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HARRISBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released a new edition of Dr. George P. Donehoo’s classic 1928 work Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania.

ivapnip_fcAbout the Book:
Originally published in 1928 by The Telegraph Press as A History of the Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania with Numerous Historical Notes and References

This book, Dr. George P. Donehoo’s Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania, was written and published in the early 20th century. That was a time when Americans were just beginning to become enthusiastic fans of much that was, or seemed to be, related to Native Americans. That was a time when Americans romanticized about the people who lived here before the Europeans and others arrived. During the time that Dr. Donehoo was creating this informative book, Americans couldn’t get enough of the popularized images of Indians. Books, paintings, songs and movies delivered exciting images of Native American life.

Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania is a valuable reference book for anyone, student or other, who wants to learn more about the land’s inhabitants before it ever became “Penn’s Woods.” Although first published in 1928, it was reprinted in 1977. Now it is being reprinted again. The need for this reprint comes from Dr. Donehoo’s translations of the hundreds of Native American names that appear across the commonwealth. We must accept a sorry fact: Pennsylvania’s Native American population is almost totally gone from the commonwealth. In addition, the main things that they left behind might be their countless arrowheads and their hundreds of Native American place names. While not all citizens of the Keystone State are interested in our state’s Indian heritage, all should be aware of it.

The author, Dr. George P. Donehoo, was a scholar who studied many aspects of Native American culture. At the time that he was studying and writing, there had been very little archaeology to support his work; yet Dr. Donehoo was able to explain much about the Native Americans’ several languages, their sweeping historical events and the many important historical sources on which he based his information. Above all, Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania explains the meanings of hundreds of Indian names–from Achsinning (Standing Stone) to Zinachson (Demon’s Den) that still appear throughout our commonwealth. Although most Native Americans and their culture have vanished from Pennsylvania, their colorful place names are a permanent reminder of their once-vibrant presence. Because Dr. George P. Donehoo was so diligent and conscientious in his work, this book explains those fascinating names. For the many readers who do appreciate our Native American heritage, this book will continue to be a welcome addition to their libraries. The reader will soon realize why Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania is a marvelous reference work.

Excerpt:
MAHANOY, MAHONING, MAHONY.
A name that is much used over the entire state, chiefly as a name of various creeks and runs, but also as a village and town name, with various compounds. Is a corruption of Mahoni, “a lick,” and with the locative, ink, or ing, “at the lick,” having reference to the “licks” which were frequented by deer, elk, and other animals. The principal streams having the name are; the stream, now called Mahoning, which enters the Lehigh River from the south, opposite Weissport, Carbon County; the creek that enters the Susquehanna from the east in Northumberland County, now called Mahanoy; the creek that enters the Allegheny River, from the east in Armstrong County, formerly called Mohulbucteetam (which see); the stream that enters the Beaver from the west, at Lawrence Junction, Lawrence County, called Mahoning River; the stream, now called Penns Creek, which enters the Susquehanna, from the west, at Selinsgrove, was formerly called Big Mahonoy, or Mahony. There are several other smaller streams in various parts of the state, which have the same name, with various modifications.

Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania: with Numerous Historical Notes and References
Authored by Dr. George P. Donehoo, Foreword by Guy Graybill, Introduction by Warren K. Moorehead
List Price: $24.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
480 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065228
ISBN-10: 1620065223
BISAC: History / Native American

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Indian-Villages-and-Plac…

YELLOW SPRINGS, OhioSunbury Press has released Bill Felker’s 2015 edition of Poor Will’s Almanack, since 1984, a traditional guide to living in harmony with the Earth.

