Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Heroes, Sheroes, and Villains

Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Heroes, Sheroes, and Villains

Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Heroes, Sheroes, and Villains

Extraordinary People in Extraordinary Times: Heroes, Sheroes, and Villains

Synopsis

Men, women, and events that have been overlooked in mainstream American history are the focus of this new multicultural collection. Engaging stories inform us about Americans who performed incredible deeds but have been ignored by traditional literature. Dozens of unsung heroes and unusual characters, from the first woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor to the black man who broke precedence to fire a gun during the attack on Pearl Harbor, take center stage in this intriguing work. The book also contains little-known facts about well-known personalities. A great supplement for American history classes, this book is fascinating reading for all ages.

Excerpt

Many of the stories in this book started as oral tales. I first heard the story about the pirate Blackbeard being killed in North Carolina on Cape Hatteras Island in 1966. While I was in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, a Virginia friend of mine and I took a weekend “liberty” to camp out on the then nearly deserted island. While there we met an elderly “Outer Banker,” as the inhabitants were called. My friend and I were held spellbound for a couple of hours as this eighty-two-yearold man told us incredible tales, not only about Blackbeard, but about Theodosia Alston and those two “fool yankee boys” who had come to the island with their “fandangled contraption that brought all them other yankees there for days.” He was talking about Wilbur and Orville Wright. He had witnessed the first flight of man.

I have never forgotten those stories or that man, although his name is lost to me. From that time on I have cherished the “forgotten” heroes and villains and events in history that I have run across.

Someone new to the world of storytelling once asked me whom I studied under. I started laughing, because in those days there weren’t really what you’d call “professional storytellers”; there were about a dozen of us who didn’t know about each other. My answer to the question was “the hundreds of people I’ve met and talked to all these years.”

Since I began my career in storytelling and music some twentythree years ago, many of those people have passed on, but I still have their memories and those incredible tales of heroes, sheroes, and villains. I have finally pulled together twenty-two of these tales on paper, although I have enough stories like these to fill another couple of volumes. Until I do, enjoy this collection.

Patrick Mendoza     December 1998     Denver, Colorado . . .

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