Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Albert Garforth, 83, of Foxdenton Lane, Middleton Junction, spent the last year of the war helping the code-breakers at Bletchley Park unlock the Enigma code.
Their work meant the Allies gained vital information about German troop movements, securing victory in 1945.
Mr Garforth has received a Bletchley Park Commemorative Badge."
To read the rest of the BBC article visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/england/manchester/8296953.stm
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Hope to see you there.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Last week we toured the Pittsburgh area visiting with Redstone Highlands in North Huntingdon, Seneca Manor in Verona, the hosts of Word FM and KDKA Today Live, and began our journey to Bethlehem PA.
In Bethlehem we visited with the residents of Country Meadows and then had a sold-out book signing at the Moravian Book Shop, the oldest book shop in the country. We met up with our family and celebrated Thanksgiving early. It was a wonderful trip. On our way back, we stopped to pay our respects at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.
Now, we’re back to our busy lives in Pittsburgh. I’m hosting the Champions Conference call next week, on goal setting and achievement. Guests can join us for $20 live or listen to the recording at their leisure. We’re also preparing to close 2009 with a few more book talks, the release of our new book: The Coach’s Guide to Wedding Planning, and prepare for 2010. We expect it to be another great year with new milestones!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
This week we'll give at least 10 book discussions to diverse audiences. We'll be on WORD FM radio Tuesday, KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live TV on Wednesday and head to Bethlehem PA on Thursday for a book tour.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook for all the updates and photos.
This month we're offering 10% off all orders from our website. Use the coupon code "VeteransDay2009" when prompted upon checkout.
We've partnered with Military Connections, a non-profit who sends 800+ packages overseas each month to veterans who do not normally receive packages. While making a purchase at our site be sure to select to send a book overseas to someone serving for only $5. We'll take care of all the details.
In the "special instructions" portion of your order form let us know if you'd like your books or cd's inscribed to someone special. We always sign every book ordered from our site, but if you want an extra special note included just let us know.
Happy Veterans Day, Week and Month- to all of you!
We're going to need lots of coffee!
- Your book team
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Typically we commemorate the day in many of the traditional ways we see in our communities. This year’s program is titled Three Veterans, Three Stories: Three Lives of Service. Our speakers will share their stories of veterans who touched their lives and how they’ve turned to serving thousands through their life’s work. Speakers include Lisa Spahr, author of World War II Radio Heroes; Sgt. Lee Wagner, USMC; and Summer Tissue, Founder of Military Connections.
We will welcome ladies and non masons to this event, in conjunction with the theme of the program. At 6:30 PM we will offer hot and cold hors d'oeuvres for our guests. At 7:30 PM our speakers will conduct a short presentation for our guests until they are joined by the members of our lodge at 8:15 PM to begin the formal program.
Evening Proceeds and Donations will be made to Military Connections, a non-profit organization that ships equipment, care packages, and supplies to troops stationed overseas. The holiday season is fast approaching and many of our Soldiers and Marines do not receive care packages from anyone, but Military Connections, who ships over 900 care packages a month. Over 700 of the troops on the Military Connection mailing list have no family or friends to send them a box. We want to ensure that they are not forgotten. This year, Military Connections is attempting to ship over 10,000 filled Christmas stockings to the troops. Each stocking costs $30 to fill and ship. Any support we receive for this project will boost morale at an especially difficult time.
Masons through history have supported their countries through military service, and they have been privileged to support the contributions of our veterans through the years. This year we are pleased to broaden our focus to the family and the community at large, and recognize their sacrifice. We grow as citizens through our families, and draw strength from the support of our communities. This will be the focus of our celebration for Veteran’s Day.
John A. Brashear Lodge No. 743
541 McNeilly Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I finally got the chance to meet Flavius Jankauskas (K3JA). He was one of the heroes I wrote about in World War II Radio Heroes. He wrote to my family at the age of 16 and then shortly thereafter went to sail ships for the wars effort himself, with the Merchant Marines.
I found Flavius when I reached out to another Jankauskas in the Philly area. This lovely man called me and said, "I don't know Flavius. I'm not even related to him! But, I've heard of him. I'd like to help you find him." And, he did. Within a week he had a good phone number and address for Flavius. We connected and have stayed in touch ever since.