pw2015_fcAbout the Book:
Contents of the 2015 Edition:
Using the Floating Calendar for the Twelve Moveable Seasons
A Note on the Beginning of the Natural Year
The Weather in Poor Will’s Almanack
The Almanack as a Fishing, Hunting and Dieting Guide
About the S.A.D. Index
Farming and Gardening with the Almanack
A Note about Almanack Literature
Contents of the Monthly Chapters
Time of Day in Poor Will’s Almanack
Index of Seasonal Essays by Bill Felker
Index of Almanac Literature
A Floating Calendar of Bloom for Selected Wildflowers, Weeds, Garden Perennials, Shrubs and Trees
Markers for the Progress of Spring at Average Elevations along the 40th Parallel
An Incomplete Chronology of Leafturn Along the 40th Parallel During Early and Middle Fall in an Average Year

Monthly Almanack Chapters:
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015

Excerpt:
Throughout the continental United States and Canada, the seasons follow the standard calendar less than they do the dictates of elevation and latitude. Although almost all deciduous trees between Maine and Florida have lost their leaves by January 1, the variation in temperature between the northern and southern states at the beginning of the year can be more than fifty degrees. Within that broad geographical context, the advance of the seasons is highly varied; nevertheless, certain patterns are visible that are applicable to much of the country.

One way to delineate these patterns is to characterize them by what is going on in nature. Under this kind of organization, a season such as early spring has certain traits, may occur in Louisiana in January but take place in northern Minnesota as late as the beginning of May. A floating calendar, one that is generally applicable to events rather than to specific dates, allows the observer to identify the season by what is actually going on in the local habitat rather than by the standard Gregorian calendar.

Under such a floating system, the seasons truly are moveable in that they advance at different rates in different parts of the country. And within the broad guidelines sketched here, the Almanack traveler can watch not only the landscape change with the passage of the miles, but the time of year and seasons, too.

In Poor Will’s Almanack for 2015, I have divided the year into twelve seasons and have noted how they take place in different ways and at different times in the different parts of the country. Although I have kept the basic monthly sequence in the organization of information, I have noted the months during which a specific season might be likely to occur in different regions. These are broad strokes of the phenological pen, but they allow Almanack readers to not only see what is going on in their area but in other areas, as well.

FelkerAbout the Author:
Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.

Exploring everything from animal husbandry to phenology, Felker has become well known to farmers as well as urban readers throughout the country.  He is an occasional speaker on the environment at nature centers, churches and universities, and he has presented papers related to almanacking at academic conferences, as well. Felker has received three awards for his almanac writing from the Ohio Newspaper Association. “Better writing cannot be found in America’s biggest papers,” stated the judge on the occasion of Felker’s award in 2000.

Currently, Bill Felker lives with his wife in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He has two daughters, Jeni, who is a psychologist in Portland, Oregon, and Neysa, a photographer in Spoleto, Italy.

Poor Will’s Almanack 2015: Since 1984, a Traditional Guide to Living in Harmony with the Earth
Authored by Bill Felker
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
148 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064924
ISBN-10: 1620064928
BISAC: Reference / Almanacs

For more information, please see: http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Poor-Wills-Almanack-2015…

From Literary Classics:

clc sealLiterary Classics is pleased to announce that the book, The Undecided by Robin Donaruma, has been selected to receive the Literary Classics Seal of Approval. The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design. 

In the battle between good and evil Lucas Aarons is on the front-line. Only he doesn’t know it . . . that is until his 18th birthday. Lucas, a high-school senior, has moved more times than he cares to remember. Each move is preceded by a series of foreboding dreams. But when his 18th birthday approaches, his parents finally fill him in on the inconceivable truth behind the dreams and their connection to his role in projecting light into a darkening world. — It would appear that Lucas is predetermined to be the leader of a White Army whose mission it is to save the undecided. The undecided are neither good nor evil; they are the grays, those who have yet to choose between light and darkness.

The Undecided is an exceptionally inventive work of young adult fantasy fiction. Author Robin Donaruma has created a cast of characters that run the gamut from endearing and genuinely likable to downright chilling. Her use of symbolism and spiritual parallels help forge a depth to this novel which makes it all the more praiseworthy. This book is highly recommended.

Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic literature which appeals to youth, while encouraging positive values in the impressionable minds of future generations. To learn more about Literary Classics, you may visit their website at http://www.clcawards.org or http://www.childrensliteraryclassics.com

clcawardThe book was subsequently given a 2014 award as the best in the Special Interest category Inspirational/Visionary.

About The Undecided:

“There was a lot that I still wasn’t sure of, but there were three things that I would bet my life on. One, the darkness had finally found me. Two, the war between the dark and the light had begun, and three, the leader of the Dark Army just moved in next door.”

On his 18th birthday, high school senior, Lucas Aarons, is told that he is the leader of the White Army. He thinks it’s a joke until the powers of evil begin to haunt his dreams, forcing him to wake up and fight for those he loves and all that he knows is right. The white birthmark that encircles his wrist begins to glow. It’s getting more and more difficult to fly under the social radar. School becomes a gauntlet of black, white and the coasting “greys” who have yet to choose. Music moves from a passionate hobby to a calling and a mission. A class is no longer just a class. A date is no longer just a date, and the stakes are raised to a whole new level.

tu_fcThe Undecided

Authored by Robin Donaruma

List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
284 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620063965
ISBN-10: 1620063964
BISAC: Fiction / Visionary & Metaphysical
For more information, please see: http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Undecided-9781620063965.htm
For a complete list of winners: http://www.clcawards.org/2014AwardRecipients.html

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.Sunbury Press has released Keith Rommel’s thriller novel You Killed My Brother, the first book of the Cultures Collide series. Sunbury Press acquired the title from GMTA Publishing (Enigma Press imprint) in August.

ykmb_fcAbout the Book:
Rainer is a successful doctor and father of two. He’s a celebrated member of the community for his exceptional care and charity work. Brick is a local street thug that can’t keep his nose clean. When fate brings the two together through tragedy, the life of Rainer is changed dramatically. Glenn is a seasoned cop and Rainer’s younger brother. Trusting the justice system, he keeps his desire for revenge in check as Brick is brought to trial. But when the jury hands Brick a lean sentence, Glenn sets out to avenge his family’s suffering. But what he forgets in his rage is that for every action, there is a reaction.

Excerpt:
If murder were legal, there would be dozens of bodies left in Jennifer’s wake.

“Damn it,” she whispered, and heaved a sigh. She stared at the caravan of cars that inched forward and squeezed the steering wheel. They went on as far as the eye could see, hardly moving. She rested her elbow on the armrest and pushed taut fingers through her hair.

“Mom?”

Jennifer looked into the rearview mirror and both Emily and Hannah stared back.

“Yes?” Jennifer said with the most patient voice she could muster.

“You shouldn’t say words like that mommy,” Emily said.

“You’re right, I shouldn’t. I’m sorry.”

“Do you think we’re going to be late, is that why you’re mad?” Emily said.

The clock on the car radio read 4:00.

“I hope not,” Jennifer said, but deep down inside she didn’t think their tardiness was avoidable. She clamped her eyes shut and tried to ignore a deep pain that pulsed and hid tactfully behind her eyes.

“Are you not feeling well, mommy?” Hannah said.

“Mommy’s fine,” she said. “I am just worried that we are going to be late and that will make me and your daddy late for the event.”

“It’s okay,” Hannah said and looked out the side window. “You shouldn’t worry so much. Daddy is the star and they can’t do anything without him.”

Jennifer laughed. “I suppose you’re right.” She watched as a car rode the shoulder all the way to the next exit.

“Mommy, you should follow him,” Emily said, and pointed at the car that Jennifer watched. “He’s going fast!”

“I…” Jennifer thought to protest the suggestion, but knew it was the only way. The risk of getting a ticket was worth the time she could save. She cut the wheel hard right and stepped on the gas. The powerful car raced up the shoulder and approached another long line of cars that led to a blinking traffic light. She pressed the brake pedal hard and stopped the car just short of the vehicle in front of her. The force of the abrupt halt pushed everyone forward in their seats and snapped them back.

