Questions from children

Hi everyone,
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Here’s a quick one on the fly. Charlesbridge has posted some Q/A between some school kids and me about NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. Here’s the link if you’re interested. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0750/0101/files/discussion-activity-guide.pdf?13872820801633084475. My thanks to Alaina Leary for putting this together.

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My thanks to Kathy Temean

Hi everyone,
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Here’s a link to an interview and book giveaway posted by Kathy Temean, the creator of my blog and website. It was kind of Kathy and I appreciate her support of my book, NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/book-giveaway-david-harrison .

When she was copying and pasting, a description of another of my books, A PERFECT HOME FOR A FAMILY, got plopped into the mix, but I like that book too.

If you’d like to have a chance to win a free copy of NOW YOU SEE THEM, Kathy gives you some ways to do it.

An interview with Margo Armstrong

Hi everyone,

At the recent induction ceremony for WRITERS HALL OF FAME, Singer/songwriter/performers Larry Lee and Randle Chowning were inducted as the 2015 recipients. It was a grand evening. As part of the auction to help the organization fund college scholarships for budding young writers, I offered a featured spot on my blog. I was delighted when a friend of mine, Margo Armstrong, was the high bidder.

Margo and I discussed possible formats for her featured spot and agreed to set it up as a series of questions and answers. So here, ladies and gentlemen, is Margo Armstrong. She has an incredible story to tell!

Hi, Margo, and thanks for two things: supporting WRITERS HALL OF FAME and agreeing to today’s interview.

I’m glad to do both, David.
Q
You recently attended and supported the annual Writers Hall of Fame Quill Award event when song writers and singers Larry Lee and Randle Chowning were inducted. What is your interest in supporting the arts?
A
Since early childhood living in America and Germany, my family exposed me to ballet, literature, and music. At age 5 I attended my first Symphony concert. I love and have supported the arts, especially since my marriage to Bill H. Armstrong, Emeritus professor and legendary painter .
Q
Please tell us about your family.
A
I have two daughters, Sonja and Janel (both teachers) and two granddaughters — Sonja’s daughters Lauren and Ashley. Lauren has a degree from U.M.K.C. and R.N. from St. Luke’s and Ashley has a Journalism degree from M.S.U. Both live in Overland Park, K.S. Bill, my husband of 25 years, has two sons. Sister Karin is a Chiropractor and raises champion dogs. I also have two nieces and extended family that I love and cherish.
Q
Describe a “typical” day in the life of Margo Armstrong.
A
For about 42 years I was in health care as a Chiropractor. Since my retirement I start the day with necessary business phone calls, managing properties I own, and three times a week I go to the Mayer Center. I walk each day possible in the neighborhood, listen to internet lectures on brain, psychology, health etc., and stay busy with household and family projects. I enjoy social events with friends, such as Symphony, the Arts, the community activities.

Since November 2014 have become a caregiver to my brilliant, talented husband, who had an Ischemic stroke. Thank God his mind and speech are fine and he is regaining the use of his right hand and leg. Such interests and responsibilities as these keep me busy.
Q
Tell us about your early years.
A
My childhood was unusual. My mother was born in Berlin, Germany. My father was American who as a young man spent 20 years in Alaska during the Klondike. He was 27 years older than she. They were blissfully married for three years when he died. I was 10 months old. My mother and I lived in Manhattan, N.Y. with extended visits to Germany with my grandmother and Uncle Alfred. Wonderful memories.

My mother remarried. Both she and my stepfather tried to get their significant assets out of Germany back to America, but could not. I experienced Nazi Germany and World War II as a young girl. I was grateful that we survived, but the war was hell.
Q
What experiences in your early years do you think influenced the person you are today?
A
That life can be uncertain and should not be taken for granted. To know what it’s like to live a privileged lifestyle in a home of luxury, precious art, and beautiful things — and in a minute a bomb destroys everything, leaving only the clothes I was wearing. My parents were exceptional role models, not allowing us to be victims, but with intelligence and strength showing how to cope and survive. I learned to pray and become strong in faith, which is a lifetime journey. I cherish the presence and love of family and good friends, and values and accomplishments that last. I learned to have political interest, to be aware, to be involved. I learned from experiencing to evil regime of Hitler and his Nazi party.
Q
What would you still like to accomplish?
A
Keep learning new things or improving. Seeing my daughters and granddaughters live their best lives. Continue to be an influence for good to our community.
Q
What are your favorite places to go?
A
Colorado , San Francisco , Lake Tahoe ,the Bavarian Alps of Germany, Austria.
Q
What do you like to do to relax?
A
Listen to music, read, meditate, walk.
Q
Do you have any books that you recommend to others?
A
German Fairy tales, individuals, current or past who inspire me; Wayne Dyer, Dr. Christiane Northrup, etc.
Q
What advice do you have for young people of today?
A
Become educated. Learn to succeed. Have moral and ethical values. Faith is a personal journey. Do all you can to make the community, the world, and our environment a better place. Be an example for respect, integrity and love.

Margo, lovely. Thank you again. It has been a pleasure.

An interview

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Dr. Tom Peters, Dean of Library Services, Missouri State University Libraries, in Springfield, Missouri, for coming to our home in September to interview me for the university’s oral history collection called Ozark Voices. The interview is now available to anyone with an interest. Full disclosure: this one lasts 70 minutes so bring your own popcorn. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xeTZtApDgg&list=PLyugBRJhQ4EwftBGQOCn2HDmPk2-9cAMd

I haven’t asked for a while but if you haven’t signed the guest book on my website, I hope you’ll consider it. I’ve been blogging so long I almost forget I even have a website — and people who follow the blog may forget about it, too, but it’s a nice one, thanks to Kathy Temean who created it. She’s also the one who said I needed a guest book.

For a while a lot of visitors signed the book but I keep forgetting to ask, remind, or outright beg. Make Kathy happy. Sign the book. Thank you!

Imagination Library

BULLETIN 1: Maryann Wakefield posted a true story on her blog today about a young woman she knows who is getting her life back together. Here’s the link. http://maryannwakefield.com/myblog/who-will-write-this-story-first-you-or-me .

BULLETIN 2: Did anybody know that today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day? I mean, we’re talking argh and yo-ho-ho! Thanks, Jane Heitman Healy, for the timely reminder. Too bad they couldn’t have delayed the celebration a day or two for the National Book Fair. My book PIRATES will be there representing Missouri so the whole gang could be singing sea chanties and hoisting grog! I guess technically chugging grog is not a form of speech, but it can do funny things to it.

Hi everyone,

This weekend is the annual Cider Days event in Springfield on the block of Walnut Street between John Q. Hammons Parkway and National Avenue. Thousands will attend. http://www.itsalldowntown.com/event/ciderdays .

The Imagination Library committee will be there with a booth and we expect to sign up a lot of parents. If you don’t know how it works, Imagination Library is Dolly Parton’s idea and it’s free to parents who sign up for their children under five. Each month until the child turns five, he or she receives a free book in the mail. It’s a wonderful way to encourage children to love books and reading. http://usa.imaginationlibrary.com

I attempted to get Imagination Library started in Springfield eleven years ago and failed. This time the right people got together to support the idea and the United Way is leading the way. I’m chair of the group but Jennifer Kennally is doing the work along with a strong committee of excellent people. So far we have 554 children signed up and getting their monthly books. We’re just getting started and eventually will expand the program throughout Greene County. We’ll add many more children’s names this weekend at Cider Days. Hope to see you there. And please tell friends who have young children to not miss this chance to have some fun and enroll their children in Imagination Library.

David