I work as a technician at a TV station in Little Rock, Arkansas. My wife is a retired high school math teacher. We have 2 daughters and a granddaughter. I am proud of my family. If it seems that I neglect writing about them, it is because they want it that way.
I have many interests. I am enjoying being a grandfather and am thankful that I can spend time with my granddaughter. Some of my hobbies and interests include music, photography, and computers.
Several houses on the south side of Park Avenue east of 44th Street sat on long (deep) lots. When we were growing up, our back property along with the next door neighbor's back lot was mostly covered by lots of trees and bushes. It was woodsy, and we called it the woods. It was a good place to play soldiers and Indians, climb trees, and dig holes that we called forts. We all had bicycles when we were old enough to ride. We could ride bikes to Presley and 44th Street, ride less than 200 feet to the woods, and ride the bike path down to our house through the woods. At that time there was only one house facing that small stretch of 44th Street. Near that intersection of 44th and Presley there was a creek that had water and tadpoles in it during the spring. It seems that the creek usually dried up during the summer.
We attended church religiously. We attended Faith Assembly of God Church and later Central Assembly of God Church. I attended as many as 3 vacation bible schools at various churches each summer. If our church had VBS, I attended that, and sometimes I attended the Grand Avenue Baptist VBS, and perhaps another A/G VBS. I often joined Dad in the living room as he listened to " Revival Time" on the radio, a nationwide Assembly of God program. He also listened to the Oral Roberts radio program. My sister would later attend the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I went to daycare and kindergarten at a place run by Mrs. Clark at Greenwood and Dodson. We called her Clarkie. Clarkie used flash cards to acquaint us with letters of the alphabet and simple words. Sometimes she would show a misspelled word, and ask us what was wrong with it. She was impressed that I knew that eg should be egg. Mom had already been teaching me with flash cards and books.
I did not like going to Clarkie's the first year. I would have rather stayed home. Every afternoon the women would put us outside in the yard for an hour or so. We were not allowed to come back inside until everybody came in. It was hot and dusty out there in the summertime. We amused ourselves by patiently dismantling the fence. We weren't trying to destroy the fence or escape. Taking the fence apart piece by piece was just something for bored children to do. The fence was made of soft wire that formed rectangles taller than they were wide. We discovered that if we grabbed the middle of a rectangle side and pulled it back and forth enough times, one end would break. Then when one end was free, it was easy to bend the wire way in and out a few times until the other end was free.
I had to leave for daycare before daylight. Dad took me to daycare on the way to work. He would stop on the way to get 2 women who also worked at Weldon Williams and Lick. They would talk and laugh loudly, maybe for Dad's benefit since he had a hearing impairment. One morning I was sick and asked to stay home. I often wanted to stay home, and the answer was no. I wouldn't get out of bed, so Dad picked me up and put me in the car. I think I went back to sleep in the car. When I got to Clarkie's I was allowed to lie down on the cot that I napped in every afternoon. I slept almost all day. I think I was sick again later -- maybe a year later. I think I got to stay home and sleep that time. I woke up late in the afternoon thinking it was morning.
Dad started a family tradition of taking a photo of the children and sending them out every Christmas. You can view a few of those. The photos were accompanied by an annual family newsletter that Mom wrote. You can read my 2012 Christmas newsletter if you like.
I have faint memories of family vacations when I was young ( late 1950's). On more than one occasion we went to Missouri. Those trips usually included visits to the Assemblies of God Gospel Publishing House in Springfield where Mom worked before she got married. We also visited the Miller brothers, Eldon and Milton, in Washington, Missouri. You can follow the links to learn the significance of those places.
We often stayed with friends or relatives when we went on vacation. My brother Milton remembers that we stayed in Sullivan, Missouri with relatives in a little white house right on interstate 44 on the way from Springfield to Saint Louis. He remembers hearing the cars passing by all night long. I remember a hotel stay in Springfield or Saint Louis. We had pancakes for breakfast at a restaurant. Dad thought the milk was too expensive there, so we just had water to drink. I didn't think it was possible to eat pancakes without milk. I cried and tried to eat a bite or 2 of pancakes. It might have been the same hotel where our room was on the second floor and was lit up all night by a bright neon sign just outside the window. I think the sign flashed on and off. Also I remember loud trains going by. It seems that we stayed in an older part of town -- probably because the rooms were cheaper there.
