Kentucky, 1813. Greedy men struggle for power and wealth using the lives of their slaves as weapons and revenge. Phyllis is a young slave with blue eyes and tells the story of her life, her family, her community, their destruction, her survival, and her resurrection as an Abolitionist leader. She learns that good things can be bad and bad things can be good. Based on real events.
"...intellectually stimulating account with the perfect amount of tension and excitement. Contributing to the book's high-quality writing is fascinating description of the techniques and demands of day-to-day life in the times and places of the story it tells."
"Down the River will be an excellent read for anyone with an interest in its era in American history."
"The journey of Phyllis’s life could be an inspiration to some reader that crisis may rise in life but you can’t give up, you definitely can’t stop fighting and ultimately that forgiving may sometimes bring about freedom."
"...an excellent black-and-white trip down memory lane. And like all such trips, there are some good and some bad memories.
First of all, kudos to Wilma and Turner for selecting pictures from the recent instead of distant past. Pictures from the Victorian era are, for me, too hard to place in context. The city they represent is long gone, paved over and lost."
The Sun Break
Once upon a time, American industrialists were builders who constructed viable businesses to generate a profit for shareholders and to benefit the communities in which they operated. Such a company was Longview Fibre founded in 1927 in Longview, Washington. For the next seventy years the founding families operated this mill and its attendant timberlands. The story of "Fibre" is an example of a business model unseen in the Twenty-first Century.
Kindle and paperback
Natchez Trace, Mississippi, 1820
Phyllis uses her job as an army cook in the lands of the Chickasaw to search for her children who fled slavery. Captain Alexander McTeague keeps the peace by evicting squatters, destroying whiskey, and killing outlaws with the Chickasaw scout Kills Early. Land-hungry slave holders from the states want McTeague to fail so they can add to their empire. If McTeague fails, Phyllis fails. Whiskey is the enemy too, impoverishing the tribe and destroying his friend. When all the enemies gather, Phyllis and McTeague must choose between duty and defeat, survival and death.
Video Documentary for Puget Sound Energy and Sadis Filmworks
Nineteenth Century builder and entrepreneur Charles Hinckley Baker built an electricity generation station deep under the falls beginning in 1898. The original equipment is still there and still producing current for the Pacific Northwest. I researched and wrote the script for the hour-long video
Director and co-writer Steve Sadis and Editor Kyle Kangley of Sadis Filmworks were nominated for Emmys for their work.
Click on image to watch the video.