December 2013 Chronicle

December 2013 Chronicle

President’s Report

By Patti Schonlau

 

Greetings to All:

 

I am happy to report the 2013 MCB State Convention was truly a successful event!!!

 

I wish to thank our host Affiliates, Tower Club of the Blind and R.I.T.E. for the Blind.  Without your expertise of the orchestration of this convention, such a productive and fun-filled event would not have been enjoyed.  As President of MCB, I will not forget Convention 2013.

 

***Those door prizes were tremendous!

 

Highlights of the Convention

 

On Friday evening, October 11, a fun-filled Auction was enjoyed by all in attendance.  The Auction made $3,876.50.  There were so many beautiful items donated by MCB Affiliates and individual members.  Thanks to all who attended and purchased items.  Special thanks go to our auctioneer, Diane Riley, D. Riley Auction & Realty, LLC.  Ms. Riley graciously donated her services. 

 

I wish to congratulate the recipients of three MCB Awards.  The Nathaniel Johnson Award, Harold Poiry, Darrell M. Lauer Award, Brenda Gardner, Presidential Award, Jesuita Tabor.

 

Speakers:

 

Blind Pension and Medicaid – Sharon Minoff, Correspondence and Information Specialist II, Family Support Division. 

 

AARP/United Health, William Hatina, Independent Career Agent

 

Our special guest Speaker, Michael Hingson, shared his story of survival of the falling towers in New York City on 9/11/01.   If you are interested in hearing Michael’s story, you may read his book, “Thunder Dog: the Genesis, the Creation, the Results. 

 

MCB Committee Annual Reports were given by Committee Chair Persons.

 

Elections

 

Treasurer: William Hawkins

Public Relations Chair: Denny Huff

Directors:  Linda Gerken, Beverly Kasskadden, Raymond Bishop

 

In the coming days, I look forward to visiting the following MCB  Affiliates: Lake Stockton Area Council of the Blind November 7 Thanksgiving Dinner,  Capitol City Council of the Blind Affiliate Meeting November 14, Blind of Central Missouri Christmas Party December 1,

R.I.T.E. for the Blind Christmas Party December 7, and Pony Express Association of the Blind Christmas Party December 12.

 

I sincerely wish each of you a happy and peaceful Holiday Season and a safe and productive New Year.

 

Warmest regards.

Patti Schonlau

 

Please be safe and always remember these words from Helen Keller …

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

 

Celebrate the Holidays Every Day

By Christopher Gray

 

As I write this article for the Chronicle, we are approaching that beautiful time nearing Thanksgiving through Christmas and New years.  For me, this has always been the most festive time of year.  Yes, it may be cold outside, there may even be snow.  But, it is a time for rebirth of the new year and of celebration we have treasured now for centuries.  It is a time when differences can be set aside and comradeship and a sense of a better world be envisioned.

 

One of the finest things about this season, all the way from Halloween through New Year’s, is good eating.  Homemade candy, anything pumpkin, turkey and dressing, plum pudding!  You name it.  Soon, I'll be off to Soulard Market to get suet to make truly authentic plum pudding!  We already have pumpkin in the freezer made from Missouri's finest little sugar pumpkins and are feasting on a big bag of seasoned seeds from those pumpkins.  Soon, we'll be making the hot buttered rum mix I shared with you in the 2012 December Chronicle.

 

This year, Marvelena and I want to share a different kind of recipe with you.

It's not a drink, and to tell you the truth, it's not necessarily even Christmas-like.  But, we always make it at least once during the holiday season because it is a wonderfully social dish, feeds a lot of people, and believe us, it is a tremendous hit at a party.  It's a recipe for Salmon Mousse.

 

"Mousse," you say?  Now wait don't throw up your hands in despair!  This is an excellent, light and flavorful dish, and it is absolutely NOT hard to make.

 

Your friends and family will be in awe when you bring it because it tastes so good, looks nice, and is really quite unique as an appetizer.  One thing that makes this dish easier to make is a jello mold.  If you don't have one already, tupperware has a mold suitable for this recipe and many others as well.

 

So, please accept this with our best Christmas wishes and hopes for a Happy New Year.

 

Salmon Mousse

 

Garnish this delicious spread with fresh dill if available, and serve with crackers or pumpernickel bread.  It's really very quick and easy.