As I got older and there were 5 of us children with more expenses and a sick grandmother, Dad didn't take vacations. He worked through his vacation time and got paid extra. After Dad's mother died in 1958, we took some overnight summer trips to parks in Arkansas. We would leave Friday afternoon and drive to a state park, set up a tent, spend the night, hike and explore the next day, and then drive home. We took a camp stove, ice chest, and air mattresses with us in the station wagon. We ate simple picnic meals such as bologna sandwiches and potato salad.
The family took another trip to Missouri in 1965 or 1966, but I stayed home to take care of Milton's paper route. Milton remembers that the summer after he graduated from high school, he again visited the Miller's in Washington, Missouri. He thinks it was Milton Miller who took him for a ride in his power boat. Milton drove to Saint Louis to see the sites and attend a Jimmy Swaggart meeting at a church there. Coming back to Washington, he went north on 77 for a few miles instead of south. He arrived late at the Miller house -- almost 11 PM.
More Elementary School memories
In the 2nd or 3rd grade at school I learned to play softball. At first when they told me I was out, I thought that it meant that I could not play for the rest of the game. The other children wondered why I went to play on the swings when I was out. Also when they told me to steal a base, I thought that I was supposed to pick the base up and take it away.
One summer (maybe between 3rd and 4th grades) I was on a little league baseball team at the small Jeffry's Boys Club close to our house on Kinkead. That is now part of the Westark campus, and the Boys Club has moved south to O Street. I learned how to play, but felt like I still wasn't very good at it.
I think I was in the 3rd grade when I started taking violin lessons from a neighbor, Mrs. Williams, who played in the symphony orchestra. I continued that through high school although in the 8th grade Mr. Derdyne became my teacher.
On Saturdays when the weather was nice, Dad and some of us kids would go walking. I think I was in the 4th grade when we went for a Saturday walk, a young dog started following us. She wouldn't leave us and followed us all the way back home. That is how we came to have a dog. She was a small collie mix. We called her Lady. She was very protective of us kids. We had some cats too.
In the summers I rode my bike to Creekmore Park and learned to swim at Red Cross swimming classes. I went to the Boys Club on Wheeler Street and North B Street. I played some baseball, but preferred swimming or reading some of the many science fiction or mystery books in the Boys Club library. I would take a sack lunch and stay most of the day.
The Wheeler Street Boys Club had an indoor swimming pool. The swimming coach saw me win a swimming race and invited me to join the swim team. I did and attended some swim meets. I wasn't as good as the others on the team. I got discouraged and dropped out.
Some summers I went swimming at Darby Junior High School. An older part of the building was later torn down to make room for a big addition with more classrooms. I thought the pool was a casualty of that demolition. However, Joe Wasson of efortsmith.com tells me that as of the summer of 2000, the pool was still there.
Kiwanis Boys' Camp
I think it was the summer between the 3rd and 4th grades that I attended my first boys' camp at Lake Fort Smith. The camp was affiliated with the Boys Club and sponsored by the Fort Smith Kiwanis Club. Camp lasted almost a week -- from Sunday afternoon until Friday. All the boys going to camp met at the Boys Club on a Sunday afternoon and boarded 2 or 3 city buses for the trip to Lake Fort Smith. Those diesel buses put out lots of smoke as they slowly labored up the hills. I think the trip took a little over an hour, but it seemed like a very long ways. Just after we turned off Highway 71, one of the buses broke down. One of the other buses came back to get the stranded passengers after discharging its first load at the camp.
We stayed in about 10 primitive rock cabins on a wooded hillside just across the spillway from Lake Fort Smith. Military surplus bunk beds lined the walls of the big room inside. The floor was concrete, and there was no ceiling -- the rafters were exposed. The only inside wall formed a small area at one end of the cabin for a sink and a shower. The camp had electricity and water although there was no hot water in the cabins. The bathrooms were small buildings that 2 or 3 cabins shared. Water was supplied by an electric pump that pumped water from a well at the bottom of the hill up to a big water tank just above camp.
The people that ran the camp were ex-military people. The principal at Darby, Mr. Jones, was in charge several years. We were awakened in the morning with a recording of reveille (a fast military bugle tune), and at bed time we heard a recording of taps. The "mess hall" (cafeteria) was a large rock building with picnic tables inside.
