Sam was born in Ocmulgee, Oklahoma to Glen Echols and Frances Leslie Echols. Two weeks later the family moved to Sapulpa, near Tulsa. There Frances taught third grade and Glen managed the local Oklahoma Natural Gas office. Sam had one half brother, Tom, from his father's first marriage. In school, Sam played football, basketball and baseball, as well as track. His main sport, he says, was baseball. He graduated from high school in 1966 and entered college at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Meanwhile, his half-brother, serving as a Navy pilot, died in a flight accident in the Gulf of Mexico in 1964. Desiring to follow in his brother's footsteps, Sam earned his pilot's license in February of 1967 as part of his curriculum at Northeastern State. Knowing he was probably going to Vietnam, Sam joined warrant officer flight school in a Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP) on 3 June 1968. To read the entire bio, click the link above.
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For centuries, writers have drawn inspiration, and often characters and plots, from the narratives of the Old and New Testaments. The story of the birth of Christ and the holiday created to commemorate it in particular have inspired numerous works from time-honored classics like Dickens' A Christmas Carol and O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" to dusty,half-forgotten gems like Owen Wister's A Journey in Search of Christmas and Irwin Russell's Christmas Night in the Quarters.
Children's literature, as we think of it, began with the English printer John Newbery in 1744. Newbery came up with the idea of writing and publishing little books specifically for children. Over the next fifty years, he and his successors produced some two hundred books aimed at that particular audience. The market grew through the 19th century with works that mostly bore moral lessons and abjured children to behave in a certain way. Then, toward the end of the century, writers and publishers began to realize that the most popular books inclined toward pure entertainment, particularly those that were well illustrated.
Many people own work by Peter Ellenshaw and aren’t even aware of it. If their personal movie collection contains works from the great films of Alexander Korda, the renowned works of Powell and Pressburger, or the entertaining movies of Walt Disney, odds are good that they own some Ellenshaw.
Gospel of St. John Leaf:
From a folio manuscript on vellum, Germany, 15th Century
Illuminated manuscripts were the work of years of effort and prayer. The calligraphy was carried out with painstaking care, ensuring the copyist achieved a harmony of size and shape. It might take years to copy a single Bible chapter. Religious copyists recited aloud as they copied; this was itself considered an act of prayer and meditation. Therefore, the making of these works was associated with spirituality, as a way of evoking the transcendent presence of God. For that reason, religious orders continued to maintain copyists well into the 18th century. Early illuminated manuscripts were produced on vellum, like the leaf here, which is a very fine grade of goat, calf or sheepskin. Both parchment and vellum refer to animal skin used for manuscripts; some sources say that parchment signified a coarser grade of animal skin, while vellum was derived from stillborn lambs and calves, producing a finer sheet. To read the whole article, please click on the link above.
Featured This Month:
One of the earliest signs of Spring's impending arrival, is Forsythia bursting into bloom. The Forsythia is a fast-growing deciduous shrub hardy in USDA zones 5-8. Depending on the variety of Forsythia, it can vary in size from a compact one-foot plant, to others reaching 8 to 10 feet in height. Forsythias make excellent informal hedges, or may be planted as an individual specimen. The branches can be cut and brought into the house in late winter. In a week or two, you will be treated to an extra early flower bouquet. Forsythias thrive in full sun or light shade; will grow in almost any soil. While they are tolerant of the poor growing conditions, they will perform best when given well-drained soil and full sun. By the end of winter, most gardeners are longing to see a few fresh flowers and, one of the easiest ways to have a few winter blooms is to force a Forsythia branch. The best branches for forcing are those near the top of the plant - the larger the buds, the more quickly they'll bloom indoors. Cut a whole branch all the way back to the stem. Trim any buds and side branches from the area of the stem that will be submerged in the water. Recut the stems at a long slant and place them in a vase of cold water in a cool place for two days. Set the vase in a sunny window, and in a few weeks, you will have a golden bouquet to brighten your day. These branches may root, if left in the vase for several more weeks.