“I’m sorry,” Jennifer said. “I didn’t mean to do that.”

“You don’t think daddy will leave without you, do you?” Hannah said, her eyes wide with the question.

“No, I don’t suppose he would.”

The vehicles ahead of her managed to merge their way into traffic quicker than she anticipated.

“He loves you too much to do that,” Hannah said. “He tells you that all the time.”

“You are very smart.” Jennifer smiled.

About the Author:
Keith Rommel authored the critically acclaimed dark suspense Thanatology Series which includes The Cursed Man (book 1), The Lurking Man (book 2) and The Sinful Man (book 3). Keith has dabbled in psychological crime with the fast-paced You Killed My Brother and his new supernatural release where angels and demons face off in Among The People. His next release will be The Silent Woman (book 4) Keith is the co-screenplay writer for The Cursed Man movie being filmed in Los Angeles, California as a major motion picture under the same title.

You Killed My Brother
Authored by Keith Rommel
List Price: $14.95
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on White paper
196 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065082
ISBN-10: 1620065088
BISAC: Fiction / Thrillers / Crime

Also available on Kindle & Nook
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/You-Killed-My-Brother-97…

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released Susan Kiskis’ visionary memoir Born Fire Dragon.

BFD_fcAbout the Book:
Susan always knew her family was different. Whether it stemmed from an unusual and often complicated childhood, or from her experiences with the “other side,” Susan lived on the outskirts of a normal life. As a young mother, she naively navigated the dating world, while stretching the boundaries of her ability to find her calling. Through trial and error, she found love in all the wrong places until, one day, she discovered where true love originated from.

You’d think that being a child of a conservative family living in New York, with a Yugoslavian immigrant mother and World War II veteran father would make Susan’s life interesting enough. However, add a dash of coffee cup readings, a tablespoon of past life memories, and stir in a grown intuitive woman who survived the dating world, and you have a cup of New Age angst.

Born on a full moon, under the Chinese year of the Fire Dragon,Born Fire Dragon follows Susan on the marvelous ride of life.

Excerpt:
It’s Nathan Lane. He’s looking at me. I mean I know it’s really not Nathan Lane, but my brain can’t interpret infinite power and knowledge, so it’s giving me Nathan Lane.

I’m in a dream of sorts and here is the Tony award-winning actor from The Bird Cage, and Carrie’s good friend from Sex in the Citywho was gay, but decided to marry a straight woman. Nathan Lane, dressed up in a white suit that shimmers in the light surrounding him, is what my brain has decided God looks like. He stands there patiently waiting for me, flashing that bright Broadway smile. Where are we? Standing on clouds that don’t really look all together like puffs of condensed air and water? Instead, I realize we are in the place between heaven and earth—the place where sometimes, during deep meditations, I meet those from the other side. It’s like a popular coffee house where there is no limit to slices of zen and good company. He’s waiting for me.

Nathan Lane (aka God) asks, “So, do you want to stay or do you want to go?”

I knew this moment was coming for about a year now. I could feel it in my bones. I had hoped to be awake for this moment, to make a conscious choice, but here I was, my soul standing before him while my body was nestled under an abundance of covers and pushed up against my husband Charlie.

“I need time to think,” I said. Stupid. Stupid. This is what happens when you allow your soul to do the talking. Time. Time for what?

I used to be painfully afraid of death. Even though I had these experiences that all added up to me knowing there was more aside from this so-called-life on Earth, I had no need to go. Been there, done that, many times I was sure. However, in the past year I started to make peace with the concept of death. I allowed it to creep up on me like a good story, wiggle its way into my mind and settle comfortably there. Now I was deciding whether I was fine with death, right here in this moment. Was I ready to go?