We stayed busy with all kinds of activities including nature hikes, crafts, swimming, 3 stooges films, ping-pong, checkers tournaments, and other stuff. The counselor who led the hikes knew about geology and fossils and gave us a better education on those subjects than you get from a book.
The camp cooks were school cooks who made some extra money during the summer by cooking at camp. Some people complained about the food, but I thought it was wonderful. Of course food always tastes better when you have worked up a big appetite swimming or hiking.
At the camp for older boys, we had an overnight hike to Lake Shepherd Springs. I went on that two or three different years. The camp had a couple of aluminum canoes. Everyone who wanted to canoe learned to maneuver canoes in calm water.
I loved camp. I attended the Kiwanis boys' camp each summer until I was too old to go. Later I went back to camp for a few summers as an assistant counselor or counselor. One summer I got to lead the overnight hike. I think there would not have been any overnight hike except I promoted how fun it was, and convinced some of the others that we should do the hike. Even though it was a long hike, it was not difficult. We set out after lunch. The only thing we carried was a canteen of water for each hiker. Perhaps we should have had a compass, but we didn't. There were one or two adults hiking with us, but they had never been on the hike. They developed doubts that teenaged me knew the way. They had the idea that we were going in circles. I explained to them that the lake or creek was downhill to our right even though we were too far away to see it. The road was to our left up the hill, although we couldn't see it either. As long as left was uphill and right was downhill, we had to be going the right direction. I don't think they really believed it, but we kept going and eventually arrived at the Lake Shephard Springs dam pretty much on schedule. A couple of adults were to drive the camp pickup truck to our campsite and bring our supper and sleeping bags. Their arrival seemed to be later than we expected, and the adults on the hike expressed the fear that we were at the wrong place. I assured them that we were at Lake Shepherd Springs dam right where we were supposed to be. The only dam similar to that anywhere close was at Lake Fort Smith where we came from. Eventually the pickup truck arrived. We built a fire with driftwood and cooked hot-dogs and marshmallows. The next morning the pickup truck returned and we rode back to camp in it with most of us riding in the back. The ride back to camp was much faster than the hike had been. I was also camp boy at the Optimist Club girls' camp one summer.
Several summers I visited the Phipps family on their primitive farm in Northwest Arkansas. The Phipps children are my second cousins, and are a few years older than me. I would stay with them for a week or 2. I learned a little about milking the cow, gathering eggs, slopping the hogs, and other farm stuff. The farm was quite a ways from Huntsville -- past Aurora and Venus. It was too far out in the country to have electricity or running water. The main attraction at Aurora was a big rock school on a dirt road where all grades attended. Past the school, there was a small general store on a paved road.
When I was in my early or mid-teens, Cousin Gloria Phipps took my brother and sister Joyce and me to the farm for 2 weeks. Days started early, and there was a lot to do. One day about supper time Joyce was missing. We finally found her in bed asleep.
Some of the Phipps children came to live with us in Fort Smith when they were ready to leave the farm and start out on their own. Even the Phipps cousins that did not stay with us, visited on many occasions. Noble stayed with us for less than a year. Gloria was like a big sister to us, and Kenney was like a big brother. Sad to say, Kenney later took his own life.
Several summers I attended the Assemblies of God Church Camp near Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was different from the Kiwanis boys camp. There were few outdoor activities -- no swimming, hiking, or canoeing. However there were several indoor activities. There were two services each day which everyone attended. I remember participating in a small Bible study group. I sang in the choir. It was amazing to me that a group of young strangers could perform so well after just a few practice sessions. I recall that a few well known gospel singing groups would sing for us. During that era people from the surrounding area would attend the evening service and sit in the back. Some of the children from Hillcrest Children's Home in Hot Springs would also attend the evening services.
My memories are a bit hazy, but as I recall, Wendy Bagwell and the Sunliters visited camp and sang several gospel songs in two different services. It was and still is common for gospel groups to travel around the country in a big diesel bus, and this was the first group I remember hearing that had their own bus. I recall that Wendy wore a colorful suit, and the two ladies wore fancy dresses and high heels. It seemed to me they must be fashion trend setters because all the gospel singers I had seen before dressed more conservatively.
I believe Stuart Hamblin also sang for us one time. He wrote several contemporary and gospel songs including "It Is No Secret" and "This Old House."
