Book Trailer For Madam President

Friday, November 16, 2018

Capone Stories from the Tour: Capone's Dentist

Yeah I was Capones dentist. I had just finished my speech and was shutting down my computer. The man held onto his wifes arm. The woman nodded. He was Capones dentist. What was that like I asked. The man grinned. Dangerous He always came in with his goons. They were big guys in loud suits and they always had their guns out. It didn't matter how many people I had in the waiting room they  just walked in and nobody said a thing and Capone he just put himself in the chair. It didn't matter what I was doing. His goons would pull the guy out of my chair and Capone would sit down.

The woman nodded. Nobody wanted to mess with him. The man shrugged. Yeah. So Capone would sit down and his goons would take out their guns and hold them in front of him while I worked on him. And every time I had to do something I would say to the goons. This is going to hurt. The would look and then say to Al Capone. This is going to hurt Al. And then I would work on his teeth and the whole time they had their guns out.

So then I finished up. The woman nodded. He worked real fast on Capone. Yeah. So I finished up and then the goons would walk out in the waiting room and look around and then Capone would leave and the goons would give me a big fat envelope of cash. The woman shook her head. Just like that they would leave the money. The man shrugged again. It was a lot of money and those were hard times. It was the woman said. But I was Capones dentist. The woman nodded. He was Capone's dentist.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Odd Couple of Wilbur and Orville Wright

Orville always made sure his socks matched. He made sure they had a bit of color. His mustache was trimmed perfectly. His hands were immaculate. His collar snapped, his eyes clear as water. He inspected his shoes carefully after they were shined. His derby was top of the line and fitted just so. Orville would work on greasy engines and the flyer in a smock and never smudge his starched white shirt. The world was at attention when Orville walked in the room. Unlike his brother.

Wilburs skin was rough from sun and wind burnt. His clothes tended to hang on his lanky frame. His eyes bore right through a person. Some said he had the gaze of a hawk and was always intent on the next thing. He did get dirty from working on the plane. He didn't bother to wash his hands and his nails would get grease stained. His shoes were smudged. His socks matched but they were black. He was more rugged than his brother.

When they returned from Kitty Hawk Orville would bleach his faced with lemon juice to reduce the tan. Within a week he was back to his normal pallor. Wilbur remained dark and tan and could have cared less. He was trying to figure out how to make a plane fly.

Wright Brothers Wrong Story

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Capone Stories ---Al Capones Girlfriend

I have given over fifty speeches and done just as many book signing on Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair. At the speeches and signings people bring memorabilia from the fair and their stories of Al Capone. Here are a few....

He had on a brimmed cap and walked up my book table. Yeah, I knew Capone. I was in the Barnes and Noble doing a book signing. I looked at the man. Really? Oh yeah. My mom was his girlfriend. She was a number. Real good looking see.  Anyway she and Capone got into a fight. She was real good looking and so they get in this fight and Capone gets mad and I'm only ten years old but these two goons come to the apartment and take me down to a a speakeasy on Maxwell Street.

So Im pretty scared cause these guys have guns. So they take me into this speakeasy and its real dark and I cant see nothin. My mom had told me she and Al were in a fight. I think he hit her or something. So these guys sit me down at a table and this big fat Italian guy comes in and sits down in front of me. He starts hitting me all over the place, slapping me around. I don't know who the guy is but he starts asking me whats wrong with  my mother. Like I said she was a real number.

So after a while he stops hitting me and the goons take me back to my apartment. The man looked at me and smiled. And that was Al Capone? Yeah. That was Capone. Yeah. He and my mom got back together for a while but then they broke up. The man paused and shrugged. But she was his girlfriend. My mom...she was Al Capones girlfriend.

Al Capone and the 1933 Worlds Fair

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Five Things You Didn't Know About the Wright Brothers

The first thing you don't know is that history was decided by a coin toss on December 14 1903 in Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers tossed a coin into the windswept air of Kill Devil Hills to decide who would fly first. Wilbur won the toss and on December 14 he went up and then down. The flight was not successful. That left Orville to fly on December 17 when the 1903 flyer would leave the earth for twelve seconds.

The Second thing is that Orville Wright had a girlfriend. Mabel Beck. History has told us that the Wright Brothers had no time for women with their pursuit of flying. Orville did. Mabel Beck was his secretary and she would become his secret lover. This would not be revealed until the 1990s when a man who saw the two in a lovers moment finally told a newspaper of what he saw in the 1930's. Wilbur had no girlfriend we know of.

The third thing is that both brothers dropped out of high school and lived at home with their father and sister their whole lives. They had no desire to leave the family home even as adults after they had become famous. Orville would finally buy a mansion after Wilbur died and the family would move there but neither brother ever would feel the urge to start a life apart from the family.

The fourth thing is Wilbur went to Kitty Hawk alone the first time and almost died. He had to cross Albemarle Sound to get to the Outer Banks. A storm hit while he was crossing and the sailboat took on water. He had to bail water to keep the boat afloat. His brother would later join him once Wilbur had set up camp.

The final thing is this. Wilbur Wright invented the airplane with help from his brother. This goes against the Wright Myth they did it together. But the truth is only Wilbur had the intellectual horsepower to crack the Gordian knot of human flight.