 

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/4 c cold water

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs grated onion

dash Tabasco or hot pepper sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp dried dillweed or 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

2 cans (7.75oz) sockeye salmon

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup drained capers

 

In large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand for 5 minutes to soften.  Add boiling water and stir until the gelatin is mixed; let cool.  Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, Tabasco, salt and dill weed; mix until smooth.  Refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

 

Drain salmon and discard any skin.  Mash bones.  Flake salmon and fold into gelatin mixture.

 

Whip cream until soft peaks form.  Fold into salmon mixture and fold in capers.  Pack into 3 cup mould or bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm. (mousse can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated.)  Makes

20 servings.

 

Originally From The Canadian Living Cookbook by Carol Ferguson and the food writers of Canadian Living Magazine Copyright 1987

 

THE AFFILIATES ARE GOING FOR IT!

Tower Club

By Jesuita Tabor, President

 

     The Tower Club would like to express our gratitude to everyone who attended the convention.  Your presence made the convention a success.  Special thanks to RITE Club, Susan Sanderson, the staff; Virginia, Eleanor, Chris, and Peggy Smith, Coordinator of Volunteers.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  See you next year.

Delta Area

By Wanda Matlock, Delta Area President

 

     Hello Everyone from Delta Area.  The members of Delta Area have been very busy lately with fundraising and outings.  We had a great time at camp in July and we are looking forward to going next year.  We appreciate MCB for providing this opportunity to have such a fun time.

     We also had a week of fundraising for our club and promoting Delta Area and MCB at our local county fair in Kennett, MO.  We met several people that were eager to share their stories about a friend or family member with vision problems. We also promoted Braille by writing many names in Braille that week.

     Three members of Delta Area attended the Convention this year.  We thought the hotel and restaurants were nice and meetings were informational. It is also nice to see friends that we don’t get to see very often. We just want to say GOOD Job!!! To everyone that made the convention a success.

     Our club is also planning an outing to go to the Service Club in St. Louis on November 19th. We are looking forward to doing some shopping and having a nice lunch.

     We hope everyone has a very safe and happy holiday season.

St. Charles County Council

By Beverly Kaskadden

 

     After taking a couple months off in June and July, St. Charles Council is back to business.  In September we had a guest speaker from Mind’s Eye Radio.  His name is Allan Newsham and is now our new member.  We welcome Allan with warm hearts. 

     Now that the State convention is over we are planning our Christmas festivities.  It is a time to come together and celebrate the Reason for the Season.  We are so blessed to be a part of such warm and strong teammates.

     I have been reflecting on the past from the time I first became blind 24 years ago.  The changes and improvements to adapt to blindness are truly overwhelming.  There is so much more to make our lives easier, that it makes me wonder what the future holds. 

      Let’s count our blessings and be grateful for what is ahead.  Happy Holidays and love to all.

AGAPE Council of the Blind

 

3rd Annual Black History Program Presents
“WELCOME TO THE HARLEM COTTON CLUB”
Featuring 1920-1940 Singers,
Chorus Line & Tap Dancers
Dress in that fashion period and you could win a prize for BEST COSTUME!
February 21, 2014 at Overland’s Lion Club Banquet Hall, 2358 Lackland Overland Mo.63114
Dinner & Entertainment
$12 per person, Vender tables $15

Chili & Karaoke
Saturday March 15, 2014     4pm-8pm

Come out and enjoy a wide variety of chili’s & condiments.  Sing your favorite tune for Karaoke& Dance to the music.  Participation prizes will be offered
12 & under $4            13 & up $8

St. Ann Community Center, 1 Community Dr., St. Ann MO 63074.  For more information call
314-873-9022 or 314-808-5498

WAGGIN TAILS

By Judy Burch

 

      Greetings to all from the Missouri Guide Dog Users (MGDU).  I hope you all are enjoying this crisp fall weather and that you and your pups will take the opportunity to get out there and exercise before winter strikes. 