Another famous singer, song writer, and Assembly of God preacher that I vaguely remember visiting camp was Ira Stanphil. I remember hearing the Revival Time Choir singing Room At the Cross on the radio. That was just one of many songs he wrote, some of which are included in the Assemblies of God Melodies of Praise hymnal which by the way is available as an Android App.
Summers were a busy and exciting time for me. I was always sad when summer came to an end. I feel sad for children who have to go to school or just stay home most of the summer. When I was in school, summer vacation started in May and lasted until late September. The schools were not air conditioned, so it was hot near the end of the school year and again at the beginning of the next school year.
Junior High School
In the 7th grade I attended what is now Southside High School. It was a brand new school. The first year it was 7th through 9th grade. The next year was 8th through 10th, and kept changing a year at a time until it was regular high school with 10th through 12th grades. Some students attended that school 7th through 12th grades.
The first day at Southside they mistakenly put me in 8th grade classes. They gave me an 8th grader's schedule and put the other Charles Young in my 7th grade classes. Someone in the office tried to blame me for going to the wrong classes. Hey, I was just following the schedule you people gave me. Southside is near the Fort Smith airport which shares runways with the National Guard. Teachers often had to pause until the noise of overhead airplanes subsided.
Like a lot of people my age and older, I remember where I was when President John Kennedy was shot. I was in choir class at Southside when someone in the office put the intercom microphone up to a radio that was carrying news of the shooting. I was a poor student, although my teachers said I had the ability to do good work. I had been in some trouble in the 5th and 6th grades, but in the 7th grade, I got some paddelings and nearly got suspended.
I attended church camp again the following summer. Our family always attended church regularly, but it didn't seem to do me much good. I realized that in spite of my parents' good example and discipline, that I was becoming a rebellious trouble maker. I knew that I needed a change and that I was powerless to change myself. I asked God to change me, and He did. During a church service at camp, I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Although many people are skeptical about such an experience, everyone who knew me saw a drastic change for the better -- my grades in school improved drastically, and I was no longer on the verge of being suspended from school. I attended 8th and 9th grades at Kimmons Junior High School -- another new school.
We did not have a TV in our house when I was growing up. I sometimes watched cartoons, "Lassie" and "The Mickey Mouse Club" at the Boys Club or at a neighbor's house. When the other children at school talked about what they saw on TV the night before, I never knew what they were talking about since I didn't watch TV in the evenings. I do not believe that was any great loss. A former schoolmate, Joel Price, astutely observed at our 30 year high school reunion that it is ironic that I work at a TV station, but we did not have TV in our home growing up. I still believe that there is a lot of stuff on TV and in movies that is inappropriate for children to watch -- more now than when I was growing up.
One thing that I did have that my peers did not, was a shortwave radio. I spent hours listening to gospel programs on HCJB from Quito, Ecuador. I also spent enough time listening to news from the BBC and simple English news from the Voice of America to know more about international news than most of my peers. I listened to some propaganda broadcasts from Radio Moscow, which helped me recognize what is now called "spin" in politics. I naively thought that everyone considered all sides of an issue in order to come to an informed opinion. I am still perplexed that an increasing number of people I know take the first information they hear as truth, and resist even listening to other opinions. Although I have fond memories of being exposed to a wealth of information and opinions, in this age of increasing information availability, the youth of today have much more access to facts and information than I did growing up. It is sad that many of them do not take advantage of it.
I attended Northside High School. I read many biographies from the school library. The library had a subscription for "QST", an Amateur Radio magazine published by the American Radio Relay League. From that magazine and technical books, I learned about electronics and radio. I wonder how the library got an old RCA technical manual that explained the technical details of TV transmission. I checked that book out several times and learned more about the details of how television works than most people care to know. While in high school, I passed an FCC test and received an Amateur Radio license, WA5VNV. I now work as a TV technician. The knowledge I learned from the material in the high school library was a big help later on.
Dad and Mom both loved to read. There was always something for us children to read in the house, and there was lots more reading material in the libraries at the Boys Clubs, schools, and the city library on 13th Street (now part of the Channel 5 building). I feel sorry for children today who might not have access to such a wealth of educational resources, or perhaps merely choose to spend an inordinate amount of time on unroductive activities. Dad spent a lot of time reading the Bible and the newspaper, and Mom studied the Bible most of her life.
