Tag Archives: Civil War

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

Dawn Drums in the Ekphrastic Review

Caspar Buberl’s frieze of marching soldiers, located at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center in Corinth, Mississippi.

Poetry is the most difficult literary discipline of all and I claim no proficiency in it. I do find, however, that making an honest effort, especially with forms unfamiliar to me, improves my writing overall. I wrote the villanelle just published in the Ekphrastic Review some years back.  The poem was inspired by Civil War art and was originally published as a front-piece to Dawn Drums, my Civil War novel.  Ekphrastic Review editor Lorette Luzajic  paired it with a photo of sculptor Caspar Buberl’s 19th Century Civil War frieze. I appreciate her work in finding an image of Caspar’s work that she could share!  Here’s the link:  http://www.ekphrastic.net

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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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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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Special Price for a Special Book!

Dawn Drums received a unique honor at the end of last year: First Place in the historical fiction category of the 2017 Readers Choice Awards. Publisher Moonlight Mesa Associates is celebrating the book’s recognition by offering the ebook edition at a reduced price. It’s available on both Kindle and Smashwords for $4.95 a copy. I’ll also offer a reduced price on my inventory of the paperback edition to folks in King City and the Central Coast: $9.95 a copy. This offer will be good for the month of February. You know where I live!

Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Drums-Robert-Walton-ebook/dp/B00C4ZH1VU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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Filed under Accolades, Front Page

The Gettysburg Address – its power grows.

The Monterey Pops performed a great concert at Stanton Theater in King City on November 11th. I was honored to provide narration for one of their pieces – A New Birth of Freedom by Randol Bass. The text? Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I got a lot of help from the Pops, but Lincoln’s words needed no help at all. He made it clear forever what being an American means and requires. Thanks, Abe.

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