Category Archives: Author Visits

Beware! Take Care! He wants your head tonight!

The older kids are amused – Photo by Ed Haskell

The Headless Horseman, Tailypo and the Yeti – favorites all – visited San Lorenzo Park last Saturday eve for the annual Ghost Story gathering. There’s nothing like a campfire to get me going! The kids, both old and young, seemed to be amused! I thank the MCCARLM folks for inviting me to participate!

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King City High School Students help this author!

Creative Writing students perform "Assassination".

King City High School creative writing students perform “Assassination”.

Some of you might recall “You Are There”, Walter Cronkite’s great, long-running TV series. Cronkite served as host and interviewer in historical reenactments of critical events from our shared past. The show brought history to life with unprecedented immediacy. I’ve tried to capture that immediacy in a readers’ theater script about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I based my retelling on Jim Bishop’s excellent book The Day Lincoln was Shot.  By adding several fictional characters and some dialog to the events Bishop detailed, I hoped to create a narrative that would open history for young readers. I decided I needed to find some young readers and hear their thoughts!

King City High School Creative Writing teacher Ashley Russ invited me to share the script with her students. I made two visits to her creative writing class. On the first visit, advanced students Axel Solis, Irie Flores, Gabriela Valencia, Martin Delgado, Emma Deleon, and Gabriel Aguilar read the script twice and made editorial suggestions. I used their suggestions to revise my writing and took it back for a final reading. It went exceedingly well. Both the students’ performance and their intelligent comments afterward convinced me to go ahead and publish “Assassination” on TPT. Here’s the link to the script:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-Common-Core-for-the-Civil-War-4478213

P.S. I also created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to accompany this script. They’re also on TPT.Here’s the link for the activities:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Assassination-teaching-activities-for-the-RT-script-4923109

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Gold Rush Days at San Lorenzo Park

MCARLM’s great history event for 4th graders took place again last Tuesday and Wednesday. Though I didn’t have my tent for day #1, I still told 49er stories and sang “My Darling Clementine” with the kids. They got to pan for gold, eat hardtack and visit the blacksmith’s shop, as well!

P.S. Mothers and aides were thrilled to visit with their old school teachers, too. Many of us can still do a fine job – at least for a day or two!

 

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Pinnacles Forever!


Mike Russell, Bill Hunt and Bob Walton in the West Side parking lot, 1977

Friend, neighbor and civic leader Karen Jernigan invited me to speak at a meeting of Pinnacles Gateway Partners on March 14th. This group is devoted to sustaining, supporting and promoting Pinnacles National Park. My very pleasant task was to share some climbing stories and photos with members of the group, many of whom have no experience with rock climbing. Longtime leader of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth founder David Brower initiated technical climbing at Pinnacles in 1934. Tens of thousands have enjoyed the Park’s crags since then. Aside from enjoying our sport, climbers have also shouldered the burdens of protecting and enhancing Pinnacles. We work with the good people of the NPS to support their mission. Climbing culture is strong at Pinnacles and that culture is one of stewardship. I shared that with the Gateway folks. Here’s a link to an article about my presentation:  https://benitolink.com/features/pinnacles-gateway-partners-welcomes-veteran-rock-climber?fbclid=IwAR3a8ES_MGZmY78LN8b83Zb41rZF7lXYjYuTdh4UyID36Z2nWdjTDxxkYZk

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Up in the Air – A Conversation about Aeolian Variations

I have a story in this most interesting anthology. I thought you all might find my conversation about it with Editor Alisha Costanzo entertaining! The book will be coming soon. Watch for its publication here!

https://transmundanepressblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/robert-walton-an-in-the-air-author-interview/

 

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Monterey Pops honors vets on Memorial Day

Old friend Dr. Carl Christensen is conductor of the Monterey County Pops. The orchestra is comprised of professionals, but their concerts are free. I was honored to play a small part in their Memorial Day concert on the lawn of the Colton House (City Hall) in Monterey.

Featured artists included Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools conducted by Jim Paoletti; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez and me.

Musical highlights were the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley included A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections were “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is central to my life, to all Americans’ lives. It is somber, sad, cautionary – though filled with our shared aspirations – and true. Reading it aloud – especially when its timeless words are illuminated by great music played by great musicians – can only help heal our nation’s present divisions.

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I get to read Lincoln’s words on Memorial Day!

Here’s the announcement from the Monterey Pops website:

The Monterey City Hall Lawn performance(2 p.m.) will present a program of pops, patriotic, and Americana favorites.  

Featured soloists include Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; narrator, Robert Walton;and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez.

Musical highlights will include the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley includes A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections include “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

https://montereycountypops.org/events/memorial-day-2018/

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