Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

Abe meets Muir in Yosemite

Third Flatiron’s new anthology focuses on the theme of longevity. Edtior Juliana Rew graciously included a story of mine among this collection of strong stories. “Abe in Yosemite” explores a major historical what if: how might Abe’s life have turned out had John Wilkes Booth failed to assassinate him? I got to spend time with Abraham Lincoln again, always a worthwhile thing to do, and I think I did some of my best writing. Here’s the Amazon link:

https://www.amazon.com/Infinite-Lives-Longevity-Flatiron-Anthologies/dp/1733920749/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=third+flat+iron&qid=1571105565&s=books&sr=1-1

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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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Longevity is worth waiting for!

Third Flatiron’s fall/winter anthology focuses on the theme of longevity. Edtior Juliana Rew graciously included a story of mine among a collection of strong stories. “Abe in Yosemite” explores a major historical what if: what if John Wilkes Booth had failed to assassinate the President? I got to spend time with Abraham Lincoln again, always a worthwhile thing to do, and I think I did some of my best writing. You folks be the judges. It’s coming in October. Here’s a link to the preview:  https://www.thirdflatiron.com/liveSite/pages/news?fbclid=IwAR3WUjIPggXoX7S9EC7vU7Iz0ZwGo0XpLTdR4BwUjz4EoSIy-KdZ3Ux72MM

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Booth Shot President Lincoln!

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 this readers’ theater script about the Lincoln Assassination

No event in our history was more important or more traumatic than the assassination of President Lincoln and I’ve created a new story and teaching unit that explores this tragedy.  The unit’s goal is to make these crucial events clear and accessible to  students.  I’ve based my unit’s narrative 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’ve created a readers’ theater script for middle school and high school students.

I’ve also created vocabulary and reading comprehension activities to enhance and accompany Booth Shot President Lincoln. You’ll recognize both the cooperative learning and reciprocal teaching techniques incorporated in the activities.

Please take a look at the unit’s preview excerpt when you have a chance! Here’s the link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Booth-Shot-President-Lincoln-4478213

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Filed under Front Page, published story, The Civil War Remembered

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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Chalone Peaks Middle School 2018 Civil War Reenactment

Students and teachers of Chalone Peaks Middle School once again created a great event yesterday. Helped by parents and loyal reenactors, everyone worked together to make the 2018 Civil War reenactment a learning experience without equal. History came alive before young people’s eyes and will live in their minds always.


Author at work  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Lincoln sharing his thoughts  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Harriet Tubman revealing the evils of slavery.  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Confederates advance  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Union soldiers defend.  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

BOOM!  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

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