Beginning in the 9th grade and through the 12th I played violin in the Arkansas All State Orchestra. Students from all over the state would compete to be in the orchestra. Then we would spend a few days in Little Rock attending orchestra practice and finally putting on a performance at Robinson Auditorium. I played violin in the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra for about 3 years while in high school. I remember that we used to practice in the Kimmons band room, and Miss Ed Louise Ballman, an older lady who also played violin and lived in a large old house, would give me a ride to orchestra practice. At the time I was not aware of the extent of her philanthropic contributions to causes such as the orchestra, boy and girls clubs, Westark Junior College, and others.
I also played violin in the Northwest Arkansas Symphony Orchestra during the semester that I majored in music at the U of A at Fayetteville. While in junior high school, I played violin in a church music competition -- it was called Teen Talent then - now called Fine Arts. I lost in the first round of competition. When my brother took band in junior high school, I taught myself to play his trombone. He got a better trombone, and I got his old one. I played trombone in the church music competition, and this time I at least got to compete at the state level. Playing music in church was mainly about worshipping God with music. The competition was a minor part of it. I also taught myself to play Dad's accordion and Hammond organ using books that Dad had. I later got an old guitar and banjo and learned to play them some.
While in Junior and Senior high school I worked as a substitute paper boy. Starting out I rode my bicycle and delivered papers when neighbor Lowell Snow was unable to run his route. A bundle of newspapers would be left on our porch. I would get up very early and fold and put rubber bands on the papers. Then I would place the newspapers in a newsboy bag that fit over my head with papers in front of and behind me. When the front part was about half empty, I would flip it around so that the weight of the full bag in back would not choke me. When that bag was empty, I would flip it around again and dispense the remaining papers. I would be finished before daylight. Later my brother took over that paper route and ran it with his motorcycle. I continued to serve as the substitute and would ride Milton's motorcycle to deliver papers. If it was raining, Mom would usually take me on the route in the car. Nowadays that would be considered a small route, but it was a good workout on a bicycle. That route was an area bounded by Kinkead, Albert Pike, Grand Avenue, and 49th street (the east boundary of Westark Junior College). Later I also ran a paper route on Saturdays for a friend who kept the Sabbath and could not work on Saturday. Sabbath was from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday. That route was bounded by I-540, Grand Avenue, 66th Street, Free Ferry, 74th Street, and Euper Lane. I had purchased a (well) used car by that time, and was able to run the larger paper route in my car.
When my group arrived in Nassau, we formed teams composed of one visiting AIMer and one national and go door to door telling people about Jesus, inviting them to church, and leaving gospel literature with them. I spent one week working with a large mixed-race church, and the second week working with a black church. Their worship music rocked. In some of the neighborhoods children acted like they had never seen a white person in the flesh -- especially someone with light colored hair. Some of them wanted to see if the white would rub off my arms. They had all seen photos of former President John Kennedy. It seemed that everyone had photos of Kennedy even if it was just a photo cut out of a newspaper and hung on the walls. That was the era shortly after the Cuban missile crisis that was still fresh in people's minds, and Kennedy was the hero that had saved the region from Communism. It struck me odd that some primitive houses did not have running water, but had electricity and a TV antenna pointed toward Miami. Thanks to Kathy Flower Ringer for the picture of me. If you were wondering, I am the tall one on the left :) There were several other guys on the trip, just not in this picture.
In 2017 the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Foundation published an article on the history of the Ambassador In Missions program.
Another summer I worked as a lifeguard. Then the summer after I graduated high school I worked in a furniture factory.
Thanks to my brother Dale for this story;
"When Charles was about 12 or 13 years old, he hooked up a wire to the accelerator of the family car. Dad always drove slowly. Charles would pull the wire and make the car go faster."
l had forgotten about that. Like many old stories, I think the details were a bit off. I think I used twine. If I pulled hard on the twine, I could keep the accelerator depressed even when Dad took his foot off the gas pedal. So, I would have to pull as we were going up a hill, or after Dad had just shifted to high gear and was still picking up speed. Dad quickly concluded that something was wrong with the car. I had to confess that I was the cause of the trouble. When my granddaughter heard this story, she asked if I got a whipping. No, Dad would usually tell me things a time or two, and whippings were reserved for when I kept doing the forbidden activity.
Thanks to my brother David for this story;
"Dad had trouble staying awake in church. Charles took some aluminum foil and a 9 volt battery to church one Sunday morning. Whenever Dad would start to nod off, Charles would shock him to wake him up."
