Monday, April 29, 2024

Milliron Monday

A final week of vacation, I will return next Monday!

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Have a great week ahead!


Sunday, April 28, 2024

The Hills in Spring: A Poem by Kathy S. Elasky


The Hills in Spring

by Kathy S. Elasky

I love the hills in the spring

Red Bud pink against the green

In the meadows flowers bloom

Showers come, clouds fill the sky

A rainbow appears, the storm passes by

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Friday, April 26, 2024

Sherry's Quarter Notes - National Historic Marker Day: Help Music History Sparkle & Shine!


National Historic Marker Day: Help Music History Sparkle & Shine!

In 2021, the William G. Pomeroy Foundation (WGPF) established the last Friday in April as National Historic Marker Day. This year’s event is on April 26, 2024. The organization encourages Americans to clean historic markers by offering them free downloadable resources, a video tutorial and cleaning supply kit. It’s free and easy to participate!

Learn more and register to volunteer at

The holiday stimulates civic engagement as well as the recognition of local history and its beautification. The U.S. is estimated to have more than 190,000 historic markers, but many need TLC from years of neglect. For markers that already have some sparkle and shine, cleaning is more symbolic, but regular maintenance is still necessary.

Participation can be an individual or group activity. One organization that’s joined the call to action is the newly established American Music Landmarks Project (AMLP). Founded by my twin sister Sheryl, the AMLP began supporting National Historic Marker Day in 2022 by offering a free service to connect participants with music markers in their local areas.

Learn more and find a music marker near you at

Sheryl hopes that this nationwide community service event will continue to bring music history enthusiasts and music landmarks together to create greater public interest and involvement. The AMLP is uniquely positioned as the first and only organization solely dedicated to music landmarks in the country.

What is a music landmark? According to the AMLP, some examples include “artist homes, recording studios and performance venues that range from largely unknown and endangered properties to successfully preserved and operating heritage sites.”

In addition to services, research, education and advocacy, Sheryl has been developing the first national inventory of music landmarks. As a scholar-practitioner, she wears many hats and works in the trenches directly with music landmarks and their operators. In September 2021, Sheryl celebrated the dedications of two historic markers that she was responsible for bringing to fruition. They were both produced at Sewah Studios in Marietta, Ohio.

Read “A Tale of Two Markers for Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers landmarks” at

Perhaps this article is your introduction to National Historic Marker Day. Perhaps it’s your reminder. Whether or not you’re able to participate this year, I hope you feel inspired to mark it on your annual April calendar. Beyond the holiday, be sure to check out the AMLP as a trusted guide on your journey with music landmarks as you hit the road to explore the special places that created our nation’s soundtrack.

Monday, April 22, 2024

Milliron Monday


Taking a break this week.

Enjoy previous Milliron Monday's Here.

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Have a great week ahead!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

National Poetry Month: "Floorboards" A Poem by Mark M. Dean


by © Mark M. Dean

I’ve always prided myself on my exit plan

My daily routine

Sliding out of bed with the utmost stealth

Not to wake the true love of my life

Who truly loves waking to the birds softly calling

The sun gliding up on the eastern horizon

Peaking in to see if you’re awake

like a child on Christmas morning

Collecting my crumpled-up PJs from the bathroom floor

Still smelling like beer

popcorn husks along for the ride

I’ve made it to the door

the dog lifts one eyelid and settles back into her pillow

Houdini is almost free

The bedroom door swings to its designated position

a noiseless accomplice to the escape

Selecting my route down the long wooden hallway

Knowing the walled edges are less boisterous

Slowly I step onto the thin ice,

Sifting my weight from heel to toe as I stalk my prey…



The floorboards are in a jovial mood this morning

Belting out a loud chorus of “Halleluiah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”

Imitating the St. Patrick’s Cathedral chorus on Easter Morning

I hear my love shift, the dog perks up

The floorboards continue their “Ode to the Morning”

I head for the coffee pot

my plot foiled

But hope springs eternal

As I make a date with the floorboards

The challenge accepted 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Award-Winning Historical Fiction Author, T.W. Harvey: A letter by my Great-Great Uncle sent home after the Battle of Shiloh, April 12 1862