I read somewhere once, perhaps in a Sylvia Brown book, that we have a certain number of “outs” in our lives. “Outs” are choices as to whether we wanted to stay or go. I guess here was another “out” option for me. I didn’t want to take this option. I want to grow old well into my nineties and squeeze the nectar out of life. Left up to my soul now, would I make the same decision my mind would make?

I know death well. I’ve seen its face three times in my personal life and many times with others. Death and I, we’re old buddies.

Headshot 2About the Author:
Susan Kiskis is a yoga instructor, energy worker, and intuitive guide. While Susan’s path started as a child in New York City, her quest for the answers to life’s biggest questions took a turn when she was twenty. She studied Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions before starting on a path to learning the healing arts and yoga. She has been certified in over fifteen areas of holistic healing and has taught at conferences, classes, and workshops on the East Coast. Susan’s community activism has led to the creation of events celebrating Earth Day and International Women’s Day. A freelance writer and former politician, Susan owns a yoga studio in Mechanicsburg, PA, where she lives with her husband, daughter and lots of pups and kitties.

Kiskis is available for interviews and appearances. For booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, and/or book signings, contact hello@barefootwellnessstudio.com.

Born Fire Dragon
Authored by Susan Kiskis
List Price: $14.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
190 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620065051
ISBN-10: 1620065053
BISAC: Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth

Also available on Kindle
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Born-Fire-Dragon-9781620…

MECHANICSBURG, Pa.Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for September, 2014. Jim Remsen’s young adult novel Visions of Teaoga was #1 for the second month in a row.

vot_fcAbout Visions of Teaoga
The year is 1790 and Queen Esther, a notorious American Indian matriarch, travels under cover to observe a U.S.-Iroquois summit at the ancient Teaoga treaty grounds. Will she be able to pass on her wisdom – and warnings – to the Indian villagers before the hostile settlers discover her in their midst? Will troubled native girl Sisketung awaken to Esther’s truths and see how wrong-headed the brash settler girl Sarah was?

Moving two centuries forward, restless tweener Maddy Winter also visits Teaoga, now a quiet riverfront town on the Pennsylvania-New York border. She tunes in to the region’s dramatic lost history and soon encounters spirits in the wind. As she gains in wisdom, Maddy longs to take on Esther’s mantle of the “peace woman,” but will she find the courage to do right in her own life?

Drawing richly from the historical record, Visions of Teaogacaptures a world in upheaval. Readers sit at a native story circle and learn of the tensions and treachery besetting the Eastern frontier. As Maddy and her modern-day compatriots enter the story, they ponder how our history was recorded and by whom. The book is a perfect companion for middle-school history classes, with discussion questions and other supplemental materials provided on the author’s website, www.jimremsen.com.

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for September, 2014 (by Revenue)
Rank Last Month Title Author Category
1 1 Visions of Teaoga Jim Remsen YA Fiction
2 NEW Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Thriller Fiction
3 16 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical Fiction
4 - Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military History
5 19 The Cursed Man Keith Rommel Thriller Fiction
6 2 The Piano Bed Anne Marie Drew YA Fiction
7 NEW The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs Terry Ray Paranormal
8 NEW Death of the Dying City Matthew Taub Urban Fiction
9 11 The Closer Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
10 NEW Hidden Dangers Robert Stout Foreign Policy
11 15 Dying for Vengeance J . M. West Thriller Fiction
12 18 Fatal Snow Robert Walton Action Adventure
13 - Keystone Tombstones Civil War Joe Farrell & Farley History
14 6 Pit Bulls Anthony Julian History
15 10 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last Mike Campbell History
16 - The Bronze Dagger Marie Sontag YA Fiction
17 - Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick HIstorical Fiction
18 7 Petrified Tanya Reimer YA Fiction
19 - The View from Four Foot Two Judi Markowitz Medical Memoir
20 - The Sinful Man Keith Rommel Thriller Fiction

DOA-FCSunbury Press closed out its best September ever and its best 3rd quarter ever. For the month, sales were up nearly 8% as compared to last year. For the quarter,sales were up 22% compared to last year. Year-to-date, sales are up nearly 10%. The company is on track to have its best year ever. Trade paperbacks continue to be strong, while ebooks continue to weaken.