My memory is pretty fuzzy on this one, but I am thinking that I woke Dad up from his nap while trying to position the aluminum foil on him. I doubt if the 9 volt battery actually delivered enough shock to be felt. My recollection is that Dad thought it was funny that I was trying to keep him awake with a 9 volt battery.
My Dad took this photo in 1969. That is my brother Dale in the background.
I started out majoring in Electrical Engineering at Westark Junior College - now UAFS. The head of the music department, Loren Green, offered me a music scholarship if I would take 6 hours of music each semester. I accepted that. When I went to register for the second year at Westark, I learned that there were not enough EE courses available. I enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville at the last minute.
I worked part time at KFAY AM / KKEG FM in Fayetteville. I was the weekday sign-off jock at daytime country KFAY, and the weekend sign-on jock at rocker KKEG. That was easy in the winter time when sign-off was at 5 PM, but toward the summer with longer days it was a bit tougher. My boss there was Pat Demaree.
Later I worked at KSPR AM / KCIZ FM in Springdale (just north of Fayetteville). Programming was soft rock and news. The owner and manager was Dewey Johnson. For a while I also worked part time as a cameraman for KGTO, channel 36 in Fayetteville. That station went dark a few years after I left, and so far as I know there is no channel 36 in Fayetteville now.
I could not handle going to school full time and working almost full time. I changed my major and worked full time while attending college part time. I also worked part time as chief engineer at KUAF, the U of A radio station.
I married Glenda in 1973. She was a good influence. I made better grades after getting married. Not trying to work full time and go to college full time helped too.
After College: work and family
Our daughters were born after we moved to Little Rock. They were good students throughout their school years. I have always been proud of them. I have taken a lot of pictures of our children. My interest in photography goes back to my junior high school days. Dad was always interested in photography. When I was growing up, Dad loaned me one of his old cameras, and I took pictures. I learned to develop my own film and print black and white photos in Dad's dark room.
I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and in June, 1975 went to work at KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas. I found that I could get a better paying more stable job working in engineering rather than news, so that is what I have been doing. From the mid-1970's to the late 1980's, KATV produced many of their own live sports events including football and basketball games. Now companies such as Raycom produce the games -- usually for a large network of stations. During the period of time when games were locally produced, the station owned at least one remote truck. Besides helping install and maintain the equipment in the truck, I worked as a technician for many of the events. I also worked as satellite truck vacation relief operator for a few years from the late 1980's to the mid-1990's. Now I pretty much work exclusively in the studio in Little Rock.
When I first started at KATV, the logs were created and printed via an IBM mainframce computer with green screen terminals at some desks. I was able to use that system to enter and print out a list of parts that the Engineering department had, and later did the same thing with wiring lists. We were able to migrate those databases to an Apple II with extra memory, and then later to a PC based database. I wrote a basic program to parse and organize the IBM mainframe data to a format that could be used on the Apple computer, and again when migrating to PC.
In the late 1980's we acquired our first home computer, a Commodore 64. Later I wrote a computer gradebook program for that computer that my wife used for over a decade to record grades and print reports. Her students and their parents received detailed print-outs of every grade the students got on each assignment. In 1998 the school started providing all teachers with gradebook software to use with the computer in the classroom.
Beginning in late 2006 I was glad to be part of KATV's transition to computer based video recording and editing. I suppose I sound like an old man when I say that I have experienced the transition from 2 inch quad head video tape machines, to 1 inch, 3/4 inch, Beta, and Non-Linear (computer based) Editing. During the transition, my boss, Allen Finne, helped me learn the ins and outs of computer based video as well as some IT support skills. Our first storage servers ran on Linux OS, and Allen helped me learn about that as well as expanding my programming skills with Linux.
For a few years beginning in 1996 (roughly coinciding with the birth of my granddaughter), I devoted some time to genealogy research and sharing some of my information. One of the blessings of my efforts is learning and sharing my great grandfather's story of divine healing. Perhaps many of us would not have been born without some divine assistance, but it is wonderful to know that through the prayer of my great grandfather, my great grandmother recovered from a fatal illness and lived to have several more children including my grandmother. I believe that during his time of fervent prayer for his dying wife, he was filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, although the German to English translation of his story is not completely clear about that.