      MGDU’s breakfast meeting at this year’s MCB convention was attended by more than thirty members and guests.  Besides enjoying a good meal, a number of people and their furry companions received door prizes which were drawn throughout the breakfast and meeting.  In addition, we were pleased to hear from MGDU member Gretchen Maune, who told of her experiences as she advocated for the audible pedestrian signals which have since been placed in several locations throughout Columbia.  We applaud Gretchen for her hard work in this area!

      Plans continue to move forward for MGDU’s first ever America’s Guide Dog Conference which will be held March 27-30, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Saint Louis.  Below is the latest information about the conference, which promises to be very informative and fun for all who attend.

      America’s Guide Dog Conference schedule of events!  MGDU would like to share some of the exciting events we have planned for America’s Guide Dog Conference. 

      The conference will be held in Saint Louis, Missouri beginning Thursday, March 27 and close on Sunday, March 30, 2014.  The conference registration form and Hilton Hotel reservation information will be released soon.

Schedule of Events! 

      Thursday, March 27:  Guests arrive. Registration from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30.p.m. Hotel orientation.

      Thursday evening:  Wags & Welcome in the MGDU Parlor. A fun time for everyone to gather and meet one another.

      Friday morning:  Tours to Busch Baseball Stadium and the Gateway Arch.

      A parade of guide dogs.  For all interested guests, this will be a group walk with our guide dogs through downtown Saint Louis. There will be sighted assistance.

      Friday afternoon:  Official start of the conference.  A welcoming message by the Mayor of Saint Louis.

Blessing of the Dogs performed by Jan Mourning.

Guest speakers.  Break to visit the vendor and exhibit room.

      During Friday afternoon, Chrissy Neese with Shaggy 2 Chic, a mobile dog grooming company, will be offering for purchase, an 8” x 10” color photograph of you and your guide dog with the Gateway Arch in the background.

      Friday evening: Pizza & Paws dinner. All the pizza and soft drinks you can eat and drink. Adult beverages will be available to purchase. Live music will be performed by a MGDU member.

      Saturday morning and/or afternoon session.  Several guide dog school representatives will be discussing their schools and various topics. There will be other informative guest speakers. Plenty of time will be available for all guests to interact with each other, school representatives and guest speakers on various guide dog issues.

      Saturday noon: Kibble & Nibble lunch. Guest speaker.

      Saturday evening: Dining with the Dogs banquet. Guest speaker.

      Sunday morning: Bark & Bye Farewell in the MGDU Parlor.  We will have pastries, bagels and other small breakfast items.

      Throughout the conference, we will be drawing names for attendance prizes for all registered guests and the guide dogs too! Plenty of relief time will be set aside for the dogs.

      This is just a quick snapshot of some of the exciting events MGDU has planned for America’s Guide Dog conference. We will be adding more fun to the schedule!

      For more information, you can contact Nick Whitney at nickcherub@aol.com or, Sarah Calhoun at sc-tico@att.net.  We’ll meet you in Saint Louis!  By the time you read this, plans will be very close to completion and the registration form will be available for you to register.  We will keep you all informed.

      MGDU has published a brochure which tells about the organization and we encourage you to contact MGDU president, Nick Whitney, if you are interested in getting them to distribute to interested persons.

      We’ll see you in the next Chronicle.

Tiger Council of the Blind

By DeAnna Noriega

 

      Tiger Council of the Blind celebrates one year anniversary; elects officers; assembles a basket for the silent auction at the state convention; helps two members attend the state convention; works with MU students to produce a brochure concerning service animals; tests phone conference meetings to develop a strategy for meeting cancellation due to bad weather; meets with traffic engineer Richard Stone, who is roughing out spring plans to put in four audible traffic signals in Columbia; and hosts visit from MCB president Schonlau.

      Four members attended the state convention. President Maune is asked by newly elected ACB president Charlson to serve on the Information Access Committee.  Second vice-president Michael Evans gets appointed to the Columbia Disabilities Commission. Secretary DeAnna Noriega gets reappointed to the ACB Multi-cultural Affairs Committee, Public Relations Committee, Resource Development Committee and ACB Store Committees.

      We say goodbye to founding members Mike and Becky Delaney as they move to the Rolla area and welcome Cory McMahon as our newest member. Plans go forward for our Fall social gathering at the home of first Vice-president Morris.  The Tigers just keep roaring along.

IT’S CAUGHT BY THE COMMITTEES!

