America’s First Flying Air Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America was a transformative organization aimed at teaching boys life-long skills that would prove to be the foundational component in a life exemplified by skill, good citizenship, and courteous behavior. Many boys did exceptionally well in the program, however by the age of 14 or 15 years, their interest waned considerably. This occurred from the earliest days of scouting and was titled the "older boy problem." Over the years, the BSA implemented numerous programs in an attempt to prevent dwindling participation from the older scouts but many were unsuccessful. However, in 1912, the first Sea Scout troops were founded.

Stephen King and the Tree Street Crossings

It’s 1959 in Castlerock, Oregon when Gordie La Chance and his three friends – Chris, Teddy and Vern go looking for adventure. After learning the general location of a body that may belong to Ray Brower, a young boy who has been missing for several days, the inquisitive bunch set off on a bold quest to find answers. Assuming Ray Brower met his untimely death by being tragically struck by a train, the boys hike along the railroad tracks in search of the ultimate discovery. However, on this fateful expedition, the intrepid foursome find themselves confronting not only their own fears and personal struggles, but they also come face to face with death as they finally locate the lifeless body of the young boy. This is the synopsis of the film, Stand By Me, directed by Rob Reiner. The 1986 movie was adapted from the novella The Body, written by famous horror author Stephen King. Since the movie was not classified as a horror film, King's famous moniker was only mentioned in the closing credits. Because King’s contributions were not promoted, most people are not aware the movie was based on his fictional story and by further extension of his life.

Steinbeck in Search of CheeSweet

Recently, with the help of my wife, I came across something interesting in author John Steinbeck's 1962 book "Travels with Charley : In Search of America". It's a story about how Steinbeck and his beloved poodle Charley embark on a cathartic trip across the country to bear witness to post-war America. According to the author's oldest son, Thom, his father had a heart condition and knew he could die at anytime, the road trip was his last chance to see the country.

The History Hounds of West De Pere

The West De Pere History Society was formed by Domenic Gentile and his students sometime around 1964. Domenic taught history at West De Pere High School, and on the weekends, he was also an assistant trainer for Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. Although named a "society," it was probably more akin to a high school club, because it consisted entirely of students. In the wake of the unprecedented circumstances regarding the Kennedy assassination, students became curious about presidential secession law. With the wheels turning feverishly in their inquisitive minds, the society members began to meet after school; old projects, once completed, provided a pleasing sense of accomplishment and new ideas and curiosities evolved into exciting, new endeavors.