Wright Brothers Wrong Story

Monday, November 12, 2018

Teddy Roosevelt Wanted to Charge the Germans in World War I

Teddy Roosevelt won the war with Spain. On this we can agree. He charged up San Juan hill and turned the tide of battle. It was the last time men on horseback would determine the outcome of a war involving the United States. But Roosevelt wasn't finished. Hew wanted to get his Rough Riders together again and turn the tide of World War I by charging the Germans. All he had to do was get permission from President Woodrow Wilson and he was ready to go overseas.

Roosevelt had become politically radioactive after losing the 1912 election for the Republicans. He had decided he wanted to run again and split the ticket. His hand picked successor William Howard Taft would have a been an easy win as Woodrow Wilson was an unknown quantity who had been President of Princeton and now the professorial Wilson was taking on a sitting President. Enter Roosevelt who decided he wanted to run again under his own party when he didn't get the nomination. The Bull Moose party Roosevelt formed was short lived and he handed the presidency to the Democrats.

So now he had to go to Wilson and plead to let him go commit suicide in France. World War I was vastly different than the war with Spain. Mustard gas, chlorine gas, tanks, flame throwers, machine guns. Millions of men died in a span of days. Roosevelt would not have gone five feet before he was cut down. But Teddy Roosevelt believed in action and he felt he could restore his political standing by winning the war for America. It was not to be. Woodrow Wilson said no. He did not want a dead president on his hands. Teddy Roosevelt never forgave him.

Forging A President

Friday, November 9, 2018

There is Just No Dastardly in House of Cards Anymore

Say what you will but Frank Underwood was dastardly. And that is what gave House of Cards its punch. Now we have Robin Wright, Greg Kinnear, and Diane Lane. Not dastardly. Who cast Greg Kinnear as the new Raymond Tusk? He is not. He is Greg Kinnear playing a bad guy. It does not work. And Diane Lane. Well, she is Diane Lane. And she is not evil. Which brings us to Claire Underwood. She now talks to the camera just like Frank did which was really amazing when he did it. It broke ground. We were in on all his schemes.

With Robin Wright it is nothing. She just talks to us and we shrug.  Frank Underwood was evil. He was duplicitous. He was funny. And now we have these people running around in Franks shadow. Even Doug Stemper has lost his role. He was Franks devoted servant and now he is doing Claire's bidding but he is a dog without a master. He pines for Frank but because of Kevin Spaceys shenanigans Netflix cant even risk a flashback.

So they should have called it a day. Gone out with the show intact. Add to all of this that we now live in an age where House of Cards seems tame by comparison to what is going on in the White house and you have a fairly boring show. And let me tell you, one thing House of Cards never was, was boring. Ah well, maybe its time to dig up West wing....which is akin to watching Camelot now. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Amazing Kirkus Review of Wright Brothers Wrong Story

The idea that Orville and Wilbur Wright were equals in ushering in the era of manned flight is a myth, posits Hazelgrove (Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair) in this intriguing recasting of the brothers’ now-legendary story. “The truth was,” he declares, “that Wilbur was the primary inventor and pilot”; Orville was “a glorified mechanic assisting his older, smarter, genius brother.” This fact was buried due primarily to two factors: the famous photo of the 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk, which immortalized Orville’s turn in the plane and thereby eclipsed Wilbur’s subsequent longer ride, and Wilbur’s early death from typhoid fever in 1912, which gave his brother 36 years to shape their story. Hazelgrove makes a strong case, citing numerous primary sources, notably Wilbur’s correspondence with engineer and aviation researcher Octave Chanute… Hazelgrove’s original take on two of the pioneers of human flight will greatly interest flight buffs and popular-history aficionados — Publishers Weekly
For more than a century, Wilbur and Orville Wright have been touted as equal partners in the invention of the flying machine and of the concept of manned flight. Yet in this intriguing, well-researched treatise, Hazelgrove (Shots Fired in Terminal 2: A Witness to the Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Reflects on America’s Mass Shooting Epidemic, 2017, etc.) rejects that notion in favor of a more logical one: Wilbur was the genius behind the theory of putting a man in a machine that could soar like a bird, and Orville followed his brother’s instructions, assisting in the mechanical aspects of building the first airplane. The author also points out that it was just by chance that it was Orville’s turn to test the plane when the first photograph was taken. This coincidence made many assume that the brothers were operating on the same level, but as Hazelgrove demonstrates convincingly, they were far from it. Not only does he discuss the events at Kitty Hawk; the author delves into the Wright family dynamics: of the father who knew Wilbur was the brighter of the two boys; of how they remained at home their whole lives along with their sister, who only married late in life; and of the impact the death of their mother had on the children. Hazelgrove also ponders the sexualities of the three siblings and Wilbur’s grave illness, which may have given him the time in bed necessary to dream of flying. For anyone curious about the details behind the invention of the flying machine, this engaging book will inform and entertain as it turns an assumed piece of aviation history upside down.
Aviation history does a loop-the-loop as the author shares new and exciting insight into the history of the Wright brothers.

Books by William Hazelgrove