2013 MCB Convention

By Susan Sanderson

 

     The 2013 MCB Convention is now in the history books. I hope you all had a wonderful time in St. Louis.  The number of members that attended shows how we have a great need to join together.  We now look to the future and the convention in Springfield at the Double Tree Hotel. 

     This was my last convention as your convention coordinator so I want to thank the two men that paved the way for me Jerry Annunzio and Eldon Cox, whose shoes I could never fill but they were just a phone call away when I would yell “HELP.”I want to thank Patty, Chris, Virginia, and Eleanor for all of their help. All the Affiliates that have been “Host Affiliates” it has been a pleasure to work with you and the members that helped me during these last five years, thank you. I thank Denny for having the faith in me to appoint me as Convention Coordinator.  This has been a Labor of Love for me.  I have been so rewarded by all the love and support I have received from the members.  The working together has been awesome.  I thank each and every one of you for all your help.   May God Bless You.

Summer Camp Report

By Beverly Kaskadden

 

     It is the end of another great year at Cobblestone.  I am very pleased to report that we served numerous individuals who would not otherwise have opportunity to enjoy recreation and relaxation without the assistance of Missouri Council.  I am very proud of MCB for providing this program.

     In the upcoming year for 2014, we are hoping the MCB Board will adopt new guideline changes to improve the application process.  It is imperative that everyone reads the guidelines and applications carefully.  The applications must be completed in full and accompanied by proper payment to be considered.

The 2014 dates for camp are as follows:
June 1 through June 8, July 27 through August 3, and the extended weekend is September 4 through 7.

      Make your plans now, and as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or e-mail me.  My home phone number is 636-561-6947 and e-mail is bkaskadden@centurytel.net.  Thank you so very much; Beverly Kaskadden, along with my committee of Sam and Celita White and Jim Schonlau

Low Vision Committee Report

By Cathie Brauner, Chair

 

CAREERS FOR BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED INDIVIDUALS

 

Self-Employment

     People who are blind or visually impaired work for themselves as entrepreneurs just like sighted people.  Two major avenues exist for visually impaired persons to establish their own business. The Business Enterprise Program, administrated by State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies and self-employment.  Both require the entrepreneur to be knowledgeable about common business practices and to know about their product or service lines in depth.

 

Business Enterprise Program:
     In order to succeed in business, most entrepreneurs work long hours, excel at problem solving and have a high tolerance for stress.  People who are blind or visually impaired who would like to run their own business can apply to the State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency for entrance into the Business Enterprise Program (BEP), created under the Randolph-Sheppard Act.  BEP provides business opportunities for operators to run vending stands in the lobbies of government buildings, in rest areas and along State highways and occasionally on military bases.  Vendors typically run one or a combination of the following types of businesses:

 

  • Dry stands:  All packaged foods
  • Some prepared foods such as sandwiches
  • Cafeterias:  Kitchen, hot and cold foods
  • Automated Vending Machines:  Often in banks of two or more, requiring routine restocking

     In most cases vendors pay a percentage of the income from their stands to the BEP.  This money is pooled and along with funds set aside for the BEP under the Randolph-Sheppard Act, is used for the benefit of the vendors (example:  health insurance, retirement plans, stand refurbishments, purchase of stock, etc.).

Other Self-Employment Options:
      Independent entrepreneurs outside the BEP need to invest much more of their own resources into starting a business.  Their responsibilities include formulating a business concept, initial research, writing a business plan and securing start-up loans.  State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, under the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) can set up self-employment plans for these entrepreneurs and partially sponsor start-up expenses (example:  initial stock, first month’s rent, time-limited payment of insurance premiums).

     Visually impaired entrepreneurs can find support from the National Association of Blind Merchants, an Affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind and the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America, an Affiliate of American Council of the Blind.   

     Other resource lists are provided by the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision maintained by Mississippi State University.

     The Small Business and Self-Employment Service (SBSES) provides information and assistance to people with disabilities who wish to start a small business, including information on starting and managing a business and issues specifically related to disabilities.  The SBSES is staffed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a valuable resource in disability information services.

     The Disabled Business Persons Association is “dedicated to assisting enterprising individuals with disabilities maximize their potential in the business world and working with vocational rehabilitation, government and business to encourage the participation and enhance the performance of the disabled in the workforce.”