From Award-Winning Historical Fiction Author, T.W. Harvey:

A letter by my Great-Great Uncle sent home after the Battle of Shiloh

Addressed to Miss F.P. Porter
Hopewell Muskingum Co.
Pittsburg Landing April 12th 1862

Dear Sister:
We got started for this place about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Arrived here about 8 o'clock the same eve, distance about 12 miles. However, the morning we came in off of picket, the firing commenced at this point and kept up until dark. It was tremendous and never ceased until dark. The result was our men were driven all day in the first place, they were taken by surprise. When we arrived we were tired & sleepy. We were then drawn up in a line of battle and commanded to sleep on our arms. The Capt & I fixed down our blankets & threw ourselves down to rest. I soon fell asleep. About midnight it commenced raining & rained for keeps from this time on until morning. I could not get to sleep for the cries and screams of the wounded on the field which was awful. About daylight, one of the boys from Co. G went to take his pistol out of his pocket where it went and shot him through the hand.

Soon after the firing commenced -- it came thick and heavy. Beauregard was in command and as they had driven us all the day previous. He told his men that if they would pitch in, it would only be a nice little breakfast skirmish to clean us out, but as you find, he was sadly mistaken. We were now ordered around on the right flank where we soon found our post, We were exposed to the severest of the fire the whole day. At some times the shells would burst right above our heads. We were now marched up into an open field, the enemy had formed in the same on the opposite side. Here we were, right out with nothing to protect us & only sheltered by the thick growth of timber. Here I witnessed one of the most beautiful scene I ever saw. Our whole brigade drawn up in this large field of about I think 50 acres. If you had been listening, it seems to me that you might have heard us cheering. We now pitched into them regular and you ought to have seen them skedaddle.

It is of no use to try to mention the number of times I came so near being struck. To make a long story short, the ball and shell came thick and fast around us all day until about 5 o'clock when they skedaddled for keeps. Our general says we behaved the most cool and our fire took the best effect of any other Regt. We gave them one fine volley. They broke immediately. Our guns are so superior to theirs, they can't stand up to us anyhow. Our forces here was about 80000 men, theirs 140000 beyond doubt. Our loss was 5000, there's 11000. The battle at Donelson is no where to be compared with this.

Direct to G.W. Porter, Co. B, 78th Regt, O.V.I. Savannah, Tenn River, Tenn. Care of Col. M.D. Leggett to be forwarded immediately.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Jimmy Crack Corn: A Short Story by Gary Flory


     You probably think this story is about the old song Jimmy Crack Corn (or Blue-Tail Fly), but it’s not. It has nothing to do with a black slave's lament over his white master's death in a horse-riding accident (as is the premise of the song according to Wikipedia). Actually, his real name is Jimmy, but I’m sure you don’t know all the embarrassing things I’m going to tell you about this lad. You see, I knew Jimmy when he was quite young. He was all the things a dad would want in a son. He was no sissy, no sir. When he fell and scraped his knee, he’d jump right up and continue playing. Furthermore, he would be more concerned with the hole in his pants, than his banged-up knee. If Mom didn’t see the hole in Jimmy's pants when it went in the wash, she would surely notice it when she hung it out on the line. 