Flavius was responsible for much of what I learned about short wave and ham radio during WWII, and today. He sent me package after package of things he found in the attic and basement from those days. It was always like Christmas when I got something from Flavius!
It took me too long to get there- 3 years! But, alas, I was able to meet him and his lovely companion, Friedl, in person, just a few weeks ago.
I spent a few hours with them, chatting as though we were old friends. Well, we are- even though we had not met in person before. I learned about Flavius' days in the opera- how fantastic! We talked about radios and his life and the irony of us all finding each other so many years after his wonderful deed to my family.
Flavius gave me the Howard 430 radio that he heard my grandfather's name on in 1943. I told him I'd treasure it and share it with others on my book tours. When the time comes, we'll make sure it goes into a museum for all to enjoy long after us.
My visit was as wonderful as I had always envisioned. He and Friedl are as wonderful in person as they are over the phone and email. I'm very fortunate to have met them. I look forward to my next visit!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
There were moments of glory for the small navy during the Revolution, however, a number of which came from the nation’s first naval hero, John Paul Jones. Originally hailing from Scotland and a close friend of Benjamin Franklin, Jones transplanted himself to the new world shortly before the Revolutionary war. With important men to vouch for his prolific nautical experience on merchants, brigs, and for a short time slavers, although he despised them and quit in the middle of the Caribbean, Jones was quickly placed at a high rank in the navy. Of his achievements, he took the British sloop of war, Drake, off the coast of Ireland and most famously captured the HMS Serapis. When locked in battle, the HMS Serapis’ captain questioned Jones, asking him if he was ready to surrender, or strike his colors, to which Jones merely quipped, legendly replying, “I have not begun to fight yet!”
Jones and others like him fought heroically for the budding United States and, despite the exact numbers of wins and losses, proved to the downtrodden colonies that the British were not invincible and that was enough for the morale of the people.
After the Revolutionary War the size and even existence of the navy fluctuated over the years with the vicissitudes of need and money, but by the War of 1812 the navy was more formally established and ingrained into the seams of American society. By 1845 the United States Naval Academy was formed, where Jones is currently interred. In the following years the navy continued to expand through the Civil War and especially under the guidance of the later President Theodore Roosevelt, who firmly believed in the importance of the navy to the protection of the nation. The navy increased, decreased, and increased again through the World Wars and ultimately the Cold War. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States became the uncontested naval superpower in the world.
Recently the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Coast Guard, have realized the adverse link between crises and the economy and are working with each other and international powers to prevent tragedies from occurring.
On this coming anniversary of the United States Navy’s creation, let us bear in mind all those who have gone before us and will come after us.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
It was great to be back in the old city. I hit a few of my old haunts for good measure. The highlights were of course, finally meeting Flavius Jankauskas (one of the heroes in the book) and visiting readers at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore. (More on Flavius next week.)
The Big Blue Marble Bookstore is in Mt. Airy, a lovely neighborhood in Philadelphia. Sadly, I had never been there while living in Philly. Seeing it now, I sure wish I had. It’s filled with great big homes and warm neighbors. And, there is a cool co-op a few doors down from the bookshop.
I enjoyed my time getting to know Maleka and Mo, the shop’s keepers. They were surprised when I said my home base was Pittsburgh. What a drive!
The shop itself is a marvel. It’s not that unlike my own home. It was built more than 100 years ago, including 3 floors filled with books, and creaky narrow staircases. I loved it! They had a great children’s area downstairs and a delicious café upstairs- where the readings happen.
We had a small crowd who came because they love ham radio (Saul was our evening ham expert) or were simply interested in learning about a new topic. Even the young readers were intrigued by the subject matter. All in all- a good show. Thanks Blue Marble. I hope to return one day soon.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
As a curious young girl, I was always in things I shouldn’t be- scaling closest shelves and plumbing the depths of attics to uncover hidden Christmas presents, foraging through drawers for secrets unknown, and rummaging through hidey-holes for stashed candy and treats. So naturally, after some thorough scavenging work, I came across my great-grandfather’s story. Tucked away in a cold, metal filing cabinet, I discovered a yellowing newspaper clipping with a colorful illustration of a diver, replete with large, metal, ominous helmet, surrounded by sharks of varying sizes and ferocity and an article detailing the heroic deeds of Frank William Crilley.