     If you are interested in learning what types of grants are available to people who are visually impaired, key into your search engine “Grants for people who are visually impaired” and select a category from the drop-down menu.  Example:  Grants for people who are visually impaired Products or Students, Children, Aids, People, Phones, Microwaves, Telephones, Software, Definition and then click on SEARCH.

     In closing, our committee wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

We Heard It !

By Mary Hale, Dual Vision and Hearing Loss Chair

 

     As the Chair of the Dual Vision and Hearing Loss committee, we wish to express our sincere appreciation to the MCB Board and to Beau Barnhart.  They made it possible for MCB to purchase new and better microphones that were needed and also more Assistive Listening Devices [ALD] receivers.  The new additional wireless FM receivers made it possible for more MCB members to be able to actually understand what was being said and feel like they too were a part of the conference. What the ALD does for a person who is hard of hearing is allows the speaker’s voice to come through directly into their ears, just like if they were standing next to them and it also blocks out much of the back ground noise.  Beau Barnhart did a great job getting these set up and operating for those using them at the conference.

     The purchase of new microphones helped everyone.  Without a good microphone system during the conference; a lot of information would be lost and misunderstood by many.  I especially want the THANK Beau Barnhart.  He worked very hard to set up his elaborate microphone system and had to stay with it to maintain it during the entire conference.  Because of the many different microphones being used at different locations, it is his job to make it possible for certain microphones to be “turned on” when they are needed.  If all the microphones were turned on at the same time, we would hear all the high pitch squealing sounds all the time.  It takes planning and coordination to do all this.  Never mind, the fact that when he is asked to break down and reset up the entire system in another location.  This is not an easy task.  Thank You Beau for your hard work and dedicated support of MCB!

     Did you know that if you are visually impaired AND hard of hearing, you may qualify for some free equipment?  There is a new Federal program that helps many people.  You may qualify for items such as: braille keyboard, iPad, iPhone, alerting signalers, computer, etc.  To get more info on what’s available, see www.ICANCONNECT.org  or call Brenda Whitlock, Missouri Assistive Technology (MoAT) 800-647-8557 or email Brenda.Whitlock@att.net.  Please read on for more info about the history and what this federal program is all about.

NDBEDP - National Deaf -Blind Equipment Distribution Program

Background
     The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) authorizes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide funding for local programs to distribute equipment to low-income individuals who are “deaf-blind” (see definition below.) The FCC may use up to $10 million annually from the interstate Telecommunications Relay Service fund for this purpose.

 

Pilot Program
     In 2011, the FCC established the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) as a pilot program. The pilot program has been in effect since July 1, 2012, and the FCC may extend the program another year. The pilot program provides valuable information that the FCC will use to help develop and implement an effective and efficient permanent deaf-blind equipment distribution program.

How does the pilot program operate?
      The FCC selected and certified one entity in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, to receive FCC support to distribute equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. The FCC allocated a minimum of $50,000 to each of the 53 certified programs, plus additional funding based on the size of each state's population. As a result, states with large populations were allocated larger amounts of funding than states with small populations. The FCC also set aside $500,000 each year for the Perkins School for the Blind to coordinate outreach to promote this new equipment distribution program nationwide.

Who is eligible to receive equipment?
      Under the CVAA, only low-income individuals who are deaf-blind are eligible to receive equipment. Applicants must provide verification of their status as low-income and deaf-blind.  The CVAA requires that the term "deaf-blind" has the same meaning given in the Helen Keller National Center Act. In general, the individual must have a certain vision loss and a hearing loss that, combined, cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining a vocation (working).  The FCC defines "low income" to mean not more than 400% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, as
indicated in the following chart:

2013 POVERTY GUIDELINES

(Except Alaska & Hawaii)

Persons in household

Poverty guideline

1

$11,490

2

15,510

3

19,530

4

23,550

5

27,570

6

31,590

7

35,610

8

39,630

 

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/13poverty.cfm)

      What kind of equipment can be distributed?
The equipment distributed must be designed to make telecommunications (such as wire line and wireless telephone communication), advanced communications (such as Internet-based voice communication, e-mail, instant messaging and interoperable video conferencing services), and access to the Internet (including information services) accessible. The equipment distributed may be hardware, software or applications, separate or in combination, mainstream or specialized. The equipment must meet the needs of the deaf-blind individual to achieve access. Certified programs may also provide equipment warranties, maintenance, and repairs for such equipment depending on available funding.

