Prison Break

There’s this guy that was born in my hometown in rural Kansas. He was born in April of 1912 in Pittsburg. It’s a small college town with only about 20,000 residents and not of any huge significance to the world. A lot of people around here don’t know about him now. So many years have passed. He was considered a career criminal starting at the early age of 16 arrested for grand larceny. At 17 he attempted and failed to rob the Dr. Pepper Bottling Works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was sent to the state prison in McAlester, Oklahoma.

He was a smart guy and performed several prison breaks and more crimes until he was sent to Leavenworth in 1935. And from there, he went to the most notorious prison of all, Alcatraz. He was “considered vicious and in need of maximum security and discipline.”

This man was named Theodore Cole and with his accomplice, Ralph Roe, became the second prison break attempt in the vivid history of Alcatraz. He broke out of Alcatraz sometime around December 16, 1937 and the warden recounted, “The prisoners were counted at 1 pm and again at 1:30, when Roe and Cole were found to be not at work. Somehow, in that half-hour, they disappeared into a fog which made it nearly impossible to see any distance.” (Warden James Johnston, December 17, 1937)

They started their breakout by studying the routines of the guards and discovered that one particular guard was more lax than the others on watch. They used a stolen hacksaw blade to saw through the iron bars of one of the blacksmith shop windows were they worked. They replaced the missing pieces of metal with grease and shoe polish. They were speculated to have created floats from lightweight fuel cans. They planned to squeeze through the window, drop to the ground, cut the chain link fence surrounding the area, and make a mad dash over the cliff to the water.

On the day of their escape attempt, there was a deep fog over the San Francisco Bay area. They did manage to make it to the water and disappeared. They were never found but many speculated that they did not survive the waters. Still, others insisted as late as 1941 that the two were living comfortably in South America and were wealthy criminals there. The FBI continued to search for Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe up until the 1960s.

Did they survive? The truth is still out there.

First Book Reading

We had a great time at the Joplin Public Library attending the Joplin Writers’ Faire. There were around 30 writers at the event doing readings and signings. We donated 2 books to area libraries and sold books as well. We bought a book by FC Shultz titled The Rose Weapon. It is a book about Vikings and dragons. We also bought a children’s book and a Vietnam true stories book by Ronald Mosbaugh. It was a great event. Thanks to the Joplin Public Library for their beautiful new building and wonderful hospitality. This was my first reading of Searching for Fire and it went really well. Here are some photos of the event.


Take the Day

There’s this new band from my hometown in Pittsburg, Kansas. I went to their heavy metal concert a month ago and it was amazing and fun! I usually like country music but I was super impressed by this heavy metal concert. Truly, the band was good. They are very talented. Their latest song is featured on AllAccess.com at #4 on the charts just below Marilyn Manson.

Here is the song called Falling Apart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B6P5WklHMk

They’ve written and released several new songs lately that are starting to garner attention in the 4 states area of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. They are starting to get a following in the Midwest.

This is my favorite video they released. I went to school with the guy on the left with the long hair. Glad to see they are working so hard to pursue their dreams. This song is called Save Me Now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g1OY_woh7o

Here is another song they released called Take Everything. I like this one as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xznzn-JFnQw

Thanks for listening and if you like their songs, just subscribe to their YouTube account!

Authors’ Night at Pittsburg Public Library

The Pittsburg Public Library in Pittsburg, Kansas is hosting an Authors’ Night on October 9th from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. I plan to have a table there for the book Searching for Fire, a new young adult fantasy fiction novel. Please share this with others who may be interested in this event! Really looking forward to it! Thanks.

3 Elements of a Story

We did the coffeehouse book signing with friends this Tuesday. It went well. Here is a photo of the group together last night.

I made a video for the blog today just retelling some of what was said last night. I spoke at the coffeehouse about Joseph Campbell and in this video I include two other parts, the reasons for the character type and the location choice. Here is the video. Thanks.

(And yes, my shirt does read the word Allergic, lol. In fact, I got it at Walmart and it reads Allergic to Mornings which seemed pretty appropriate since I need about 1 to 2 cups of coffee to get going for work in the morning.)