    Sure enough, when Jimmy got home from school Tuesday afternoon, Mom was waiting with his torn pants in one hand and the sewing basket in the other. He knew what that meant, she didn’t have to say a word. If he wanted to go out and play, he knew the sewing job would have to pass the inspector, Mom. He also knew he would be wearing them to school next week and didn’t want the kids to make fun of him. He watched his grandma sew on a number of patches, and she taught Jimmy how to do it. She used a gourd or light bulb on the inside of the leg to hold the patch tight up against the pants. This patch job would have to last at least till Christmas. That’s when you get some new boring clothes. Every kid would be wearing something new the first day back to school after Christmas break. The girls loved it, the guys hated it. I mean, how can you play at recess wearing new clothes.
    Jimmy’s family always put out a big garden every Spring. His dad would dig the rows, while him and his little brother would drop in the seeds. That part was fun, it was the hoeing weeds they didn’t look forward to. When it was time to pick the sweet corn for dinner, Mom sent him and his brother out to pick it. There was only one order, make sure you come back with plenty. Jimmy picked and loaded up his brother's arms, all of five ears. He could carry seven or eight, but there was one ear left at the end of the row. His arms were full, so he picked it, and shoved it down the back of his pants – right where the Lord placed the divide.
    When they got back to the kitchen, they laid the ears of corn down on the table, well, most of them. Little brother pointed to Jimmy and said, “Look Mom, Jimmy has corn in his crack." It got to be a joke every fall, that they never let him forget, Jimmy crack corn.
    As Jimmy got older, he had a well-built body, and played several sports in school. His favorite sport was baseball. He played left field. At the plate, he very seldom struck out. In the fall came basketball, at least during his Junior High years. You see, that was the same time hunting season came in, making it difficult to attend practice, because he would rather be in the woods hunting wild boar or squirrels. Hunting and trapping won out in his last couple of school years. Since Pep Club didn’t require any practice, he tried that for one year, but his heart just wasn’t in it.
    Then there was the meeting-the-girls' thing. He could dance, if it was a slow song, but most were on the fast side. Jimmy was not one of those guys that could just walk up to a girl and start talking. He was on the shy side and wasn't sure what girls would be interested in talking about. It was like he had tape over his mouth, and at best mumbled a few words. One year, one of the prettiest girls in the class sat across the table from him in study hall. He didn’t know it at the time, but several years down the road he would marry her. Her name was Rose, at least that’s what he called her. It took him awhile, but eventually he got over his shyness. He realized girls were no different, they had their fears too. Once the tape came off, enjoying Rose’s company became fun. It didn't matter who it was, he could talk to anyone in the country.
    Well, that’s how I remember Jimmy. He went on to living a life he truly enjoyed, living in God’s country. Oh, did I mention he also became President? You might remember him as Jimmy Carter.

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. KJV 2 Timothy 2:22


Thursday, April 11, 2024

This Week @ Monday Creek: Dr. JW Smith, The Blind Boys of Alabama

In 2019, Dr. JW Smith sent an email with a book proposal. He had written his memoir and a local bookseller had given him my information. Of course, I was humbled by his inquiry and, since he was a professor at Ohio University, asked him to send his book proposal to Ohio University/Swallow Press first. I was sure they would accept his proposal. Several months later, JW emailed again. Ohio University had turned him down. 

In October 2019, Monday Creek Publishing released From the Back of the Bus to the Front of the Classroom: My Thirty Year Journey as a Black and Blind Professor. Since the book’s release, JW’s memoir has earned a Feathered Quill Finalist Award and a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star review. His book has sold worldwide and is one of our bestsellers. In 2020, JW was invited to the annual Ohioana Book Fair, with a special feature presented by the Columbus Metropolitan Library Black Stories, Black Voices. The recipient of community and literary accolades, JW continues to inspire with messages of hope and love.

If you are local to southeastern Ohio, you know that JW is an accomplished singer. He has released several music CDs and performs on stage. Last year, he became a member of the global sensation The Blind Boys of Alabama. The band recently won a Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album

Today, JW sent an email requesting I share this new video. He is just back from Australia where the band performed their award-winning songs and, in addition, sang with Tom Jones. JW, we couldn’t be more proud of you! Congratulations on your success! 

And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed
KJV Deuteronomy 31:8

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

National Poetry Month: "Harbinger" by Celeste Parsons



You do not see it coming,

But one day, it is there—
A hint of fragrance on the breeze,
A softness in the air.

Tree limbs are frosted now with green,

 And on the ground below
Lie bluets in a colored drift
Where yesterday was snow.

And though the air is chill, the young

Run bare-legged in denial.
 And grownups smile, who yesterday
Could not be made to smile. 

© Celeste Parsons 1993 and 1997

Celeste Parsons lives in a log house built on a former dairy farm with her husband Jim, her Westie dog, Spook, and a revolving population of deer, turkeys, chipmunks, hummingbirds, and other wildlife. She has written poems, plays, technical documentation, and newspaper articles since childhood, is the editor of Nelsonville from A to Z, and the author of award-winning children's literature Wait Until I Grow Up!


Tuesday, April 9, 2024

A JAM Session for Jazz Appreciation Month!