Besides distributing equipment, what will the NDBEDP certified programs do?
      Certified programs will inform their communities about this new program to distribute equipment to low-income residents in their states who are deaf-blind.  They will verify that applicants are eligible to receive equipment.  They will assess each applicant's communications equipment needs to select appropriate equipment to meet those needs. They may also help install and provide training for the equipment distributed.

How do I find the certified program that serves my state?
      Information about how to find the NDBEDP certified program in your state is available during the on the FCC website at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/national-deaf-blind-equipment-distribution-program, by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY, or by sending an email to dro@fcc.gov.

Attention:  In Missouri this program is handled by MoAT (800-647-8557)

How can I help the NDBEDP be successful?
      Tell people about the program.  Tell the FCC how the NDBEDP helped you or someone you know.  Tell the FCC how the program can be improved.  Tell the FCC about new types of technologies that should be included for distribution.  

      You may also file an informal complaint with the FCC if you think someone has violated the NDBEDP rules.  Informal complaints may be filed by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232, or by writing to:
Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20554

      For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website at www.fcc.gov/consumer-governmental-affairs-bureau,or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to the address listed above.  For this or any other consumer publication in an accessible format (electronic ASCII text, Braille, large print or audio), please write or call us at the address or phone number below, or send an email to FCC504@fcc.gov.

Wolfner Advisory News

By Darrel Vickers, Wolfner Advisory Board Chairman

 

     If you have not heard yet, the BARD app is out for the Apple IPhone, IPad and IPod. So if you have one of these devices get this app.  It is easy to use. You can download books straight to your device, (Wi-Fi connection required).  It is also easy on the battery.  I am not sure about the Android devices at this time.

     I have decided to include some recommended books.  These are just some of the books I like.  I hesitated to do this in fear of you guys finding out just how really weird I am. (Smile).

      I have tried to include books from different genres.  Sorry I do not read Fantasy or much science fiction or suspense. 

      “Empires Of Light:  Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, And The Race To Electrify The World” DB 57631.  Jonnes, Jill.  Reading time is 15 hours, 4 minutes.  Description:  Award-winning historian traces the rise of the electric power industry through the triumphs, blunders, and corporate struggles of three visionaries in the late 1800s.  Jonnes depicts the efforts of light bulb inventor Thomas Edison, Serbian immigrant Nikola Tesla, and Pittsburgh entrepreneur George Westinghouse to create, dominate, and control a world-changing technology.  2003.  This is a great book and is not just a straight bio of three great men. You might be amazed by all the things they invented we still take for granted today.  It also sets up my next recommendation.

History / Biography / True Crime:  “The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic, And Madness At The Fair That Changed America” DB 55748Larson, Erik. Reading time 13 hours, 25 minutes.  Description: The author of Isaac's Storm (RC 48811) traces the crimes of Dr. H.H. Holmes, a serial killer who preyed on young women during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair in the amazing landscape that architect Daniel H. Burnham created in a mere two years. Bestseller. 2003.  This book is as much about the 1893 Columbian Exposition as a true crime book.

US History:  Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood Of 1927 And How It Changed America”.  DB 46388

      An account of the catastrophic flood of 1927, in which at least one thousand Americans were killed and another million displaced by the swollen Mississippi River.  Traces early engineering efforts at river control, which set the stage for the disaster. Explores the flood's far-reaching social, political, and economic implications.

      This book starts out a little slow and is kind of long but if you read it you will understand all its effects we still see today.

Biography:  “Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter” DB 72724.  Schmidt, Randy, (Randy L.).  Reading time: 12 hours, 31 minutes.  Biography of the female half of a sibling duo that rose to fame in the early seventies. Describes the Carpenters' family dynamics--Richard and Karen lived with their controlling mother until they were twenty-seven and twenty-four--and Karen's descent into eating disorders, which led to her death at age thirty-two.  2010.  I am not much of a pop music fan, but what a voice she had.