Jim Remsen’s Visions of Teaga was boosted by author activities. Sherry Knowlton’s Dead of Autumndebuted at #2 thanks to author events. Jess Steven Hughes’ The Sign of the Eagle climbed the rankings as a result of author bookstore appearances. Call Sign Dracula, by Joe Fair, returned to the rankings thanks to author activities. Keith Rommel’s The Cursed Man & The Sinful Man grabbed #5 and #20 respectively as a result of sales from the Sunbury Press 10th Anniversary Celebration. Keith traveled to Mechanicsburg and appeared with Brahm Gallagher, who plays Alister in The Cursed Manfilm. Anne Marie Drew’s The Piano Bed was helped by author activities. Terry Ray’s The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs started strong at #7 because of interest from MUFON, the UFO research organization. Death of the Dying City, by Matthew Taub, was helped by extensive friend and family connections in New York. Alan Mindell’s The Closer stayed on the chart thanks to sales in the San Diego area. Bob Stout’s Hidden Dangers was boosted by orders from Mexico. J. M. West’s Dying for Vengeance charted despite only a couple days on sale due to interest in the Carlisle, PA area. Robert Walton’s Fatal Snow was helped by sales at Bob’s Bagels as it closed for good. The Joes, Farrell and Farley (and Lawrence Knorr), returned to the rankings with Keystone Tombstone Civil Wars benefitting from author activity. Anthony Julian’s Pit Bulls I continued to draw interest among dog enthusiasts. Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last held at #15 due to his appearance before the 99’s in Wichita, Kansas. The Bronze Dagger by Marie Sontag reappeared on the list thanks to signing events at schools. Dennis Herrick’s Winter of the Metal People grabbed a spot after being named a finalist in the 2014 New Mexico-Colorado Book Awards. Tanya Reimer’sPetrified performed very well thanks to interest in Canada. Judi Markowitz’s The View from Four Foot Two returned to the rankings thanks to author activities.

The company released five new titles during the month of September:

SUNBURY PRESS – New Releases for September, 2014
Hidden Dangers Robert Stout Foreign Policy
Death of the Dying City Matthew Taub Urban Fiction
The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs Terry Ray Paranormal
Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Thriller Fiction
The Power of Uncertainty John F. Loase Mathematics

For a list of Sunbury’s best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/BESTSELLERS_c3.htm
For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/COMING-SOON_c47.htm

BEULAH, Colo.Sunbury Press has released Rev. James A. Campbell’s visionary memoir The Chair. Road trip photographs were provided by Vernon J. LaBau.

tc_fcAbout the Book:
Sometimes, one needs a special mentor to find life and its wonder. Sometimes, that mentor is a chair.

The Chair is Pastor James Campbell’s spiritual odyssey that leads us through the night of emptiness and then emerges into the light of compassion, intervention, and redemption.  Through his renovation of a simple chair, reverence for worn out sewing needles in the Japanese celebration of Hari-Kuyo, and reflection upon how stress to the Diamond Willows of Alaska produces works of art, this parable describes Campbell’s own epiphanies during the course of his life travels ministering to the forgotten and broken.

“For members of the helping profession, caregivers, or those looking for meaning in meaningless times, Campbell is a valuable read.   He will guide you, literally and figuratively, out of the ruins of the great dust bowl to a peaceful Colorado valley.  And he will show you how all these things remain part of your soul.” — Steve Schoenmakers, M.S., Superintendent, Retired, Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo.