April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM) and whether you're new to the genre or well-acquainted, this article is for you! JAM was created by the National Museum of American History in 2001. April was selected because so many Jazz artists were born during this month including foundational pioneers like Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915), Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917) and Duke Ellington (April 29, 1899) as well as living legends like Herbie Hancock (April 12, 1940).

The official JAM site has many wonderful resources that I encourage you to explore at I’ve also gathered some additional media that’ll keep you JAMming all month long!

Jazz History 101

Created by the New York Jazz Academy, this is a self-guided course on Jazz history with selected readings and music, offering an overview of the origins and development of Jazz genres throughout history. Learn more and enroll for free at

Jazz Giants of the 21st Century

Produced by Passport International Entertainment, this documentary features 17 vintage performances by Jazz artists from Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway to Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Watch now at

Guided Listening to Great Albums

Seattle Jazzed offers two series of 1-hour episodes that explore Jazz albums with a JazzED educator as your guide. Albums by Melba Liston, Alice Coltrane and Miles Davis are among those explored. If you’re an educator, they also offer a free toolkit with suggested lesson plans that utilize these guided listening episodes. Listen now at

Every year, JAM creates an official poster celebrating a particular artist and this year’s artwork features Duke Ellington on his 125th birthday!

 As a trumpet player, I'm familiar with Jazz. I played in my school Jazz band and studied it as an undergraduate student, but I’m far from being an expert. As with any subject, there's always more to discover (and revisit!). This is a photo I took of an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) containing precious artifacts from Jazz greats: Cab Calloway’s baton and shoes, Louis Armstrong’s trumpet, Count Basie’s hat, Ella Fitzgerald’s dress, Duke Ellington’s score and cigarette case.

MCNY Jazz Exhibit

Working with my sister Sheryl on the inaugural National Music Landmarks Week and Fest last November for the American Music Landmarks Project was a wonderful learning experience where I met two professionals representing Jazz landmarks. President and Co-Founder Lauren Parks from the House of Miles (former home of Miles Davis in East St. Louis) and Director Faye Anderson from All That Philly Jazz, a place-based public history project advocating Jazz history in Philadelphia, are two of the genre’s best resources!

I encourage you to visit their sites and contact them with any questions you may have about this history and how you can support their organizations.

House of Miles

All That Philly Jazz

In the words of the great Satchmo (Louis Armstrong), "The memory of things gone is important to a Jazz musician. Things like old folks singing in the moonlight in the back yard on a hot night or something said long ago.​" Through our collective JAM session, we can do our part to make sure that the story of Jazz plays on!


Monday, April 8, 2024

Milliron Monday: Letters Home Nov 5 1960


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:  June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - May 9, 2021
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Milliron Farm and Clinic, Dr. Pete and Jody Smith. 

"I vacuumed Starboy this afternoon and it was really great to pet him on his rump and not raise a cloud of dust."
― Jody Smith

Jody's letter home to Mansfield, Ohio. This is the last letter in a string-tied bundle. There are many more letters in no certain order stacked neatly on my desk, their edges worn and yellowed, each with vivid memories. 

Route 1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Friday, November 5, 1960

Dear Mom, Dad, and Jessie,
    Just a quick note to tell you not to bother looking for a milk pasteurizer for us. Birky's have a two gallon electric one which they're not using anymore. We're trying it out right now. It seems to work fine - we tested the temperature with a dairy thermometer, so we'll probably buy it from them. 
    I vacuumed Starboy this afternoon and it was really great to pet him on his rump and not raise a cloud of dust. That vacuum cleaner surely does a nice job. I could have curry and brushed him all day and not have gotten him half so clean as I did in half an hour with that vacuum cleaner!
    My throat is nearly well now. I can close my mouth completely and can chew normally again.
    The nuts have been great. We had fruit cocktail topped with whipped cream and chopped pecans for dessert, really lush. My big blue stool is certainly a back saver, sat on it today to do formula, dishes, and peal potatoes.
Bye for now,
Previous Letters Home: 

Milliron Monday: The Recordings 4

  Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.:   June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010 Virginia Joyann "Jody" Haley Smith: April 2, 1938 - Ma...