Human Relationships:  “After” DB 59132.  Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Reading time: 13 hours, 27 minutes.  Fifty-six-year-old Harry Gill's one goal after his wife's death is to survive the first year by learning how to be a widower. He copes with a shocking revelation about his marriage, an attraction to his new houseguest, and his adult children's dramas. Some explicit descriptions of sex and some strong language. 2003.  I just loved this book.

Human Relationships:  Texasville: A Novel” DB 25975.  McMurtry, Larry.  Reading time: 16 hours, 14 minutes.  Novel is set in the dusty oil-drilling town of Thalia, Texas, thirty years after the events of "The Last Picture Show."  Jacy, the high-school beauty, returns to town from a career as a Hollywood star and changes the lives of her fellow townspeople.  Strong language and explicit descriptions of sex.  Bestseller 1987.

      This book has perhaps my favorite character, (Dewayne).  I read it at least once a year. It has sequels also.

Historical Fiction/ War Stories:  The Postmistress” DB 70752.  Description: 1940-1941.  Postmistress Iris and newlywed Emma are newcomers on Cape Cod, while female reporter and New York native Frankie is covering the Blitz in London. Emma's physician husband joins the war effort in England, where a tragic accident brings the three women's lives together. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2010.  It’s been a while since I read this book but I do not remember all that much sex in it.

Historical Fiction:  “The Exiles” DB 15447.  Long, William Stuart. Reading time: 20 hours, 1 minute.  Historical novel set in the harsh Australian wilderness.  In England, widowed Rachel and her fifteen-year-old daughter Jenny mistakenly fall in with thieves. Falsely accused, the two are transported on separate convict ships to New South Wales, but only Jenny survives the journey. One of the few settlers to make friends with the natives, her life is complicated by several lovers. Some strong language.

Social Sciences / Bestsellers / U.S. History:  “Detroit: An American Autopsy” DB 76376.  LeDuff, Charlie.  Reading time 9 hours, 38 minutes.  Description:  Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter recounts his 2008 return to his troubled hometown after two decades away.
      Analyzes the economic and social forces--including political corruption, crime, and racism--that destroyed the city and warns that Detroit is a bellwether of America's decline. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2013.  This is a sad book but if you read it you will understand it better when you hear about it in the news.

Literature:  “The Reivers: A Reminiscence” DB 31880.  Faulkner, William.  Reading time: 8 hours, 53 minutes.  On a summer day in 1905, young Lucius Priest is persuaded by Boon Hogganbeck to "borrow" his grandfather's car and make a trip to Memphis.  Ned McCaslin, an old black man, stows away and the three are off on a heroic odyssey which ends at a bordello. Pulitzer Prize, 1963. 1962.    Although I like Faulkner, his stuff is not the easiest to read. This was his last book and it is not hard to read. It is a humorous adventure and I can always recommend Faulkner.

Human Relationships / Social Sciences:  “Old Friends” DB 37475.  Kidder, Tracy. Reading time 9 hours, 50 minutes.  Lou Freed and Joe Torchio share a room at a nursing home in New England.  Lou--ninety-two, small, Jewish, uneducated, and nearly blind--and Joe--seventyish, recovering from a stroke, Italian, stout, and well-educated--have little in common at first.  But long conversations reveal their growing fondness and respect for one another, until Lou and Joe slowly emerge as symbols of "successful aging."  Some strong language. 1993.  This is a very sweet story.

Historical Fiction / Westerns:  The Long Rifle” DB 75185.  White, Stewart Edward.  Reading time: 19 hours, 56 minutes.
Young Andy Burnett of Kentucky leaves his abusive stepfather's farm, takes his grandfather's prized long rifle--a gift from Daniel Boone--and heads west.  Andy becomes a fur-trading mountain man, befriends the Blackfoot Indians, and watches civilization take over the frontier. 1932.

Historical Fiction, Westerns:  “Dance on the Wind DB 67315.  Johnston, Terry C. Reading time:  20 hours, 3 minutes.  1800s. Sixteen-year-old Titus Bass runs away from his Kentucky home to seek adventure down river.  He joins a flatboat crew traveling the Ohio and Mississippi rivers toward a dangerous, rough-and-tumble country full of bandits and Indians.  Some explicit descriptions of sex, some violence, and some strong language. 1995.