With warmth and wit, James Campbell explores one of life’s mysteries:  the way ordinary objects acquire meaning in our lives.  In literal and symbolic journeys with him across the country and through the years, his old oak chair becomes a catalyst for new discoveries, comic revelations, daydreams, and finally, of blessing.   He shares his wisdom, borne of rich experience, and leads us to think about what the things we treasure and what they might mean to us. — Margaret M. Barber, Ph.D.  Professor Emeritus of English, Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The Chair is a metaphor, at first puzzling, then intriguing and then a reference to “life.” The book hooked me into experiences of my own life. This was enjoyable, enlightening. I ended the book wanting to know more, unwilling to have to say, “the end.” — Taylor McConnell, Professor Emeritus,  Garrett-Evangelical Seminary

Vernon J. LaBau (left) and Rev. James A. Campbell (right).

Vernon J. LaBau (left) and Rev. James A. Campbell (right).

Excerpt:
A life by that one thing.

How many funerals through the years were planned around that thought? Show me something that is your father, his spirit, distilled into that one thing: a coffee cup, a favorite chair, a fishing rod, a photograph.

Life in that one thing.

For me, that one thing is the old oak chair and that one thing is this story. I wish I had one picture, just one, of when it all began. I doubt the chair, a captain’s chair, would be the center of any photo. Most likely the chair would be in the picture’s corner, out of focus, perhaps cut off in partial disclosure. Still, hopefully, there would be enough of the chair in the photo to witness to its original humbled condition and its overlooked place in the backyard. Overlooked is a good word for forgotten. That is what the old chair was, forgotten in plain sight, overlooked. Its once caned seat was missing the caning and the seat was now a piece of makeshift plywood. Its weathered layers of green, beige, orange, and turquoise paint were peeling like diseased skin.

In fairness, the chair had some utility. The family cat claimed it as a lounge. By knotting the garden hose around its arm, the chair could be posed to point the hose nozzle across the lawn or garden. Looking back, I wish I had had the wisdom to capture such mundane moments with a camera. Photography was my one art. I earned money selling photos of my valley. I knew what was appealing. Yet, I missed what would become a centerpiece of my life.
When that revelation came, it was not a dramatic epiphany, but rather quiet bemusement. It was a joke. Joke can be another word for “dismissed”, as “dismissed” is another word for forgotten.

A joke was how I remember first seeing it through the kitchen window, really seeing it. Even then it was a subtle joke… not a funny grab-the-camera joke, only a reason to pause as pause turns to passing wonder and passing wonder to “what if?” Wouldn’t it be something if, under all that paint, there was still enough integrity of wood to both bear a luster and, if reinforced, to even serve its purpose as a chair?

Christmas was two months off. With no money for gifts, I wondered if, with considerable effort, I might give the old chair a new face, well, as much a new face as the chair would allow. Certainly, I had no idea that the joke of that old chair before me was sacred, as ironic humor sometimes is. That chair was the essence of my calling, my door to the kingdom of God. It was to be the parable of hope with which I would relate and come to bless others. Eventually, the chair became a mentor, as it inspired taking the camera into the sacredness of forgotten places. If only I had thought to take just one picture through the kitchen window.

One October day, 1971, with no one watching, I removed the old chair to the garage of Hugh Reed down in the village. In the two months of the chair’s renovation, not one mention was made in the family that the old chair was gone from the backyard, a true test of the meaning of forgotten.

jcampbellAbout the Author:
Rev. James A. Campbell, D. Min. is a retired clergy living in Beulah Valley, Colorado.  His writings and paintings culminate thirty-nine years of ministry in Iowa and Alaska. Much of the emphasis of his work in Alaska was as Director of Humanitarian Aid to the Russian Far East during the desperate years from 1995-2003. Rev. Campbell is the author of seven books. He spends these years discovering multiple ways of knowing, the wonder unto beauty of each venue of discovery, and the doors that then open to the sacred.

The Chair
Authored by James A. Campbell, Photographs by Vernon J. LaBau
List Price: $19.95
6″ x 9″ (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Full Color on White paper
82 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620064955
ISBN-10: 1620064952
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Religious

Coming soon on Kindle
For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/The-Chair-9781620064955.htm

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