My great grandfather was a diver for the navy in the early twentieth century. A man who, as family traditions murmurs, taught Amelia Earhart how to dive. He wore the cumbersome, metal helmets, the ones seen in old Scooby-Doo episodes, a number of which account for the décor in my family home. While he was diving off the coast of Honolulu, one of his fellows, William F. Loughman, became trapped in the water, his air hose jeopardized. In danger not only of entrapment, but also of the pressure generated by the depth of the water, Loughman needed immediate attention. My great-frandather realized all of this. I can only imagine the tumult of emotions that must have assaulted him. Shock. Confusion. Fear. And finally determination, his single-mindedness in rushing to his friend’s aid. Under water for two hours and eleven minutes, my great-grandfather surfaced with Loughman, alive.
Frank William Crilley received a Medal of Honor for his courageous deed that day and recently a dive school in San Diego, California was named after him. Another building is also dedicated to the memory of my great-grandfather, located in the Navy Yard in Washington, DC. In addition to his Medal of Honor, he was awarded a Navy Cross. My own father, his grandson, followed in his footsteps and became a diver as well.
It is always amazing to discover pieces of your personal history. The awe of unearthing where your ancestors came from and the connections they have to your life is a bridging moment, an instance where history and the present flow together as one. All are alive in yourself and therefore society. When that history is alive and ebbing beneath the communal body the present and future are illuminated. To know that my great-grandfather not only participated in history but lives on written down and memorialized feels like a tribute to me and the person I am in some small way and I can only hope to add myself to that living memory.
Writer of this article, Mariah Crilley, has joined Lisa Spahr in promoting World War II Radio Heroes while a student at Chatham University.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I'll be back the week of Sept 16-19. I'd love to see you at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Mt. Airy on Friday September 18th at 7 PM. I'll be signing books and doing a reading. Check out this link for more information and directions!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Program Date: August 20, 2009
Program Time: 1700 hours, Pacific
Topic: WWII Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion
About the Guest
Lisa Spahr, a former volunteer firefighter, "is an investigative psychologist who owns a life coaching and consulting business in Pittsburgh PA. Ms. Spahr has an extensive history in the field of research for universities and private organizations, focusing on law and psychiatry research, military applications, and policing operations and tactics. Examples of her work include: examining the construct of psychopathy in prisoner and juvenile populations, and creating guidelines for suicide bomb response for police officers in the United States.
Lisa Spahr said of WWII Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion, "More than 60 years had gone by before I found them. Dozens and dozens of letters written to my family during WWII- from total strangers- to tell my great-grandmother that her son had been captured and was being held as a POW. How did they know this? Well, it seems that the short-wave radio had held all of the answers. POWs were allowed to state their names and hometowns on the radio, and sometimes relay a short message to their families. Scores of Americans, listening to the German propaganda from so far away, heard my grandfather's information, and took it upon themselves to write to my great-grandmother. All of these dear people wanted to give my great-grandmother a measure of comfort to know her son was alive."
About American Heroes Radio
American Heroes Radio broadcasts from the Watering Hole; for a location heroes go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.
About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a
bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.
Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:
Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA
Monday, August 3, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Listen for me on KMJ 580 with Paul Loeffler. Paul does an outstanding job of recognizing our brave men and women- and those who support them. His show is called Home Town Heroes.
If you miss the broastcast, you can listen to the Podcast from his site.
Thanks Paul. It was a pleasure to be on your show!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Wednesday, June 09, 2009
New Kensington, PA – MEMBERS OF THE SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY WILL BE PUTTING
THEIR RADIO SKILLS TO THE TEST DURING THE ANNUAL FIELD DAY EVENT, SPONSORED
BY THE AMERICAN RADIO RELAY LEAGUE. THE 2009 FIELD DAY WILL SPAN 27 HOURS
STARTING SATURDAY, JUNE 27 AT 2 PM, RUNNING THROUGH 5 PM SUNDAY, JUNE 28.