Romance / Holidays:  “A Stone Creek Christmas” DB 70049.  Miller, Linda Lail.  Reading time: 5 hours, 26 minutes.  Stone Creek's veterinarian Olivia O'Ballivan has a magical rapport with animals but no special man in her life--until she meets widowed Tanner Quinn.  Globetrotting Tanner, who is in town overseeing the construction of Olivia's new clinic, needs a nudge to provide more of a family environment for his daughter. 2008.

Religious Fiction / Historical romance fiction:  “From A Distance:  Timber Ridge Reflections” DB 69951.  Alexander, Tamera. Reading time: 13 hours, 48 minutes.  Colorado Territory, 1875. Elizabeth Westbrook arrives in Timber Ridge to photograph the Rocky Mountains and to restore her health. Former Confederate soldier Daniel Ranslett protects Elizabeth after one of her film exposures captures a murder. Although from different backgrounds, the two fall in love. 2008.

Mystery and Detective:  “Junkyard Dogs” DB 73005.  Johnson, Craig.  Reading time 8 hours, 38 minutes.  Series: Walt Longmire Mystery Volume 06.  Description: Absaroka County, Wyoming, sheriff Walt Longmire investigates both the Stewart family's junkyard/dump after a thumb is discovered there and a murder caused by trouble over an adjacent development of mini-mansions. Meanwhile Walt's daughter is marrying Under-sheriff Victoria Moretti's brother in Philadelphia.  Strong language and some violence. 2010.

      Craig and the Walt Longmeyer series has become one of my very favorites.  This is book six.  It will not matter if you don’t read the others first.  If you do not bust out laughing in the first minute then your funny bone is broken.

     These are just a few books I picked from my reading history. If you do not have computer access ask a Wolfner reading advisor if they can print your list and send it to you. It can be very helpful in finding something else you might like.

      If you like any of the books I listed above, tell your reading advisor. Many authors have more than one book out there and many of the books are part of a series, although you do not have to read them in order.  I hope you will find at least one good story from the above list.

Please let me know if this list is helpful or what else you think.  Happy Holidays.  Darrel Vickers, Wolfner Advisory Board Chairman.  Email darrel@ww4b.org or phone 636-667-3176.  Note, this is an ATT cell number and ATT has free mobile-to-mobile calls so please do not hesitate to call me if I can help you in any way.

              BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT (Reprint)

Council of the Blind:  New Image Thrift Store

By Stevie Myers

 

When you walk through the doors of the New Image Thrift Store, located on Kansas Expressway, you are greeted with friendly faces and a bright, colorful atmosphere. Shopping here is the perfect way to help out those in need.

The Missouri Council of the Blind was founded in 1956 and is now the largest blind consumer organization in the state and caters to one of the highest populations of blind individuals in the nation. The MCB works for causes that affect people who are visually impaired and strives to improve their quality of life.

The store features days where everything in the building is marked down to sometimes even 75 percent off and days where differently themed items are on sale.

The warehouse is stacked to the ceiling with hundreds of boxes to ensure that different items can be placed in the store on a daily basis.

Not only do they have a wide variety of items at really low prices, but all merchandise is generated from donations and 100 percent of all sales from the store stay with the Council of the Blind. These proceeds go towards funding for scholarships, summer camps, health benefits and educational programs.

Assistant Manager Jeff La Montia said he knows what an impact these programs can have on the people participating in them.

'We do this so they can learn to provide for themselves, instead of relying on the community." he said.

He said the MCB even works closely with clients in programs like Arc of the Ozarks and Alternative Opportunities to help them gain a better grasp of real world experience that involve future employment."

La Montia said he is proud of everything the store stands for.  “There are a few people who work here who are legally blind themselves.  All of our merchandise comes from donations.  Our entire Board is made up of volunteers.  Our president is a volunteer.  We really do our best to give back to the community because without them and what they do for us, we wouldn't be here.  None of this would be here," he said.

La Montia, legally blind himself, is excited that their store is so passionate about helping others.  “I probably never would have been able to do all the things I have without the generosity of others to help me, “he said. “So it feels nice to be on the other side of that and get people the help they need."