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Chapter 162: The Benedict

September 29, 20153:15 pmPensacola, Florida When Nancy and I returned to the hotel, we found an empty table near the gigantic coffee pot. Nancy made us both two cups of coffee, while I pulled out my laptop and a folder of notes, a spreadsheet, archived newspaper clips, and letters, and […]

Percy’s Funeral

On March 10, 1918, Emmett’s older brother Percy Brockenbrough Wilson died of tuberculosis.   Percy was only 46 years old, a well-respected and admired community physician.   Percy’s funeral was held one hundred years ago today, March 12, 1918, in Sneads, Florida. It was likely well attended by most of […]

Circle of Family: Walker Wilson

Our last sibling essay in Emmett Wilson’s family story focuses on the youngest son, Walker Wilson. Walker was born in Chipley, Florida in 1884, six months after his family emigrated back to the U.S. from Belize, when Emmett was two years old. I have a few clips from the Chipley […]

A Lesson in History

This weekend, I’m working on a small part of the second chapter of Emmett’s story, taking place in December, 1899. Emmett is coming home from college (West Florida Seminary) for Christmas. I want to describe what the town looked like when he hopped off the L&N train at the Chipley […]

Love and the Lot(tery)

On Valentine’s Day, I found an interesting article in the 1894 edition of The Chipley Banner, Emmett’s hometown paper. (He was 12 years old at the time; I don’t think this would have caught his eye.) Mr. J.A. Lot gives ‘notice’ to ‘all and singular’ young ladies of the United […]

New Impressions From Old Film

For the past two weeks, the focus has been on reading back issues of The Chipley Banner from 1893-1904, and getting details about the gaps of information during Emmett’s boyhood. I finished the reels and they are on their way back to the University of West Florida. There wasn’t much […]

The Poet Laureate of Jackson County

Last night as I was trolling through the 1895 microfilm of The Chipley Banner, I discovered that Emmett’s brother, the Hon. Cephas L. Wilson, Esq., had not only a legal license, but a poetic license. Truth. Here’s more info about the poem from the same issue: I wonder why Ceph’s […]

Falling into place

Good news: The story architecture is roughed in. My colleagues have gotten used to the new wallpaper, and more than a few have commented favorably.   The story architecture adventure has turned out to be a good teaching tool. Students who visit my office see that I practice what I […]

For love or money?

Readers, would you work at a job primarily for the money, putting your attraction to the job secondary? Here’s why I ask: A friend who knows about the book-in-progress asked about what I want to get out of this experience. He asked, “You’re doing this to become a best-seller in […]

Outlier, Outcast, One of Us

Yesterday afternoon, I finished reading the 1918 edition of The Chipley Banner. This publication is significant in Emmett’s research because Chipley, Florida was Emmett’s boyhood home. His father, Dr. F.C. Wilson, was a well respected townsman and the postmaster (a patronage gift from Emmett while a congressman). While Emmett was […]