FIELD DAY IS DESIGNED TO TEST AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS’ SKILLS AND
CAPABILITIES UNDER ADVERSE EMERGENCY CONDITIONS, SUCH AS THOSE EXPERIENCED
DURING HURRICANE KATRINA. FIELD DAY OPERATORS FACE THE CHALLENGE OF QUICKLY
SETTING UP AND RUNNING 2-WAY RADIO STATIONS UNDER SIMULATED EMERGENCY
CONDITIONS WHERE COMMERCIALLY GENERATED POWER IS NOT AVAILABLE. ALTERNATIVE
ENERGY SOURCES INCLUDING GASOLINE GENERATORS, BATTERY, AND SOLAR WILL BE USED
TO POWER ALL THE RADIO AND COMPUTER EQUIPMENT BEING USED IN THE EVENT.
PRESIDENT OF THE SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY, LARRY KELLER (AB3ER) SAYS, "ONE
OF OUR GOALS DURING THE 2008 FIELD DAY EXERCISE IS TO RAISE AWARENESS WITH
THE PUBLIC AND EMERGENCY OFFICIALS. IT’S IMPORTANT THAT COMMUNITIES KNOW
THAT WHEN AN EMERGENCY ARISES, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO SEND AND RECEIVE
CRITICAL INFORMATION, EVEN WHEN ALL OTHER MEANS OF COMMUNICATIONS HAVE
THE SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY MEMBERS WILL BE OPERATING RADIOS FROM THEIR
CLUBHOUSE LOCATION NEAR NEW KENSINGTON AS WELL AS A SECOND FIELD STATION AT
TOWNSEND PARK IN MURRYSVILLE, PA. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO OBSERVE, ASK
QUESTIONS AND EVEN "GET ON THE AIR" FOR THE FIRST TIME IF THEY’D LIKE.
IN ADDITION TO EXCHANGING INFORMATION WITH OTHER RADIO OPERATORS BY VOICE,
THE SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY CLUB MEMBERS WILL BE USING ONE OF THE OLDEST FORMS
OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS - CW - MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS MORSE CODE. THEY WILL
ALSO BE USING LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS AND
COMPUTER SOUNDCARD-BASED COMMUNICATIONS MODES.
"SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY IS A VERY PROGRESSIVE AND FRIENDLY CLUB, ESPECIALLY
WHEN IT COMES TO SHOWING PEOPLE WHO HAVE LITTLE OR NO RADIO EXPERIENCE WHAT
WE DO. WE WANT TO ENCOURAGE ANYONE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT AMATEUR RADIO TO VISIT EITHER OR BOTH OF OUR FIELD DAY SITES. VISITORS WILL BE
GREETED WITH A WARM WELCOME, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW OFF SOME OF WHAT AMATEUR RADIO IS ALL ABOUT," SAYS DAVID KLEBER
(KB3FXI), COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OF THE SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY.
MORE INFORMATION, SUCH AS DIRECTIONS TO THE FIELD DAY LOCATIONS, CAN BE FOUND
AT THE SKYVIEW RADIO SOCIETY WEBSITE AT WWW.SKYVIEWRADIO.NET.
David Kleber, KB3FXI
Skyview Radio Society
2335 Turkey Ridge Road
New Kensington, PA 15068
Sunday, March 1, 2009
So, don't hesitate to check out www.AnySoldier.com and locate a deserving hero who would like to hear from you, your children's school, your organization, etc...
Let's keep in mind what a kind word from a stranger can do for someone who is serving our country in various capacities.
World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion is all about ordinary citizens reaching out to those in need during a difficult time in our history. Let's continue in that tradition by thanking and befriending our heroes today.
Bottom line: Let's show some love.
You'll be proud of yourself for doing so.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I was honored to attend the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball in Washington DC. The Salute to Heroes Ball honors those who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor- the highest military honor you can receive. We had 48 of the living 99 Medal of Honor recipients present. It was an awesome feeling to be in the same room with them.
I attended this ball four years ago for George W. Bush's Inaugural also.
The President and Vice President (and their respective spouses) have attended the Salute to Heroes Ball since the 1950's. They usually stop by for 10-20 minutes and share their respect for this honorable group.
Not this time. President Obama and First Lady Michelle did not arrive at the Salute to Heroes Ball. We did receive a visit from Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill.
I was terribly disappointed at President Obama for missing this opportunity to show his appreciation for our heroes. I believe he had a responsibility to be there, particularly at a time when our country is at war.
If you'd like to learn more about our Medal of Honor Recipients visit: http://www.cmohs.org/recipients.htm
Let's show them our appreciation. And, I will hope that the President does the same.