story of Finding Her Voice (and a Guide to How You Can Too) by Theo Pauline Nestor

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg



A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff

Liars’ Club by Mary Karr

Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin by Nicole Hardy

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Searching for John Hughes by Jason Diamond

Falling into Place by Hattie Kauffman

Ham Radio

I used to listen to Shortwave radio when I lived in West Germany. I didn’t know it was called Shortwave until much later. I got interested in Shortwave decades later, bought an analog receiver, didn’t like it, took it back and got a digital receiver and a book called Passport to World Band radio that was just like a giant TV guide, but for the entire world. I set up an aluminum foil antenna around the top of one of my rooms and began listening to 30 watt stations in Red China and some of those same programs I used to listen to like the BBC, German stations, and Russian stations. That was fun for a while, but I thought I would like to go deeper so I looked into Ham Radio. I bought some old test prep guides from Radio Shack, the question pool was still good, but the books were being surplused so I got a deal. I got into trouble at work so I had some time off. I picked up the Novice/Technician book and read it through. I then went back and marked all of the correct answers so that I would only ever read the questions and right answers again. I read the questions/right answers at least a dozen times and I asked my girlfriend to read me the answers and see if I could remember the questions. I found out where the Ham testing was done in North Everett, went there early one Saturday with a pocket full of cash and passed the Novice and Technician tests with no mistakes. I was a newly minted Ham Radio Operator! I rushed back to Radio Shack and purchased my first 2 meter handheld radio and eagerly waited for my license to be issued. Two months later I sat for a 5 word-per-minute Morse Code test and upgraded to Tech-Plus.

Brat Pack Movies

I really like watching Brat Pack movies. Movies like: The Outsiders, Class, Sixteen Candles, Oxford Blues, The Breakfast Club, St Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Blue City, About Last Night, Wisdom, Fresh Horses, and Betsy’s Wedding. There are many other movies with similar coming-of-age themes that starred only one core Brat Pack actor with one or more close contributors.

Goals

A thought has occurred to me. If goals are important then figuring out what you are aiming at might be a good early step. If one was to aim to win a short story contest then the writing would be of a certain effort and caliber. If one is wanting a much bigger prize, like the Nobel or Pulitzer prize, then a different level of skill and commitment would be in order. I have always recoiled against Genre writing maybe because I only want a big prize for my efforts. Not only learning to write well, but studying the masters of Literature as a life’s goal seems to be in order.

Bookends

I was born in a college town, Lafayette, Indiana where Purdue University is; I was raised living next to one of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan, in both Glenview and Waukegan, Illinois; I lived in Europe in West Germany before the Berlin Wall came down; I now live on an island surrounded by salt water, Camano Island in Washington State. Starts and stops are easier to remember than the mundane existence of daily life.

Pilot in Command

I have owned about 45 flight simulators. Flight Sims seem to be my favorite program to run on a computer. I have watched aircraft flying around for most of my life. I even read several books by Gordon Baxter about flying. I have looked into flight lessons many times, but one time I actually went flying. There used to be an ad on the back cover of flying magazines for learning to fly with Cessna so I called them and was told they no longer had this service, but recommended a private airfield that did, the Colonel James Jabara airport in Wichita, Kansas. I called, made an appointment, and showed up after work two days later. I was as nervous as a cat. A very young guy was to be my flight instructor and we walked out to a seven-colored Cessna 150. He started doing the walk around inspection and so did I. He asked me what I did in the United States Air Force and I told him Crew Chief of F-16’s, he told me to finish the walk around. He taxied the aircraft, took off and almost immediately gave me control of the yoke. I flew around, without any help, for almost an hour before he took control of the plane and landed it. He then explained that he had never allowed that much flight time during a first flight and said that I was a natural. I went back to flying flight sims with the knowledge that I had the goods to be a pilot.