Although I still have an interest in genealogy and connecting with living relatives, I came to realize that publicly sharing information is complicated due to the fact that some people do not want any information about them to be public. Including information such as exact date and place of birth is obviously an invitation for identity theft, but more than that, some people have other reasons for not wanting even their name to be available on the internet. I have not figured out how to know who all want to remain hidden, and even if I did know, I do not have an easy method of deleting them from information I share publicly. That and lack of time is why I have recently neglected genealogy.
Audio recording / editing
I was already familiar with mixing live audio from my days in radio. In the 1980's a few co-workers and I would get together at work after hours and record music. At that time the station had an 8 track recorder that was similar to recorders that professional recording studios used except those would be 16 or 24 track recorders. The group consisted of Red Ellis, Carroll Horne, Jim Goodin, and me. We recorded mostly instrumental gospel and a bit of folk music with guitar, mandolin, bass, and I played violin or accordion. We usually recorded two or maybe three tracks at a time, so all of us did not have to be there at the same time. Red Ellis sang and recorded several songs, and the rest of us also sang a few. As of mid-2017 Red Ellis was still playing some of those songs on his radio show that he hosts on KUAF in Little Rock. I think it was three years in a row that we recorded the music bed for the station Christmas promos. The second and third years we actually went to some scenic place to record the video portion of us playing along with the audio that we had previously produced.
Besides recording as a group, I recorded several songs that were just me - I sang all parts and played all instruments. Several years later, I transferred some of my songs to computer files -- mostly classic church hymns. In the late 1990's my brother David added some violin tracks to my songs -- he is a better violin player than I am. I have a sample of some of the music that you could download and listen to if you wish. Since the entire song has to download, it may take a minute.
In late 2017 I had an encounter with cancer, and am now a cancer survivor. While recovering from surgery, I spent a few weeks resting in bed and later sitting in a recliner. I used that down time to catch up on reading a box of magazines that I had accumulated. The Pentecostal Evangel from the Assemblies of God contain timeless stories of healing, salvation, foreign missions, and inspirational articles and news by church leaders including a few from other Pentecostal groups such as the Church of God of Cleveland, TN and the black group, Church of God in Christ. The Evangel was a source of spreading the gospel to prisoners through 2014 when it was discontinued. The online version of the Evangel is still being published, but I fear that prisoners are unable to access it as they did with the print version. I have also been enjoying reading the "Pentecostal Heritage" magazine published annually by the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. As the title suggests, it includes interesting articles about the beginnings and history of many Pentecostal groups and ministries including; Teen Challenge, a drug rehab program with at least an 80% success rate; Royal Rangers, a scouting ministry for boys; Convoy Of Hope, a humanitarian organization, and various missions groups that the Assemblies of God runs or partners with.
Skipping back in time: I have done several volunteer activities. While in high school, I was youth leader at Union Assembly of God Church near Paris, Arkansas during the time Mom was pastoring the church. I have taught Sunday school at several churches. I served as choir director at First Assembly of God Church in Little Rock in the late 1970's. I served as Deacon and Sunday school Superintendent at Southwest Assembly of God Church in Little Rock during the 1980's. The church was located on Lancaster Street a few blocks north of I-30.
I served as the Amateur Radio Emergency Coordinator for Arkansas from 1976 - 1978. During that time, I helped reestablish the severe weather spotter network that works with the National Weather Service. I organized an Amateur Radio booth at the Arkansas State fair that featured an operating station, an informative video that I had produced, and literature from the ARRL, American Radio Relay League. In 1978 I produced a television public service announcement that invited people to come see an Amateur Radio emergency exercise (Field Day) in their area. The spot aired on several TV stations in Arkansas. Back then the value of publicity seemed to an unknown. The only cost of the PSA's running on TV was the postage to send the tapes to the TV stations. The ARRL balked at reimbursing me for that small cost of postage. If that spot had run as a commercial, it would have cost thousands of dollars. I came to realize that I was expected to volunteer my money as well as my time, and my efforts were not appreciated or valued. I resigned the position. I think I handled it better than some volunteers do who just quit doing anything while still retaining the title. After being a licensed Amateur Radio Operator for over 30 years, I did not renew my Amateur Radio license. Congress had mandated that I must give the FCC my social security number in order to renew my license, and I did not want to do that. It was my small way of protesting the government breaking its promise that social security numbers would never be used as general identification numbers.