It has been considerable time since I last posted a blog; the main reason for this is that I’m quite involved in writing my next mystery, which has a publishing date of August. So I’m not spending as much time on social media, or anything other than writing. However, life continues, even if unacknowledged, and some rather wonderful things have happened, and I have some big writing related events coming up. So this blog is an olio of unrelated items.
I’ve been told that Buff and Ginger sounds like an interior decorating color scheme.
My sister, Ginger, married Buff, who was named after his father’s nickname. Buff’s father, Buff, also had another son named Buff by a different wife. Brother in law Buff named his son Buff, and so did the other Buff.
When my brother, Bill, married Karen whose father and brother were both named Bill. Brother Bill and his brother in law Bill named sons Bill.
So at big family events you can pretty well get everybody together by saying, “Buff and Bill get in here!”
Tributes to Bills
I mention these naming conventions because Bill and Karen have had two important events this week. Karen’s dad, Bill Oldfather, passed away over a week ago and his services were held today; more about him later.
Silver Beaver Award
My Brother Bill has served in the Boy Scouts as a volunteer leader for 48 years, and continues in that service today. He was presented with the Silver Beaver, a rare scouter-coveted award, at the Annual District Recognition Tuesday night. Bill is both a Navy and Air Force veteran and is retired from the Air Force; because of this he served in scouting at several U.S. air bases, as well as in Europe, and since retiring has served in Phoenix now for over twenty years. I’ve always been proud of his military service and his scout work, and I’m pleased that he has received this much deserved award.
William Glen "Bill" Oldfather, Sr.
The shorten story of William Glen Oldfather: He served in the Marines in World War Two experiencing battle on the islands of Midway, Saipan, and Tinian. He is a Purple Heart recipient, having been wounded twice. He was severely injured by shrapnel on Midway, and was returned to the U.S. for treatment. He was offered an honorable discharge, but choose to return to his unit in time to land on and take Saipan with his brothers at arms. Then they invaded Tinian, taking that important air base from Japan; the plane delivering the atomic bomb was launched from Tinian a year later. Among his medals for his service are three bronze stars. After the war ended he returned home to his wife and toddler Karen, who had never seen her father and wasn’t too sure about this stranger paying so much attention to her and her mom. After a couple of years of working in other jobs he became a Phoenix Firefighter, serving with honor and eventually retiring as Captain. “When he was a child, he asked his mother what the name ‘William’ meant, and she told him ‘Protector.’ From then on, it was his life purpose.” –Jeanne Oldfather
I have always been honored to know Bill Oldfather, and that was before I knew his history. A few years ago Bill and Karen’s fiftieth anniversary happened at about the same time as Mr. Oldfather’s ninetieth birthday and a wonderful dinner attended by a large crowd was held to celebrate the occasions. I had just published the Wham Curse and took a copy to all my siblings, and one for Bill and Jeanne Oldfather. A week or so later Jeanne called and told me they both loved it, and Jeanne arranged a book signing for me in Cottonwood. As Saints & Sinners and The Baleful Owl were published they were equally as pleased.
The last time I talked to Bill was when he called me a couple of months ago and told me he just finished The Baleful Owl and really enjoyed it. He wanted to know when the next one would be out, and I told him next summer, he said “Well, I’m looking forward to reading it.” I wish he could. But I value his endorsement of my stories as much as I would if I had won an Edgar. I’m pleased that my books gave this great man enjoyment.
His memorial service was loving, appropriate and beautiful. The dominant spirit was thankfulness for his long life and wonderful service. He simply lay down and went to sleep; I’m sure awakening in a wonderful place.
In February I will:
Click here for the dates and times of these events on the Events tab.
My New Mystery (Due in August)
I don’t yet have a name for it; but it is set in Arizona mines at Miami and Safford of an imaginary copper mining company. It involves a high dollar copper theft ring, and possibly an even higher dollar attempt to steal industrial secrets (two different investigations that coincidentally converge). The lives of the protagonists continue to progress and some old friends make appearances.
At first I thought about duplicating the true story of a decades old copper theft which happened in Miami, but as I considered it I realized that so many families were damaged by that actual event, I have no desire to pick at old wounds. So I did not even research that event, I’m basing that part of my story on my personal knowledge of the processes used in the mines and where the vulnerabilities are.
I’m happy with the development of the story to date, and hopefully you will also be happy with it.
Mystery writer, Southwestern Historian, researcher, husband, father, grandpa, with an opinion on everything.